We've been trying hard to "live within our means," so we've been carefully tracking our budget. Last week we ran out of gas, milk and just about everything edible in the house a couple days before pay day. To make things stretch, we walked to more places and we ate weird food storage-y items. We scrounged for change in the couch, etc. to find seven dollars to put gas in the van for the last day.
We were down to the last 2 diapers. I ransacked the car, all diaper bags, my purse, etc. but turned up nothing. With one more day to go, I was wondering if I should go door to door asking for diaper donations. That night we put the last two diapers on the two babies for bed. It was late, like 9:00 and we were ready for family prayer. Suddenly there came a knock at the door.
It was the ward clerk! For some odd reason he came over at that hour to bring us a reimbursement check for some Scout stuff my husband had bought. Weird. Usually they would just want until Sunday to give that to us. The check was for over $100. As we knelt for family prayer, I told the children that it was a miracle. The Lord had seen our obedience, our sacrifice. Although we weren't going to make it another day with no money, He saw our need and swooped in to fill the gaps. What a tender mercy!
Despite the lateness of the hour, John looked at me and said, "go get milk and diapers and put gas in the car!" I did so happily, grateful for the love I felt and for the lesson we all had learned.
Similarly, I recently started worrying that I needed to be signing our soon -to- be four year old up for preschool somewhere. He is very intelligent. He already knows most of his letters and I can see that he needs the extra challenge. However, as I researched, I discovered that such a thing would not be in our budget.
The very next day I got a strange call. My other children's elementary school called and said that a certain woman (the mother of another child there) wanted to speak to me and left her number with the school (since we had recently moved and switched phone numbers, she didn't know how else to reach me). Although I know this woman well and admire her, I have never spent much time with her, other than casual conversations at school functions. I was curious to know why she wanted to speak with me.
I called her back, but left a message. She called me, but I couldn't talk just then. As a busy mother herself, the two of us played phone tag for days. Finally I saw her at a school event. I apologized for not getting through to her, but she said it was fine and then explained her reason for calling me.
This sweet woman has a large family too. Last year, the unthinkable occurred. Her bright-eyed, toe-headed toddler, about four at the time, had been accidentally run over and killed by an extended family member in their own driveway.
Of course the whole family was devastated. But they were also enfolded in the arms of the Savior's love as they bravely soldiered on. As part of the healing process for them, they decided to generously set up a "scholarship" at the preschool their son had attended and loved. She was calling to offer that scholarship to me.
I was flabbergasted to say the least. I hadn't told anyone that I was investigating preschools, not even my husband. Furthermore, since we had moved, I had not been around the elementary school much and had not seen this woman for months! Why she thought of me I'll never know. But she explained that she had awakened in the night on more than one occasion with my name coming to her. I humbly and gratefully accepted her unbelievable offer.
I don't always understand the Lord's will or His timing, but I do know that He keeps His promises. And for us, at this time as we struggle to raise nine children on a budget, we know that He has truly multiplied our meager efforts and showered us with tender mercies.
Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may be bmeat in mine house, and cprove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.