Sunday, August 3, 2008

You Could Learn A Lot From A Stroller.

Hello from Oklahoma City! We arrived here Tuesday, July 22 and I intend to blog soon about our adventures in this lovely city. For now, I wanted to share somewhat of a testimony about God’s goodness. This story revolves around a stroller, which I acknowledge is not important at all in the big scheme of life, but I feel it is worth sharing because of the lessons involved.

I suppose this testimony began back in PA when we were getting rid of most of our possessions. One thing I really wanted to hold on to was a Graco double stroller that a relative picked up for us back in 2005 for only $5. I used the stroller a lot which is why I wanted to keep it. However, it was kind of bulky and since we were trying to get down to the bare minimum, I knew it was not a necessity and gave it away on Freecycle.

Once we settled in Hurst, I started to have an itch for a double stroller again. However, after having one that was only $5 and seeing other good deals in the past, I really had it in my heart to pay no more than $20.

In June, our family went to a midnight madness sale at the local Goodwill where everything was 50 percent off. Dennis immediately spotted a very nice Eddie Bauer double stroller with an infant car seat for only $40 after the discount. This was a great deal, but we had a hard time trying to figure out how to close it and we both agreed it was rather heavy and bulky. I told Dennis that I knew I would use it, but wasn’t sure about how heavy it was and the price. I admit that was a great price, it just wasn’t the $20 or under I was thinking. In the end, I told Dennis to decide and we left without it.

Fast forward to this past Thursday (July 31); after taking the children out by myself a lot lately, I really wanted a double stroller ASAP. I looked online to see how much a brand new double stroller costs at Wal-Mart and the cheapest I saw was around $100. Again, not such a bad deal [and we could afford it], but I just knew I could get a better deal. As I was sitting at the computer thinking about that, I felt I should pray about it. My first thought was, “I’m not praying about a silly stroller. There are people dying in the world – who cares if I get a double stroller?!?” But I just felt an even stronger urge that I should pray and have faith that God would answer. I tear up as I type this because it is all just unbelievable.

So, I prayed a short prayer just telling God that I really didn’t think it was important, however, I really had a desire for a double stroller and I would like to get one for no more than $40, preferably $20. After dinner, I decided to check out the local Salvation Army and Goodwill for our evening outing. I thought for sure I would find a double stroller at one of those stores but I didn't. I was then tempted to buy a $10 single stroller that was much nicer than the old umbrella stroller I’m using, but felt that perhaps I would be lacking faith if I bought it since I specifically prayed for a double stroller.

As I was driving home, I was kind of confused that I did not find a double stroller. I can’t explain it, but I just felt the prayer was going to be answered soon and that perhaps I simply needed a lesson in patience & trusting God.

But, the night wasn’t over yet! Around 9:20 p.m., I looked up Oklahoma City (OKC) classifieds on Google. The first link that appeared was for OKC CraigsList, so I went to it and clicked on “baby + kids.” The second listing which had just posted at 9:10 p.m. was for a 3-year-old sit and stand double stroller for only $20!!!

First, I looked up how far I would have to drive if I would buy the stroller and it was about 20 minutes away. Second, I called the woman who posted it to make sure it was still available and it was! And off the Dunnaville family drove to Midwest City, OK on Friday morning to buy a double stroller for just $20! After my prayer was answered, I thought:

“O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” - Psalm 144:3&4(NIV)

Now onto the more important matters to be taken from this story:

1. A big lesson was patience. I had to be patient by not having a double stroller for about 9 months and I recently regretted not getting the Eddie Bauer stroller back in June but now, I am so glad I waited because the stroller we bought is better than any others I have seen! I never would have imagined I could get a sit and stand stroller so cheap since they cost $180 or above brand new. And it is perfect because the older child doesn’t have to climb in and out of an actual closed-in seat (see pics below) and overall, the stroller is easy to use and is not heavy. So, in being patient, I was blessed with something far better than I ever imagined!

2. THE most important lesson was letting go of something I loved in order to receive something better. I had to let go of the Graco double stroller in order to receive the far greater blessing of a sit and stand stroller. I cannot help but think of the greatest example of letting go of something that we want to hold on to in order to receive something better: Jesus said, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:35). And not only will our life be preserved, but Jesus promised us life abundantly (John 10:10)!

It may be painful to let go, but we have to trust God is faithful and will give us something far greater in return. A stroller is a silly little token, but I know the Living God can do the same with anything in life that we have to let go of. He is truly an awesome God! But of course, we cannot manipulate the Creator; Our hearts must be pure and we must delight ourselves in Him first and foremost if we are to receive the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4).

And just think...if I had bought a brand new stroller, I wouldn’t have this great story to tell. :)

“I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” - Psalm 9:1&2

Moriah would normally sit in the front - but she was napping during the time I took the photos; Josiah and Hannah will take turns in the back. :)