There have been times in my life, really the majority of my life, where money was tight. I grew up the oldest of eight children, so you can imagine that I grew up on hand-me-downs and learned not to ask for much. But He still always provided through our hard-working father and through people who truly loved our larger-than-average family and I never wanted for necessities. I grew up and Jonathan and I walked down the aisle, arrived home all giddy from our honeymoon and suddenly panicked because we thought we didn’t have anything left in our newly joined bank account. We thanked God as we found $500 automatically deposited from my one-week-behind nursing paycheck. Our first week home, together, and we breathed thanks to the Provider of all things.
Then we were DINKS. You know? Dual Income, No Kids. So, we went to the movies a lot and ate out way too often. But 2 years passed, and oops, we were going to have a baby! We saved, saved, saved every penny we could so that I could stay home with our baby girl when she arrived. She came and I stayed home and we survived on one income while simultaneously trying to become debt-free (that ‘s a whole other story!). We didn’t buy things like fabric softener or extra snacks. We stayed home from the movies and my daughter wore wonderful hand-me-downs (I’ll *always* love hand-me-downs!). I learned as a fairly new wife and mother that there are a lot of things we think that we need to run a household, but really don’t. But now, our season has changed and God has provided. Now the fabric softener makes it into our grocery cart, but still rarely actually goes in with wash. 🙂
Before, there were things I thought we needed, but learned we didn’t. Now there are things we don’t need, but have anyway.
A girl can get lazy in asking her Provider to provide when He’s already providing more than she’s used to.
But I’m about to dare you.
Low on our priority list of “needs” has been a children’s table for our girls. With two little budding artists and no current kitchen table, the only place the girls have had to draw is at the dining room table (which the littlest one has a tendency to crawl on top of -gulp-), or the kitchen floor (which is, as I’ve mentioned before, a linoleum parquet and creates little rub-on indentions into their artwork -grin-). So the girls are often in the dining room, eating or drawing alone, while I’ve gone about making the morning coffee or unloading the dishwasher. Either that, or their guilt-ridden mother has placed two little, good-natured girls in front of their breakfasts and they’ve eaten their cheerios off the kitchen floor (Out of a bowl, out of a bowl!) . So, for awhile now, I’ve been on a rather low-key hunt for a children’s table, but I just hadn’t found a good price on one and with each morning that passed, I was a little bit saddened that my children were left eating in the other room.
(Side note: Do you really think the girls cared about this?!)
Could I just have gone out and bought a table? Sure! But as I’m sure you know, there are lots of purchases in this young-parenting season of life and a children’s table was pretty much at the bottom of my priority list.
But one day I just casually told God that I’d really like to find a table for the girls. Would He help me find one? Of course, my caveat slipped in and I added something about how, of course, He knows what we truly need, so you know. Whatever. 🙂
Yesterday, one of the young neighbor girls knocked at our front door. We greeted each other with smiles and she said,
“My mom and I were just wondering if you could use a little table for your girls? I’ve outgrown mine and we can’t find a place for it in the house and we just thought your girls might be able to use it.”
You better believe I snatched that table right up! And I can’t tell you how THANKFUL I am for that little table. Yes, because now we have a nice little nook for the girls to eat and draw, but even more because it was simply God’s gift to me. How often do I not ask Him for things simply because I can just go out and do it, buy it, or manage it myself?
But I’ve asked for things on whims and He whizzes right in and in His non-fumbling way, just gives.
There are some really large things looming in my life and I’ve been knocking on His door about them for quite some time. It is easy to grow weary. Apathetic. But when He answers our “little” prayers, He gives us the gift of hope. It is almost more humbling. That He the Master and Creator of the Universe would supply something so insignificant to one who merely asked on a whimsy.
So, I dare you. I dare myself.
Let’s ask and just see what he does.
Because He dared us first.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11
So today, I am thankful. That God hears my “just-talking-out-loud” prayers. That He shows me He’s our Provider in all things. He gives me courage and builds my faith.
And I ask for more.
#620 summer sunlight, drying the wooden, freshly hosed highchair
#621 sidelong, wry smiles over their heads while watching “movies” that only little girls would want to watch
#622 homemade pizza
#623 unexpected lunch with a friend
#624 the way she loves us and the way we all love her
#625 long, hot baths
#626 the way words stir the soul
#627 day-in, day-out, just being with them
#628 barefoot girls, running to welcome their daddy home
#630 cucumber blooms (finally!)
#631 fresh, flavorful, local tomatoes
#632 hence, lots of homemade salsa
#633 this messy house
#634 celebrating new babies with old friends
#635 our littlest one’s initiated night out
#637 rocks, ages old, right here
#638 coffee with a friend and having to be hinted at by the staff to leave
#639 Target runs
#640 sitting down, playing the keys
#641 giving myself grace, which is really HIS grace to me
#642 making it through his hard-working week
#643 a new, just-for-them table
#644 that HE HEARD! that little, barely spoken prayer
#645 that He’s just so unexpected
#646 How He must love to delight His children
#647 and how He must be hearing those big prayers too
#648 fuel for hope