The windows of Heaven are open

January 5th, 2011

“Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

Do you remember the name Kim Zimmerman?  She’s my sister’s childhood friend who connected our family with Stephanie Carpenter, who has since become my Adoption Midwife Extraordinaire.  Kim and her husband Merle are the parents of seven children, two of whom are adopted.

You can find Kim’s writing here, where she put her heart and soul into raising funds for her friends’ Brian and Stephanie Carpenter’s adoption of a little girl named Kristina, or Tin-Tin.  Tin-Tin is the Carpenters’ third daughter with cerebral palsy whom they have adopted.  God took Kim’s hard work and blessed it and multiplied it, until all the Carpenter’s adoption expenses were covered!  They are very close to the day when they will bring Tin-Tin home to her family!

Kim and I had emailed back and forth, but last week I was surprised to receive a phone call from her.

She explained that when she read about our big bathroom re-do project, she saw right away that this was a way her family could help with our adoption.  Her husband Merle owns a plumbing business!  We chatted about our plans for the project.  There are also some repairs and painting that need to be done in the downstairs bathroom.

Merle is planning a trip down to our home today from forty-five minutes away, in order to find out exactly what we’ll need, because he may be able to help us find low-cost supplies!

Not only that, but the next time I spoke with Stephanie Carpenter, she informed me that her husband Brian does painting for the Zimmerman’s plumbing business, and he wants to help with our painting!

I now present to you the “before” pictures of our Ugly Upstairs Bathroom.  In self-defense, I must say that it is thoroughly clean in these pictures, although you cannot tell by looking at it!  The reason we have put off fixing it is because it is bad to the bone and must be completely stripped to its skeleton and re-made, ceiling, walls, floor, and all.  We were set to do just that when we found that we were expecting twins.  We would rather have twins than all the charming bathrooms one’s heart could desire.

Don’t you envy me this lovely ceiling?

Curtains in this room looked like a ring of gold in a pig’s snout~

We may be able to keep these cabinets~

The washcloth is there because the sink leaks.  The burnt mark is there because that’s where Joe’s great-grandmother kept her coffeepot~

That fan there is our vent system~

Joe has attempted all kinds of repairs on that crack between the tub and the wall.  Nothing has worked for long.

Wobbly toilet.  No, it isn’t fun to clean when it looks just as disgusting afterward as it did before.

Ugly bathroom.  But it does do its job.  Good bathroom, thank you for your service.

Someone installed this mirror permanently, so it will have to be torn off with the wall.

My little reminder to myself~

We have a view of tithing that is slightly different than the typical one.  We believe that there is no ten percent limit on the giving of New Testament believers, as was stated in the Old Testament law.  We believe that none of our money belongs to us.  We owe it all to God.  It all literally belongs to Him, not just ten percent of it.  We answer to Him for every bit of it that passes through our hands.

So when we consider the passage in Malachi that I quoted at the top of this post, we read it to say that our part is to give freely to the work of God, and His part is to abundantly supply our needs.  These are not just words to us.  They are our way of life, as they are for so many other pilgrims on this path.

We have seen marvelous provisions from the Lord over the years, but this past year He has truly outdone Himself.  As Alistair Begg said, “God does not give in percentages!”

P.S. about a P.S.  Look down near the bottom of Kim’s Monday, January 3rd post titled, “God’s Timing is BEST!!” You will see a little P.S. hinting about “another family who is trying to adopt.”  Guess who that family is?!

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4 Responses to “The windows of Heaven are open”

  1. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    Yay for a new bathroom!!!!!  I know you will be so relieved to have it done.

    We are finding the ideas in this post to be very true for us, too.  In a lean time financially, we are overloaded with meals coming in, diapers showing up at the door just when we’ve used the last ones in the drawer, firewood being delivered when Eric felt too sick to cut some himself, on and on and on.  God is so good to take care of His children!  We are thankful.

    P.S.  Cute momma in the mirror!  ; )

  2. Susanna says:

    Thank you, Shari! *blush*

    That bathroom is a means to an end!

  3. Kimberly Zimmerman says:

    Isn’t it funny how of all things a BATHROOM can be related to adoption!!  I actually think that’s COOL! (of course that’s coming from a plumbers wife!)

  4. Tami Ann says:

    This reminds me of a bathroom renovation we did in Poland. Polish walls are made out of concrete blocks and plaster. IF I had known that changing the old mildew tiles that were originally in the bathroom WOULD MEAN that about 3/4 of the wall came down with the tiles I might have changed my mind. Let’s say dry wall coming down to me is nothing as far as mess goes COMPARED to seeing renovations taking place in concrete buildings. Oh, and when the alarm company came to wire our house up (we had several break ins prior) they dug into the concrete all along the top of every wall. Live and learn… I’ll never forget a comment made by one of my Polish friends who had spent some time in America and Canada. She mentioned how we make our bathrooms into comfortable sitting rooms! She was referring to the little plaques and paintings and curtains, oh and the books and magazines supplied for reading pleasure! Cultural differences are so fun. In Poland they have “toilet closets” separate from the “bath” room (room for bathing). It took me a LONG time to get used to the narrow small ‘sit-do your duty-and go’ rooms!

    I am truly happy for you Susanna. As having to live with many not so nice bathrooms I know it makes a HUGE difference. When I was pregnant with my first we had a bathroom that NO MATTER what I did I just could NOT get rid of the urine smell! I tried every trick (including putting yeast down the pot~ suppose to eat up the yucky stuff in the septic). Morning sickness did not mix well with this bathroom! It really turned my stomach every time I had to step foot into it. And then to one day get my newly renovated bathroom (and the one I currently own here in the states) …world of a difference. And I praise God, as I know you do too, for having both experiences because it’s a wonderful gift to learn contentment as well as deep appreciation for God’s blessings!

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