Are you buying school supplies? I am.
And yearbooks, and lunch fees, and tennis shoes because all of my kid’s feet have grown, and fees for clubs, and band, and everything else in the world. I’ve joked a few times that I feel like I’m bleeding money at the start of school, and I know many of you feel the same way.
However, when I said it to my mom, she reminded me of a story from my childhood, and I knew I had to share it.
When I was nine years old, we lived in a rental house in the mid-cities area in between Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas. My family moved to America as missionaries when I was seven, and although we knew that God had called us here, those first years in a strange land were challenging, desperate, and required a level of faith and courage that inspired miracles.
My fourth-grade year, we saw more miracles than usual, probably because of our desperate need. My dad traveled a lot, preaching at churches all over the United States, but as in many industries, there are busy seasons and slow seasons. If you happen to be self-employed, you probably already know that the end of summer is a SLOW season. Everyone goes on vacation and forgets to pay and drags their feet with projects and phone calls. They are probably all doing the same thing you are doing and frantically purchasing school supplies and running a million errands.
For whatever the reason, finances had been very tight that summer and my brother and I needed school supplies to start school the next day. As my mom tells it, she and my dad joined hands with us kids around our dinner table that night, and we prayed. I don’t have a memory of that, but I remember what came next. We took the Covenant Meal where we remembered the faithfulness of God and reminded God of the promises He had made to us. If you have no idea what that is, please go and listen to my dad’s free teaching series. It won’t cost you a thing, and it will change your entire perspective. I added the link above for your convenience. You’re welcome 😉
While we were still sitting at the table, a neighbor knocked at our front door with a piece of our mail that had ended up in his mail box.
“Did you know that there is wadded-up money all over your front porch?” he said in bewilderment as we opened the door.
I remember this part because, sure enough, there were scrunched up twenty dollar bills all over our front door step. I don’t have words to explain that money because to this day we have no idea how the money got there or who put it there. For my family, it was a miracle. We asked our Heavenly Father for his provision, and He answered our urgent need. That image of extravagant provision is forever in my brain. I would never, ever give money that way. What if the wind blew it away? But the image of it has stayed with me all of these years. Wadded up money landing on our doorstep. It felt like an “only God” moment.
I probably have over a hundred stories like this one where we saw the dramatic, incredible faithfulness of our God throughout my childhood. My parents would tell us, very simply and without fear, of the need and then we would all look to our Heavenly Father for provision. However, the school supply story seems especially appropriate right now as many of you may be in the same position.
Do you need school supplies? Listen to the message on the Covenant Meal. Remember God’s promises and tell Him of your need. He loves faith, and I think He especially loves meeting the needs of children.
And whatever your need or maybe even abundance, pray about who you can give school supplies to this year. If you’re waiting in line, consider blessing the person in line behind you. It’s a tough time of year for many financially, and your act of kindness could be the miracle that their kids remember as the faithfulness of God. Buy a pair of shoes for a kid at the end of summer. I promise you, they all need them. Buy an extra backpack and pray about who to give it to.
My husband and I have been watching the “Kindness Diaries” on Netflix and the moments I love the most from this man’s travels are the moments when he gives back. He sees a need and meets it with generosity, and the look on people’s faces makes me cry every time. What a complete joy it is to give, no matter how small the gift, maybe just a crumpled $20 bill to the mom in the doctor’s office, or at the grocery store.
Have eyes to see, a heart to listen, and faith to ask. Whether in need or abundance, the beginning of school is the perfect time to be part of a miracle. One act of someone’s kindness towards my family is still inspiring my faith today. Matt and I are not alone in this journey. Our heavenly Father knows our needs, and let me tell you; He really likes being included in back to school shopping. He cares about your kids. He cares about your needs. He even cares about school supplies.