Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Learning to Enjoy the Journey, YARD SALE STYLE.

We have been walking this road of adoption for 1 year and 8 months, however for those who have known us and our hearts its been much longer than that.
Our actual journey began in 2006 when we were living in Florida. That was the first time we filled out an application to adopt and even hosted our first adoption yard sale. More about that later.
As our life took different twists and turns and we went down roads that were not at all part of God's plan our adoption journey was put on the back burner and as months turned into years I wondered if our dream was dead.
I remember specific conversations with friends (one in particular in '09) where they asked "at any point will you be too old for this if you don't get started soon?" It made me question again, was our dream dead?
But now I realize after all the little bumps along the way the dream was never dead, it just wasn't time yet. And even now I see all the amazing lessons God has taught me. I don't like pain and discomfort, yet if I ultimately want to see God be glorified in my life there are going to be things He will have to work out in me.

The most amazing thing to me is that all these lessons I've been learning throughout this adoption are not specific to adoption, but life in general. DUH!
The biggest most amazing lesson I recently learned happened in the weeks leading up to the most EPIC yard sale in Maciaszek history.

In March 2010, we were most fortunate to meet several other adoptive parents when we attended our adoption classes. Two families in particular we connected with were Reade and Mollie and Tracey and Jason.
Reade and Mollie only live 2 hours from us and we "clicked" with them and the relationship has come naturally. A year ago they hosted their second adoption yard sale to aid in bringing home their little guy, Aaron. He came home in February. My friend Laurie and I went out there to help with the sale and it was like nothing I had ever seen in my life. Tables lined their road and into their cul-de-sac and they actually had a "pay here tent". There was so much stuff it was hard to know even where to start when they rolled up the garage door that morning. And all the while before and after the sale Mollie kept saying "you know Rachel, you're next for a yard sale like this" and I would blow her off time and time again with "NO WAY!!!!" For some reason it just didn't seem like I could make something like that work. Not to mention, I'm way too lazy to work that hard. But then we changed agency's, suddenly more money would be needed so I went to work cleaning out my own house and suddenly I was having a yard sale. The first date we picked was in September and about 2 weeks from that date I had a mini meltdown and cancelled the sale. It wasn't the right time.
But a couple of weeks passed and more and more things began to pile up in my house (I don't have a garage to store anything), my neighbor caught wind of the sale and began bringing over bags and bags of stuff. So, I began to pray. "Lord, let this yard sale be about you and what you're doing. I have no idea what to do or even where to begin but you already know so I pray that you will do it YOUR way." A couple of days later I talked to Brian and we picked a date. Randomly for us but not for God. He knew exactly what He was doing. It was three weeks away and we still had only 1/2 a room full of stuff and no where to host it. So, I prayed.
One morning I sent out a bunch of texts to friends and asked if they had any donations because we would love to pick them up and would they please spread the word. My friend Lyn text back and said "well I don't have anything but if you would like to have your sale here you are more than welcome. And also, we have a garage that is near empty so you could begin storing stuff anytime you want." SERIOUSLY?!!!! Now don't tell me God doesn't care about the little things. I was amazed.
Then in the 2 weeks leading up to the sale the boys were out of school because we chose a year round schedule and that just "happened" to be when they were off. Nothing is coincidence. God knew the schedule!
So the collecting began, and went on all the way up to the day of the sale. And it was spectacular!!! We filled Lyn's garage so full it almost wouldn't close.

I spent almost every night until the day of the sale pricing and organizing and I had lots of help. 
It was tiring and at times overwhelming but then one night driving home it hit me. ENJOY THIS! This isn't something to "gotten through". This is all part of the journey. Choose to enjoy this part also. So I did. I chose joy in going around picking up stuff people had for us. I chose joy going from business to business asking them to hang our fliers. I chose joy in relentlessly posting on facebook and annoying the heck out of everyone. :0) I chose joy in organizing and pricing endless items, some of which would never sell no matter how many yard sales they were in. 
Then it was Saturday morning, the beginning of the end of this part of the journey and it was bitter sweet. 
It was 4:50am as we headed out to Lyn's and I chose joy. We set up and they began coming. They never stopped until 11am. It was the most amazing sight. The greatest thing I saw that I was unable to get a picture of were the people with head lamps on. It was so dark but they weren't about to miss a great deal. It was hilarious. I've wondered since if some of them got their stuff home, looked at it in the light and thought what a bunch of crap. HAHA!!

Our flyer designed by our good friend Tonya.

 Just some of our amazing assistants.

 Our signs, ready to be planted.

 Jeff getting more signs ready.

Lyn and Kerri cleaning out a microwave so we could sell it.

The night before, we are ready.

Aubrey and I the morning of. See the joy. Its scary, but its there. 

The day. I didn't get as many pics as I was too busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

The pay tent. At one point there were 4 of them running it b/c the line was so long. 

My amazing friend Jennifer was in charge of the pay tent and she rocked it out!!!

Little Hayzl (this is the baby I keep) and her mom, dad and brother stopped by too. Love the ear muffs. 

Our beautiful and amazing friend Mollie (Reade was home keeping those cute boys) who drove 2 hours to help us. We love you Mollie!

And finally, our sign. Designed by Mollie and laminated by Jennifer. This will hang in Grace's room as a reminder of all the people who helped to bring her home. 

The lesson here is for you, or me, for anyone on any journey, and lets face it that's what life is. 
Choose joy. Choose to enjoy where you are right now, even if its hard. God never promised us happiness but He did promise that the JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH!!!!! But we have to CHOOSE because He never forces Himself on His people.