It was a strange thing to see an ad for drapery fabric in the classifieds of the farm newspaper I'd worked for before I had children. But there it was. And I thought it might just be what I was after.
This house we lived in, a 723 sq. ft. "fixer upper", had been alternately our pride and joy or our grief and misery.
|Little House in the Big Woods|
It needed a lot of work. Monsieur's work stresses combined with a shortage of funds since I had quit my job to raise our children at home, meant that progress in transforming it into my House of Dreams was slow.
I had been longing for something lighter and more elegant than the dark brown drapes and "stale oatmeal" (so named by Monsieur) wall colour in the living room. The only large window was also shaded by an exterior awning and it all translated into a darkly oppressive room. "Let there be light," I prayed.
Now the awning was gone and with fresh cream paint and white trim, the curtains were the only throwback to the Dark Ages (i.e. The Seventies). I had in mind a double set of cream sheers, one outer set pulled back while the other set remained closed to filter light.
Yet I had only $100 saved. In stores, my dream drapes were far beyond that meager budget. So I figured I'd make them myself. Unfortunately the fabric was also beyond my means.
So when I saw the ad, I called. I asked what the fabric was like. The lady countered by asking what I wanted. I briefly described my hopes, fearing all the while that I was getting in deeper than I had funds for. She responded by saying she would come to my home and do some measuring.
Now I was really in for it! I had intended to make my own. I could only imagine what she would charge and I knew custom made couldn't possibly be cheaper than even the up-scale stores I had checked. But before I knew it, she'd arranged a consultation.
When she arrived, it was a round, cheerful, sixtyish fairy with long white hair that stood at my door. She cooed over my newborn and chatted amiably with my little boy. We quickly learned, in the way fellow believers do, that we were both Christians. She didn't do much measuring but said she could make up what I wanted in not too much time.
I had to be forthright. "I only have $100 to spend," I confessed. She said not to worry, it would all work out. That troubled me. She soon left, but not before giving me some advice. "If you want a baby girl next time," she told me, "be sure to get pregnant right after your period when the blood is rich." It had all the makings of a fairy-tale.
Less than two weeks later, the lady's husband delivered a bag to our door, I paid him the $100 which he insisted was quite enough and he left without ceremony.
When I opened the bag, there were these beautiful, high-quality, perfectly, professionally-sewn pinch pleat drapes. Both sets had a beautiful Cornelli (embroidered) hem which I had long before ruled out as unnecessary extravagance.
I almost wept.
I never saw or heard from that woman again and I knew beyond a doubt that her labour alone was worth much more than $100.
I knew, too, that God cares for me. He cares about beauty. And He cared about a young mother trying to feather her nest in an attractive way. But more than anything, I saw that He delights to delight in me!
"For the Lord delights in you" Isaiah 62:4
That He should care about such inconsequential details -- "His eye is on the sparrow..." -- and provide so "exceedingly abundantly above all [I] ask or think" -- Oh how I praised Him!
And I've never forgotten it. I praise Him now.