"For God so loved the world..." ... From John 3:16
So for lots of years, Tom, Naomi and I held yard sales to sell
During those years, we, instead, hauled much (oh so much!) down to the Salvation Army bins. We received no money for those carloads of stuff nor did we even fill-out those little receipts there which you can use for your taxes.
Now, there's nothing wrong with turning-in those receipts! We just didn't use them. Rather, we discovered that it feels great to freely give, no strings attached, and to let God choose ways to reward us later.
And something else. Many times I'd gaze at my books (especially) and think, "I should give these to friends." But unfortunately, my friends tend not to read the same quirky sorts of things.
Or I'd scheme, "I should sell these through amazon.com or no! Through the Maud Hart Lovelace email group I belong to. Those ladies would 'eat those books right up' for whatever price I placed on them."
But the huge problem? I have absolutely, positively no (no, no, no!) Grace to wrap books, drive them down to the post office, wait in line, hand over my boxes, etc, etc, and send them off from there. The few times I've done that, I recall thinking, "You know? I'd rather be in the dentist chair right now."
(Think I'm kidding?)
So those books would languish around the house, in unloved piles, turning into clutter and waiting for some far, far-off day when I'd pie-in-the-sky-miraculously feel like mailing them to just the right, deserving people for the perfect amount of money.
Finally, one day I got honest with myself (that's when you start to get free--when you look into the Honest Mirror) and realized never would those books get mailed away. I just don't do mailing books, myself. (Now, I love sending books to friends by way of the gifted-to-mail-books folks at amazon.com. That's something easy and wonderful and altogether different.)
Just humor me, ok?
And when I admitted my mailing-ineptness, I realized something: If I drive all my no-longer-loved books to Salvation Army--even the ones I bought online at a real cost to me (as opposed to ones for pennies at yard sales)--somebody there will "eat them right up,' maybe as though they'd discovered treasure. My book gifts might make others feel delighted and perhaps even treasured by a caring God who led them there that day.
The most important thing? In a deeper way I knew that all people matter. Not just my friends or relatives or people I'd simply heard about and certainly not only those who can pay me money for my books. No, I should delight in blessing everybody. Known to me or unknown. Deserving-apparent or otherwise.
Everybody is important to God. He sent Jesus to die for us all, for we all mattered equally to Him--and all should matter equally to me, as well.
And just to clarify--there is absolutely nothing wrong with holding yard sales or selling things online. I've done both. But the trick is in learning to recognize when Grace wants me to sell things or when she directs me to fling them away freely.
The greatest blessing will take place after I follow her lead.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ... Luke 6:38
Did you know the average family spent $2,900 in gas for their vehicles last year? Oh my! This is one instance where I'm happy to be below average. Tom and I spent probably $440. Maybe less.
Why that mention? To remind you that--just because something is touted as being The Way It Is--it doesn't mean it must be that way, as though we've no choice. God is amazing at finding ways where there are none and all He asks is that we let Him guide us rather than just following our own bright ideas.
$1 off any Birds Eye Steamfresh vegetables. I was able to get four bags of frozen vegetables free today--gotta love that!
.75 cents off any Gorton's Grilled Fish. Our store had these half-off this week and with my doubled .75 cent coupon, I got four boxes of grilled fish for just $1.24 each.
Save $1 on any Birds Eye Voila frozen meals.