Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yard Sales and Expectations

    I would like to start off by saying I have an entirely new appreciation for anyone who has ever put together a yard sale. The last week was a hectic, crazy rush spent preparing for my own. Fortunately, I am blessed with many friends and family members who are more than willing to help and not force me to go at it alone. It was humbling to see the amount of support offered by those around me, whether it be through the giving of items or their own time. I'm truly grateful for everyone who lent a hand :)

    All in all, the preparation for the sale was a lot of fun. It involved rounding up everything that others had donated, organizing it as much as possible, and most importantly getting the word out there. A good friend of mine named Parker and I made hand-painted signs to hang around Jacksonville ( I welcome any excuse to do something creative or to use a hammer, really).

 A group of friends and myself made it to the Murray Hill Theatre parking lot bright and early to set up tables Saturday morning. There were at least three truck loads of items to display, ranging from golf clubs to televisions to parakeets. Since it was so hot outside, we offered free lemonade to customers as they walked around and took donations. We raised a total of almost $600.00 in a little over four hours, something that I'm still baffled by. As if that wasn't enough, afterwards there was still a number of items left, enough for another yard sale entirely.

As with most things, God taught me a lesson through this process. You see, I am a perfectionist with a genuine love for attention to detail. With that comes high and heavy expectations, set more for myself than anything. I often get overwhelmed when faced with a task such as this, especially when it begins to go in a way that I don't believe it should. Suffice to say, there were a few mishaps both during this week and on Saturday. At one point, I began to feel stressed and to wonder whether all the work I was doing was in vain. In that moment, a thought came clearly to my mind, one I can only attribute to God:    " Remember who you are striving for." It was simple but exactly what I needed to hear. It reminded me that all of my efforts were not for my own purposes;  that the inconveniences and obstacles which appeared so great at that time would seem small once my feet touched Alajuelita's soil.  Because the work I was doing was not for my own glory. My motivation was and is this : that all of this is being done through and for the one who inspired me go back to Costa Rica in the first place. 

More than anything, God remained faithful; reminding me of a truth I so often forget. That he, the same God who is walking alongside me as I make strides for him, is powerful and able. Any effort made would be empty and in vain were it not for his involvement. Because he was present and working, though, the expectation I had for how much we would raise was exceeded. Not only that, I have such a surplus of donated items left that I am planning another sale within the next month!

This is who I am striving for.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. "
 Ephesians 3:20-21

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Beginning.

I’ve never been an avid blogger. Truth be told, I am the worst at it. Blame it on a severe case of ADHD or a busy schedule, it’s just not been a first priority. So, keeping up with this will be a challenge, but one I’m willing and ready to take.

As you may ( or may not) know, this summer I will be traveling to Alajuelita, Costa for two months to work with 6:8 Ministries as an intern. This blog will be my way of communicating and sharing every step of the journey it takes to get there, from fundraising to finally arriving. It's been a lengthy process thus far and I'm so excited to share each event that happens. More so, I'm grateful that God would let me take part in such a wonderful adventure.  I hope my story inspires and encourages you in some way.