This weekend seemed normal enough at the beginning.
It was filled with laundry and cleaning and Sunday lesson preparations and all those elements that build up our ordinary Friday, Saturday, Sunday clusters.
But for me, this weekend also contained a miracle.
Let me start by telling you that Josh and I have almost never in our married lives purchased new furniture. I am neither bragging nor whining, I am just stating a fact. When we got married I frequented yard sales working to furnish our apartment (although I did buy a few things at a parking lot tent event of a place that was going out of business -- like our bed because I just didn't want to start married life in someone Else's bed, that seemed weird to me at the time). I felt really grateful that we were able to put together an apartment's worth of tables, chairs, beds and couches with my limited savings.
Frequenting yard sales and second hand stores has been a furniture seeking must.
Over the years kind people have donated home furnishings to us more times than I can count. I am immensely grateful for their generosity and insight because without them our family might very well have slept and sat on the floor a lot. We've been blessed with bunk beds, coffee tables, an amazing rocking chair (thanks Brian), book shelves and bedside tables to name a few. (Don't think that people are just constantly lavishing furniture on us, but over our 12 years together people have been more kind to us than we deserve.) We have tried to return that kindness by passing items on to others when we no longer need them or when we get something better.
Anyway, the family room couches that we have were another hand-me-down, and they have been very good to us overall. That said, because they were hand-me-downs they needed a bit of TLC from the day we moved them in. The previous owners managed to re upholster the couch and chair on their own (which was amazing to me) so some things were a bit loose. I have (on several occasions) had to sew the cushions back together or re stitch the lining or one of many other minor repairs just to keep the couches from spilling their fluff or falling apart or whatever else.
The other issue is that the couch is small and the matching chair only seats one so we have seating for 4-5 people at most leaving several souls to sit on the floor or mom and dad's laps or folding chairs when we are all there together.
This weekend Josh and I decided to saunter on over the the furniture store and see if we couldn't find something inexpensive that would work for our family. We have a little bit of money after doing our taxes so we thought this might be a good place to use it. Friday evening we found a wrap around couch that seemed like it would do the job and it was not too expensive. It was near closing time so we went home to think about it over night.
We returned the next morning (oh how salesmen love to see you back the next day) armed with a tape measure (our family room is not that big) and determined that if we bought this couch we would have approximately one foot and seven inches of clearance from the bottom of our stairs to the edge of the couch leaving a VERY narrow walkway. It just wouldn't work. We were disappointed and told our friendly neighborhood salesman that we might have to look at couches and love seats instead (which just don't offer as much seating...dang it!).
He thought for a moment and then lead us to a wrap around couch that we had seen before, but had passed up because the price shown per piece was much more than we could spend. He then told us that that weekend, this was one of the couches on sale (something is always on sale at these places) and the total price of the two pieces together would be half the price of the couch we had looked at before.
We were shocked. This new couch actually came in better colors and while still a wrap around it was nearly two feet shorter on the stair side end than the other one. Why hadn't we discovered this stuff the night before? We had felt so lost and frustrated, but God knew what we needed and He got us a MUCH better bargain than we had found on our own.
|Our crew of kidlets lounging on our new couch. Also, I guess I need to re-center that boat picture so it isn't off in its own world now that the couch has moved.|
On top of that, as our salesman was writing up our purchase we perused the nearby clearance section and found a dresser that would work for our bedroom (ok, it is actually a kitchen buffet, but if I never say that out loud the "dresser" will never know it has been misused). I had purchased our previous dresser as a scratch and dent item at the tent sale I told you about 12 years ago. It was not in the best shape when I bought it (it had taken some abuse) and over the years it has gotten worse (our kids are known to dish out additional abuse) and it was not really functioning anymore. This new piece would easily replace our old dresser with room to spare, it is made of actual wood -- dove tailed and everything -- and is very well made (the company is called Schnadig and is apparently sort of snooty about being awesome). Plus, to buy this one piece was almost exactly the same price (after Josh's negotiations helped out) of the two chests of drawers I had been looking to buy from Ikea to fix our dresser problems (which would not be made of wood and would not be dove tailed and would not be already assembled either...although we still love you Ikea).
And to ice the cake, there in the clearance section I also spotted a beautiful hardwood desk in black. It had been a floor model and had a scratch on one side (it will have scratches on all of its sides before my kidlets are done with it -- not that I won't try to prevent that) so it was marked down a whole big chunk. Our desk at home was made of particle board and was held together with more screws and jimmy rigging than I care to admit. You had to push the drawers in in the right order or they wouldn't all close. We ended up taking the piece home too and I am enjoying it right this very moment.
|Nasty old desk up there (it was falling apart but not quite that much until we helped it|
along as we moved it out) versus nice new desk right here.
All together we spent right about $1800 (after taxes and fabric protection spray etc etc) for the three pieces and that is only barely over what we thought we would be paying for the couch alone.
Do not try to tell me that God does not watch out for His children. There is no way that coincidence after coincidence landed my family with exactly the things we have long needed, but have just managed without. Don't try to tell me that God didn't have a hand in leading us to just the right store on just the right day to help us unearth just the right deals so that our budget and our needs matched up perfectly.
I know that God does not just hand us everything we want the second we want it. I don't do that for my children either so I can't complain much. We have gratefully filled our house with hand-me-down furnishings for more than 12 years and I can honestly say we have been happy about that.
However, there are tears in my eyes as I think how thankful I am to a Heavenly Father who allowed me and my sweetheart to, just this once, find EXACTLY what we wanted and needed for our family instead of simply adjusting around what we had available.
The God I know is a God who adores His children and who blesses them with what they need, and even sometimes a little bit more.
|This cute mantle clock got to come home with|
us as a prize because Josh is a school teacher.
Thanks RC Willey.