Just over a year ago, we decided it was high time to look for a new refrigerator. Ours was still running, but after eleven years in our home (with three kids!), it had seen better day, and we had the duct-taped shelves and leaning door to prove it. So, we set out to hunt for a great deal on a great fridge. I have two words for you: Sticker Shock! Boy, are those things pricey!
After several days of shopping, we discovered that we needed a counter depth unit. This was both a blessing (it narrowed our search pretty quickly) and a curse (they are even more expensive than the regular ones). Besides needing counter depth, we decided there were three more things that were important to us. We wanted a fridge with the stainless steel look that doesn't show fingerprints, as opposed to the real stainless finish. We wanted a fridge-on-top model, not a side-by-side. We did not want the ice and water dispenser in the door.
God had something else for us. As we were spending yet another day looking for the "perfect" refrigerator, including the "perfect" price tag, we found a deal that was too good to pass up. As a matter of fact, it was one of the cheapest of all the appliances we looked at, even the much smaller units. BUT, it was a real stainless steal, side-by-side model, with an ice and water dispenser in the door. Um....No thank you. We walked past it again. And again. And again.
Brian said we should go for it. Really? I mean, REALLY? I pointed out its flaws, mainly that it was the OPPOSITE of what we were looking for! He was convinced that this was the fridge we should buy. We had looked everywhere, and this was the one unit that had what we needed (instead of what we wanted), and it was in our price range. I smiled, walked up to the counter, and began praying. Instead of praying that the refrigerator would suddenly fall through the floor or somehow disappear, I prayed for God to either work on my heart or work on my husband's. I prayed that if this was not the fridge for us, that God would reveal that to Brian before I reached the front of the line. And I prayed for the grace to joyfully submit to my husband and to trust his wise leadership.
My heart, not my husband's, was the one to be changed. And God richly blessed us. When the salesperson rang in our purchase, he was surprised to see that the price had been reduced even more that day-and it qualified for free delivery. We got our new fridge for nearly seventy-five percent off the regular price! God taught us a lot about trusting Him that day. And He taught me a lot about submitting to my husband, even when I think I may know better. I now have a big 'ol object lesson standing in my kitchen, reminding me to "trust and obey"!
But my God didn't stop there! We weren't sure what to do with our old refrigerator, so we decided to set it out at our annual garage sale. It didn't sell, but our pastor "just happened" to stop by that day to return something he'd borrowed. He "just happened" to be there that evening after our garage sale, while we were gone on an errand. We had "just happened" to leave our garage door up while we were gone, which we never do. The next day at church, he said they had been praying for God to provide them with an extra fridge for their house they were remodeling, and asked if he could buy it. What? Are you kidding? The answer was, of course, that they could have it!
God had answered our prayer so that He could answer theirs. We now call our refrigerator "The Fridge That God Gave Us." And every time I regret that it doesn't fit my groceries the way I would like, that the freezer is too narrow to hold my ice cube trays, or that we still haven't wanted to pay a plumber to come out and hook up the water dispenser, I just smile and thank the Lord for giving us the frugal fridge we needed. How can I complain about that?
For more thoughts on frugal living check out Frugal Friday over on Life as Mom.
Photo credit: Beautiful Cataya