Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Count Your Blessings - Winter Clothing

Locally we have an area wide consignment sale that is HUGE. I did a post on this sale several months ago. We're now looking forward to the second sale for this year. As I mentioned before, our family survives off of this sale. This sale is how the Lord has provided the clothing needs of our family as well as the toys and other accessories that we've needed.

Well, this season, we really can't even afford to benefit from this sale. With baby number three on the way and still not even half-way paid for, we don't have the extra funds to put into making purchases at this sale, even if they are necessities.

We've been struggling not to be discouraged about our financial situation, and have been trying to focus on keeping our faith and trust in God to provide for us as He has promised. We chose to trust Him for our children and when we would have them. Now we are reminding ourselves that God has chosen to add this new little blessing to our home, and when and how He sees fit, He will provide for our financial needs with this baby. We fail to not focus on, "I don't know where we're going to get that money from."

One huge blessing God has poured into our lives in the last twenty-four hours as a reminder of His faithfulness to care for us is regarding our concern about how we would have things to get the girls through the winter if we couldn't afford to spend money at the local consignment sale. I grew up on hand-me-downs, but it doesn't seem that people within our circle do hand-me-downs. We've never received any for our kids. But as I said, God has provided in other ways, and we've been fine.

Yesterday I pulled out what I thought was the only bin of winter clothes from the girls for last year and went through to inventory what we had and to see what we would need for this coming winter. The girls enjoyed playing dress up as we tried things on to see what fit and what didn't. Thankfully my three-year-old hasn't grown much since last winter, and everything was really baggy on her last winter. Some of the clothes are still baggy on her at this point, and I'm prayerful that they will get us through the short period of cold weather that we enjoy here. Sadly, there was almost nothing for my eighteen-month-old. She had been such a chunky baby last winter that I tagged and attempted to sell most of the things that would now fit her for this winter, because I thought she would be long past that size by the time this winter rolled around. Well, as it is, she really hasn't grown as much as I'd anticipated.

Discouraged, I inventoried what I had for her. My husband and I discussed last night what I would absolutely need for that one and the new baby (which at that point, I hadn't pulled out the bucket of newborn clothes), and we determined that even spending bare minimum, we'd be stretching the funds too far. I half-heartedly prayed about it while talking with my husband about the special prayer time I had had just the day before about trusting God to care for our needs as He has promised.

This morning I went out to the garage to get the bin of newborn clothes and found another bin labeled "Winter 2010." (I know, it's not size specific--that was becoming too much of a headache for me. I just started sorting by season.) So I dragged that box in the house along with the newborn bin. I went through that winter box first and found quite a bit to fit my eighteen-month-old. Enough to meet what would be the bare minimum for necessity. Then I sorted through the newborn stash and made inventory of what I had for a winter baby from birth to six months. Even though this is my second winter baby, there still wasn't much. I really didn't have much for my second child--about 5 sleepers and a ton of onesies. I finished my inventory, set that box aside, and looked at the very small stack of items that I had set aside during this process to sell at the upcoming sale.

I then went to the garage one more time to grab the bin labeled "M2M - winter." The box of stuff to be sold at the sale. It was full of items that didn't sell last winter, and I was simply going to add my small stash of items I collected today to the bin of clothes. I dragged the bin into the house to make room for the handful of items. When I opened the lid I almost squealed in delight!

Until that moment I had forgotten how disappointed I'd been last winter sale when most of my items didn't sell. I was confused because it was decent stuff that I thought would sell for sure. But the sale was REALLY big that season, and it was hard to sort through the items because the racks were so overstuffed. So it was easy for items not to sell. Inside that bin was more than I need for my children for this winter! Including the new baby.

Well, praise the Lord, those items didn't sell. God knew that this winter we would need those clothes. He knew that we would have a new baby on the way and would need the newborn items I had tried to sell last year as an attempt to have money to spend at the sale last year. He knew that because of the new baby on the way we wouldn't be able to afford to buy anything at this current sale. He was providing for the needs of this year a year ago when He allowed my items not to sell!

Now all we really need for this winter are dresses, since my oldest only had one last year, and that's getting a little short, and shoes. And even in the shoes area, we may not need those. It just depends on how these little feet grow! There are a few other needs for the new baby, but very few. Most are just desires. :)

So now what was going to cost us too much, will now cost us very little, if anything at all. What a mighty God we serve!

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