We buried my grandfather this weekend (pictured above in the center). He was a good, sweet man who worked hard and loved his family. I kept expecting to completely lose it. I expected it when I saw my mom or when we drove past his house or at the viewing or the funeral or the burial or when we drove past his house in the procession. But the truth is I just keep chanting, he’s with Jesus, he’s with Jesus. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism or something but I just keep chanting it. He’s with Jesus. And I get to be there too one day. Jesus is our sure hope. I will miss him and my heart hurts especially for family, no doubt. But Jesus is our peace and comfort. I have felt your prayers so surely this weekend and I so appreciate them.
While we experienced the tragedy of losing our family member, many people experienced a physical storm over the weekend on the East coast. Some are saying they won’t have power for a week. Fourteen are dead at last count.
I do not claim to be the center of attention in either of these tragedies this past week but may I say that in a very minuscule way I got to see a slice of God taking care of me in my Summer of 7 endeavors related to both of them?
In the Clothing
I was in the middle of clothing week when I got the news about my grandfather and I was ready to scrap it, of course, if I needed to dress more appropriate to the occasion. As it turned out though, the viewing was on Friday and the funeral was on Saturday. Friday was my last day of clothing. And I realized that I had my black dress from one of my 7 items. I decided it was appropriate to the occasion and it gave me the ability to keep my commitment to Summer of 7. And more than that, my mom and I decided that any eye makeup was probably pointless so I went makeup-less too.
I picked those items well before we knew this was even a sliver of chance happening and I just can’t help but think God took care of that little, little detail for me when I picked out my 7 items.
In the Spending
I realized I started spending week on Saturday. We had plans to do a little shopping after the funeral on Saturday. We like to go to a few discount stores every time we visit back home and more often than not, I come home with a ton of books from one and clothes from the other–two of the main pain point areas I’d identified in my possessions week–and here I had a huge pitfall ahead making it worse.
We loaded up the car Saturday afternoon to go shopping and I was giving myself pep talks. You don’t need any books. You don’t need any clothes. And I know, know, know, the cause of the storm was not related to me but do you know the entire section of town that housed BOTH of the discount stores was ENTIRELY CLOSED due to a power outage from the storm? I mean, even McDonald’s, Walmart and the entire mall were out. The entire mall. And yes, these two discount stores.
The power outage wasn’t about me at all but it was like a prayer answered in such a unique, specialized way. I mean, what are the chances both stores would be closed on a sunny Saturday before July 4th? Let me tell you, little to zilch. But there they sat with empty parking lots and it was such a relief that it was no longer a temptation. Just writing this it reminds me of this verse:
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
I could have easily insisted that we go shopping before Saturday to make sure I got my spending in—in fact, my sister joked about it—but we didn’t and just at the moment I knew I would be tempted, there was a way out.
So, I finished out clothing and started out spending week with what I felt like was a wink from God. He may not have arranged any of it for me but it felt like he used it to say, I see you. I see your sacrifice and it’s not in vain.
If that is the beginning of spending week, I am looking forward to the rest.