Sunday, July 20, 2014

My bargain tent

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. – Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
This year, with the publication of my first book of fiction, I decided to have a booth at the Groundhog Festival. I’d sell autographed copies of all my published books, let folks know about new and upcoming releases – and “meet and greet.” After all, one chapter of The Heart Remembers takes place at the Groundhog Festival in Punxsutawney.
I’d thought to borrow the required 10x10 canopy tent to set up on my spot from my son, but his didn’t have sidewalls. And I wasn’t sure what condition it was in, since a wind storm blew it over last summer during one of our cookouts, and we couldn’t get the frame down. So it braved the long winter in the yard.
My long-suffering hubby managed to fix the frame and attach the canopy, which had sustained a tear or two when it caught on the garden fence. He set it up on the patio and told me to check for leaks the next time it rained. Well, we got the rain, all right, along with some pretty gusty winds, which blew the whole thing over onto the rocks that covered the back slope of the patio. I managed to unhook the canopy from the frame but couldn’t get the frame folded. But I needn’t worry – without the canopy it wasn’t going anywhere – except to the scrap heap because when fix-it man came home from work, he said this time even he couldn’t repair it.
So online I went shopping for a 10x10 canopy tent with sidewalls that wouldn’t make this whole impulsive affair cost more than I had in the bank. I wanted to at least break even.
I found a nice one with “windows” on eBay for $139.99, free shipping, easy setup.
When it arrived a week or so later, we erected it in the backyard. It went up easily, although Dean said he wanted heavier, sturdier stakes.
Good thing. Because the week of the Groundhog Festival was fraught with storms. Oh, hubby had it tied down good, and it didn’t blow away.
But the roof leaked.
The opening day of the festival had us scrambling to cover my display table and wishing for an umbrella. I’d have to take down my display every night when I closed up and take the books home so the damp wouldn’t damage them.
I kept my eye on the black clouds and the forecast all week, imagining the worse.
And failing to trust the God who watches over me.
Shame on me.
Because the only rain we got all week (except Sunday, when we discovered the roof wasn’t waterproof) was one night or early morning when I wasn’t there. All I had to do is wipe off the table and set up.
All week long I fretted, but each day the storms passed us, and each day I sensed God whispering to me, “Trust Me. I got this.”
I broke even. But more than that, I learned – again – that even when my faith falters, My God is faithful.
You won’t always hold back the storms, Lord, but I know You’ll be with me in the midst of them. Thank You, Abba Father! Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Isaiah 43:1–7; Psalm 91


  1. God is faithful! I need to learn that lesson over and over again, though.