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Location: Indiana, United States

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pressed Down and Running Over

Once again I sit here in wonder at how abundantly God provides. To understand the full impact of His great provision I need to back up a little bit and give some background story. Last month we purchased a wedding gift for our nephew and his new bride. There was a computer glitch at Target when we tried to buy it and have it shipped directly to the, so we ended up just buying them a gift card so that they could purchase the item on their own -- which they did, immediately. Then I got home and found a confirmation e-mail that the first gift actually had gone through and the gift was going to arrive on our nephew's doorstep soon. They ended up returning the shipped item, and mailing us the gift card issued to them by Target. Yesterday, I went to Target to buy some of the good deals. My time there was horrid! Well, I guess to be fair, only the checking out part was horrid. The rest of the shopping time was just fine. But I felt like they were treating me like a criminal because I used so many coupons. I had to keep justifying the coupons, even needing to dig items out of the bags to prove that I really did purchase an item that matched the coupon. Naturally a process like that takes a VERY long time when there are a bunch of coupons. I ended up with $33.31 left on the gift card (that number is important). After leaving the store I went to drop something off at my parents' farm. I told my mom about the coupons and she ended up offering to buy the gift card from me since she needed to run by Target to get a few things anyway. I was thrilled to have $33.31 cash so that I could shop wherever I wanted instead of having to face the Target coupon police again.

Today after soccer practice I decided to run over to Meijer to pick up the few things that we really need for next week, including a bunch of meat for a large gathering we are hosting next weekend. When I checked out the total came to $33.31. Yes, God provided the exact amount, down to the penny. Because of the great deals I got on milk, meat and laundry detergent and the coupons I had that could be doubled at Meijer, the amount of the gift card was enough to purchase EVERYTHING that we needed for the next week. I went home rejoicing and shared God's provision with my sweet husband.

He then looked at me and said that there was a family at church that was really having a tough time right now. Did we have enough food to pack some up for them? Once again I gleefully went through the pantry, the stores in the laundry room and the refrigerator. I packed up 6 bags of food, cleaning supplies and toiletries for that family. As I was leaving Jonathan said it would be nice if I could just drop off the food without the family knowing it was from us. I agreed, but didn't know if I could do that with a sack full of refrigerated items in the mix. So he said don't worry about it and just give it to them. When I arrived they weren't there. So I set all of the bags on the porch except the refrigerated ones. I carried those bags to their next-door neighbor. A sweet lady answered the door and was very happy to keep the items in her refrigerator until they returned home. I had introduced myself when she first opened the door, but as I was about to leave she stopped me and asked for my name again. I smiled and said that I would actually prefer that the family not know who gave them the food.

At supper tonight we talked with our boys about God's abundant provision. We told all about His provision for us. Then we told about His provision through us for the other two families this week. Then I took the boys to the pantry and refrigerator and had them look at how much food was still left. They were shocked that we still have at least as much food as we normally have after I go shopping. And then Jon reminded them that there was also a stash of food still in the laundry room. And I reminded them that I spent only HALF of our normal weekly budget, both for this past week and for next week. Jonathan then read to the boys various Bible passages about giving and how God gives to His children. Those verses came alive to our boys this evening as they saw them lived out before their very eyes. All I can say is wow! What a wonderful God!


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