a good trade

I got a new kitchen trash can a few months ago. It was a gift. A Mother’s Day gift, no less.

But it’s not just any trash can. Nope. This one is brushed aluminum, sealed, sleek, and actually beautiful. I mean, it even comes with a warranty! I’ve surely never had a trash can that needed a warranty. That isn’t all, mind you. I even got a huge box of trash bags along with it. Not just the ordinary bags.Nope—these were the brand named stretch trash can bags that come scented with Febreeze. A trash can with a warranty along with Febreeze scented trash bags made for a sweet and unexpected Mother’s Day gift for sure.

And why did I get an absolutely beautiful and deluxe trash can for Mother’s Day? Well, there’s a little story behind it. (There always is, isn’t there? <3)

My son who lives in Raleigh came home for a bit to work remotely here and spend some time with us. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to spend more than a few days at a time together (usually just on holidays), so he took the opportunity to come and work remotely for his company while I worked remotely for my school. We’d switch spots throughout the day just for variety, and laugh about some of the craziness, and bemoan some of the not so great things about working from home. It was such a joy to have him here. I think he enjoyed being here as well.

However, there were certain things he didn’t love–and one of them was my kitchen trashcan. I promise he’s not usually a picky kind of person. I mean, a trash can shouldn’t be something we stress over, right? But it was kind of inconvenient how the lid would get stuck sometimes and coffee grounds would get caught in the groove in the lid and it could get kind of gross. (We were drinking a LOT of coffee during this quarantine thing…)  He didn’t complain about it much, but I was fully aware that he did not like the trash can

So, on Mother’s Day, it was a total gift to have 5 out of our 6 adult ‘kids’ spend the day. I got some sweet mom gifts like candles and lotion. But then in walk Josh and Chase with a huge box. They’re like, “we’re getting rid of this trash can mom.” (I secretly kind of liked my trash can.) I’m like, “OK….” and they replace it with that beautiful brushed aluminum trash can with a 10 year warranty. Made me laugh then, and makes me smile almost daily when I get to use that beautiful oh-so-functional trash can. As a mom of 6 with lots of challenges through the years, well, splurges like that trash can wouldn’t cross my mind. But I’m thinking it means a lot more coming as a gift from my kids… Here’s a photo of that day–see the trash can on the right?! 🙂

Mother’s Day 2020 —see the old traded in trash can in the top right of the photo?! 🙂

So here’s the thing. Sometimes, we are so fine with that metaphorical cheap and messy trash can when there’s something waiting in the wings that is so much better. But we’ve gotta give it up. We’ve gotta put that trash can outside and let it end up where it will in order to make room for something better.

God is in the habit of making good trades. He is.

Sometimes He swoops in and removes things in our lives to help us see our need for Him. Our need can make us lean in to see His grace in oh-so-tangible ways. The gift of His presence can change everything. Sometimes He waits for us to offer up to Him our sorrows and as we lay those sorrows at the throne of grace, we realize the burden is lifted and we are given the gift of peace. The Bible talks about peace that passes understanding. As we bring our uncertainties to Him, He can give us gifts that we never saw coming.

In Isaiah 61, it talks about good trades. The verse talks about giving liberty to captives, freedom to prisoners, comfort for those who mourn. It talks about gladness instead of mourning, praise instead of fainting. This one is my favorite– that we will be called “oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.” Sometimes the way to be a big tall tree of strength is to run to God with our weakness. That can be kind of a tough pill to swallow sometimes. I mean, so often I just want to be strong on my own. But who am I to think that my strength, my fortitude, my tenacity can even compare with that of the God of the Universe? Paul said it best when he said, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Yeah, He says to bring our weakness to Him, and He will give us His strength.

That’s a good trade for sure.

So today, in this CRA-ZY world, I am leaning in to His grace. I’m trading my sorrows (and I have my list for sure) and asking Him for His peace and joy. I’m trading weakness for His strength, my fears for His affirmations, and my tired heart for a spirit of praise and gratitude for not only what He has done and will do, but for who He is in the midst of it all.

I’m thinking these are good trades for sure. And His gifts? They go way beyond the ten year warranty. They even go way beyond a Lifetime Warranty. He gives those who call upon His name an eternal seal and guarantee of His Presence and love that none can take away. So, friend, my little encouragement today is that it’s always a good trade when you bring things to the throne of grace. Always. May we bring our cares and hopes to Him and anticipate with hope what He’s going to give in return. Yes, I think it’s always a good trade, when we cast our cares on Him. As I Peter 5:7 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord for He cares for you.” My prayer today for you, for me is that as we bring our cares to Him, we catch a glimpse of His love, His care for us. ❤

Praying that God encourages your heart today ❤

Blessings ~

Heather

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified

Isaiah 61:1-3

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