His Garden of Grace
For various rea...
For various reasons, we decided to stay in Mahomet, Il. at the lovely Tin Cup campground and Driving Range (yes, I did say driving range...not that I would ever take advantage of it, but it was lovely to look at) for one more night, before heading to Chicagoland for the wedding of the couple Don and I had been privileged to mentor. They are getting married this afternoon, and we are so excited for them.
Since we were staying an extra day, we decided to explore the quaint little town of Mahomet. First, we indulged in a delicious breakfast at the Red Hen.
Then, upon the recommendation of our Campground Host, we went to the Lake of the Woods park. Oh My!! It was a beautiful park with a botanical garden that went on and on. We walked around just enjoying God's creation and then went back to RTJ (wondering what that is? read earlier posts) to rest.
A little later, everyone decided it was time to eat again. (I always wonder how this happens so quickly. I mean, do they really need food all that often? I can't figure out why, after a HUGE breakfast, 3 hours later they are hungry again. And they get real cranky if they don't get food. Especially the oldest one. Dad I mean.) So Don looked on Urban Spoon (his favorite for recommendations...mine too, especially in a little one horse town) and found an authentic Mexican place called Zarapes. Now I know you're thinking what I was thinking: "Mexican.....in Illinois??" But it had multiple positive reviews, so off we went. Well, we were all pleasantly surprised. The food was fantastic, service impeccable and cleaner than most places I've been. Josiah had the Burrito Mano. It was HUGE!! Steak and beans, cheese, sour creme, lettuce and covered with homemade queso.
AND HE ATE IT ALL.
Thats when I realized he is in his growth spurt and we are in trouble. Our food bill is on its way up. Unless we live in Mahomet, Il. where he could eat this burrito every day and only pay $6.99 for it. Yup. I said $6.99!! If we lived there, and he ate there every day, I think they would have to up their prices. Or we would put them out of business. So I think it would be better for them if we move on.
After eating, we stopped at a little second hand shop in the same shopping center. We found some old children's books for .25 each, including a hardback edition of the complete collection of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. For a quarter! While checking out I spied several cute doilies and asked if she had any more. She replied, "Do I have any more? I have 2 huge tubs of them from my mother's and grandmother's attic in my office! Would you like to see them?" "Yes, Please."
I spent the next 1/2 hour ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the beautiful hand crocheted and embroidered doilies and laces. When I'd finished, I picked through and decided what I thought I could afford and asked, "how much for these?" Mind you I had enough to fill a large Kohl's bag.
"How about $20.00 for the lot?", said she. I had my wallet out and the $20.00 in her hand before she could change her mind. We stuffed them in the Kohl's bag and I walked out smiling like the Cheshire Cat. I knew I had just been blessed and was so excited. But as we drove home, I was thinking: "I should have just offered her $50.00 for the whole tub. I could have had it all!" And immediately a seed of discontentment was planted in my heart.
When we got back to BTJ, I began to scheme in my mind how I could get back by that shop before she closed and offer her $30.00 for the rest of the lot. I forgot all about the amazing blessing God had just given me, and started coveting the stuff I didn't get. Don and I had to go right back there to get groceries later so maybe I could convince him to take me back. No, I knew that would never work. Yet I had to hope he would understand, and maybe he would want me to have it. But alas, No. Even though I said to him, "I could make such cute things with them. I would give some and make some gifts." I even tried, as we were leaving the grocery store parking lot, "I still think you should take me there and let me get the rest of it." "Oh, you do, do you?" Says he, as he drives past.
My heart sank just a little bit, but then the Holy Spirit smacked me upside the head. I thought, "and you are trying to downsize? YOU?" and I opened my heart just a little bit to let the Holy Spirit speak. And He did. He said, "If you buy all that stuff now, you will close yourself off to what I will bring you in the future. You will not have room for anything else. And this is just the beginning of the trip. What if you find some other amazing things at garage sales or auctions in Ohio? or what if you want to buy a gift for someone else and you have spent all I have for you to spend?" And I immediately asked forgiveness for being so short sighted, so selfish and so greedy. And then I realized that there are way more spiritual implications that I need to learn from this.
If I have my hands so full of activities, even if they are good ones, and the Lord brings something else that is more for me, and I can't do it, I miss out on a huge blessing. And if I am doing serving somewhere that is clearly not where I should be, I am robbing someone else of their blessing since I am filling the need that they should be. And if I spend money that should be going to something else, I am robbing God, myself, and someone else. If he can't trust me with something as small as money, (which is huge to us, but nothing to him), why would he trust me with spiritual gifts. OUCH!
I am learning. I have been 'round this block before. But here is yet another layer of that smelly onion he is skillfully removing. And the more he does, the more I see my deep need of a surgeon to remove the cancer of my selfish desires. And I love him all the more for it.