With ten kids at home, I was dreading the seasonal clothing changeover. It means I climb a ladder into the cold attic and start handing marked boxes down into the hands of children who can’t wait to tear through them like it’s Christmas morning.
But this morning was different. Everyone was in school, except the toddlers, who were intently watching cartoons. I decided to stay in the attic long enough to rummage through a few boxes to find a single warmer-weather outfit for each child, you know, for that random day that exceeds the seasonal 40 degrees.
And then it happened. I found dresses! Dresses beautiful enough to wear for Easter! I hadn’t even begun to think of them. Mostly because I wouldn’t have the time or money to shop for special clothing. But in a few boxes I found six dresses ranging from sizes 2 to 8, each perfect for Easter. And it hit me. I was overcome with thanksgiving. And joy. And awe.
I was reminded of the journey to bring each of our children home from the other side of the globe. I thought of those who inspired us in the first place. I remembered those who prayed for and encouraged us. I thought of everyone who gave, even sacrificially, to change a child’s life. Which in turn would change my life. I thought of those who kept our ever-growing krew while we traveled, those who brought meals, and those who taxied them from place to place. And then I remembered the reason I was in the attic in the first place: because others have been so very generous toward our family! Clothes have been given to us at church, in Bible study, at ball games, sent in the mail and left in our vehicle.
Gone were the thoughts of stacks of paper work, tireless, humbling fundraising, contemplating where we would place yet another bed, never-ending laundry, crowd-size meals and the need to ‘justify’ having so many children.
I was overcome with joy. I was in awe of God’s goodness and provision. It’s not just about the clothes. It’s that He knows exactly what we need. It’s the way He touches the hearts of His people. It’s the way He blesses when we give and when we receive. It’s about stewardship. And changing hearts. Ten years ago I would have gone to a department store and not given a second thought to overspending for a single dress. Now the journey is different. The treasure is different. It represents a work in progress in my own heart. It’s about a shift in thinking about sacrifice. Nothing I do or give is as great as what’s been done and given for me.
It’s true that not every family is meant to be large. And God has a purpose and a role for each of us. Some plant the seed, some water it, and God makes it grow!
1 Cor 3:6-8 ~I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. ~
Thank you to every person who invests in the lives of others.
To Him be glory!