Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seventeen Thank You Notes

It all started with this.

Go ahead and read it if you haven't already. I'll wait.

That post was important to me, because it was the first time I realized that I could actually diffuse my anger and hatred for something, even something as inconsequential as a piece of furniture, albeit momentarily, by writing a simple blog post. Afterward, I felt much better.

Like a healing had taken place.

So, it really began as an experiment in creative writing as therapy.

And what do you know? It worked.

Boy, howdy, did it work.

Well, a little over a year later, on a lark and a whim, I posted this. That directed you to this. You really do need to click on that link to see it.

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT CURRENTLY SITS IN OUR LIVING ROOM!!! (In a soft, lovely, warm cappuccino hue.)

Although, you're probably not surprised, because you're probably one of the seventeen families/people represented who donated to the Buckland Family Couch Ministry.

"Thank you" doesn't even begin to appropriately express how we feel about this couch.

You should also read all 63 glowing reviews that this couch has received on Haverty's website to see that I am not exaggerating my deep and profound love for this couch. I LOVE this couch. It's perfect. It is truly the most wonderful, beautiful, comfortable, stylish, amazing couch I have ever seen or had the privilege of sitting on, let alone owning. It's the most grown-up, adult-looking piece of of furniture we currently own. It totally transforms our living room; it no longer looks like the dwelling place of a college student...or multiple toddlers. And not only is it remarkably stylish, it's comfy, too. In fact, Ren and I both fall into a deep, non-waking comas any time we lie down on the thing.

The funny thing about all this is that I had actually made peace with my current couch set-up. After I'd been whining to God a little while about desperately NEEDING a new couch, I felt like He'd given me an idea. We threw, literally threw, the split-wide-open section of the our old couch downstairs, and replaced it with a semi-stylish futon which had been sitting upstairs and was hardly being used. Somewhere down in the depths and recesses of my personality, I had gotten in touch with my Inner Thrifter. I restuffed the back cushions with the stuffing from the unused sections, so while it was incredibly lumpy and uncomfortable to sit on, hey, at least it looked better!

In all seriousness, what you don't know is that just the day before the couch arrived, I was crying out to God asking Him if He'd forgotten about us. I have been growing weary, feeling like my faith was on its last scrawny, little legs. I asked God for something big, something tangible, something I could see, to give me hope. God has been taking care of our needs. All our basic necessities are provided for, but there's very little at the end of the month with which to actually go out and enjoy. Something always has to get cut. We have food, clothing, and shelter, but the clothes are several years old, sometimes have holes, and the food is, at times, only slightly more than beans and rice.

There are days when I can push through all that, paste on a smile, pull myself up by the bootstraps, do all things through Christ who strengthens me, keep fighting the good fight, keep on keepin' on, or whatever positive thinking mantra one tells themselves to keep from going crazy.

Then there are days when you can see no end in sight. That's when it's almost too much to bear.

And that's when God sends angels in the form of family and friends to lift our loads, making the burdens seem not quite so unbelievably heavy. And the road not quite so lonely.

I want to share something with you that I wrote in July of last year, not to depress you, but, hopefully, to let you in on how long we've been struggling and what that's actually been like for me:

Father, will You, out of Your abundant resources, please provide us with a new couch? I would like a new couch and a new love seat. Or a new sectional. I'd take either option. Father, Your word says that You own the cattle on a thousand hills. Father, I don't own any cattle. All I'm asking for right now is a new couch. Will you please provide us with a new couch? Our current couch is literally falling apart. Every time I look at it, I want to cry.

Father, do You love us? Do You care about our wants? I know that You have given us all that we need. We have enough. But, God, what about our wants? Do you care for, provide for those as well? Father, I feel like I've been doing without quite a bit lately. More than I am used to, frankly. I guess I'm still rich compared to the majority of the world.

Father, am I supposed to boldly ask You for things? Or am I supposed to be content with what I have? Why do I feel so guilty for asking You for a couch? You can do that, can't You? Will you?

Father, my heart is growing bitter. I don't trust in Your goodness, mercy, or love right now. A decent father gives his children some nice gifts if he can afford them. Certainly you can.
Certainly He can. And certainly, He has. And certainly, He will.

I know it's just a couch. But to me, it's a symbol that God not only cares about our needs, but also our wants. Things you might be to embarrassed or feel to silly to say out loud. I have to believe that the God who created the universe, who created us, wants us to enjoy this life,and not just merely survive it or endure it.

Thank you, sweet friends and family, from the bottom of my heart, for reminding me.


Mommy said...

I am so excited for you!!! Congrats on the couch. That part you wrote last July is just about what I had written in a journal when trying to have another baby. I think it is quite funny that I have a couch I love but you had the kids. Now we both have what we wanted! God is good (and so are good friends)! BTW - There were more than 17 people willing to get in on this but some of us had no clue!

Angie said...

I have tears rolling down my cheeks, Angela. Thank for bearing your heart here. God used us and this couch exactly as I had been praying. Enjoy and know that you are loved.

Amy said...

All the while, it was FUN to be part of the Couch Ministry, now it is just plain an honor. One I don't feel worthy of. To be able to be part of His direct answer that gently says, "Yes, I love you, yes, I hear you, and yes, I care very much about your wants and desires" is too much.
Thank YOU for posting your very personal outcry to the Lord last July. Through it, you have allowed 17 families to hear that same sentiment as He graciously used our measly offerings to be His Hands and Heart to you. My faith is strengthened through your provision. We love you so much.

holly said...

i knew when angie h. sent the email it was a train i wanted to board..the love train...

Amy said...

I really enjoyed your post (in a 'now I have to go blow my nose' kinda way). I can totally relate in a lot of ways. You know that my entire house is full of answers to prayer. My now-finished basement, my new floors, my shiny new, non-disgusting bathroom - all answers to prayers just like yours (God, is it even okay to pray for such things? You CAN do it, but WILL you? Should I just be content?, etc.) All of these things I have prayed for years about - meanwhile the carpet was threadbare, the bathroom grew more and more like a toxic waste dump, I couldn't fit another piece of clothing in that tiny closet shared by 3 growing kids...but Lord, I love you no matter what, and yes, there are so many people so worse off, and I'm rich in love and family and friends. And I WILL be content. But I still want new floors! So here I am now, years later, surrounded by reminders that He does care, He does love me dearly, He can and will give me my heart's desire, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, He can and will answer the still unanswered big prayers, like for the salvation of my loved ones who are so far from him, and for the safety and well-being of my children who are getting so close to being out from under my care that it keeps me awake at night, for marriages of people I love that are on the brink of disaster, and it goes on...Every time I walk into my beautiful, gleaming,(did I mention sanitary?) bathroom I remember that He is faithful. He sees, He hears, and He cares. And I can't wait to actually SIT on your beautiful new reminder of God's love and faithfulness!

Erin said...

I am so glad you like your new couch - enjoy it! He knows us, and He loves to thrill us. At least, that's my opinion:)