Gator Tale

See this “Gator and Snake” oil painting come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

Something interesting happened yesterday at the sale. It was the last day of the 2-day event and I was discouraged because we still hadn’t had any interest in the large air hockey table. It would take a lot of room in the moving pod and we needed to sell it, as it was in like-new condition and too expensive to not try to get something back from it. I didn’t want the stress of trying to sell it individually. It would be very helpful if someone walked in and wanted to buy it, but we were running out of time and it was heading into the afternoon. So, I prayed that God would send someone to take our things that we were worried about- especially the table.

Shortly afterward, a couple came in and they said, “PLANTS!” They bought a few and then spotted the air hockey table and made an offer. The offer was lower than I wanted, but they made up the exact difference in plants and a pile of other things that they also intended to buy- things that I would have been fine to donate if they hadn’t sold. So, in my mind I got the exact price for the table that I expected and wanted!

Well, guess what? This couple had no idea that we were having a sale. They hadn’t paid attention to the community sale ad. They were here to see the gator!

They’d seen someone posting about an alligator in the lagoon behind our house (see my previous blog post and video of when Trapper John removed a rather large gator). They wanted to see this new gator and stopped by after they left church. They were surprised to see a yard sale going on, and on impulse decided to see what I was selling. So, they left church and then spontaneously ended up at my sale where they bought the exact item I wanted them to buy! They were SENT to me!

EDIT: Forgot to mention, it was this purchase that put us over our goal! We’ve since done the math and we verified that the yard sale will fund the entire move (the cost of two moving pods and a small rental truck for last minute items such as bed mattresses)! We exceeded our goal, meeting our “stretch” goal. The initial goal was to fund at least one pod. Middle goal was both pods. Stretch goal was the truck as well. We did it all! And I don’t think we could have done it if I hadn’t had all of those garden plants to sell.

This type of thing happens often. Some may think that I manifest what I want, others might say that these things are coincidences and I only notice the times when I ask and receive, and not the many times when I ask and don’t receive. Is it positive energy, fate, random, or God? I pray daily and often, about anything that I’m concerned about, and anything I’m thankful about.

I pray for others. I pray when I hear sirens and I know someone may be having the worst day of their life. I may never know the people involved, or what happened, and that doesn’t matter- I believe that my sincere desire for these people to receive comfort and strength helps them, even if neither they or I will ever know the connection.

I believe that prayer matters and I hope that you do too. Whether it’s about something small or something big, our individual lives matter. We may be just one small human in a large universe, yet we are loved. How about right now I pray for YOU? Whoever you are reading this, right now I am praying that you feel blessed by God, and whatever you are facing in your life, you feel empowered to handle it. Goodnight, dear friends.

Thankful Anyway

Watch this oil painting “Prayer of Praise” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

It may be hard to feel like this today, a joyful prayerful state of praise. But when we don’t feel joy, be thankful anyway. “Be”, as in the verb, the willful, mindful choice “to be”, an action. We may not feel thankful emotionally, but we can choose to BE thankful. We can choose the intentional act of gratitude. Sometimes that’s the best we can do. It may be impossible to feel thankful when we are struggling with hardships, anxiety, worry, grief, anger, or fear.

But if we commit to the action of thankfulness, we may be surprised at how our action affects us. Even when our hearts are weary and our minds are stubbornly clinging to depressing thoughts, picking at all of the worst case scenarios until we’ve convinced ourselves that this world is dark and hopeless, standing in gratitude can lift our spirits despite our emotions and our circumstances. Being blessed with one more day on this planet is a gift that so many others didn’t have today. Why us?

We are here for a reason. We have a destiny to fulfill. We are chosen for this time, we are special, and we are loved by God. When we believe these things, it is easier to feel thankful even if we can’t quite reach “prayerful praise” in the moment. Gratitude for what we do have, for our loved ones, for the life we’ve lived, and for our very breath can outlast any hardship, loss, or fear. And one day, we will stand before the spiritual ocean once again, feel the salty breeze upon our skin, and the sun on our face, and we shall feel joy. Until that day, may we be thankful even when we don’t think we can be.