Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Don't Take My Blessing - Storytelling Sunday

Miss Linnie looked at me intently and said, “Don’t take my blessing. I know God wants me to help you.” Reluctantly, I took the check she held out to me. I knew I could buy a refrigerator for much less than five hundred dollars, but she insisted that I take the money and buy a good one.

I had recently moved into a rent house due to a separation from my soon-to-be ex-husband. It was a nice house, but it did not have a refrigerator or a stove. Mama had her old stove in the garage and was going to let me use it, so all I needed was a refrigerator. Miss Linnie, an 80-year-old member of the church where I worked as a secretary, had asked about the house. When I mentioned that it did not have a refrigerator, she insisted on buying me one. I did not want to take the money because I had a little bit of money in a savings account which I could use to purchase one. But she persisted and the comment about taking the blessing God had for her was the reasoning that convinced me to take her check.

I had never had anyone outside of my family help me in such a huge way before that day in the late of summer of 2000. I told Miss Linnie I could never repay her or measure up to the kindness that she had shown me. She just smiled and said that someday I would be able to bless others and that would be repayment enough. I thought there was no way I would ever be able to give someone five hundred dollars. But I underestimated God and His great compassion and forgiveness.

Over the past ten years, Robbie and I have been blessed in many ways, often financially. We have helped numerous people, some that we knew, others that we didn’t. And, yes, I have been able to give $500 to someone, not for a refrigerator, but to pay rent and keep her in her home for another month while she worked to find a job. And now I know what Miss Linnie knew . . . God’s blessing is much better than the money in the bank!

That Kitchen Aid refrigerator sits in our recently remodeled laundry room today. It’s been with me for 11 ½ years, in 5 homes throughout the state of Texas, and now serves as our extra refrigerator – another reminder of God’s many blessings.

Melissa A. Gross
February 4, 2012

Our laundry room remodel is basically complete; we just need to mount a few items on the walls and re-hang the door. I'll be sharing photos of the completed room very soon. Each time I move my refrigerator, I am reminded of Miss Linnie's generosity. I'm also working on another layout/story about my washer & dryer - watch for that coming soon, too. This post brought to you as part of Sian's Storytelling Sunday. Click here to read more February stories.

30 comments:

Amy said...

I love that you still have the fridge as a reminder of how wonderfully kind and generous Miss Linnie was for you in a time of need - that is just fantastic!

Chipper said...

It is amazing how blessings like that stay with us forever. She was one smart old lady and you were blessed to have known her. :-) Wonderful story.

MonicaB said...

Amazing story. It's wonderful that you have been able to pay it forward to others in need.

Karen said...

My daughter and son-in-law had a similar thing happen to them when they first were married. Out of the blue, someone they barely knew handed them a check so they could purchase a washer and a dryer. They had been seminary students earlier in life, and knew it would be quite some time before they could afford extras like a washer and a dryer. It's so wonderful that your refrigerator has lasted so long, and that you've been able to "pay it forward."

Ellyn said...

I love that story. You are a wonderful blessing to everyone you touch Melissa. It's a wonderful legacy you are carrying on.

Gail said...

What a wonderful story of the kindness of others. Thanks so much for sharing it.

Jane said...

such a good story and lesson to learn

helena said...

Miss Linnie sounds such a lovely lady. I'm a great believer in paying it forward like that and have been on the receiving and paying end. Wonderful tht you still have the fridge as a reminder

alexa said...

How special was Miss Linnie - it and she were indeed a blessing, and how lovely you still have it as a reminder and it has flowed through your life in so many ways. A lovely story ...

Mary B said...

What a lovely blessing and yes Miss Linnie was/is so right God always bless abundantly, and when we give abundantly at his bidding His blessing is fantastic

Ruth said...

What a lovely story; you've really brought Miss Linney to life. happy to hear that the fridge is still going!

Wanda said...

What a wonderfully heartwarming story, and how nice that you've come to place where you can share blessings with others in much the same way as Miss Linney did with you.

heart.hearth.home. said...

Kindness is always a blessing and Miss Linnie was there to help when you needed it most. And now you can help others. It's the circle of life. Thank you for sharing your lovely story.

furrypig said...

Wow what an amazing woman Miss Linnie was and how great that you are able to carry on giving as part of her legacy, bless you xxx

Sian said...

I love this story. It's a fine tribute to a wonderful lady, and what makes it such a special story too is the way you have captured the different emotions you felt along the way. We were once some years ago in a position to make a gift to a family we knew, and I can't explain how strongly we just felt called to give this particular thing to this particular couple. But you know that feeling already :)

Wonderful stuff Melissa. Thank you

Margie S (Nihao, Cupcake! said...

Touching story. Thakns for posting this because these heartwarming stories help to brighten my day and give me an extra bit of energy!

Cheri said...

Miss Linnie definitely understood the power of "pay it forward" and knew that you were the kind of person who would do just that. I've had similar gifts in my life... the most memorable being the family friend who paid for my braces when I was 16. And yes, I repaid through donations to a church with the understanding that the money be used for a needy teen in a similar way.

scrappyjacky said...

What a wonderful blessing she gave you...and that you have been able to 'pass on'.

Alison said...

What a wonderful story..and a wonderful lady...I'm a great believer in sharing our blessings!
Alison xx

Becky said...

An amazing story - such kindness. I love the layout too.

Sandra said...

A beautiful story, that really shows the true love and plans God has for us. Miss Linnie, knew that you had a good heart

Jo said...

Such a lovely story and a lovely reminder to do what we can for others

Jimjams said...

What a wonderful story of someone who truly pays it forward!

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a lovely, lovely story! Thanks for sharing it and reminding us about what's truly important.
Rinda

Linda said...

what a lovely uplifting story:)

Scattychick said...

That's a wonderful story and such a shining example of "Pay it forward"

Beverly said...

Miss Linnie knew what so many have experienced by you sharing God's blessings. Wonderful story, Melissa. I am hoping ya'll were dressed for a July 4th celebration or some such event ;)

Tammy said...

This is such an amazing story. What a lovely woman Miss Linnie is. I agree with her, when you have the opportunity to help someone the only repayment requirement should be to pay it forward. Thanks for sharing this Melissa. :)

Missus Wookie said...

Blessings are there to be shared - so glad you were blessed and able to pass it on as well.

Za faran said...

Your story made me think of how sometimes people give without expecting anything in return. Kindness, understanding, care- you got it all!That's wonderful!