So, about three weeks ago I started praying a quirky little prayer. God, please help us finish furnishing this cute little house in more creative ways than we can imagine.
I started praying this prayer because I began to see that our current financial situation was not going to get the house furnished any time soon. This had been okay for the past three months, when we could still legitimately say we had just moved in and were getting used to our new school programs, but now we were getting to the point of wanting to settle in, truly. When people came to visit, we wanted to offer them more than a hard chair to sit upon at the dining room table. When we finished doing laundry, we wanted to store our clothes in something other than plastic boxes on the floor. And when I start the focus groups here in our home in the coming month, I want the girls involved in the groups to feel safe and welcomed into a comfy space that feels homey and secure.
So I decided to start praying the faith prayer. I was prompted to do this because I kept remembering the story of a lady I met a few years ago who had gone through a horrific divorce about twenty years prior and suddenly found herself living alone in an empty house with pretty much no possessions to speak of. (Thank goodness our situation hasn't been anywhere near as drastic as hers.) In that devastating place, she told God she was relying on Him to give her everything she needed, both emotionally and physically. And then she came home from work the next day to discover a ton of good furniture had been left on the front curb of her property. She had no idea where it came from, and still to this day does not know.
What can I say? I felt inspired to branch out and humbly request for God to provide for our needs, too. On the same day I prayed that prayer for the very first time, I even got up out of my seat at the dining room table and opened the front door to see if God had prompted someone to drop a couch at our curb in the few minutes it took me to articulate the prayer . . . or perhaps decided to miraculously drop one out of the sky Himself, just because He can.
It took me a few days to let Kirk in on this new approach to our situation, since I felt kind of silly for praying it in the first place, and especially silly for getting out of my seat to check on it right afterward. But eventually, of course, I told him, and then every few days after that I would give him an update.
"Um, sweetheart?" I would call into the other room from where I stood at the front door or the window.
"Yeah, hon," Kirk would call back, having no idea what I was up to.
"I just want you to know that there is no couch sitting at the edge of our curb."
To which he would laugh, and I would laugh, and then I'd go into the other room and shrug my shoulders. "It could happen," I'd say. And he would say, "I know it can. And I love you for your faith."
This whole time, I knew God would work it out, even though I also knew it could take a really long time. Like, maybe His creative way of helping us would be to help us find a way to set aside some extra money from the budget every month until we saved enough to buy some items. That could take a long time, and it really didn't seem feasible, given the constraints of our budget, but it could happen.
Thankfully, that's not what happened. What happened really was a creative surprise, just like I had prayed it would be.
For one, my mom came into town last week and told us she wanted to buy us a housewarming gift. She said she'd been planning it for some time and had either a TV or a couch in mind for the gift. Wow! Since we'd made a conscious decision to go without a TV for the time being, we opted for the couch. How amazing that the primary item I'd been hoping God would drop onto our curb ended up being the very first item He provided.
Ta-da! We found this brand-new couch on sale for a great price that included five gorgeous overstuffed pillows. And the material is microfiber, which works great when you have oft-shedding kitties, such as we do. (Thank you, Mom!!)
For instance, Diva likes to shed her hair all over the place . . .
And so, for that matter, does Solomon . . .
But the story doesn't end there, folks! This past Friday night, after we had already picked out the couch with my mom, we went to the Night of Joy festival at Disney with our friends Tom and Cindy, who had received five free passes. After singing at the top of our lungs and dancing to our hearts content at the wonderful David Crowder Band and Chris Tomlin concerts, we headed out of the park near midnight, happy but exhausted. (And we would certainly feel that exhaustion in our leg muscles in the days to come, especially the calves -- from all that jumping up and down!)
On the way to the Monorail that would take us to our parking spots, Tom turned to us and said, "You guys have a complete bedroom set, right?" I didn't think much of this question, even though we'd spent a good length of time earlier in the evening discussing Tom and Cindy's upcoming move into a new home. It seemed like a pretty simple, straightforward question to me, and besides, I was really tired.
"Um, yeah," I said. "I mean, the house came with a full-size bed, but no nightstands. No dressers, either, actually. But we're okay for now." At this point, I was just answering the question, not even connecting it to the question Cindy had posed to me earlier in the evening about a set of backyard patio furniture and whether we had need of any. (We don't.)
"Well, we have a complete bedroom set from our guest bedroom that we can't take with us in the move," Tom replied. "It doesn't come with nightstands, but it's a queen four-poster bed with a dresser and a chest."
Whoa, I thought. A queen-sized bed and a dresser and a chest of drawers?! All of these items sounded like heaven to me.
"And you don't need the set?" I asked.
Now it was becoming clear what was going on: they were offering this furniture to us. I turned toward Kirk and shared the news. We turned back toward Tom and Cindy. "So, are you wanting to sell it, or loan it out until you have need of it again?" Either of these options would have been fine by us, since they'd still mean getting a great set of furniture for much, much less than it would cost to buy a new set.
"Well, if you guys can use it, you can take it off our hands," Tom said.
So now, because they're moving in two weeks, they need this bedroom set out of their house within the next week. This means that very shortly, another room in our home will be full of next-to-brand-new furniture, for just the cost it takes to move it and then take Tom and Cindy to a nice lunch for being so generous to us, their friends.
God's goodness and lavish behavior just never ceases to amaze me.