My front porch had collapsed a year or so ago, so a men’s group from Temple Baptist Church came and rebuilt it, leaving off the roof portion. I had the posts and roofing piled up out in the yard waiting for a time when I might could have it rebuilt, but I didn’t know when I could get it done. So it was just sitting there, of no use to me.
I had been burdened lately about not being able to do anything with all my Christian books left over from my failed bookstore attempt. I had done a few book give-aways last year out in front of the local Dollar General Store, but a district manager came through one day and told me I couldn’t do it there anymore. I had been on the lookout for another place to do one, but hadn’t found a good place in several months. I had hoped that someday I could have one of those barn type house structures built but they were upwards of a thousand dollars, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen any time soon.
Then one night awhile ago I had a dream where I saw myself building a shack on the front corner of my yard with the pieces I had left from my porch that fell in. When I awoke I knew it was God showing me how to build my own little shack to put my books and stuff in. So I got up that morning, homeschooled the kids as usual and then got out there and looked the area over and at the materials I had.
I picked out the spot I wanted to use and found that I had enough materials for a start anyway. I put up the four corner posts and put a frame around the top and added what roofing I had, which covered about half the roof. I looked it over and thought it would do to get out there on Saturdays and have my books out for folks to stop and look at but I knew I couldn’t keep them out there through bad weather and such.
I then went to go baby-sit my grandbabies for a few days later and coming home, made a wrong turn. I made the block and there was a house where they had just pulled down an old deck and they had put all their old wood on the side of the road for pick up. So needless to say, I picked it up, loaded it on top of my new van the church got me last year after my car was wrecked, and took it home. I added a half back and one side to the shack. But I still needed three 2x4s to make it sturdier. I hung a couple of old shower curtains on the back as well to help keep the rain out.
The next Thursday was my son’s graduation from the police academy, so I drove out to Camp Shelby outside of town for it. I was so proud of him and his accomplishment! Then as I was driving home, I turned too early off of the Highway and got lost a little bit. I passed by a bank that had just pulled out a flower bed and put some landscaping timber out on the side of the road to be picked up. I got out and looked and found 4 good pieces that were still okay to use and underneath the pile was three 2x4s, which were just what I needed to make the shack more sturdy. I went home and added a flower bed and the 2x4s where they were needed.
The next day, Mama sent me to go get her medicine from the drug store. As I went down the road a bit and around the corner from the house, I noticed they had pulled a trailer off a lot and put a bunch of stuff out on the side of the road. I got out to look to see if there was anything I could use and got three pieces of plywood and a few odds and ends like a paint roller and brush. I went home and looked to see what else the shack might need and figured I could make a hinged door that folds up like on a concession stand on the side by the street since my wood on that side didn’t reach the top and left an open space there. I still had two posts left, and had gotten two half pieces of 2x4s and two more whole ones so I added a front porch area. I added a few more pieces here and there and fixed a couple of things I hadn’t done well the first time. It was certainly coming along.
Then the first of the month rolled around and I got my little bit from my Amazon book sales. I got $117, which was a good month for me, so I went to Lowes to price materials. I figured I could buy four pieces of tin roofing and 10 pieces of decking board with what I had. But I really needed a new battery charger for my computer as well and wasn’t sure which I needed most, the lumber or the computer. But in the end, I decided to get the lumber and wait on the computer another month or two. I took it all home and the next day added the final side and roofing to complete the unfinished roof. I had some old picket fencing around the back by the garden, so I thought that might make a nice front. I added it and a picket fence door.
A couple of days later I drove around a new neighborhood and found an empty lot where they had been dumping unused stuff. I got a couple of old dried and grayed 2×4 pieces and a few landscaping rocks. I thought I was in trouble when someone drove around and asked me what I was doing. I asked if I could have the few rocks that had been dumped there and they were kind enough to let me have them. I took them home and drug an old flower container out there and put the rocks around it, adding a few sea shells we had picked up at the beach near Ocean Springs
a few weeks earlier. I found a swimming pool that someone had tossed and made a fish pond as well, taking a trip to the creek to catch a few minnows.
I finally started adding the furnishings and put in a table, a couple of book shelves and a couple of small homemade shelves made out of scraps. I found another small shelf at Salvation Army that was almost affordable and painted it to add as well. Then I started adding my Christian books and Bibles. I prayed that if this was God’s will, that it would be confirmed by a visitor.
So the next day I went out and saw that a Bible and a few books were missing and they had signed the ship’s log book and left a small donation. Praise God! If I’ve reached one person with the Word of God then that will be enough, but the Lord knows I want to reach so many more. A few days later I got another visitor who got a Bible and a children’s Bible. Then a third visitor came by and got something else. Three visitors was, I believe, God’s confirmation to me that I did the right thing in building it. So Go Fish Books now has a permanent home at the Fishing Shack at 76 Mims Road, Hattiesburg, MS.
The next day after adding the wood I bought, I checked the mail and found the light bill and water bill. I now had no way to pay either and said to God, “I need you to provide Lord, as I spent almost every dime I had to finish this.” Mama sent me to the Dollar Store the next day and I went to put the sign up advertising my free books. As I taped my sign up, I noticed another near by. It said, “Wanted tutor for a 5year old girl, using the Abeka Christian curriculum.” I called and set up an appointment for the following Wednesday. I went for the interview and they hired me on the spot, promising to pay me $15 an hour, which was more than I had ever made before. It’s only 10 hours a week, but it’s more money than I’ve had coming in through the last three years. I had given up looking for work and decided that God just wanted me home with the kids. But the best part about this job is that I can still homeschool my kids and tutor the other in the afternoons. God couldn’t have answered my prayer any better than that!
So I learned several things throughout the last few weeks. Like God asked Moses, “What’s that in your hand?” if we use what we have, God will bless it and multiply it, giving us whatever we need for the task He asks us to do! I also learned that God confirms what He tells us to do by our circumstances many times. What happens next after we pray about something is often the answer to that prayer. Every time I prayed about needing more wood, God gave me exactly what I needed and then some. When I prayed for confirmation, God sent three people to confirm what He asked me to do. When I felt called to make the sacrifice of spending my money on the rest of the materials, God provided for me and my children in an unexpected way. In the midst of all this I was redoing the Experiencing God Bible Study in my Wednesday night class. I would say I certainly got some real experience with God’s presence working in my life. God is so good people! Just cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you! And Go Fish 4 Jesus!
- Go Fish Books Grand Opening (gofishministries.wordpress.com)