I am a week late posting about the yard sale that occurred last weekend, Sept. 23rd & 24th!
My only excuse is....
Busy Bee = Bad Blogger
The yard sale was beyond amazing!
The week before, I had been up late reading blogs (which makes me get mad at myself often, but this night I know God had me reading a certain blog for a reason...).
I was catching up on one particular family and saw an insightful and inspiring post about fundraising.
This family had a yard sale to raise money for their adoption and they didn't price ANYTHING for the sale. The Lord brought in a huge amount of money because they had left it up to HIM.
The next morning was Sunday and as Rob and I were getting ready I casually mentioned reading this. He jumped on the bandwagon and thought it was a GREAT idea...and "it would save you tons of work, Laine!" :)
At church, I mentioned it to my friend Rebekah, who also thought it was a great idea. She shared how they had a bake sale for their adoptions and didn't price anything and made more money than they had at the previous TWO DAYS of bake sales where everything was priced.
In my heart I was struggling with the issue of "what if we don't get what the item is worth, though?"
So I asked Rebekah, "What do I do if someone comes up to me and offers $.25 for this nice white bookshelf I'm selling?"
In her sweet Rebekah-manner, she replied, "You just tell them, 'Thank you very much, God bless you!'"
During the week, people brought donations to our yard sale. We were so humbled! People who had never met us were bringing us REALLY NICE items for us to sell! It was an outpouring of God's love and provision. We are so grateful to these families! And so thankful to get to meet new people too!
As the days ticked down to Friday, I still struggled with completely giving this to God and trusting Him to bring the money He knew we needed. Can I be honest and tell you how many times I wanted to just stick prices on the expensive items, but leave the rest un-priced?
I realized one morning how I was just downright full of unbelief. Not trusting God. He obviously led us to not price anything, and I was fighting His will. I confessed my unbelief and asked forgiveness and gave the entire yard sale to Him. The pricing, the items, the people that would come....it was refreshing to realize that I was not in control and that MY FATHER would handle not just this yard sale, but every detail of this adoption!
Romans 4:20,21 "Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."
Friday morning came. We had advertised in our little small-town paper that the sale would begin at 7 a.m.
6:37 our first customers arrived.
I love a good Alabama yard sale!
They were a sweet couple who own a flea market and were looking for furniture. They asked how much for that nice white bookshelf. :)
I said, "Whatever you think would be a fair price. We're adopting 2 children and all the proceeds will go toward our travel costs. We're leaving it up to the Lord to bring us what He knows we need."
They immediately knew that we were Believers and so they shared their story. A story about their son who had a horrible car accident in the 1980's. After years of surgeries, therapy and recovery, his health began to decline. In the 1990's he was diagnosed as HIV positive which he had contracted through a blood transfusion when he had the car accident. Eventually it turned into full blown AIDS, and to his dying day their son never wavered in his faith in God and his passion for sharing the gospel.
These sweet elderly parents said to me, "In fact, we wrote a book about our son and we have a copy in our car that we want to give to you."
I am in tears just remembering this. How God ordained THIS COUPLE to be our first customers. How God ordained THIS COUPLE to be the ones who wanted that white bookshelf that I was so concerned about if I would get enough money for.
God is so merciful to all of us, is He not?
Do you think that after meeting this couple and hearing their testimony, that it mattered one iota how much they wanted to give for that ridiculous white bookshelf?
No. It did not matter if they offered $.25. God had cemented that lesson in my heart. All that yard sale stuff was just that....STUFF. What really mattered was His people that He was about to bring our way. What really mattered is His glory! You think that couple's story was amazing? Just wait until you hear about the others.
There was a precious lady whose mother and husband both had cancer, and she was their caregiver day in and day out. She came to our yard sale just to get some time to herself. I prayed with her and we were both in tears.
There was the sweet woman who stayed 2 hours digging through the clothes. She had lots of family and grandkids and she liked to provide clothes for the kids in her neighborhood. Her husband was with her and he kept muttering under his breath, "I don't know if all this is gonna fit in the car, honey!"
Every time she would say, "Patience, Jimmy. Patience."
That has been our new family motto.
"Patience, Jimmy. Patience" :)
Then there was the grandmother whose granddaughter had been taken away by another family member and there was an ugly court battle and she needed prayers.
There was another grandmother whose grandson died from drug overdose at age 16.
There was the tired and broken looking mother who came up to pay for her items and when I asked her about her children, she told me she also had a baby girl who died one month ago today from SIDS. She was 5 weeks old. We wept as we prayed together.
There was the sweet lady who talked about God, but then she gave me a Jehovah's Witness pamphlet as she left. I wanted to chase her down the driveway but she had already gone. (And would I have had enough guts? I don't know...something else to bring to God, right?) Oh how I pray He will shine His light on her and bring her out of darkness.
There was the young couple who were going through a domestic adoption and we talked awhile about paperwork woes and God's perfect timing.
There was the lady who found out we were adopting and broke down in tears to Rob. Her son had been paralyzed in a car accident. It had made her realize she needed Jesus and she got saved! Her son told her, "Momma, I would go through this all over again because it was all worth it since you are a Christian now!" Rob was in tears with her after she told him that.
There was the neighbors we got to see who we never get to see because we're all running in different directions!
There was the sweet friends who came by....the girls' ballet teacher, 2 families from church who had to come a LONG way (thank you Brackers and Mark & Heather!), there was a couple from our old church who gave us an incredible blessing, there was our boys' old baseball coaches' wife from YEARS ago who saw the signs at the 4-way about an adoption yard sale and KNEW it had to be us! :)
The blessing of people! Thank you Lord! Everyone has a story...and we must listen! So many people are hurting! Sometimes we just have to learn to L.I.S.T.E.N.
Hebrews 3:13,14 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end."
Besides the blessing of people was the blessing of seeing my children interact with the customers. I really enjoyed that so much!
My favorite part of the Saturday sale was when we had our first customer walking up the driveway and Kevin spread his arms out as wide as he could and yelled, "WEWW! (that means "well!") WE'RE SEWWING EVEWYDING!" We laughed so hard!
Another blessing was Katie Lyn and one of her best friends' Anna doing face-painting on Saturday. They are TALENTED! I have some pics I need to show you!
Another blessing was Carlie and Candie getting to sell lemonade. My kiddos were their biggest customers. :)
Another blessing was getting to work and serve together as a FAMILY. Everyone pitched in. My older children woke up at 5:30 a.m. both Friday AND Saturday. They helped drag stuff out, and put it back at the end of the day. They set up tables, organized toys and clothes, they stayed up late helping me go through donations. Even the little ones pitched in GREATLY. They all talked about how much fun it was! WHAT A BLESSING!!!!!
Ps. 127:3,4 "Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth."
After the yard sale, we took the kiddos to the ice cream parlor in our little town of Springville. (P.S. if you want to go experience a real old timey ice cream shop, go there! It's the only one in town, so you can't miss it!) We all savored the yummyness after two days of hard work.
And so as you can see....what my finite mind thought was a way to help with our travel expenses became so much more than that, thanks be to God.
And on top of the many blessings of donations of yard sale items from people who don't even know us, meeting people we would never have met otherwise, working together as a family, the beautiful weather...I could go on and on...
... on top of all of that...
God gave us over $2300.00 through the yard sale!!!!!!
Praise be to our Father...for it is HIM and only HIM that has done this!
Thank you to all who are prayed for our yard sale, for those who donated items and generous gifts, for the emails and phone calls I received asking about it, and also to those who have given to the matching fund! We thank God for each of you....
Travel dates coming VERY SOON! :)