With all of the things going on for us right now, being in Ukraine bringing Anastasia home and growing another baby, I am reminded of last spring. Last spring we got our tax return. It was a rather large tax return and we had a lot of things that we wanted to use it for that were all very reasonable things.
We wanted a different car with more room for our growing family. Our car at the time was a Kia Spectra, which is a great car but was limited on space. Smiles was growing, so my knees were in the dashboard if we had anywhere to go as all four of us (he weighed too much for the infant seat, but still had to face backward), and four of us filled the car. Yes, there was a seat in the middle of the two carseats, but even aunt artsy, who is really small, could not fit between the two. We couldn't take anyone in the car with us, including the dog and we were often needing to carry extra passengers.
Old Blue, our couch, was...OLD. Our other couch wasn't in the greatest shape, but Blue was in terrible condition. It had holes in it (BIG holes in the upholstery) and was plain worn out. Blue had some very good days and was still comfortable, but you have to understand that he belonged to my grandparents before our family. I remember coming home from Kindergarten sick, driven by the school nurse Mrs. Wardle (who knew my Grandma from church, so it was all good) and sleeping on that couch. I have lots of memories with that couch, but I was not above admitting that it was time to let go.
Our carpets were in bad shape too. Our ultimate goal is to get laminate flooring for the main living space since we have a dog and little children. The person who thought it was a smart idea to build a starter home with carpeted dining room space was, in my humble opinion, NOT someone who had kids. We just would have liked to get the carpets cleaned. (Would have LOVED to get new floors, but cleaning the carpets would have been great too.) We still have a vacuum that is on it's way out, but God has blessed it with a very long last leg. It might not work as well as we would like it to, but it still gets most of the job done.
These are a few of the things that we would have liked to do with our tax return, and really we could have made it work for all of those things. (We still had a bit of hospital bills from Smiles that we owed, which got paid off before anything...but that was a must, not a flexible thing. Responsibilities must be taken care of too you know.)
But we asked God. He had been (and still is I might add) teaching us a lot about generosity. We were learning how really all we had and all that we are is His anyway. I gave my life to Christ. That means I gave Him control of everything, including the possessions that I have on this Earth. We prayed and asked Him if any of these things were something that He would allow, or if He had other plans for our cash.
What did He say? Well, it was the same answer over and over again. The words that I kept hearing were, "Be generous with me, and I will be generous with you." I kept asking for a number, "Well, how much is that God?" And all He would say in return was, "Be generous with me, and I will be generous with you." So, I finally shared with my husband what I was hearing and he agreed that we should give as much as we could to God. Everything after those responsibilities. We had a few, like that hospital bill that I mentioned for Smiles.
I have pieced it together some since then, but hadn't really looked at the big picture all together that much yet. As I am here in Ukraine, away from my two little ones that I spend all of my time with, I have a little more time for thinking. And the reality is now more real. We are close to coming home with our little Ana, we are nearly home with one of the blessings that we have been given by the Lord this year.
It all started shortly after our that moment when we decided how much we were giving. Handsome got in a car accident, which I realize sounds like quite the blessing, but it did turn out to be. If you recall the car issue that we had...well, Handsome got in a car accident that totaled the car, yet the airbag didn't go off. He had no pain after the incident, even though he should have. Our insurance company gave us $2,000 more than the car was worth blue book, and we were able to get a really good deal on a car that fit our family better. It was a definite blessing in many ways. This was all a preparation in trusting God to provide. He wanted us to recognize that if He provided for us in the things that were more worldly, then He would also provide even more for the things that He called us to. It was preparation.
Shortly after our car was provided, God led us to Anastasia. Within a very short amount of time, with no $ in our bank account (because we insisted on only buying a car we could afford without payments...thus we didn't have savings yet), we committed to Ana. God called us and we knew that we could trust Him to provide. He may not always provide in the ways that we expect Him to, and not through the people that we expect Him to, but He has provided. We have been so blessed in all of the areas of our adoption. He has gone before us in all things and has provided all that we have needed Him to provide. I have also learned that His faithfulness is not dependent upon my faith. The Lord is faithful even when I don't have the faith to trust Him in every step that He asks me to take. Sometimes I don't take small steps because I am fearful and lacking faith. He has still walked toward me. He takes more steps toward me than I can ever take toward Him. This is not meeting in the middle because I am not capable. God meets me where He knows that I am able to meet Him at the moment.
Even when I feel like I fail Him.
And what about those other things? Well, old Blue made it out of our living room too. My brother and his wife moved and couldn't fit one of their couches into the new place, so they offered to give us their couch. We gladly accepted their offer. I also have heard that we were blessed with a gift of clean carpets while we are gone. I haven't seen them yet, but I'm sure they look much better than they did when we left home.
So, as I look back, I can see that we chose to give God all that we could and He was generous with us beyond what we could have come close to expecting. (Do you think that I would have ever imagined that He would bless us with two more children? I do not think so!) He also provided for all of the things that we felt like we were sacrificing to do what He asked. And even if He hadn't, I know that I would still feel blessed beyond measure. I'm sure that the new (again) Daddy next to me would agree.
So, did God do as He said when He answered, "Be generous with me and I will be generous with you." ? I would certainly say that He did.
1 month ago