When we got back from this trip we were greeted by the squishing of our toes in the corner of our dining room carpet.
Somehow water had leaked into the house while we were away and soaked through the dining room carpet as well as part of our tiled pantry.
Personally, I preferred the squishing of my toes in the sand of the Bahama beaches, but whatever. :-)
The hubs pulled the carpet back and set up a fan and we thought we had it all figured out.
Until a few weeks later when I went in the pantry to pull out my craft bin and low and behold discovered a garden of mold growing.
This led to the discovery that the outside of our house had a bunch of cracks which led to the unveiling of more mold that stretched all along the left side of the kitchen which led to the ripping out of cabinets which led to the relocation of waffle makers and mixing bowls and utensil drawers which led to the entire pantry needing to be stored on the dining room table which led to my children thinking that our home was now a Grand Corral buffet open all day long which led to the realization that we had absolutely no money to fix anything which led to us contacting our insurance for help.
As much as the water damage and mold was a big pain, the prospect of getting some financial assistance to fix things up was kind of exciting.
So I did what anyone would do.
I started a board on Pinterest for a kitchen remodel.
I’ve always been pretty happy with our kitchen. It’s old and it has some funny quirks, but they never bothered me.
That is, until I began pinning.
Then I became hopelessly troubled that I didn’t have granite countertops and 42″ cabinets.
Armed with the knowledge that our insurance adjustor was ‘busy working behind the scenes’ with the claims department, we visited Home Depot and started dreaming up our perfect kitchen. I began praying that insurance would give us a specific amount so that I could get my granite countertops AND possibly throw in some updated appliances AND maybe have a bit left over to replace the carpets.
**You know, totally and completely not selfish prayers.**
7 weeks later and we received a call that our insurance would not be helping us.
Not one little bit.
And I found myself feeling kind of grumpy.
What about my beautiful new kitchen? What about my stainless steel things? What about my granite?
And the Lord whispered to my spirit,
“Insurance is not your provider. I AM your provider.”
Talk about a swift kick to the knees.
I repented of my selfish prayers. The ones that didn’t take into account all the people in the universe who live in homes with dirt floors and no kitchens AT ALL.
I thanked God for giving us all that we could ever ask for or need in Jesus Christ.
Then something amazing happened.
Over the next few days, a man at church approached my hubby and said that he felt the Lord telling him to help us fix the leaks on the outside of our house as well as help repaint the exterior. Then another man approached the hubby and said he could help rebuild the damaged cabinets. Then another man took care of all the mold. Then a few friends showed up with casseroles.
Then a friend of my neighbor’s found out about my Summer Bucket List and told me she worked at Benjamin Moore and could give us paint for my beloved yellow front door.
And we found ourselves completely and utterly in awe of the Lord’s provision.
In reflection, I am so humbled by how quick I was to exalt money to a position that was equated with my happiness. As if receiving a large sum of money would fulfill the deepest desires of my soul.
As if a double oven could even do that.
When I look around our home, I see my Father’s handprints. I see the dining table that my parents bought for us. I see the bookshelves a dear friend in college gave to us as newlyweds. I see the crib and changing table from a former student’s mom. I see a playhouse from my mother-in-law. I see a couch we bought for a steal because the manager felt moved to accept our offer. I see a bed given to us from another friend. I see a dresser that we found in the garbage. I see the mirror that a friend bought for me as a happy gift when our baby was in the hospital. I see the dresser that used to be my brother’s. I see the piano given to us by a girl we knew at Florida State. I see our bedroom furniture that belonged to my parents when they first got married.
Provisions. Needs met. Every single one with a story behind it. A reminder of GOD’s faithful provision through precious, obedient people.
Like the Church as described in Acts 2.
That is the stuff that works itself into our souls.
So as we face these ‘trials’ – these fallen world problems – I’m trying to train myself to see things with eyes fixed on a different home.
A home that is way more perfect than any of the ones in Southern Living.
A home that won’t ever have settling cracks or mold or damaged cabinetry.
A home that is full of glorious riches far greater than a check from insurance.
A home that is eternally provided for us through the perfect work of Christ.
This perspective gives freedom to be patient while it looks like your kitchen vomited its contents all over the living room (going on week 8). It gives peace in knowing that He sees what we need. It gives overwhelming gratitude when needs are creatively met.
And it gives joy to be fully trusting in the One who knows best.
Which reminds me… I picked out a color for our front door -
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)