Monday, February 23, 2009

The Curious Case of the Washing Machine

My plan was to sell them. We were moving into a new house and as a house warming gift, my husband's boss gave us a new washer and dryer. Although our old ones had served us well for ten years, they appeared to still have a few more years of dedicated service in them, so I suggested we run an add in the newspaper and sell them and I could use the money to help decorate our new house. It sounded like a great plan to me.

But after some thought my husband said, "No. Let's wait. Someone is going to need them."
So, I put away my thoughts of what wall hangings could be purchased with my earnings and started packing.

Weeks went by and it was time to move. We still hadn't heard of anyone needing a washing machine or a dryer, and not wanting to move them to our new house just so they could sit in the garage, I once again suggested we try selling them. At first Wes agreed--as he knew he would be the one to do the heavy lifting--but after a day he came back and again told me to wait.
So we loaded them into the moving van and unloaded them in our garage where they sat for several months gathering dust and consuming valuable space.

Then one day I was visiting with a neighbor when she happened to mention her washing machine was not working. Into my mind popped a picture of the idle machine in my garage and I hurried home to call my husband at work to tell him what I had learned. He called the family and offered them both the washing machine and the dryer, which they came and took.

Although they didn't need the dryer, my neighbor's sister did. She was a mother of five small children, including a set of twin boys, and had a lot of laundry to dry, however, her dryer was not working well and would often take hours to dry one load.

Grateful for the new dryer, she placed her old one out on the street and called the city for garbage pickup. Before the garbage man could arrive, however, a stranger knocked at her door. He explained he fixed appliances for a living and wondered if he could take her broken dryer. He said his sister was a single mother of small children and didn't have one, so if he could have this one and fix it, they would both be very grateful.

So our neighbor took the washing machine, her sister took the dryer and a stranger took her dryer to help his sister. And all of this happened because my husband followed a prompting to wait. He was right. Someone needed them.

I have learned a lot about sharing from my husband over the years. He had a saying I have come to believe is true. He would say, "If we can't share what we have in our poverty, we won't be willing to share in our wealth."

My sister was a wonderful example of being willing to share in her poverty. When we were first married and literally owned nothing, she was starting off as well. But still wanting to help us out, she gathered up items from her house she did not need and took them to a garage sale where she traded them for things she knew we could use. Out of this trade we got a table, two chairs, a coffee table and a baby blanket. They were all well worn, but they were beautiful to us. And my son still has the baby blanket.

How grateful I was to my husband for his desire to share with others. How grateful I was to my sister who was willing to share as well. And how grateful I am to all the many people over the years who have--- out of both their poverty and their wealth--- shared their belongings, their time, their friendship and their love with us. You have all added great . . . .joy to our journey.


Terri said...

well I certainly think you and Wes are the most generous people that I know! Thanks for all you do!

Becky said...

What a great story! I have been blessed by free washer/dryer sets before and it was so appreciated. I hope you are blessed for your sacrifice!

LdsNana said...

Thank you for sharing your story of "waiting on the Lord" to see what he had in mind for that washer and dryer. Isn't HE amazing!

Emma T said...

I like your husbands comment about how if we aren't willing to share in poverty we won't be willing to share in wealth. I haven't really given that much thought before, but now that I do, I can see how that is true. If we don't help out now because we don't feel we have enough to share, we will probably always find a need for what we have and never feel we have a surplus. I am going to have to give that some more thought.

Jill said...

I like the quotes on the side. I hope that you are doing well!

Heidi Ashworth said...

One can always count on a warm virtual warm fuzzy blanket when visiting your blog!

Lisa said...

I agree with Heidi. I always feel uplifted after reading your posts. Big Thank You! Thats a good man you got there.

Shannon said...

Once again, thanks for your post. We had an unused washer and dryer also. THe washer has found a home and we keep thinking about listing the dryer- we actually have a time or two on Craig's list. Like you, though, the thought keeps coming back to wait. Hope it can be put to such good use as yours.

Brooke G said...

That is a great story, and very inspiring!

The Kurtzeborn Family said...

That washer and dryer story sounds awfully familiar!! I just didn't realize there was so much inspiration behind it :) It's so neat to see the effects of following our promptings! Thanks for sharing :)

Christina said...

What a beautiful post! I love it when things like that happen,