It started happening.... not all of the time, but often enough to get my attention. I already was used to praying about other needs... when we needed a different vehicle... I would pray specifically about what we were looking for... the same with house hunting. Then it hit me, why not have a Garage Sale Prayer List?
This list wasn't marked off and no notes, but I can think back to some of the items that were provided for us. Number 5 says piano... and at one garage sale where they were tired of having the garage sale and didn't want to take it back in.... they GAVE it to us! There was no bench, but still, it was a piano... and we are still using that same piano today. :)
God has provided SO many things for our family through garage sales, thrift stores and more.
Do I look at God as my genie to give me what I want? NO! He is my Heavenly Father and He loves me and has promised to provide for us. I do not make my list TELLING Him what He should provide. I am asking... and when He says "no", I thank Him... when He provides it, I thank Him. He IS providing our needs, whether God meets my list or not. He IS good.... and His goodness doesn't depend on Him meeting my list or requests. He doesn't change..... but it is so much fun to specifically request something ... and see how God answers.
Years ago, our old house had hardwood floors in the upstairs-we loved them, but they were so cold in the winter and the boys slept up there. Money was terribly tight, so I told my husband that I was going to pray for God to provide some carpet for their room - a low nap one that would be great for little boys to play with their cars and trucks on. He laughed a bit and said to go ahead.... to tease him, I said I would ask God for it to be a bluish gray color. He laughed again. I continued and said I would pray for carpet pad also. He laughed loudly and said, "Oh right..... do you know how much that will cost??" Like I said money was really tight. I laughed with him and said, "I am going to pray that I can find it for $5.00." Well, he really laughed then and told me, "Don't hold your breath." I started to pray and I looked at every garage sale I went to... but didn't find it, so I started asking at garage sales if they had carpet for sale. Finally at one sale, the man said he had just carpeted the basement and they had a big piece left over.... when he showed it to me, I was tickled to see that it was a flat nap and it was bluish gray. Wow. Then he told me to wait a minute as he had some leftover carpet pad also that I could have with it. By this time, I was nervous because this was NEW carpet and pad and I knew I couldn't afford it. I asked how much he wanted for it. He said, "Oh, how 'bout 5 bucks?" I almost started crying... and I told him this was a BIG answer to prayer. By the way, it fit almost perfectly into the boys' room - which was oddly shaped with a dormer window. My husband was very shocked.... and he stopped laughing at my garage sale prayer list. :)
I have learned to wait for what I am asking for.... and not rush right out to buy it new.... to WAIT for God to provide it.... It is amazing what He provides and how He stretches our budget. I have also learned that if He doesn't provide it.... we really don't need it... and we do without it or pray about buying it new.
Sometimes my kids will look around a room and ask what came from a garage sale in the room. We laughed one day when we couldn't find anything in the living room that didn't come from a garage sale.... until one of the kids reminded us of one item that we had bought new. I know people who feel cheated when they have to buy from garage sales.... and your kids will be dissatisfied and feel cheated also if you keep that attitude. We aren't cheated out of "new" things... we are so blessed and so thankful. Also, we can afford much better quality items from a garage sale that we could afford new. I want to be thankful... and to teach my children to be thankful. Over the years, God has provided thee things as an example: Jeans - the sizes my kids needed, sleeping bags before we went camping, new reams of paper for school, various cabinets for herbs, essential oils, fabrics and more, computers, sofa, lots of books and school books, school manipulatives, jewelry, bookcases, cds, clothes, blankets, china, purses and bags, wireless mouse, stainless steel pans, essential oil, candles, phones, furniture and so much more.
My lists are not always written down.... now they are usually just in my head... but I still pray for what we need.... or want(within reason!). In all of this, God is the one to be glorified as He is the provider.