A family consisting of two parents that are educators with 3 daughters and a son. Alex is 17 (he was adopted when he was 16 from Ukraine), Yana is 13 (she was adopted at 12 from Ukraine), Lily is 6, and Elliot is 4.
This is my mom-story, but more than that, it is my God's story. My journey walking with the Lord and raising 4 kids. It's not always pretty, or well written but it is real life. Enjoy.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
A Free Garage Sale?
One of my favorite passage in the bible is Philippians chapter 2, especially the first part where we are told to imitate Christ's humility.
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
On Saturday, we had another fundraiser, with all the proceeds going to bring Yana and Alex home.
Garage sale #2
My neighborhood only allows one garage sale a year, so a friend of mine offered to have it at her house. After the last sale, I was ready to donate everything but was convinced by friends that we needed to do another one.
I half-heartedly agreed to the fiasco, kicking and screaming, saying it's too much work.
Only 1 of 3 loads of donations being brought to my friend house.
Basically, only thinking of myself, being selfish, rather than thinking of the reason why we are having these fundraisers. Adopting two children, my children.
My friends, whom I have known for years and years, because of my gracious attitude told me I wasn't allowed to help.
I wasn't allowed to be in control (which I love to be)...
I wasn't allowed to organize...
I wasn't allowed to worry....
I wasn't allowed to show up until the day of the event.
Good friends, the ones that were looking out for me, and the ones I can't be insulted by because they are really doing whats best for me. I consider myself lucky because through this journey, I have been able to count on SO many people like this.
Waking at a crisp 4:30 am, I was up and ready 2 hours before I was allowed to come...Swingin' by a Starbucks as a thank you to everyone, I showed up at 5:45 (Starbucks doesn't open until 5:30 on Saturday). Only to be told I wasn't suppose to be there for another half hour, "but i just couldn't wait!!!"
I walked into the event feeling so humbled by all the items donated and all the work put into it.
I felt like sharing that blessing...
Isn't that what we are suppose to do, bless others as we have been blessed. Knowing that this would probably be the last garage sale and already having donation centers set up to donate the leftovers (A women's shelter and Goodwill) we could give to everyone.
Lord, let everyone who needs these items feel called to come,
let them be blessed by the event. Let them have their needs met today.
We decided to give it to God! Let him to do his work in people.
We made it an outreach rather than just another garage sale.
Around 9:45, we decide everything was going to be free. We decide to just ask for donations to the cause, whatever they wanted to give for the items they were taking, whatever God called them to give. People received boxes of new clothes, a bike, decor, shoes...for what ever they felt called to give.
It was an amazing outreach, telling people the story of Yana and Alex and sharing the statistics of orphans in Ukraine that have aged out of the system. I much prefer this conversation, rather than giving people prices and bartering. It became about Jesus, and his love.
We were able love on and meet so many people that may have only been strangers to us if we had given prices. We heard their stories and their experiences. The things they needed.
A women came around 11am, she was wearing a white tank top and a pair jeans held on by a rubber band around the button.Three inches of her pregnant belly lay bare in between her bottoms and top. She must be around 8 months pregnant.
Her large belly made it troublesome to sort through the enormous pile of women's clothing lying on two tarps. So,I began to pull out pieces, I thought might fit her. She was given 4 pairs of maternity jeans and 3 maternity tops, with a few other baby items. Nothing extravagant, only baby necessities.
Her worried eyes glanced at the pile we began to make for her. As she started to put things back, we told her with our arms and my spanish accents "no, no.." She only smiled in astonishment when I explained in broken spanish the items were "solo donación," only donations. She graciously picked up the items and began to open her wallet. Maybe she didn't understand, I thought... but she did, she gave us all she had, 3 dollars and 16 cents. As her thin arms cling to the clothing, and she slowly walked off the driveway and down the hill, I thought of the widow's offering and how she gave all she had to the temple, and there I thanked the Lord.
Thank you God for sending her today.
I prayed that we blessed those who needed the things at the sale. I prayed that we planted seeds and informed those who wanted to hear of the love of God and what He is doing in our lives.
"for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
I obviously fall so short of being the person in the bible passage I love. But, on Saturday, I was able to live for the Lord more than my common day to day life. Through all the donations, all the blessings, I could bless others and share the love of Christ. I could live out my favorite passage.
I have been garage shopping too, so if I am wearing your boots or shirt or sweater next time you see me...I promise I traded an item from my closet for every item I took. And thank you. :)
We are half way funded in a short 2 months! (AMAZING!)
Homestudy is complete and has been sent to USCIS, only recently.
We are hoping to submit our paperwork to Ukraine by December 10, if we can’t :( we will have wait until the end of January, as Ukraine does not accept anymore applications until then. This will put the adoption time line back almost 7 weeks.
Please join me in prayer that everything is submitted prior to the 10th of December, and is approved. That God will rush everything, we will have our children home before Spring.
Lily, Yana and Elliot, being a family (I do not know what's on Yana head) :)