Just so you know, my prayers don’t typically begin with “Dear Lord.” They are usually just deep thoughts directed… out there. And often, I receive a suspiciously coincidental cosmic response, like when after I quit my job earlier in the year and I was all, “WTF am I gonna do with all this free time???” and I was super perplexed and contemplative about it and like two days later I found a truckload of furniture on the side of the road just begging to be refinished. And I was like, “Uhhh… Okay.” God knows I can’t stand to see perfectly useable furniture go to the dump. And that I had a sander, scraper, stain, and polyurethane in my garage. He put that ugly armoire (and two tables and a set of chairs) directly in the path of exactly the right person.
I didn’t know why I was supposed to refinish all that furniture, but I just felt like I should. Like I was meant to. So I did. With the help of my new neighbor Kim, who I didn’t know very well at the time, other than to know that she was really strong in spite of being tiny (Tae Kwon Do expert and aerobics instructor), so I called her to help me get the armoire off the street. And she did. Because, although I didn’t know it at the time, she will do pretty much anything to help anyone, because that’s just the kind of person she is.
So there I was wondering why (if?) God put this peculiar money-making venture in my path, and thinking, “If God wants me to make money being a furniture-refinisher, isn’t that kind of materialistic? God doesn’t care if I have money, does he? What’s the point? Am I supposed to donate or tithe the money I make?” But I didn’t want to donate or tithe the money; I wanted to keep it. Put it in the kids’ college fund or something. I was conflicted.
But Kim and I got down to business anyway, scraping, stripping, and sanding, day after day, for weeks. There were so many layers of paint on that armoire – it was a very labor-intensive and time-consuming job. Wiping thick beads of sweat from our brows (Summer in Florida, hello), we talked for hours through our dust masks, which were very important for Kim to wear because she is allergic to everything. Like the kid from My Girl. “…EVERYTHING.”
Kim also wore special rubber gloves when we applied the harsh chemical stripper, because she didn’t want to ruin the tattoo on her wrist. The tattoo bears the name “Elijah,” along with a Bible verse. Elijah is the name of the baby boy she lost when she was four months pregnant, I discovered as we scraped and sanded. She told me about the blood-clotting disorder she has that makes it extremely difficult for her to carry a baby to term. She and her husband Joel were lucky to have their first child, a healthy little girl named Rose, who is now seven years old, and is best friends with my son Lucas.
They got pregnant again after the loss of Elijah, but this time Kim lost the baby early on. It was fortunate that Kim’s friend was nearby when the bleeding started, so she was able to quickly spirit away little Rose before she could witness her mother hemorrhaging blood all over the bathroom floor. And that Joel was around too, so that he could speed Kim to the hospital before she bled to death.
|Seriously, could they BE any cuter??|
Just soak that in for a minute.
Did I mention adoption is expensive? Like, $30,000 expensive? I’m always amazed at how any idiot with a uterus can get accidentally knocked up, maybe have an abortion, or maybe not – perhaps slop through pregnancy, then raise the kid in filth and poverty, resenting the kid the whole time they’re raising him, barely even trying to be a decent parent… it happens every day.
And then you have people like Kim, amazing people who will work and scrub and slave in the dust of a stupid poop-colored armoire that was thrown out on the curb, even though they have horrible allergies and hate doing “those kinds” of projects – just because a friend asked them to. People who are selfless, incredible parents, as Kim and Joel are, who beg and hope and pray every day that they could receive the small, every-day normal-people blessing of having a baby, a little sibling for their only child. And for some people it’s just one baby. Any baby. Kim says that if they never have the opportunity to have another baby, she knows she has already been blessed more than she “deserves” to be – because of their little girl. I know she means it, but I know there’s a hole there, too… she has always dreamt of having four kids…
Kim and Joel are renting a space at their church’s yard sale and are planning to put the proceeds toward their adoption fund. Of course I’m giving her the armoire (which turned out amazing, by the way). I’ve had it posted on Craigslist for some time but it hasn’t sold yet. I had already been feeling the nudge to give it to Kim, but I wasn’t sure if the Hubs would be okay with it, since he knows how much work I put into it, and plus he can be weird about stuff like that. But then a few days ago after work, while coming up for air between shoveling giant bites of food into his mouth, he said off-handedly, “We should give Kim and Joel the armoire for that yard-sale thing they’re doing. And maybe the kitchen table too.”
|Nice, huh? It used to be POOP BROWN.|
I believe in God. I believe he’s there, listening, speaking… to my heart (See? BARF… I should start wearing headbands), and if I’m listening and paying attention I’ll hear that whisper… I’ll notice how this little thing leads to that little thing, and how a bunch of little things can lead up to a big thing. How things that seem like unlikely coincidences are not coincidences at all.
I see it happening… do you see it happening?
I feel like maybe I should try to pick up some Korean.
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