Joyful Details

      Once in a while God shows me His great and mighty things. Okay, more than once in a while. He shows me His great and mighties every single moment of every single day. I just don't always catch them. Instead, my spirit drifts to the ever fleeting "ooh, shiny" moments from pieces of tin that just happen to catch the sunlight. But when looked at directly, the tin turns out to be cruddy pieces of scrap metal. And I wonder, what did I miss while I was looking the other way?
      Lately I've been trying to pay closer attention to God and the awesomeness of who He is as my Father and the Creator of all. His hand is in everything. People always say, "the devil is in the details." I refuse to believe that the enemy is more present than the omniscient Alpha and Omega. Satan can't be in more than one place at once. Therefore, he can't be in the details. Only Father is in the details.
      Because my God knows my heart even better than I do, He knows its many details, the intricacies and mechanics of how it functions physically and spiritually. In the post about our miracle house I mentioned the little odds and ends God had strategically placed throughout our home. For example, I've always wanted a chandelier. I don't have a reason or a purpose for a chandelier. They're fancy and honestly their looks are for vanity and show. But I've always wanted one, just for me. They sparkle. They're elegant. They remind me of the turn of the 20th century and they carry a certain old world charm. When we moved into our house, God had given me that silly piece of old world extravagance in the form of a small chandelier with hanging crystals and flame-shaped bulbs, directly in my closet, just for me. Nothing I desire, no matter how small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things it may be, is too small a matter for God.
      I remember seeing my closet chandelier for the first time and thinking to God, You did that, didn't You. . . just for me? I could feel Him smiling and nodding over me. Because I love you, child. It's that simple. 
      Just like earthly parents want to give their babies the world on a string, our Father wants (with greater zeal) to give us the heart of that world on a string. Sparklies and all. Joy and all.
My new replacement pitcher I found for $4.99. 
      I've continued to pray over this house and God continues to fill it. No glory can go to anyone but HIM. Earlier this week I found another nightstand, the last one I needed for the guest rooms. It's a different structure than that with which I'm familiar; on one end it bears what looks to be a magazine rack, but one of the spindles is broken. I can wood glue and putty it back together, and I plan to paint the table to fit the decor. I bought it at a local thrift dive for $10! I also found a replacement pitcher for my grandmother's antique wash basin in our yellow guest room; the last one broke during the move and I was heartbroken. Every pitcher I find is $30 and up. But I found a perfect one at that same thrift shop for $4.99 and I snatched it!
       I'm still searching for two lamp shades, but as soon as I find them I'll be ready to cover them and they'll be set for use in the guestrooms. I also have two old screen doors that I'm turning into a headboard. And Jordan has been searching for an office chair for his desk for a little over a week, but not fervently. However, God is in the details...      
      While I was thrifting on Monday, goofing off really, Lilli and I stopped by Goodwill to browse. Afterall, that is my favorite place.

And there it was.

Top shelving of the China cabinet/hutch. 

Bottom storage of  China cabinet/hutch. 

      As if light had surrounded it and God's voice was speaking over it backed by a choir of symphonic angels, the China cabinet I had very humbly asked God for was sitting in the middle of the furniture section, in two pieces. Talk about a glorious unfolding! Of course it caught my eye and I walked, ever so gently, afraid it would disappear into thin air, and scanned the cabinet. Glass doors and shelving, plenty of storage space and drawers, mounted lights with switches and hidden plugs, and a sturdy build. This thing was perfect. With a little tweaking, I could bring its dated look back to life. The price? $129.99!
      I immediately called Jordan to tell him about my treasure find. We talked it over, but Lilli was having to get glasses that day and we try to be good stewards of every penny. Still, how were this cabinet and its low price not smart? Then I saw the sign: THIS SATURDAY ONLY: 50% OFF OF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE!
      So I prayed. I literally laid my hands on this cabinet and prayed for God to give it to me, but I also prayed for His will.
      And I waited. I went back to the Goodwill every single day this week checking for my cabinet. And every single day it remained in its place. On Friday I called to make sure it was still there, and it was. My plan was to get up early on Saturday morning because the store opens at 8am.
      I hardly slept the night before. I had bad dreams; I was hot and uncomfortable, then I got too cold. My alarm would sound off in my head. At first light I awoke with a jolt, thinking I'd missed my 6am reminder, but I hadn't. It was 5:30, not yet time to get up and greet the day. I ended up sleeping until 6:30 because I didn't want to fool with hair and makeup, too tired from the preceding restless night.
      We made it by 7am, not a soul in the lot but Lilli's and mine. And we waited. 'Round about 7:15 a truck packed with a mom and her two kids pulled up; then walked straight to the door and waited. Not to be outdone, and in fear my China cabinet would be gone, I took my own child and waited at the opposite door. Slowly the crowds started building. I met an older friendly couple and was able to to share a very brief story of our house and how God was filling our rooms, then I told them about the cabinet. Others were listening and everyone seemed intrigued. By the time GW's employees unlocked the doors and let us in, the couple ushered Lilli and me through and cheered as Lilli ran to the cabinet and blissfully tore the tag from it.
      It was ours. 
The sheer joy I felt at this gift I knew was straight from God was immensely overwhelming. What a blessing from Him!    
The sweet couple from outside came up to me excitedly: "Did you get it?" the woman asked in her bubbly little voice.
       "I did!" I squealed. And with the pride of a mother and sincerity of a Sunday school teacher she said, "Praise Jesus!!!" Then she hugged me. No, she squeezed me! It was a great moment, hugging this once stranger, sister in Christ, and praising our Father together, all over a China cabinet. I later properly introduced myself and thanked her for celebrating with us; her name was Joy and her husband's name was Hank. That was no coincidence. Again, God is in the details. I immediately responded to her introduction with, "The Joy of the Lord!" And it was so joyful. . . how appropriate. Yet another detail noticed and given by the Lord. This is where His glory fills the story. The China cabinet is wonderful, and all glory goes to God for it. But the ultimate glorious celebration is in the praising that occurs after, in spite of what happens during, when God brings His babies together in the middle of a Goodwill, and His praise and adoration takes place, right then and there. What an honor to call Him mine!
      I decided to make a quick run through of the store; at minute's end I found an office chair for Jordan just like he'd been searching for! It was $39.99. Then I found the entire collection of The Chronicles of Narnia for $1.99, and one other book, also $1.99.

Jo's fabulous new office chair, only $20 after 1st Saturday discount! 

SO excited about my growing collection of classics, canonical works, and soon-to-be literary greats! $.99 each after discount! 
      I made my way up to pay for my loot. After the 50% discount was put into place, the treasures were as follows:
      China cabinet extraordinaire: $65.00
      Office chair fantastico: $20.00
      Narnia for nerds: $.99
      Folks, I know this cabinet and chair are both from God. One doesn't find such a blessing by coincidence. He's still filling our rooms, but in the process He's also filling our hearts. With every move He makes in our lives He shows us something new and fresh, and they all connect to the betterment of us individually, of our ministry, and ultimately of His kingdom. I would never have found this cabinet had it not been for Him. I would never have gotten it for the price I did had it not been for Him. And what a story behind it all! Nothing but God's glory can be found in these little miracles. While yes, it's an earthly object that I can't take with me, it's the little things that God notices that make my heart soar, that fill me with His joy. If His attention for my tiny life details is that great, how much more is His attention in the larger areas of my life? With that, if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) The minute problems of this life are nothing compared to the riches of His glory and the peace in His heart, all for me. And here, my attention is caught by God's little details. . . His breeze on a hot day, His words in the mouths of little children, His way with me. . .  God is in the details.
   
*Stay tuned for a DIY of the China Cabinet. Here's a hint: Annie Sloane and I are about to begin a beautiful relationship. 

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