1 Samuel 7:12

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.'”

Jonathon and I have been married for almost 7 years. We are just coming out of the phase of ‘free furniture from when we were newlyweds’. You all know it’s a real phase of life. But in all of our moving and fostering, we have never invested in a dining room table. We have had a few small free ones, and when we got the boys we had an old stained table that fit 4 with misfit, half painted chairs. Perfect.

Jump to current Sampson Circus status. We went from 2 to 4 kids overnight. God ordained a decision to buy a minivan only 2 short weeks before we found ourselves as a family of 6. We would not have been able to accept these kids without that van. We thought it was crazy at the time, but now understand that God was preparing our family for these precious ones. Our minivan is a story in itself about how the Lord provided. We are grateful for our blue June Bug.

But a dining room table is different. We don’t NEED a dining room table to fit everyone in order to provide a safe home for kids. So, we bought a few extra stools and made it work. It seems trivial with all that we do with our lives, but it was a burden. Dinner is stressful with kids, let alone trauma kids. Jonathon and I never even used the stools we bought from Goodwill because it was easier to be hectic and stand or eat at different times. This made me cringe. I know many of you that are also saddened that we made that decision. Eating dinner together is important to healthy family life – many many things happen at a family table. But we were in survival mode. We figured we would eventually get to investing in a full table. (Here’s where you laugh at me) Life gets ahead of you, and listen, people, kids are expensive! so, we were definitely not going to be getting a bigger table. We stood up together.

Fast forward to 10 months later. I’m at a conference for foster/adoptive moms. (If you don’t go to this and you’re a foster/adoptive mom. COME WITH ME NEXT YEAR.) I’m sitting and praying and worshiping and crying in the last session. God was encouraging my heart after a long, looonnngggg 10 months of motherhood. He was prompting me to advocate for our family. We had some needs (a dining room table) that we didn’t know who or how to ask. So I shared my heart with a friend at this conference, and I felt like a dummy the whole time. Friends, she had ideas of things we needed that I hadn’t even shared yet! God provided for us that day. We heard that some people had a dining room table we could have. GOD PROVIDED. We were thrilled to hear of this and set a time to meet up. My husband was at home to receive this glorious table, and we. were. so. excited. Listen, friends, Jesus brought us a BRAND NEW TABLE. Not a used one, not a ‘in really good shape’ one, but a ‘still had the tags on ‘ dining room table for 6. Jonathon texted me this news in the middle of my workday, and I bawled. I showed my classes the pictures he sent and I told them the story. Every teenager I teach thought I was very weird, but I was shouting it from the rooftops!

So that table, in the midst of grief and trauma and hard things, is our Ebenezer. It confirmed in our hearts that we were still doing what God called us to. Believe it or not, there is much less stress around mealtimes because everyone has a seat, and we all can participate in mealtime chores and family devotions. I plan to forever tell this story for as long as this table serves us (which should be a long time because it is brand new and beautiful!).  So everyone look at this table because it is called Ebenezer which means, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

To the family that provided this: THANK YOU. Thank you for your generosity and time. Thank you for allowing God to use you in our lives. May you be blessed!

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