see, i’ve been praying a lot for months and months about this poverty mentality that i struggle with so much, and in so many ways: these beliefs that there isn’t enough or won’t be enough, or that i’m not one of the people who will have enough in this life (due to unworthiness or the wrong career or whatever else). i’ve been crying out, over and over, “Holy Spirit, teach me. bring freedom in this area. give me your thoughts, jesus, about finances and provision and money.”
the answers have been gentle epiphanies, mostly through object lessons. and i think that i might miss them if i weren’t watching out for them, or didn’t have friends in my life to point them out to me as the answers that they are.
so there’s been this abundance mentality slowly trickling down into my heart these days. and a lot of it has to do with all the small but clear ways that Papa indicates that He sees me, that He hears and responds to even my not-quite-prayers (more like passing wishful thinking). there have been times when i have made lists on small pieces of paper of all the things that i want and/or need but don’t feel that I can afford, and often i look back at those lists later and find that i’ve either acquired (via gift or great deals) or no longer have a felt need for every item on the list.
today there were examples of this.
background: we’ve not had a dining room table or chairs since moving into our apartment. nor bedside tables. so we’ve been improvising with rubbermaid containers as night stands and tiny coffee tables as dining table. and it has been okay. we are not new furniture people (another thing that the Holy Spirit confirmed in us through prayer in a past decision-making time), so we have just been waiting for the right pieces of furniture to show themselves, for cheap or free. furthermore, with this being my first WI winter, i have been in want of a pair of good boots.
last week: we drove past a moving sale and i saw a small table in the yard. we turned around and took a look. it fit the bill, so we purchased it for $8. along with a full-length mirror for $1.50, also needed.
today: i stopped in st. vincent’s and within moments found an amazing pair of merrell boots (polartec + waterproof) for $16.25, which i promptly purchased. then, in the furniture section, i walked in and saw the table we’d been waiting for. 100% real wood, vintage, with fold-down sides so that it can become smaller for daily use in our limited living space. nearby, found 4 wooden folding chairs, two of them painted a wonderful muted birds egg blue color, which were surprisingly comfortable and looked pretty cool with the table. grand total: $62 for all five pieces. i took tim back there this afternoon to take a look and he also loved it all. so now we have a table, and just in time for justin’s visit tonight.
furthermore, on the way back from st. vincent’s, i found a very small, antique white desk. i saw immediately that it would easily function as a nightstand for the OTHER side of the bed, as well as looking great with the other furniture in the room, also all antique. in madison it is common practice to leave on the street-side whatever furniture or items you no longer need so that anyone who wants/needs it can take it. so i went and got the car, wedged the desk precariously in the trunk with the help of a friendly stranger, and installed in the bedroom. it’s perfect. and it was free.
right now: i have a pot of my famous coconut-chicken curry sitting on the stove, full of potatoes, peas, squash, and peanuts. my husband is resting in the bedroom, and my brother is en route to our house for the first time. we’ve made up a bed for him in the office (using the aerobed we got as a wedding gift, and bamboo sheets, and a quilt made by a friend). this is wealth.
as if all of that weren’t enough, the Lord has also been scratching my itch for female friendship in some unexpected and indirect ways. recently, our wedding was featured on the 24-7 Prayer International blog. through that 15 minutes of fame, several women (from around the world!) have stopped in to read this blog or visit my flickr, and they’ve been leaving precious love notes of encouragement. then i go and read their blogs and look at their photos and i find a similar DNA in them that makes me feel a bit like i’ve got some new friends. i’ve also joined a Flickr group of women doing “a year of mornings” similar to my own, and watching their daily lives unfold in photographs and small journal entries is good company, too. AND there are friends in the flesh, geographically nearby. to wit, today i had coffee with Chelsea, tomorrow tim and i are making pizza and ice cream with amanda and chris, and tuesday we’re off to dine with jordan and patricia.
the Lord is my shepherd, i shall want for no good thing.