Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Encouragements

Lately there have been little ways where God has been encouraging me, reminding me that He is there with me all the time and He will provide all  my needs (not wants, as much as I wish it sometimes were, otherwise I would not have fruitlessly wandered around in the rain  an hour ago at various places I had been yesterday looking for my lost hubcap when it was nowhere to be found, but alas I am well provided for, but do not live a "charmed" life). Many of these encouraging words have come from a new devotional book that I bought from Amazon, written by this lady. It has been hard to stop at just one encouraging story each day, but I do have to pace myself.  Other times the encouragement comes in other ways.The biggest compliment I've received in a long time came from the mouth of a 5 year old. Luke had something he found in his room, I can't remember what, but it was something like an old sunday school craft. He was getting rid of old stuff (a habit obviously not learned from me) and he offered it to me because as he explained "you like that Jesus stuff". It seems like a simple, offhanded comment, but as a parent trying to teach my children in the way they should go, it was high praise!
Some of these little "words" of encouragement may seem silly, but I guess I'm a little silly, so God has to speak my language. Like the balloon that Toby got in sunday school on Easter, just a simple latex balloon (I requested his favorite orange colour on his behalf as they were passing them out). On the balloon was a cross and beneath it "He Lives". That balloon floated right up to the ceiling for nearly 2 full weeks and at the 3 week mark, it no longer floated up, but still stood upright, making it easy to read. It may not be much, but every morning when I woke up and saw those words, I smiled and it was just the reminder I needed.
Yesterday, while the boys were in preschool I went grocery shopping, and I decided to go to Superstore to do it. Now although most things are cheaper there, the shopping carts are not, and I have more than once gotten to the parking lot and discovered that I do not have a loonie in my bag. Yesterday was much the same, except that other than a few pennies and a nickel, I had no money...don't judge, but I spent my last twoonie on a slurpee, which I SO did NOT need, just an hour earlier in total ignorance of the fact that I would need a grocery cart very soon.
So although I was no longer thirsty, my "to buy" list was long and even 2 handbaskets would not suffice. I needed a cart. I searched the glove box, the console and every other nook and crannie of that van thinking that there must be the much needed coin somewhere.Nil, nada, zip zilch. There was nowhere nearby that I could think of to get a loonie, and I was running out of time. So in desperation I threw my reusable bags into my bag and strolled confidently to the cart return area, thinking "surely there will be a cart sitting loose"...okay I don't have that much faith, more like "please, please, please let there be a cart sitting loose, even a renegade Walmart cart that has wandered far from home would suffice". Nil, nada, zip zilch. So as I'm walking into the store (fruitlessly scanning the parking lot for strays, and debating on shoving a woman into the just loaded trunk of her car so I can abscond with her cart...I may be a Christian, but I still get tempted), there's a cart resting up against an old pick-up in the handicap parking. In the truck is a man who asks me if I need a cart.
Now this may not be as amazing or incredible as some of the stories I've heard where a Christian needs something really expensive and gets cash left in her mailbox for the exact amount, or where someone needs something specific that may not be super common to give away and that exact item is left on their doorstep. A shopping cart in a parking lot doesn't have nearly as much pizzaz, but this blog entry is about encouragements, not full out miracles. I'm not in need of some huge miracle, just a little encouragement...and a new hubcap.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

RV owners

My childhood vacations were spent camping. I don't remember ever tenting it until the annual College and Career Group camping weekend with my church friends as a young adult. We had a tent trailer. I still remember the momentus day that our family bought that first tent trailer. We were driving home to Pinawa from a trip into Winnipeg, and by the side of the road, in all it's green glory, was a teeny little trailer with a for sale sign. It must have been cheap, because my parents bought it on the spot. I don't remember if we ever went on any vacations prior to that day, but I sure remember the ones after. A few years later we were over at family friends' place (enjoying a hot summer day, swimming in their pool) and in the driveway was a tent trailer. It was bigger (although just about anything was bigger than our little green one) and it had a stove and a sink that swung outside and back in so you could cook or wash dishes wherever you pleased (that was my favorite feature). My brother and I were starting to get to that age where sharing a bunk was rife with arguing an elbowing, so upgrading to a bigger model where the table converted into another bed was really just a matter of survival on their part. The couple who owned it had grown children and wanted to downsize. They had set the trailer up to start getting it ready to sell. My parents made arrangements to buy it on the spot.
We had many good trips in both those tent trailers.And I've always thought that one day, we'd buy a tent trailer of our own.That day was yesterday. My husband has been casually scanning kijiji and other sites looking at what's out there as far as trailers go. Most were sold before we even had a chance. Then one came up for a 17ft hybrid that is small enough for our minivan to tow (once we actually get a towing package installed that is). Bruce contacted the owners and I contacted my dad, who studied up on the model and scoured the internet for other options. He called back saying "it sounds like a GOOD deal". We took our trailer inspector (aka Dad) with us out to Carman yesterday evening to look things over. Bruce got the nod from the inspector and started wheeling an dealing. Luckily, I was able to keep busy with the kids. Not only am I not good at haggling, but I'm downright uncomfortable with it. I'm the type of person who's most likely to blurt out something along the lines of "we'll pay you double your asking price" not because I'm rich, but because I feel like I'm cheating people to ask to pay less.I'm the type who hates being the only person in a store or at a garage sale, because I feel like I'm insulting the salesperson by walking out empty-handed. Needless to say I hid behind the car door pretending to help Toby with his snack (while feeling guilty that Bruce was trying to not completely empty our bank account and possibly insulting this elderly couple in the process) until I saw the handshake. But in the end we bought it. And I can't wait to get it home and then out somewhere with trees and firepits.