I went to the mall with a friend a week or so ago and it was kind of a strange experience for me. She was looking at clothes for her children... doesn't sound so strange to most but we have almost never bought clothes for our children! Honest! A quick reminder, my children are almost 13,10,7,5 and 1 and yes you heard right... I don't buy them clothes!
If you think they are running around naked, I assure you they are not :0) This is an area in our lives the Lord has provided abundantly. When our oldest was born my mom did childcare for a family with only one little boy. They were very well off and decided to just give me all of their sons clothes he outgrew. I remember holding my 3 month old son sorting through 3T clothes thinking he'd NEVER be that big! That was the beginning and really since then people we know and sometimes people we don't know will give us clothes! It has been amazing to see how God provides.
I have bought clothes for my boys twice that I remember. Once Carter needed all new fall clothes and once he and Caleb needed some summer things. I have bought a suit for a wedding for one boy, we've picked up a cute dress for Hannah once and I bought a special birthday onsie and dress for my youngest. That is all I have ever bought new besides socks and unders and occasional sleep pants for the boys. I do love "thrifting" and going to area mission thrift stores or Goodwill and finding a deal. I found an adorable Christmas dress for Addison this year for 99 cents! But really everything we've ever needed has been provided. Grandma will pick up deals, Nana will go to garage sales or clothes just show up from someone!
Last fall was amazing. I had told Paul we needed quite a bit for baby Addison as she was not the same size/season as Hannah was and within three days my cousin offered me up more clothes than any one girl ever needed without our ever mentioning the need! This year I was starting to stress over Carter growing so much/fast (he's grown 7 1/2 inches this year!) and we visited our friends Pam and Mark who have two older boys. When I mentioned how fast he was growing and that I needed to go find super skinny but long jeans she started grinning and brought me to the closet of her youngest son who happened to recently outgrow that exact size. I left with a huge bag of pants and shirts for him! God has even provided when we don't need it!! This winter Hannah decided she "needed" "new" clothes. She really had no NEED just a girly desire! Then a new friend from the boys Lego class asked if we'd like her daughter's hand me downs! Another big bag full of great clothes and Hannah was in heaven!
I totally don't mind having this provided because I'm not a big shopper. Honestly I'd probably faint if I had to buy a whole new wardrobe for my kids! My kids don't even think about going to a store for clothes. Shopping for them is sorting through bags of clothes given. Hannah went shopping this fall at the age of 5 for the first time ever. It was the first time anyone had taken her to a store to look at or buy clothes. My mom blessed her with the opportunity to pick out one special outfit. She was so excited and I don't think my mom believed me that she had really NEVER done that!
When I see a need I pray and it is provided. Isn't that crazy? I mean it's not but it is... I just ask and receive! I don't always think of that in life. If we need a new car I'll stress and we start looking at vehicles. If we need something I often look to myself to figure it out. I'm learning slowly but surely. Sometimes, as a single income family with 5 children the only choice is to pray! I am always amazed and then ashamed that I'm amazed- God always provides!
Some days I just want to shout from the roof tops "I LOVE MY LORD!!! HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT HE DOES? HAVE YOU HEARD WHAT HE DID? HE LOVES ME! OH, HOW HE LOVES ME!" How do we possibly put into words how awesome God the Creator and Christ our Savior is? Impossible!