Monday, May 12, 2008

An incredible Mother's Day gift

I had forgotten about the 6-year-old's wedding clothes. Too bad his seersucker trousers were suddenly 2 inches too short.

He's outgrown the age of linen short pants, yet he's still too young for a mini man suit. Nevermind affordable--what would be appropriate for a tropical wedding?

A little free advice never hurt.

After a Mother's Day lunch at Panera, we dusted off the crumbs and headed into the land of gleaming brass stair rails and crisply folded shirts.

The Brooks Brothers salesman suggested white linen trousers, polo shirt, and the classic navy blazer. (See catalog image at right.)

So we gamely tried on the blazer. $189, but oh, how it fit. My heart swelled. My little boy, now a young man!

All the way home I prayed about the best way to get that Brooks Brothers jacket. Should I head straight to Goodwill, or log on to Ebay? Should I break down and buy it new?

I felt a tugging in the back of my mind. Hadn't I bought a navy blazer at the church rummage sale last year? But surely it was a size 10 or 12; in November, it had hung off his shoulders like a scarecrow.

I pulled down the box at the tiptop of the closet. There at the bottom was the very same size 8, Brooks Brothers blazer that we had tried in the store.

No one in the house could understand why I was crying.

81 comments:

Monica said...

Oh Meredith, your story gave me chills! How wonderful!

Laura said...

I love it! What a blessing from the Lord - and way ahead of time! You just didn't know it. :)

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

I love that, Meredith! God provides and you keep on looking for the bargains. What a neat story to tell your son when he gets older.

Rhoda

Domestic Accident said...

Wow, Meredith, talk about answered prayers!

Ewokgirl said...

Oh, bless your heart! I'd be crying, too! That is nothing short of divine intervention. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Anonymous said...

Meredith,
Do you have a "baby book" or journal where you write these things down? A "book of rememberance" is in order here! This is not to forget!!
A blessing indeed.
Mrs. L.

Ernestine said...

Meredith
I could not help but respond.
Tears in my eyes.
God is so good.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely reminder that God answers prayers--sometimes before we even know we have the need.
Sara

Anonymous said...

Meredith,

I'm so glad I'm not the only mom who appreciates the miracles that God sends my way almost daily. He really does delight in pleasing us.

I usually find something miraculous at our church thrift store and the other day prayed for "my miracle" as I entered. I had one small thrill, but couldn't classify it as supernatural.

Afterward, I met my friends for lunch and when I went to the bathroom a young woman looked down at my shoes and made a comment that we both like to wear little footie sock with our flat shoes. She raved about her brand and how they never slip down. I agreed, but commented how hard it is for me to get to a store that sells them and joked that if I can't find something at the grocery store I usually have to do without.

Later, she stopped by my table with a brand new pair in their wrapper - which she had "mysteriously" found in her purse. She dropped them in my lap, smiled and said, "Happy Mother's Day" and walked off. My two friends looked at me and asked what just happened. I told them, but knew in reality it was my little miracle for the day.

Heather

Diane said...

God is so incredibly good. We strive to honor Him, and He blesses beyond measure.

Chinamama4 said...

I just LOVE stories like this! God is faithful, even in the "little" things!

Angela said...

Wow that is unbelievably amazing. I'm so happy for this blessing!

mummymac said...

classic!

Jenni said...

Wow! Isn't God a wonderful husband? A couple years ago, I was wishing for some cute little striped toe socks in fall colors - I thought they would be the perfect fall accessory, but there's no way I could justify buying them. A week or two later, I went to pick up some clothes from Freecycle. They were all very dated 80's clothes, but on the top of the bag sat a brand new pair of striped, fall-colored toe socks! I thought it was such a sweet, romantic gesture - like Jesus was saying, "No, you don't need them, but I just wanted to make you smile, so I got them for you!" :-D

C said...

That is SO awesome!! :) Yay for you!!

The Mom said...

I understand your tears. God is so good.

Right now, could I ask you to pray for a local man I know (he runs a shoe repair. shop very near our house)

His son was brutally murdered without any reason on Saturday.

He was a "good kid" - not into drugs or gangs or anything; the second youngest of a family of nine.

The parents must be just devastated. No words for it. There is a link to the news story on my blog
www.jhtplus12.blogspot.com

I just would like to beg my "round the world e-friends" to pray for this family.

Jackie said...

Meredith your story was so touching. I just love it when things work out. God works in mysterious ways, He must have known the blazer would be needed.

God bless.

Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

I love stories like this and what a way to show your children how God can provide even in the little things.

Mod Girl said...

You cried, just as I did when an unexpected box of hand-me-down clothes contained all the essentials that I needed (khaki pants, white button-down, dress socks, and even shoes) for my five year old, who had outgrown what we had on hand, to wear in my sister's wedding. We already had a navy blazer and tie; God was so good to complete the ensemble at no cost!

Anonymous said...

God is so awesome! Thanks for sharing your blessing!

Becky said...

That made me cry!

God is SO good!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I just love it when that happens.

It shows us God has everything under control (even a year ahead of time). :)

Kacie said...

What a great story! It just shows that God takes care of even our smallest needs.

TracyMichele said...

What a wonderful story, Meredith. You can add me to the list of women who cried when they read it! I'm rejoicing with you!!

Dirkey said...

So awesome!!
What an answer to prayers! :)

Kimberly said...

Wonderful!!!

I think going to BB for ideas is great. Though I'm still reeling at the idea of a $200 (w/tax) blazer for a child. Hello? Even my wedding dress wasn't that expensive! (Yes, I got a great deal.)

April said...

Beautiful. Thank you for this witness.

Anonymous said...

a hawiian shirt (short sleeve) and kakhi longs and hair slicked back - dont go too formal - jackets and dress shoes for kids is so outdated. The theme of an island wedding is casual elegance.

gracemercyandpeace said...

Isn't that just like Him!

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

Umm...just how many times do you get luck like this? Oh, just about every time.

I really love reading your blog but I'm starting to log on just to see how serendipitous your day has been.

You ALWAYS find the right thing at a thrift store or rummage sale. In fact, moments before you leave for this trip the PERFECT dress that makes you look, oh, so, beautiful will magically appear. I can't wait to hear about that story, too.

Either you are charmed and the rest of us are not or....

Connie said...

Andrew is SO handsome! And that was a delightful story about the blazer...so happy for you.

Janel said...

God is very good.

Meredith said...

No--the boy in the photo is from the Brooks Brothers website--just wanted to show you the look Brooks Brothers suggests.

I think it's just right for this crowd. Kinda Thurston Howell, minus the ascot.

He can wear the blazer for photos and if he gets brave enough to walk down the aisle as the ringbearer.

After that, he can take the jacket off, and be cool and comfortable in a pastel polo shirt and white pants.

The Brooks Brothers salesman suggested plain brown sandals with a closed toe.

Meredith said...

Either you are charmed and the rest of us are not or....

I guess I'm not sure what you are getting at.

I don't believe I'm any more charmed than you.

In fact, that's exactly why I shared the trouble I was having finding a dress for myself. It's NOT always so easy. In fact, it makes me extra grateful for the times when something does practically fall in my lap.

I do think I've acquired a level of skill in picking up things as or just before I need them.

I also believe it helps to be willing to think outside the box with secondhand items.

Did I have a navy blazer in mind to begin with? No. I was looking for another pair of seersucker pants or a cute linen outfit for him. So I'm clearly not "ordering up" something I wanted.

Someone who is not Christian might call it "being open to the universe"--where in my world view, I think of it as something more than coincidence.

Meredith said...

I also share more of the serendipitous finds than I do my struggles wanting something and then not finding it.

It doesn't make for good reading, and it also reinforces the negative feeling of "I can't get what I want."

In my own life I try to gloss over what I do not have and concentrate on appreciating what I do have. Sharing those moments of appreciation here is part of the reason I have this blog.

Anonymous said...

great outfit combo, and isnt it great when we find what we needed, was what we had all the time...did that make sense


i know you are having a bit of a tough time lately....hang in there, i wish i could send you a cyber lemonade a bouquet of wild flowers and let you have an afternoon of distraction...


anyhow, please don't let off colour comments get to you...

i'm guessing your dd has about 20 appropriate dresses...its so easy to dress the girls isnt it...

your situation is exactly why i always pick up a blazer (super cheap ) in consecutive sizes just to have on hand...at 2$ its worth the investment, and i love to hand them down to those who need one desperately....

take care

Celina in canada who's apperantly very long winded this evening

(and congrats on the baby0

Deborah Wright said...

Meredith, you said "in my world view, I think of it as something more than coincidence"

I agree that it's way more than coincidence - it's God. Things falling into place just perfectly are always such wonderful "evidence" to me of how God provides for our EVERY need - no matter how big or how small. How wonderful he is! He had the answer to Andrew's outfit already there - before you even knew what he was going to wear. I love that story, Meredith - and I thank you for sharing such a wonderful testament to how great our Heavenly Father truly is!

Debbie

Deborah Wright said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Darla said...

I love it when God winks!

Kim said...

WOWEEWOWOW!!!!! That is so incredible!! God is good! And you are a gifted buyer, my dear!

Tubo Family said...

Andrew will look gorgeous for sure. Before I had kids I didn't understand the dressing them up for portraits, special occasions but now I do: we all see our children as perfect little miracles and sometimes we really want the world (including perhaps extended family inclined to judge one's lifestyle choices) to see the perfection too and not be distracted by snotty noses or messy clothes. As for world view, I don't think I'll ever understand the idea that Yahweh is helping shoppers find particular bargains, but you know what, I don't need to--it's your spiritual life not mine and I'm just a lucky reader of your blog!

Meredith said...

I know what you mean, Allison.

I'm not entirely comfortable with saying that as a point of doctrine. Otherwise, why are there so many deserving people in need? However, when things like this happen in my own life, neither do I want to write it off as just a coincidence.

Either way, I try to have a grateful heart and give thanks to the God I believe provides all things:

--whether it's by helping me remember something I already had,

--by giving me the talent to find things that my family needs

--or by, as some suggest, taking care of even the little things in a way that is mysterious to me.

Either way, I'm grateful.

Amy G. said...

Chills and awe here, too!

And a beautiful point you made about other traditions calling it "open to the universe." To me, that says God provides for all His children, everywhere, whether they've found him yet or no. I love it, and I'm so glad it's all coming together for you!

pianomomsicle said...

That is so wonderful! Yay Jesus!

Amy said...

That is just wonderful, Meredith. I got a little teary myself just reading it. Great post!

Nancy lilbunny679@yahoo.com said...

Wow!! God rocks!! :) I love these little God-sightings...

Be grateful that your family members didn't want tuxes for the little guys. I was THRILLED last year when my sister-in-law decided against a tux for my son, the ringbearer. They cost the same as adult tuxes to rent - $189, I think, can you believe? She was initially going to have the ushers (of which my husband was one) wear tuxes as well - we would have had to say no to two tux rentals in the family. As it was, hubby and son just rented the ties - significantly cheaper.

Anonymous said...

What a great story-a blessing from the Lord!!
Elise

Meredith said...

Oh, I'm VERY grateful that the children's clothing was left entirely up to me!

I would have had a fit dressing him in a tux. I think little children should be in children's clothing as long as possible, and not imitate adults' formal dress.

That's why I think this schoolboy style blazer is a nice compromise for this age.

CJ said...

Isn't it awesome how God does that? What a blessing! I would have cried too!

Anonymous said...

when God winks...'


i love that saying and will have to steal it....

celina in canada

Susan in Elk Grove, CA said...

My eyes immediately started burning with tears when I got to the end of this post. God is good......all the time. :)

songbirdy said...

I love the beauty of those moments when God lets us know that he's in command by answering our needs far ahead of the point where the need arises!

He does that both here in our privilege world and in the third world countries too. I grew up in Bangladesh and came to Canada when I was 14. I remember one study funded by some government not of B'desh that was trying to develop a way to get healthy clean water to those who couldn't afford to gather enough fuel to boil the water to purity. I remember hearing of all of the methods they tried. It turns out that one of the best methods and nearly the most effective was to have the woman fold her sari (the traditional dress) into several layers and place it tightly over the mouth of her water vessel. This resulted in almost pure uncontaminated water.

The cost? Very minimal as almost every woman there owns such a garment. The benefits? HUGE! Like your moment, it can seem truly insignificant but if we step back and really see we can see the hand of the Author of Life in all of these moments and truly praise him for blessing all of us!

Yes, always share these moments! We all need to be reminded and we all can be encouraged through the 'fellowship of believers!'

*j-u-l-e-s* said...

he provides before we even know we need it. how wonderful. thank you for sharing this story!

Anonymous said...

I cried reading this post, Meredith. It encourages me to keep trusting God for the things we need, too. Now for the rest of the outfit: Do you already have the items suggested by the Brooks Brothers salesman, or will you buy them? Are you going to follow his suggestions exactly, or just improvise? I'd love to see the entire outfit that you assemble. Think Andrew would model it for us ladies here that read your blog? Sort of a "wedding preview"?
Susan
PS- I LOVED the comment about Thurston Howell....I loved Gilligan's Island growing up, and I had a wonderful, funny, mental image of the wedding crowd you'll be interacting with once you categorized it this way!! Any more developments as far as what YOU are going to wear? Maybe if Andrew's look is that of Thurston Howell, your look needs to be that of Mrs. Howell, aka, "Lovey"!

Alison @ This Wasn't In The Plan said...

I understand your tears, that is wonderful!

NeedANap2 said...

I totally understand your tears!! What a wonderful "tugging" you had. :)

Natalie from Nashville said...

God is good! What a serendipitous moment, and so glad it happened to someone as sweet as you. I must admit I like to browse the racks at Brooks Brothers and have never had the good fortune of finding that brand at thrift sales. Your son will look absolutely handsome in his blazer, and I know that you, too, will find the perfect outfit for the wedding!

Rebecca said...

My heart is so full after reading your post! I'm always moved to tears at how He attends to even the smallest details ;>)

Carrien said...

Andrew will look absolutely adorable in that blazer. I can picture it so easily.

I used to have moments like that too.

"Father I need a tuxedo shirt in size X to wear for work, I can't afford to buy a new one." and there would be 6 shirts in the right size on the rack at Value Village the day I went. It's amazing every time.

SK and Family said...

I think that's wonderful!! And, that you remembered now and not *after* the wedding, which is how my brain usually works, LOL!!
:)

Lightening said...

Oh wow!!! What an amazing blessing. Sent shivers all down my spine. :)

Somerset Cottage said...

WOW!!

Michelle

Liz said...

Praise God for his providence!

Sue said...

I fully understand those tears of yours! It is amazing to step back and see all the ways the Lord has cared for us. I so enjoy reading your blog each day.

Cyndi Lewis said...

God is so GOOD!

Rachel said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Well, I would have been very excited to realize that I had a blazer at home but personally, I doubt that God cares whether Andrew is in Brooks Brothers, but nontheless a jacket was provided, and I think you are just plain lucky it happened to be Brooks Brothers. I am sure that Elise will be in Strasburg or some equally nice dress, so back to you, Mom. If you considered paying $200 for a jacket for Andrew then do not even consider wearing a dress from Target or Kohl's, for goodness sake (you know the other women will be in designer clothes). Keep looking for a wow dress or a seamstress to make you a wow outfit so that you look as good as your children. I would love to see a family picture when you are dressed for the wedding. I am sure you all will look grand. May I ask the destination?

Meredith said...

No, I don't think He cares about the brand one whit!

But I was thrilled to find one that was so ultra-light and fit him so perfectly in the shoulders without tailoring.

I thought about buying it new only because it was SO perfect on him. If I find a dress that is SO perfect on me, then I'll buy it.

Otherwise, we'll just have to see what works.

I am not going to say the destination for privacy reasons. However, it is someplace super hot in July!

Nancy said...

The good Lord had blessed you before you even knew it!

Candace said...

"Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow."
What a wonderful praise to share. We have had several similar instances happening around her in the past few months.

Now if only I could happen upon a way to replace all of my Mother's Wear Maternity clothes that I donated before moving from OK to MD.

I found out on Mother's Day that number four is on the way. Lil one will be coming around January the same time as the Duggar's 18TH- WOW! She is one busy momma.

Elizabeth said...

Meredith,

I saw the brown leather closed toe sandals for boys in wide/extra wide sizes on sale at our Stride Rite store. My 6 year olds are going into 2nd grade so we went with the sport sandals, but the leather ones were so cute that I was tempted to buy them for church shoes. Check and see if they're on sale for you too. 24.99 is a good price when I need to get the width to fit and can only get Stride Rite or New Balance for the twins.

Lori (aka--toughnoodles) said...

Oh, I love it.

Joy of Frugal Living said...

Wow. How wonderful. :)

Christi said...

What a wonderful example of God's provision. Not only did He provide a blazer, but a "perfect" one at that!

Julie said...

Now I'm crying!!

jules said...

Our God is an awesome God, isn't He?

Lisa W. said...

Well, I think, why wouldn't God care if it was a Brook's Brothers? Not that He cares about fashion, but I think it made the provision that much more poignant. :)

Carrie said...

Great story, but I personally wouldn't feel comfortable going into a fancy store and have the salesman help us and have my kid try things on if I had no intention of buying anything.

What did you say when the guy asked if he should wrap up the jacket- no thanks, we changed our minds?

Meredith said...

Carrie, it upsets me that you think that of me.

We took all of 2 minutes of the salesman's time, during a lull in the store traffic where we were just about the only people in the store.

I found the blazer in the children's section without assistance and slipped it on Andrew's shoulders.

I HAD NO IDEA THAT A BLAZER COULD COST SO MUCH MONEY. If it had been more reasonably priced, I loved it so much, I might have bought it on the spot.

When the salesman approached, I told her that the jacket was probably out of my price range, but that I would love his opinion.

What would be appropriate for a 6 year old to wear at an island--but not beach- wedding?

He suggested something, pointed me to a few things, and told me that the white linen pants are available only online.

White pants were primarily what I was looking for, so I could NOT have bought them in the store from the salesman anyway.

I agree--it would be rude to take a salesman away from a customer who might make him a lucrative commission.

But who knows that he didn't just make a B.B. customer for life?

Chief Family Officer said...

Finally catching up on my Google Reader and saw this post from last week. I love it. It's so touching and a testament to your faith. :)

P.S. Meredith, would you please consider switching to the comment form that doesn't open in a new window? (Just go to Settings, then Comments, and click on the appropriate option.) My computer tends to slow down while the window is opening. Thank you!

Danelle Ice said...

I had to laugh about the crying part... and tell my hubby! I love those times when thinking ahead really comes to save you later on!
Homemaker Barbi