Tuesday, November 10, 2009

As I am writing this, I am just completely overwhelmed by God's goodness! It is so amazing and humbling to see God work, and I know we only get a glimpse of His glory here on earth. There are times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed by the difficulties in our lives . . . but I feel completely overwhelmed by the goodness that God has shown us. His power, His grace, His goodness, His faithfulness . . . words truly do not seem adequate. It feels like almost more than my sinful self can handle!

This past weekend we had another huge yard sale. After the last one in June, we had so many items donated and so many left over, we had decided to do another yard sale. For several reasons, it kept getting put off, until this past weekend. More people donated items to sell, and we set up another large sale. To be honest, I don't even know where to begin in talking about all that God did.

I guess I'll begin by explaining what He taught me from the last sale. We had planned that for a few months prior and had invested time and energy into every detail for the sale to go well - organizing a neighborhood yard sale so it would attract more people, having signs printed up, posting the sale on Facebook and on Craigslist, pricing almost every item, etc. I prayed, I stressed, and I did a lot! (I am not speaking this on behalf of Joe, as he was very steady in his faith.) The sale went well and, in spite of myself, God still showed me/us His goodness and faithfulness and provided the full amount of money that we needed for our next piece of paperwork at that point. I ended the sale physically exhausted and emotionally drained.

Then this sale. As I said, it kept getting postponed. It didn't seem we had as many "big ticket" items, and many of the bigger items we did have had already been in our last sale and posted on Craigslist several times with no real leads. Joe put our yard sale sign up on Monday night, and I posted a general listing on Craigslist. No price tags, just told everyone to ignore any prices they saw (from the last sale) and make us an offer. I truly was not expecting this to come close to making what we made in the last sale. Thursday morning came, we set up and I truly did not have a chance to sit down until sometime in the afternoon, and even that was short-lived. It seemed we had people, usually several at a time, looking through our sale for the entire day from 8 a.m. until we packed up at 5 p.m.! And they were buying - I'd guess 95% of the people that stopped on Thursday bought something! We estimated we probably had 75-100 people through our sale in 2 days! I don't know if I can even remember everything to explain all of the "little" things that God did. We had opportunities to have meaningful, God-centered, conversations with many people, and the opportunity to meet more of our neighbors.

On Friday, being the second day of our sale, I wasn't expecting much of a crowd or much in the way of sales, but God showed me once again who is in control! We had one guy stop by and out of the blue ask for an item that we didn't have in the sale, but that we had talked about selling. Another lady was talking to me about a few of the bigger ticket items (one of which I truly did not think would sell, since I'd been trying to sell it for over a year now), but she didn't seem actually interested . . . then just sat down and wrote us a check for the full amount we were asking for all three!

Probably the most exciting moment of the sale was around lunch time on Friday when a guy stopped by and started looking through our several tubs of books, all for 50 cents each. He found a set of tapes and manuals for a study through the Bible and was so excited. He asked if I was a pastor, and when I told him my husband was, he ended up sitting in the middle of our driveway and talking to Joe about all that has been going on in his life and his desire to get his life right with God!! Then he and Joe talked in Joe's office for probably another hour!

All in all, EVERY one of our "big ticket" items sold! We ended up with relatively few items to pack up and donate. And at the end of the day, our sale totaled $1300!!!! I know that God is good regardless of the $$ amount (we have been so blessed and encouraged by many "sized" gifts throughout this process), but the number shows me that no matter how much I invested, planned and worked, as at our first sale, it is God who is in control! Yes, I still walked away from this sale physically exhausted, but I wasn't emotionally drained - my heart was filled to overflowing with the goodness of my Savior!! I can't even think about it as I type without my eyes filling up with tears. I don't want to get repetitive, but I am humbled, I am amazed, I am overwhelmed by the goodness and faithfulness of my Heavenly Father!!

**Sorry for the profuse usage of exclamation points :o)


Joe Fleener said...

Joe & Sarah,

I cannot tell you have encouraging it is to read your blog and follow what the Lord is doing in your lives. As I read your admiration for the Lord and His lovingkindness it spurs me on toward even greater thankfulness in my own life.

Thank you for sharing with us!

Blessings in Christ,

The Fleeners

Christy said...

Sarah (and family).... God is amazing!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing this! I LOVE the exclamation marks...It shows me exactly how you feel. :-) I'm so glad everything went so well. Love you guys!!!! Our prayers are with you and for what God has in store for you!

Andrew and Esther Brunk said...

We are so excited for you and your family. God is so good! Praying for *all* of you!

Carol Bidewell said...

Praise the Lord for all He is doing.ings