Last year at this time Brandon and I went through our hardest financial time to date. We lost a months worth of pay because of a change in jobs, my sister was diagnosed with cancer, and Brandon was in a car accident. I wanted to turn in my "grown-up card," but the Lord began to tenderly speak to me about provision. He also continually challenged me to "consider the birds." (Matthew 6:26).

Tonight I must pause and share the ways we have been blessed in the last two months. I'm not one to talk about money or "things", but what has happened in our lives has floored me. The Lord has so sweetly taken care of us. I pray that God receives all of the glory for the blessings I'm about to share.

1) Refrigerator - In the beginning of October I told Brandon that I would like, though we didn't need, a new refrigerator. Ours works, and keeps things cold, but the ice maker is broken and it's starting to show some major signs of age. A few days later, Brandon's boss approached him, and asked if we would like his 4-year-old Whirlpool fridge for free. He's updating his kitchen and thought he would ask. Um, yes. Thank you!

2) Washer Dryer - At the end of October the Sears Outlet was having a great sale. I told Brandon that we should consider going because our washer and dryer are older than us. We're cloth diapering and if our washer and dryer went out that would be bad. He said we should wait. The Black Friday ad came out, and a washer and dryer that were originally $1400 were marked down to $599. We decided for the first time in our marriage to charge something large to our credit card. Go to #3.

3) Brandon's Bonus - The following Monday Brandon goes into work, and finds out that he's getting a bonus that will cover the cost of our washer and dryer.

4) Christmas Lights - The week after Thanksgiving I told Brandon that I wanted to watch the after Christmas sales for white globe lights for our house. He of course said, "Okay...." A few minutes later I logged onto an online forum I'm on and someone was giving them away for free. This seems silly, but in that moment I felt like God really cares about the silly small things - like Christmas lights.

5) A massive amount of toys - The same week I picked up the lights I stopped by a friend's house to borrow a book, and their neighbor had piles and piles of toys in their front yard. There was a toy I had been eyeing for Selah, but couldn't justify (and didn't have)$70 to spend on it, so I walked up to see what they were planning to do with the toys. They were suppose to be donated, but the people never picked them up. The lady told me if I would donate what I didn't want that I could take them all. A friend and I loaded up BOTH of our SUVs full of toys. In there was the toy I wanted for Selah, the barn and trike I wanted for Josiah, a bunch of wooden puzzles (if you know me - you know this is huge), and a bunch of Cars stuff for Elias. All of the toys were in new condition. It was crazy!

6) Brandon's Christmas Party - Aside from the wonderful dinner, fun party and free stay at a hotel, Brandon's co-worker just happened to draw our table's slip of paper in a drawing for some mall gift cards totalling $75.

7) Brandon is now in transportation sales, and brokers loads to carriers. Quite a few of these carriers have sent gifts (permitted by company) to our family. So far we have received generous gift cards from Macy's and Kohl's, and an Amex Card. We have also been sent wonderful baskets from the California wine country.

8) This evening I was going through the mail opening Christmas cards, and "the Lord laid it on the heart" of some our family friends to bless us with a very generous check. I sat and looked at the check and cried.

I'm grateful. I'm in awe of God. We don't understand the Lord's ways, but we're thankful. Our needs, and even our wants, have been met and yet we still say HE is enough. We praise Him for who He is. My spirit cries out and thanks Jesus for the hard times. It is during those times I learn to trust and find out what is important, and it is during the season of blessing that I am truly humbled by His provision.


bungee said...

9) A loving husband that wants you to get things you want, even when you don't need them.

I totally understand about hard financial times. While I was growing up, my dad had like a million jobs, and my parents almost ALWAYS got hand-me-down cars from people. I don't think they actually bought a car (new or used) until I was like 17 or something. And in many ways similar to the things on your list, God has definitely blessed our family. I never really understood until I was most of the way through college, but it is definitely something to be thankful for every day.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Niccole said...

9) Couldn't be more true! B loves to give gifts and bless people.

I just realized you blog today, and while I should have been cleaning my house I was reading your blog. I thoroughly enjoy it. Hopefully you'll be able to update it while you're gone!

Merry Christmas, Ben!