Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Underestimated God Today!

Isaiah 12:4 says, In that day you will say: "Give praise the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. 

While God deserved praise everyday, today is one of the days I can't finish without proclaiming his name & letting you know what he did. This might be a long post, but he deserves it! Forgive my typos, I've been up many hours!

We had an adoption garage sale today after 2 weather postponements. Without a doubt, those postponements were God's timing!

I dread garage sales - not my thing! I went into today knowing that others had made upwards of $1,000 on theirs and feeling I would be content with $400. I'm really good at underestimating God and the graciousness of the people he has strategically placed in my life! 

Our first customer was a woman around my parents age. She hadn't seen our signs and didn't know it was an adoption fundraiser. Upon telling her, she told me her daughter was currently in Ukraine for an adoption. I immediately knew who she was. 

I asked her daughter's name and she answered, "Kristen." when I responded with her last name, her eyes swelled with tears and we engaged in a warm embrace like those who have been waiting to be reunited after a long separation. 

Kristen lives near Chicago. She too is a teacher. We were working on our dossiers at the same time this summer & we have shared on FB how difficult it has been starting a new school year at this part of the journey. I know Kristen only through the adoption community I've been blessed to become a part of on Facebook. However, today, in her mother's tears and our embrace, God has shown me Romans 12:5. So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 
We had a short conversation, she shopped, & then told me she would be praying for us when she prayed for her daughter. She then hugged me again before leaving. 

But God didn't stop there. 

While I knew what was happening when I met Kristen's mother, I was clueless when some aquaintemces of ours came walking by with their son in his stroller. I didn't know they lived nearby, but it was nice to see them and I had some work-related issues to ask advice from Mysti. I caught her at the sidewalk and we talked as John went up to the garage with Jason. We talked for a bit, sold some things in the middle.  I got to coo over little Samuel and we talked about our older boys. Then they went on their way. It was nice seeing them. What happenstance that they went by our garage sale on their family walk. 

Kendra!!! Happenstance? Underestimating God, again!

Jason handed me an envelope. I looked at him & told him I didn't realize they'd come with purpose. There was a very generous cash gift in the envelope. But beyond that is the note Mysti wrote that spoke straight to my heart!

Reading it aloud, I had stop as I was too choke up to continue. "We have been very impressed with your hearts, efforts, and unique ways to bring your daughter, sister & princess home!!" 

The tears fall as I type through the blur now. Thank you Mysti! You spoke Deuteronomy 2:7 straight to my heart.  

"The Lord your God has blessed you in all the works of your hands. He has watched over your journey through the vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything." 

Jason & I knew from the beginning that fundraising the $45,000 with our hands was not going to be possible, but that if we worked diligently and served God through it, he would provide all that we need. The past 10 months since we committed to this, and the time leading up to that have certainly felt like forty years in the wilderness at times. But God, in his divinity, has known the source overy dollar that has already come in and that is yet to come in.

We were getting ready to start cleaning up when the last customer pulled up. I made a sarcastic remark that if that lady just spend $43, we would make my goal. I mean, who spends $43 at a garage sale? maybe if she bought Katie's table, or Kitchen aide mixer. But I had no expectation of that happening. She was looking through the buckets of clothes that had been donated.

Yeah, well, once again, God smacked me with his love!

She left with a car packed full of stuff and while she was sifting through, someone from 4 hours away called and said they were sending someone for the mixer AND wanted to come back for the table at a later date.

I can't leave out that somewhere in the mix of the day, a colleague from another school in my district came by. This was our first meeting. She is going to donate a personal day to me to be used during FMLA, which is worth quite a chunk of money for us.

Wondering how we did on my $400 goal? Well, Romans 9:23 says God will make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory. He made great strides in my preparation today, and I am so thankful for his mercy in my underestimation of him!

When you add the cash from the yard sale and the gift to the value of the personal day, God provided $1002.

I'm so thankful for the new friends Christ has placed in my life - and also for those who have stuck by Jason and I. Thank you John and Katie for letting us use your yard, and for donating all of your sales to us - it was not expected and it was a HUGE chunk! Thank you Nicole and Tabb for your donations, and thank you Whitney for your ongoing support! May you be blessed and may your hearts rejoice with us as we proclaim the Lord "across the pond" next week. 

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell all of his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.
Psalm 105:1-5

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