Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paper Blessing!

Normally "paper blessings" might imply something flimsy, semi-transparent, or light-weight. Not today.

I made a request on Freecycle and the LivingHebrews135 facebook group for computer paper. Scrap, half used, or extra. Not something that would cost or be unethical (i.e. I dont want your work paper if you have to steal it from work :) Just your excess.

Though I was immediately met with an obstacle to my request... it caused me to really think about what is "okay" to buy new and what isn't. Before I finished deciding, the offers were coming in.

Two separate women quickly responded to my requests... full of encouragement and appreciation for our resolution. Both had paper that was excess and both felt that Freecycle was exactly the place to make such a request (I asked their opinions).

Well, the first woman ended up being someone with whom I'd shared some of our baby things. When it was SHE who showed up at my door... I was blessed all over again. I can only imagine how good it felt for her to RETURN a favor... and for me to be the recipient of what she now had to offer. I took note of God's detail.

The next women owns Secondhand Rose. This is a thrift store that opened last summer on Shaw and Armstrong. Maybe that sounds WAY out there... but its really not. She has a great little store... but the "catch" is that a portion of her profits goes to military families. She has a heart for helping people and often gives things from her store to people on freecycle asking for it. She embroiders, sews, makes beautiful dolls and baby things... as well as sells second hand items. She'd found a big box of 8 1/2 by 14 paper on the side of the road... no one has wanted to buy it from her store and she saw my request. I went to her store to get paper and left with a total blessing. Visit her store if you can! You don't just buy used, but you help the families of our soldiers when you do!

Then today a dear woman from church asked if I was still needing paper. I said "sure!" She brought me two brand new reams that she had extra of... and said, "my husband mentioned you might have some legal sized paper... thats what he uses if you don't need it." Well, PRAISE THE LORD! Now I dont have to cut the last couple inches off... I get to give it to someone who needs it AND in return get more 8 1/2 by 11 paper!

Ya know, on any other day or year I would have run to walmart and just bought some paper. I would have missed all of these blessings... a favor returned, a conversation with a servant, and the opportunity to give what I have. I certainly didn't expect paper to be so rewarding!

This is all causing me to wonder... how many times has my need for immediate gratification of a need robbed God of a blessing for me? How many wonderful people have I missed meeting? Or ministries have I missed contributing to? Or robbed others of blessings? Or myself been robbed? I hope that the end of this year will find me a more patient person for the things I think I need. And in return, may I become a less hurried and more intentional person.

Wouldnt it be so cool if life wasn't actually about the end goal? But instead about the journey of getting to it? Hmmmm :)