Sunday, July 10, 2011

And the results are (almost) in. . .

Tonight I write this post because I know you are eager to hear how it went, but I feel at a loss for words to describe this past weekend and all the work & result that the sale included.

Wonderful. Exhausting. Fun. Hard. Full. Blessed. Frustrating. Surprising. Exhausting. Busy. Friend-ful.

I guess I can give you a bit of an illustrated play-by-play.

Friday morning began bright, beautiful & early. As in, I woke up at 6:15 and Eric and a handful of friendswer working in my side yard. We were set-up & ready by 8:30--and away we went. We had 16 tables in the yard, stuff on the ground, boxes that weren't able to be unpacked. It was crazy.

OG was lucky enough to be invited to play at a younger friend's house (which was a huge blessing!)

J & K, with the help of our friend Karli, manned the bake sale table (until noon when they quit because it was too hot and Yoli offered to take them swimming).

Our handmade table had some lovely pens, fantastic jewelry, and really super cute hair clips. On Saturday, that table also included my handmade item: produce bags!

Grandma & Papa picked the kids up that evening--and we slept in a tent (well, sorta, for part of the night, because, well, did you see how much stuff there was? Did you think we could have possibly put that all back in our garage overnight?). We stayed in the tent late into the night when we realized that a few hours of sleep in our bed was precious to us. We also believed that the presence of the tent was good security for the area. 

Saturday was hot. And much slower. Honestly, I was ready to throw in the towel at about 12:30--but friends continued to encourage, and people kept coming and coming, until 4 p.m. We started packing up then--and after we sorted out the things that we are keeping to sell on Craig's list, ended up with a garage full of goods for a mission or ministry.

How to report the God things that happened in these two days? Well, I can't share them all, but there are some great stories. Like the many people who stopped to ask us about where Lesotho is. Or the many, many wonderful people who paid for a $1 item with $10 or $20 or more and let us keep the change. The friends who stopped by to offer hugs, gluten free treats, prayers, or to browse (even though they didn't need a thing in the world). The one family that came after hours and hung out for a bit as we found common interests in reading, writing, adoption, thrift, and life! The many, many confirmations we received.

But the best, I've saved that for last. Late yesterday afternoon, a sweet looking guy (college age) stopped by and bought some ugly duck thing (picture). After some conversation we learned that he had recently returned from three months in the South African Free State which is just north of Lesotho and that he spoke the language of the country, Sesotho (Se-su-to). He hung around for a bit and taught us a few words and phrases. We are going to see him again soon, look through his pictures and hear more about his experiences.

But what a God-thing! Things like that don't happen by chance.

So I also shouldn't be surprised that when we counted our earnings again tonight for deposit, our money multiplied. There was $150 more than when we counted and added last night!

The cicada hatched on this bag Saturday morning.
 It was beautiful to see another aspect of God's craftsmanship
While there are still some small sales pending with the possibility of more earnings, tonight we figured out two things. 1) The amount we earned is equal to the amount we had to take out of the adoption savings to pay bathroom costs. (got that?) 2) The amount we earned is about 1/3 of the amount we need for our first payment to the adoption agency

Our God is so good and abundant. I am still in awe.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look what God has already done!

I write this post on Tuesday night, three days before our garage sale and I already stand amazed at how God has provided for us--and we haven't yet received a penny! In fact, I wanted to record how i feel at this time so that I can remember that no matter what the dollar figure for our weekend, we can remember that God provides.

I am both overwhelmed and overwhelmed by the outpouring we have received.

Overwhelmed in a good way because there has been overwhelming response (as in people I never would have expected have contacted us to offer help/goods/stuff).

And Overwhelmed in an overwhelmed kind of way because our house is full of stuff for this weekend.

Here are a couple stories that I am really holding on to right now.

One Sunday afternoon a friend dropped off a load that included three bikes left in the basement of his rental house. That afternoon a member of my small group (a bike guy) took a look at them and offered to fix them up. So he took them to his brother's bike shop and put on new tires, tuned it up, and washed it. He returned on Monday with two bikes that we can now sell for about $100/piece. They are great bikes that ride smooth.

Tuesday morning a woman from our church called. She was moving and heard we were having a sale and why and wondered if we would be interested in the stuff left in her house that she hadn't been able to give to friends. We said, "yes" and four van loads later have (among other stuff) a beautiful loveseat with a pull out bed and a chaise lounge.

A Saturday morning a dear friend and her son stopped by, unannounced, and left us with a couple bags of clothes and a brand-new, still in the box radio flyer wagon! From the store it is more than $100.

Right now, I have a huge pile of clothes in my basement, a front porch full of furniture, a garage packed with small appliances, bikes & baby goods, and rooms in my house full of sorted and priced items. And more is still coming from family members and friends. I look around and stand amazed.

Some different people Eric and I know who make hand-crafted goods have sent us some of their wares (pens & jewelry) to sell.

People have offered to bring baked goods for the kid's bake sale table. We have others who have volunteered to some and sort. I am blown away by this response. Truly. It reminds me that even though this event and fundraiser is benefiting our family by providing us with funds to bring some kids home, the community around us wants to help provide two kids a forever family.

 I have goosebumps all over as I write this. I know God is here. And I trust that just as he has provided people & goods & hands, he will also provide buyers and money. Pray for that with me, will you? Pray that there is another overwhelming response, that lots of stuff finds new homes, that others catch the vision as well. Pray that these are days that bring glory to God.