I am not always nice, as I’m sure you’re discovering.  Some days I’m mean and grouchy and tired.  And yesterday was my designated “Not-nice” day.   Just because. 

A few weeks ago, Luke preached the Wed night service because Jeff was gone, and it was VERY good.  During the discussion I explained how reading the Bible every day (and not hit and miss), changes you.  A lot of the old interests and distractions simply did not appeal to me anymore, and as everyone is well aware, I have an obsession with clothes, gymboree to be exact.  And I made mention how it simply doesn’t interest me as it once did.  The obsession is gone.  So Luke, *BEING* Luke, asked me, “So if someone took ALL of your Gymboree away, you’d be alright with that.”  Yes, yes I would.  But who would do such a thing?  But I would be alright.  Honestly.  But no one tested it.

Yet.

So fast forward to last night, when Jeff gets up and shares about a family one of the church members knows who lost EVERYTHING in a fire.   This family happens to have a baby girl who also lost EVERYTHING in the fire.  Awwwww…how sad.  Then Jeff asks, and I SWEAR he looked right at me, if anyone has any 18 month clothes, the family could use them.  Again, how sad….HOPE SOMEONE HELPS THEM, JEFF!  But come on, that’s the size my DAUGHTER wears.  HOPE SOMEONE *else* HELPS THEM, JEFF!  Ain’t gonna be ME!  Now these things I do not say outloud because that would be mean and nasty and somewhat snobbish!

Then this morning, I’m reading John, and I’m suddenly terribly distracted.  I have literal articles from my daughter’s wardrobe flashing in my mind.  And of course, it’s Gymboree.  Great, that’s real nice…I’m trying to do my devotion, and I’m being distracted by GYMBOREE!  ACK!!  That’s seriously WRONG!  So I said a little prayer to help focus me, and I continue reading.  Yellow sundress with strawberries and ruffles along the collar….blue tie-dye shorts with matching tank….Easter dress….EEK!  I’m being haunted now!  I’m sure that’s got to be a SIN!  WHAT?? 

And then It comes:  I’m supposed to GIVE those. 

Now, all of John is totally lost and I have suddenly tons of things flying through my head.  So I get up and start gathering items.  When I think I’m done, I start bagging.  There we go, a couple of bags, that’s good, and then I start thinking they lost it ALL and new things start coming to mind, pajamas, baby towels (really…Brooklyn isn’t such a baby anymore, you can spare those, and grab those matching wash cloths), hair bows (yes, hair bows), and then SHOES (She’s outgrown those, Dana, why hang onto them?).  I have to admit, when the dresses started I did shed some tears and I’m well aware that sounds dumb, they are DRESSES.  But as I’m grabbing her birthday dress, Easter dress, and her Christmas dress, I have little visions of her running around in them and that made me sad (Dana, she will have OTHERS where this little girl has NONE.  You can give those.  I am your focus, and I will give you more). 

By the time I was done, I was simply shocked at what was going, down to diapers and her nightlight I JUST bought.  I even threw in a card a free session of portraits because I can’t stand knowing they lost PICTURES of their daughter!  I can’t replace what was lost, but I’d love to help rebuild some memories. 

And I gave 2 Bibles.  And I love to collect Bibles almost as much as Gymboree, but I’m thinking they need a little hope right now.

So that’s that!  I did it!  I gave in areas it literally hurt to give, but ya know?  It’s alright!  I LISTENED!  And not just to what I WANT to hear, but to things that challenge me, and I did it!  I let go.  I had a death grip on my Gymboree (and come on, let’s be honest here, Gap, Old Navy, and Children’s Place too) and God loosened that grip.  God is stretching me and He’s growing me, and I find it kind of cool! 

I suddenly feel all grown up. 

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