Hands and house

Hands and house

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Memorial Box Monday...The Dishes

     It is Memorial Box Monday again!!!!! Can I just say that I LOVE the process of writing these! If you are considering starting one, can I also just say, "do it!" I had no idea what an amazing faith building thing it would be to look back and remember the things God has done. What I am finding is that I am talking with God all week long about what He wants me to write. What that is doing is creating a space for me to listen and hear how God wants to remind me specifically of His faithfulness in my life. This is my 4th Memorial Box Monday and each week God has reminded me of just what I needed to know for that week. This week, over and over again, He has made it clear that this was the story to write. This week also, our finances seem to be getting tighter and tighter (a 2 birthday month)...and this story has come right in time to remind me of who God is and how much He cares.

For those of you who are asking what in the world I am talking about, a Memorial Box is a box in your home that holds reminders of God's faithfulness. Each item represents a story of something that God did that you do not want to forget. They are the stones of remembrance to remind us of God's faithfulness when life gets tough. If you like the idea click the button for Memorial Box Monday to the right (not the one on here because I am barely computer literate and have no idea how to make the picture link up!)

 Sometimes God does things that seem little to begin with but then, months later, I find they have permeated my life in ways I never could have imagined...

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
                                                                                          Luke 12:22-24 

    Last Fall, and family from Doug's work had their house burn down in  the middle of the night. This young couple with young kids literally lost everything. The next morning an email went out asking for donations, they needed whatever people could give. Doug called me and we prayed, imaging what they must be going through.

    I started up a box of things for them (their youngest kids were the same size as our oldest)...extra pants, toys, books...you know, the periphery things...the easy things. As I walked around the house I asked the Lord what He thought we should give, what I heard back was crystal clear "Give your dishes."

    I would love to say that I jumped up and ran to the cupboard...but I didn't. I kept walking around the house looking for something else that might do instead of my dishes. You see, I loved my dishes so much! They were not anything fancy, just from Target, but I loved them. I loved the deep red & green, the way they cheered up the table no matter what meal they held. My dishes represented so many meals, so many memories with friends...such richness in our lives. So, I loaded up a second box, games, some of my clothes, a few pretty bowls (I have a serious love of pretty bowls, so maybe this would do?). Still, in the back of my mind, the words hung, "give your dishes."

     I loaded the boxes into the car, strapped Georgia into her car seat...did everything I could in hopes that the little voice would change (I know, how sad right?). As I sat, keys in the ignition, that voice was still said "Give your dishes"...so I turned off the car, walked slowly back into the house, and loaded up my dishes.

Not the dishes but too darned cute to pass up!

     The whole drive to the drop-off spot I wrestled with God. Our budget was tight, we didn't have money to buy new dishes. What the heck was I going to feed our family on that night? Surely someone else would donate some! Feeding others in our home was a ministry, I needed the dishes! The answer came, "Give your dishes." So finally at the drop-off, I took a big breath, said "Ok God!" I grabbed the dish box first and headed over.

     Standing in the driveway was the couple fresh from the fire, eyes rimmed red, holding on to one another. I found that I had so little to say....Here I had struggle with God about giving away a few precious dishes and they had lost everything. I had my whole home full of everything I could ever need. We talked for a bit and then I needed to go and pick up the kids from school. I walked back to the car so humbled by my own greed...my own attachment to something as trivial as a stack of plates.

     As I drove to pick up the kids, my mind drifted to snack time and I thought, "Oh crud! I don't have anything to feed them on!" Right close to the kids school there is a tiny thrift store. I had exactly 10 minutes until I needed to pick them up. In a magazine, I had once seen a table beautifully set with mismatched old dishes. I thought, "well, here's my chance!" and hopped out to look around. After a few minutes I had a little pile of sweet old dishes, just enough to feed our family and a couple of friends. I came to the register with my treasures and the lady asked what I was doing. I chattered away as she rang my stuff up. Explained what I was doing and how God had challenged me...explained how humbled I was by the whole experience.

My beautiful girl and one of the beautiful plates!

   As she wrapped up my plates and handed them to me she said, "These are on the house!" I balked and said, "Oh no! I can pay! I have always thought mismatched dishes would be fun!" She kept insisting until finally I took my dishes and hurried to get my kids.

You think they get tired of the camera????

      Today, those sweet dishes bless me every time I set the table. They remind me every time of God's little voice, of how He knows best and how He cares about every single area of our lives...right down to the tiniest details. He delights in whispering to us, delights in wooing us to what is better and delights in meeting us in every little tiny detail of our lives! How cool is that???

    In my Memorial Box  (where the heck do you find one? I cannot find one anywhere!) one little plate from the girl's old tea set.


Tara Anderson said...

Another absolutely beautiful God-story...

I love reading these!!!

A little piece of 7th heaven said...

in awe...with a deep amazement of how the LORD led me or guided me to find your blog..I am in awe and so very thankful...for there is so much more I want(NEED) to do..and you simply inspire.THANKS:)

Cara said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! I love the Memorial Box idea and I think I'll start doing it on my blog also. Feel free to visit: http://1savvyhousewife.blogspot.com/ .

karen Dawkins said...

ohhhh, so sweet.

I went a totally different direction today with my MBM. Wrestled with it much like you wrestled with giving away your dishes... and I pray God will use my honesty to encourage someone the way you encouraged your dear friends.

love doing life with you! even from the other coast :)

stephanie said...

How beautiful. I can relate to the dishes. Can I tell you a secret. Last Christmas, 2008, I threw out the last few cracked and mangled dishes I had left.I took out my Christmas set with the thought of buying new everyday ones after the holidays. Well, fast forward to today, and yes! I am still serving breakfast ,lunch and dinner on those stinkin Christmas dishes. Finances never allowed for that new set I was hoping for. So I can relate to you not wanting to part with your pretty dishes, but I know how happy you must have made that family, especially the mom.
Awesome post!

Renee said...

This is a great story...again! What a wonderful testimony of listening to God..even when it is sooo hard. I always enjoy reading your blog...it brightens my days!

Mom Of Many said...

I love this story! How hard it is to follow God's voice at times, yet it always yields such peace!

Here's a little story about my fire and our dishes....of course, we lost everything too.

After living in the hotel for 5-1/2 weeks we moved into the rental. A lady who not only casually attended our church, but lived on the same street as the rental showed up with a box. She said, "I don't know if you can use these or even like them?" Inside a box of old dishes...and believe it or not I had had ONE single dish from this same set before the fire. Her dishes were vintage and were from her mom. I LOVE old dishes...

My dishes pre-fire were from all over...eclectic make-up from thrift stores, etc.so the ones she brought totally reminded me of the one dish that matched her set -that I had lost. Only a God who cares that much could send a lady with a box of dishes that matched the ONE single dish I had loved so much before the fire. Itwas crazy.
thank you for sharing...xo

Katie said...

I loved this story! And mismatched dishes do sound chic. It makes me want to go donate my dishes and buy mismatched ones at the dollar tree or something.

Oh Dear said...

Love this!!

Flamingo Mama said...

this is an awesome story!! i just LOVE when God works like that....epecially giving us humility:)

i know i said this last week, but i just love this meme idea!

and i especially love how you pray about it...i don't do that enough with my writings...i have my own ideas and sometimes forget to ask God about his:)

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