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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 4 comments

Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, always one foot in front of the other, I've climbed the steps leading to the family room and bedrooms upstairs.  It feels like I've probably done that a million times during the twenty years I've lived here with Bob.  But this particular day, I looked down at my feet as they reached the landing and something caught my eye.  

Or rather, the lack of something.

The patch of carpet beneath my feet was threadbare from thirty years of hard service, for every set of feet - small and large, slow and fast - landed in this very spot before heading right or left towards their final destination.  

And I started thinking, "Maybe it's time to replace the carpet."  I had lots of reasons to:

- It was old, as old as the house itself.  Older than most of our children.  30 years old.

- It was worn.  30 years of traffic has taken its toll.

- It was well beyond the industry recommendation of replacing it every 5-10 years.  (Of course, those recommending this are those wanting to sell me the new...)

- It was (and is) ugly.  I didn't choose it; the house and the carpet came with the husband. I love him, but the carpet? Uh, not so much. 20 years is a long time to live with ugly.

It made perfect sense to replace the carpet, but for some reason God seemed to be saying "No."  Funny, it never occurred to me to ask God (though thankfully I've been improving in this area, thanks to some very painful lessons), yet His message came through loud and clear - "NO NEW CARPET."

Well, all right then.

I wasn't sure why we shouldn't replace the carpeting, but God was very clear that we shouldn't.

He reminded me of a dear neighbor.  (Out in the country, anyone within a 5-mile radius can be claimed as a neighbor, and she was only a mile away - so she was a close neighbor.) She was well into her 80's, the grandmother of a friend of mine and a great example of a woman of faith.  Back when I was struggling physically and very isolated because of my condition, she had time for me.  I remember taking advantage of every opportunity to soak in her wisdom.  During one visit, the subject of her threadbare carpet came up and I remembered her saying, "I just can't see spending money on carpet when there are children starving in Russia."

Then I read the story of Matilda Cobb (1840-1910).  "Matilda had saved her household money, planning to replace their worn out, shabby carpet, which was an embarrassment.  Just as Matilda had decided to purchase a new carpet" appeals came from the mission board "and there was a mental struggle.  Matilda sent her carpet funds to the board, thinking she had made a great sacrifice.  "Not so!" she discovered, for her old, worn carpet had become bright with beautiful lessons. The shabby carpet reminded Matilda that her "little self-denial" was blessing others around the globe. Her carpet had been magically transformed.  In each step Matilda took on her old carpet, she heard the voices of her far away sisters.  Mingling with them, she said, I hear a silvery voice which, like a theme in music, now louder, now soft and low, but ever sustained, ever recurring...it sings: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me." ~ Matthew 25:40
(Excerpt from "Hands, Hearts, and Voices - Women who Followed God's Call.)

I thought, "He must have plans to use the funds elsewhere."  After all, there is such a tremendous need in our village in Kenya, and in so many other places in the world. So I deposited the small inheritance I had received and waited for further direction.

I knew looking at that worn spot every day would drive me crazy if I didn't change my focus, but I've been learning to do just that.  And it worked!  Fast forward a few years, and I barely notice the ugly, shabby carpet anymore.  

Then God did something amazing!

"The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs...and will strengthen your frame." ~ Isaiah 58:11

You see, I've been dealing with a new batch of health issues since the first of the year; a "perfect storm" of sorts. Here it is almost Thanksgiving and things are just now getting sorted out. One of the first discoveries was that my breathing problems were rooted in my being allergic to dust.  Hmmm, how much dust do you think is in 30-year-old carpet...

So here's the amazing part.  I realized that if I had ignored God earlier and replaced my carpet anyway, I would be just sick about ripping it out when it was only 2 years old, and to be honest I probably wouldn't have. But because I listened to God and waited, now we can tear out the old and replace it with hardwood, which doesn't collect dust.  Approximately half of our home had hard floors anyway, so we had only three rooms on the main floor with carpet to replace.  We're just finishing the third room and my breathing has become noticeably easier! 

So, not only did God allow me to get new flooring, but He also improved my health with one fell swoop!  

Father, I thank you for teaching me to trust you and follow your instructions, even when I don't understand.  Thank you for providing for needs I didn't even know I had and allowing me to reap the benefits of obedience!


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4 Responses so far.

  1. Faith says:

    oh thank you for sharing this. I have a similar experience with my vacuum cleaner. I had a Kirby for the last 18 years. I chose it after living in our brand new built for us home. I chose it instead of central air (the cost was nearly the same at the time in 1995). our oldest daughter was 2 and our youngest wasn't born yet. Fast forward to this year.....18 yrs later and.....the kirby is no longer effective, the dealer lives no where near us anymore...i would have to travel across the county to a different city (no big deal with the highways....but the time....!) and it no longer was getting up dust. My husband kept saying NO to investing in a new one. I started just praying. 2 weekends ago he surprised me by agreeing to go grocery shopping (RARE) with me and then GETTING A NEW VACUUM!!!!! I am now enjoying a lighter weight (only 8 lbs) as I have low back issues from time to time...most of the time actually, AND it suctions up dust better as we can't replace our 19 yr old carpeting yet upstairs as we are helping our oldest with tuition at Gordon College. SO.....the Lord in HIs time allowed me to get a new vacuum and now Dave is saying MAYBE to the new carpeting after he sees what his Christmas bonus is. Meanwhile, that new Shark Rocket vacuum is sucking up all the dust in the carpeting and I am breathing better! GOD IS GOOD!!!! (I will pray for you as you deal with your health issues). Happy Sabbath!!

  2. jviola79 says:

    Sp amazing to read how God was giving you guidance for reasons you were not aware. He is so faithful to us! Thank you for sharing this. I visited from Inspire Me Mon. this morning. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. When God says NOT yet, it is amazing that we even listen. This story is such a blessing to remind us to pay attention to that still small voice. Thank you for sharing at 'Tell Me a Story."

  4. caryjo says:

    Listening to the Lord... even when it makes no logical sense... is a huge blessing.. He's told me when to go places and when not to leave and where to turn. Sometimes it doesn't seem that it will make a lot of sense, but I've discovered over and over that He IS BIGGER! In Uganda I sure had to listen often. And now, no matter where, do it often, b/c I know He knows more than I do. Good story, info you shared. Thank you.

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