“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.” (No Calculator Needed, 2013)
In Spoken from the Heart: Journey from Fear to Faith, I wrote two posts, Money or Memories? and No Calculator Needed. Those posts talked about how I felt led by God to have a garage sale. He was telling me this was the right time and He prompted me last summer to have a garage sale. He picked the weekend for me – keeping it clear and sunny and giving me extra hands to make the work lighter. The whole experience couldn’t have been more relaxing. My heart’s prayer was for every customer to leave our house feeling blessed and also for God to bless us, the way He felt best. I had no expectations except to hopefully make a little money for bills and get rid of things we weren’t using any more.
This year began with me putting too many expectations on myself. Instead of remembering God wanting me to rest in His love, I kept forcing myself to “hear” His voice. We picked a date and moved forward, with me second-guessing our decision the entire time. Two days before the sale was supposed to happen, the forecast predicted heavy storms, so we cancelled. Since we couldn’t remove the ad from the paper, we hung a big sign at the end of the driveway. A few people understood (we even sold a wagon!) but a few were disgruntled for having driven all the way to our house only to be denied. As a result, I questioned if I was obeying or disobeying and wondered whether or not God would bless our sale two weeks later.
Two weeks later we began putting the garage sale together. I was determined this time to have it, rain or shine (although since we don’t have a garage, rain definitely makes it more difficult). The day my family came to help set up, I was swamped with work. I was helping with work overflow and soon realized I mistakenly thought I could do it all.
However, the day of the sale, despite limited sleep, we were all set up and ready to go almost two hours early. I had learned from this summer’s experiences, it’s not so much about my circumstances as it is about my response. Despite the rockier start than last year, I chose to thank God for all the blessings He was providing, and there were many. That changed my mindset and I was ready to bless others just like God blessed them last year through our family…without any monetary expectations for our family.
God reminded me yet again of a valuable lesson He has been trying to teach me for years. He doesn’t need me to obey perfectly. In fact, I will never be perfect. I don’t need to place high expectations on myself to “hear Him right” all the time. I just need to be willing to listen when He speaks. Will I always hit the mark the first time? Nope. Not even close sometimes. But, if I’m truly seeking to listen to His voice, He will keep talking until I get it. And, He offers grace after I repent and ask for forgiveness for those times I deliberately choose not to listen.
God reminded me His blessings aren’t available to perfect people. His blessings are for His children, even when we miss the mark completely, as long as our heart is one of obedience. Come back next time and I will share just some of the blessings we received two weeks later.
© 2014 Cheri Swalwell