From matching hair bows right down to their matching Mary Jane's, when the teens were little, I loved to dress them alike.Since this fun (for me) has not occurred for several years (since they are darlin' teens and have their own fashion sense and style) I was so excited when my friend Fran (who has five darlin' children) asked me last week to help her complete a matching wardrobe for her little darlin's. Fran dresses them alike for special occasions and they have a family wedding coming up soon which will provide numerous opportunities to dress up her little living dolls.
For one event she has green gingham smocked watermelon short outfits for the three girls and a gingham shirt for her youngest son. My helped was needed when she found the same shirt in her oldest son's size on E-bay, but didn't have an E-bay account.
I understood having a darlin' outfit for one dear childAnd wanting the other to match.Fran and I are kindred spirits in many ways. We did not know each other when the teens dressed as I have them pictured on this post. She sent the link and asked if I would do her a favor and bid for her. I was delighted to - it was almost as much fun as shopping for my own little darlin's. The teens are enjoyable to shop with now; but I was certainly having a good time as I remembered their smiling faces and the sweet memories while they were clad in many of their matching outfits.What I did not expect was the spiritual lesson the Lord would teach me. Fran gave me the ending date of the auction. With the instructions of being "willing to pay a total of $20.00 including shipping if I had to, but I'd hope to get it for a lower price. The beginning bid is $8.00. Can you help me?"
I was glad to help Fran. And I was having fond memories of shopping for matching outfits for Audra and Victoria Leigh. Such cutie pies...I dabble with E-bay. We've sold a few items on E-bay and have purchased several too. I'm not a full time E-bay professional. Normally, I'm at home when I bid on an item in their auction style format. I have been known to set a timer and then place a bid at the last minute. In the final minutes of an auction, the bidding can be fast and furious.
When I checked the date of the end of the E-bay auction by my calendar, I had to look again. I was not going to be home during the close of the auction because it would finish about the time we would be singing the opening songs in worship. I was going to have to bid $8.50 and then put the maximum bid in and wait till I got home from worship to find out whether or not *we* had bought it for $8.50 or $20.00. Just being honest here, I was not thrilled about doing this auction this way. Which brought me to the realization that I like to control things. But this was going to require some faith. And it was not my money - it was Fran's. Fran knows that I enjoy a good deal too. In my heart, I wanted to be able to sit at the keyboard and screen and wait and watch the final minutes of bidding and place the winning bid. Like I had some control over the auction because I was watching the screen!
But this auction was going to require me to enter the Maximum Bid *we'd* be willing to pay and pray and wait. It made me think of the Lord wanting my all, my whole heart, my willingness - every last bit of me - my maximum bid. Just like Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac, I had to be willing to pay the full price, even though I really wanted the $8.50 price. Abraham believed God. I want to believe and experience God too. I had to be willing to enter the maximum bid. So I entered $8.50 for the gingham shirt with the maximum bid as well, and sent Fran this e-mail:
"I'm in for you. I pray the Lord blesses as I leave for worship. Lord, give us this shirt at the lowest price. Can't wait to talk to you Fran about the Trust the Lord is calling me to and how He's even using this auction!"
I then turned the computer off and went to worship. With three different worship services, Fran and I are not in the same worship service and do not normally cross paths on Sunday morning. She was already at home when I left the church parking lot and dialed her to see if she had checked the auction's outcome. She hadn't, she was just praying and trusting. God has provided some amazing things for her family recently. She was making pancakes for her little darlin's. We got home by 1 PM, but it was near 2 PM by the time we started clearing the lunch table and I was able to check the auction.
All praise be to the Lord, *we* won the auction for our opening bid of $8.50! I had nothing to do with it. I entered an opening bid. I had to put in the maximum bid or highest amount *we* would pay. Then I had to pray and trust.
Lord, thank you for this lesson in trust
To walk by faith, You say it is a must
I realize I like to control and manipulate the outcome
Life this way can be all labor and I miss out on joy and fun
Help me to leave all the many details of life in Your hands
You know the end of auctions and all of my well laid plans
Living a life of faith allowed me to worship today,
I must admit Lord, I like it better Your way
No watching the screen or planning my next move
Keep me Lord in touch with Your Spirit - in Your groove
Lord, while I was worshipping with Your people and soaking in Your Son
You gave me my heart's desire in the auction outcome. Amen.