Friday, January 28, 2011

My Cup (or my living room) Runneth Over

I thought I would share a funny story that happened to us while we were living in Tennessee so my husband could go to Lee University. We lived in the married student housing apartments, called Caroll Courts, in a cozy 600 sq. ft, (approx.), two bedroom apartment. We had our three kids so we gave them the master bedroom and Brad and I took the smaller room. It was so small that we had to stand on the bed to take something out of the closet. Our kitchen was the width of the electric stove so more than two people in there at one time was pretty much impossible. If I rearranged the furniture I did so with a tape measure to literally make every inch count. Suffice it to say that it was pretty 'cozy'.

At the end of every semester many students would move out, either to better apartments or because of graduation, so seeing discarded things in the dumpsters was a normal occurance. But what truly bothered me were the practically brand new pieces of furniture that for one reason or another got left behind. Maybe they left couches and loveseats because they were just too hard to move or they didn't have a truck big enough. But whatever the reason, they were left sitting on the ground by the dumpsters waiting to be hauled away to a landfill somewhere.

Being a resourceful girl from the Maritimes, I couldn't let them go to waste, so I began bringing them to my already pushed-to-the-limits apartment to save them from the rain or being hauled away, until I could find a new home for them. We had a Little Tykes wagon so with the boys on one end and me on the other we would lift the loveseat or couch onto the wagon and carefully wheel it home and get it in the apartment. We were happy with each find but we truly celebrated when we were able to give it away to a new family. We would watch for new people moving into the complex and when we saw a moving van we would go over and ask them if they would like to have a couch or loveseat for free.

It was great being able to bless other people and to see their happy expressions. At the end of one particular semester it seemed like everyone was throwing their furniture away. There was more than ever before. So we started carting the pieces to our tiny apartment. We didn't save any of the stained or torn pieces, just the ones that looked brand new, and yet by the end of the day we had seven love seats and two couches stacked in our living room.

 The boys thought it was great fun to climb to the top of their mountain and to crawl underneath and be in their 'cave'. But I knew my husband would be less than thrilled with the new 'look' I had accomplished. Sure enough, when he came home from class that day, he was a little shocked and thought I had lost my marbles. But I assured him that in the next day or two new people would be moving in and the Lord wouldn't have given me this bounty without someone to give it to.

Two days went by and then the moving trucks started arriving with new families starting their university adventure. We went to welcome each new family and introduce ourselves and to offer their choice of a loveseat or couch or both. I gave them a time to come to our apartment to 'shop' and went home to await my 'customers'. Once they started coming, it was great fun. I pointed out which ones were to be taken away and which ones were mine so no one would be confused. But in the excitement of blessing others when all was said and done, I found myself standing in a living room without a couch or loveseat! Mine was given away! Oh no, what to do? What would Brad say now? I had really gone too far!

I did what I knew to do: I prayed. I thanked the Lord for using me to bless so many people and for teaching my children that it truly is better to give than to receive and then I asked Him to help me out this time. I asked Him to give me furniture before my husband got home so he would have something to sit on. Then I sat at our table and did some school work with the kids and waited for the Lord to move. About an hour later I got a call from a friend of ours. She and her husband had just bought new furniture and she wanted to know if she could have the delivery men drop her old pieces off to me?!?! Talk about an answer to prayer!! God came through once again. What a lesson my children learned that day.

When my husband got home that evening I got to tell him the whole wonderful story of how I went crazy in giving away but how you can't outgive the Lord. It was a time of blessing in so many ways. God will never let you out give Him. He is generous and blesses those who serve Him. If you are generous towards others, God will see that you are blessed too.

Psalm 23:5c
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.


  1. It was just another great lesson in faith that we were able to learn when we lived there. We truly learn the precepts of the Word of God by experience. We do need to "study to show ourselves approved" as the Scriptures say, but if we do not put our faith into action, we will never truly understand. May we all have that "mountain moving" or even "couch moving" faith and employ it in our lives.

  2. I just love your stories, they always make me smile =)
    <3 melissa