redefining garage sale "success"

I promised my long-suffering husband in 2009 that I would never, not ever, have another garage sale as long as we both shall live. I actually promised him in 2008 and then begged him to let us sell stuff in our driveway to raise money for our California Leg of our Zoo Trip. He caved. We made $51.00.

So, as I devoured Organized Simplicity and started making “Get Rid Of” piles, I had resigned myself to the fact that it’d all be going to the thrift store. Which was fine. My dad used to offer to pay us $ and let him take our crap to the thrift store rather than go through the headache (and backache–okay, total body ache) of having a garage sale. We never bit.

Then I found out that my friend Dorian was having a garage sale to raise money for a trip she’s taking with her son to visit an orphanage in Honduras. I asked her if we could join forces, and there you have it.

Day 1–Friday. I let the girls skip school. They were so excited. Until they realized how cold it was and how many people weren’t showing up to buy all our stuff. By the end of the day–$63.

Day 2–Saturday. We had soccer all morning, and then Livi and Ava decided to go with Gabe to Lima for the Mercy Me/Brandon Heath concert (they’re no dummies) while Nina and I headed back to the sale for a couple hours. Ten more dollars.

Was $73 worth it? I submit that IT WAS. And here’s why:

My friends Sharon and Jennie (mother/daughter) stopped by (with Jennie’s three boys) on Saturday at 1:00 to show their support. They got there right when we were packing up and in please-take-this-off-my-hands mode. We piled up Jennie’s van with all of Dorian’s boys’ old rescue heroes sets and super-cool baseball game table (kind of like foosball). Sharon bought Cambodia Photo Cards and some other random things we were selling.

They each gave me $20 which was PREPOSTEROUS and put our total at $113. So much more respectable than $73. We had a great time chatting, and as they were getting in the van, we started talking about plane tickets to Cambodia (Sharon went last June and is going again this June), and I got this AMAZING idea that I’ll share soon.

Anyway. There’s more. On Friday, an Indian gal named Radha stopped by and started telling me about this orphanage they have in India. They rescue young girls from infanticide and give them a loving, Christ-centered home. She bought a bunch of the girls’ clothes and every last one of their stuffed animals, some purses and books and toys. We talked for the longest time, and I told her all about Cambodia, and she told me some amazing stories. We’re going to get together sometime soon and figure out how we can help each other help more kiddos.

It was such a God thing.

She came back on Saturday as we were packing up, and we filled two big boxes for her of all the rest of my stuff those precious girlies in India could possibly use. And I got to meet her 12-year-old daughter who is stunningly beautiful and has been to India four times and loves, loves, loves to go and has a big, huge heart for these orphan girls. Be still my heart.

I also helped a woman carry a play set to her house piece by piece (she bought it from Dorian and lives just a few houses down the street). Found out that she and her husband came from Chicago (James McDonald’s church) and have planted a church here in C-bus by the same name. She has a real heart for human trafficking and has been praying about how she could get more involved (she has three young boys). I had my She Has A Name shirt on, so we talked about that and all kinds of other stuff for about 10 minutes in her back yard. We’re hoping to get together sometime to chat too.

And then I came back home and looked at my basement floor where all the piles of boxes used to be and thought, “FREEDOM!” And what else can I get rid of?? I’ve been browsing back through Organized Simplicity the past two days and getting all fired up again about simplifying and making sure everything we own/do lines up with our family purpose statement (another forthcoming post).

And there you have it. How did the garage sale go? SMASHING SUCCESS.

Wishing a Happy Happy 26th Birthday to my beautiful sister, Stephanie! Love you, girl! See you in 2 weeks!

26 thoughts on “redefining garage sale "success"

  1. Kaye

    God is always, always in the details, even at garage sales:)
    Love it and hope you have a blessed Mother’s Day week!
    Love to all,
    Matthew 21:22
    PS I’ve ordered the book and hope it motivates me as it did you….please say a prayer….

  2. Leigh

    So cool, Marla! What great connections you were able to make. I’m excited to learn what comes of them! And as someone who used to go to a Harvest Bible Chapel in IL, I’d encourage anyone in Columbus to go check out your new friend’s church plant!

  3. erin

    Hi Marla– Sounds like it was a raging success. I actually enjoy having garage sales but during the last few years, I’ve forgone the typical garage sale for our MOPS consignment sale… we have a HUGE sale at our church and 1/3 of the money goes to MOPS and 2/3 to the seller so it’s a win-win. This year, i donated all of my gear to my sister who is raising money for her adoption and she made like $750 which was AMAZING. Anyway, hope all is well!

          1. erin

            I must’ve picked that up… when I moved here 10 years ago, everyone commented on my “Yankee accent”. 🙂

  4. Jen Hanson

    That story about Radha is so awesome. What a totally worth-while garage sale. I love that God took your “stuff purge,” focused it on a specific purpose and then made your sale to get rid of all that stuff something that totally brings honor to Him. Awesome.

    Looking forward to seeing you in a couple weeks!! (Seriously – so excited to be typing those words and really, truly, excitedly meaning it! LOVE YOU!)

  5. Mandy

    Congrats on your garage sale success and more awesome God stories!
    My sister and I are reading through Organized Simplicity together starting yesterday. Thanks for giving us the idea. I read the first two chapters yesterday and immediately began cleaning out the kitchen cabinets – my husband can hardly wait to take everything to the thrift store on Saturday.

  6. Keri

    So, when you go to India? I totally want to go on that trip with you too. Just saying.

    To answer a question you asked me a while ago….no, we aren’t heading home to the states for Christmas. The boys and I will be there all summer and then it will be a year before we’re back. So hard to even imagine!

    Still no plans for Cambodia, but Indonesia is on the calendar for this Friday and I’m taking my boys because they are begging to go. I am beside myself with excitement. I want them to meet sweet Nona and fall in love with her.

      1. Keri

        Oh my…….seriously??? Now THAT would really be incredible. Absolutely, totally, completely incredible. Let’s do it!

    1. Marla Taviano

      You know it. Do you have a free day this week? If not, maybe I can swing by your place to pick up the pot on Thurs. Going to the zoo with an out-of-town friend.

  7. ellen

    and keeping in mind you reap what you sow — every time you are able to bless someones else – that blessing will flow back to you. I enjoy hearing about how the Lord works in and thru your lives. It makes me smile

      1. ellen

        Hard to answer — Like black and white alot. Like bright colors in the summer and great fall colors when it gets cool. How’s that for decisive LOL

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