“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” Proverbs 11:25 (NIV).
The first indication to me we were doing it God’s way was that a full hour and a half before the sale was to begin, we were ready. Normally, especially if it was planned last minute, I was scrambling around finding things to sell, pricing, and setting up tables, while becoming more impatient, stressed, and sweaty each minute. That particular day, I had time to enjoy a second cup of coffee, eat breakfast, catch up on emails, and write to a friend (hoping to bless her as well) before moseying outside to start selling. We had a steady stream of customers and this year, I chose to look at each individual family as someone to bless – not what I could get out of it, but instead what I could do to bless them.
I loved how God accepted my attitude of service and used it to bless us as well, although that wasn’t my intent. I heard the word “blessing” being passed back and forth more during the garage sale that year than I ever had. I greeted most everyone with, “My goal today is to make you happy, make me happy. Everyone leaves happy.” And, for the most part, I believe that goal was accomplished.
I found that when you have a heart not for “What can I get out of this?” but “What can I give to others?” the blessings overflow. One particular woman came looking for boy clothes and when I offered her a price for what she had picked, her response was, “Well, if they’re that reasonable, maybe I’ll get some more.” God spoke to the mother in me and I quietly asked my daughter to grab a bag, then told the woman to fill it up and “keep going.” She had tears in her eyes when she left, and I invited her to come back the next day as “none of this stuff is going back in my house. I can either bless you or I’ll be blessing someone else.” As I sit here writing this on the second day, both my daughter and I hope she’ll come back. We’re ready to bless her again.
Another mother and daughter came looking for baby items. The little boy they were anxiously awaiting to arrive was going to be the first grandson/great grandson in the family. When I told them the price of what they wanted, the first words out of the great grandmother’s mouth was, “What a blessing.” I smiled real big and replied, “That makes me happy. Being a blessing is our goal.” They left thinking they were blessed when in reality, I’m the one who received the bigger blessing.
One by one, as people arrived, my goal changed from making money to giving blessings. It was, by far, the most fun I’ve had at a sale yet. Our whole family got into it. And the best part? We didn’t worry so much about how much money we got from selling things. I definitely didn’t need my calculator at all.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell