Garage Sale Blessings

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We hosted a garage sale this spring. Making some extra money is great motivation to sort, clean, and pass on stuff that we no longer need or have a place for in our house. The garage sale ended up being a lot of work for very little money.

I wasn’t surprised, nor was I upset. Past experiences from garage sales over many years have taught me to manage expectations. Besides, my faith has introduced new expectations as God provides a different perspective. It is less about the sales and more about the blessings. I have learned to expect God to reveal unexpected blessings through the garage sale. I pray for just the right people to come along. Excitement builds as I look for God to share His answers to my prayers.

The very first person on the very first day of the sale bought all my furniture odds and ends. The bulky stuff was gone! A group of construction workers took our old bathroom mirror, a “monstrosity” that measured five feet long by three feet high. The problem of how to properly dispose of the mirror was solved.

The blessings weren’t just for me. On the second day, sales and people were sparse. My husband suggested that we close early. I decided against it because we had advertised certain hours. Near the end of the day, a neighbor down the street stopped by. We had waved to each other in the past as I retrieved our mail, but we had never engaged in a conversation.

She browsed the sale and then picked up a brochure for Cancer Hope, the ministry that I am involved with. A very long conversation ensued as we shared our hearts and our faith. My neighbor concluded, “This is why God had me stop at your garage sale.” In that moment, I knew the reason why God prompted me to keep the garage sale open all day.

After the sale, metal shelves and miscellaneous items were given to good friends. The wife commented, “It feels like Christmas!” The rest of the stuff was sorted, boxed up and labelled with the name of the charity to receive it. The household goods would go to a charity that serves homeless families by helping them get back on their feet and into their own homes.

Trinkets, decorations and costume jewelry were designated for the nursing home. Early the next week, I called to confirm that the nursing home could use my donation. The activities director replied that the items would be perfect for their auction where the residents bid on items with fake money. As more evidence of God’s blessings in the perfect timing: the auction was scheduled for three days later.

Was this year’s garage sale a success? It depends on your perspective. From a worldly standpoint, the answer is no. I had too much stuff left over and not much money earned. From a heavenly perspective, the garage sale was simply the means for blessings to flow. Here’s my answer: I have a little extra cash in my pocket and my heart is undeniably full!

John 1:16

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 

 2 Corinthians 9:12

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

 

Garage Sale Wars

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The garage sale wars begin even before we stick a sign in the yard and open the garage door.

I think my husband should clean out the garage. He thinks I should let go of my many boxes of memories. I think he overprices his stuff and underprices mine. Of course, he feels it is just the opposite. His philosophy is to simply put the stuff out and the people will come. My philosophy is to focus on the marketing and stage the stuff.

This year was no different. He made me re-price a tent. His rationale was that he didn’t care if it sold or not. I wanted to recycle his old engineering magazines before the garage sale. He insisted that I offer them as freebies instead.

My husband won the garage sale war this year. And I am glad for it. I was reminded of that familiar cliché, “Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.” He got his asking price for the tent. One of the last shoppers bought it for her friend, a young mother who planned to take her son camping. It was a good transition from so many fun and funny memories for our family to another family who will add new memories.

As for those magazines, they disappeared too. An older couple stopped by with their adult special needs child. Their child loves to turn pages and the glossy pages of the magazines will hold up to the love. I could see their child dancing in the car with excitement as my husband placed the box next to her.

“Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.” May I remember this point and expect this result for the next garage sale. I don’t even have to wait that long for it is a principle that applies to every day.

 

John 6:12

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over.  Let nothing be wasted.”