Birthday Provisions

Once again I’m sitting in front of this crazy laptop with a heart that’s just overflowing with joy and happiness. I stand amazed at the Lord’s goodness. His continuous loving care far exceeds my wildest dreams. Oh how humble I feel tonight as I’m typing. The LORD is simply too good to me. To be such a woman and yet not only does He love me but He . . . would it sounds strange to use the phrase “He spoils me rotten”?

My birthday began yesterday with my co-worker Andrea giving me a card and money along with strict orders to “buy something for yourself”. Like most single moms, my needs are always the absolute last to be met. So it was exciting, because you see I’ve only had one new piece of clothing in over a year and a half – my wardrobe is sadly lacking…contrary to popular belief, clothes truly do only last so long. But now I was set, I had spending money and orders to spend it on clothes.

Of course, what Andrea didn’t know is that for several weeks now I’ve stood in my bedroom morning after morning as I get ready for work praying “LORD, I need some new work clothes, it’s been a long time LORD and I’m now in the “need” category”. How many times have I prayed that, knowing full well that my budget doesn’t (and isn’t going to) allow for new clothing. The next “extra” that will be purchased will be a new pair of sneakers for Mark Jr.

But guess what! My God is bigger than my budget!!!!! And because I knew this gift was actually a direct provision from my Father, I knew that I’d find something, not only find it but find it on sale. I’d be able to stretttttttttch that birthday money.

Of course I couldn’t get to the store fast enough last night. Now I’m a big girl. A really big girl, so there are only three stores I can shop at locally. So it’s hard for me to find clothes in my size and when you toss in the need for it to be modest as well it’s just about nigh on impossible to find something. So I can honestly say that I was probably more excited about seeing what GOD would have there on the rack for me than I was at the thought of getting something new. (did that make sense?) And how exciting that I would have something new to wear on Mother’s Day.

So imagine my heartache when I walked out of the store an hour later without a single item. I was stunned, I just couldn’t understand. Why LORD, Why? Was I missing what HE wanted me to do with the birthday money? I couldn’t think of anything else that I needed to spend it on, and Andrea had said that it was for “me”. I had prayed for clothes, I had shopped at the cheapest store. So why LORD? But as I was walking to the van all I could think was that HE must have something better for me. Maybe I should come home and jump online and try to order something. Yeah, maybe that was it. So even though I was disappointed I wouldn’t have anything for Mother’s Day, I guess I’d just have to order something online.

But this morning I couldn’t help but think of all the times the LORD has not only met my needs but also all those times HE’s given me the little extras . . . like a new dress for Mother’s Day. And I wanted a new outfit for Mother’s Day!!! Say I’m crazy, but I just *knew* that I was supposed to have something for tomorrow, so away I went to the most expensive shop for big women around here – Catherines. NEVER, NEVER would I purchase anything off the regular rack in that store cause it’s just too pricey, but I have had great luck in the past with their clearance racks. Catherine’s clearance rack prices are my “normal” prices, but I really wanted to give it a try.

As Mark Jr and I pulled into the parking lot, I simply said “LORD, please help me find something here”.

I’m sure you know where this story is leading.

Not only were there blouses on the clearance rack in my size, but there was a big old sign that read “additional 25% off the clearance price”. Now so many times in my life, because of my size, I just have to buy whatever fits that’s within my price range rather I like it or not. But that was NOT the case today. Ohhhh no, not today. You see, today the LORD was in control of Catherine’s and I saw something I’ve never seen before, and I mean NEVER. Today, I had SIX blouses to choose from. Six that were my size, six that were within my price range, six that were modest, six that I loved. . . SIX . . . I actually had to stand there and choose which ones I wanted to purchase. And with the additional 25% off, I was going to be able to purchase THREE of the six.

So the LORD took my prayers, followed up with Andrea’s obedience (oh, did I mention that she’s a Christian and we’ve worked together for four years and she’s never given me a gift like this before?), and then the same JESUS who fed the five thousand took Andrea’s gift and multiplied it to clothe His daughter Marlene.

My heart is so full tonight. I know to many this little story may sound strange or just be another sweet little story, but to me it was as if JESUS Himself handed me $40.00 and said “Marlene, let’s go shopping, your clothes are ragged and torn and today I’m meeting your needs”


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