When the rain comes we as adults tend to become sad and even depressed, but our children see it as an opportunity to have some different kinds of fun. After almost a week of rainy wet weather I admit that I gave in and learned to have a little fun as well.
Life's rainstorms are always a little harder to understand than a song. Tyler and I have been through what seems to be a very large raincloud. I hesitate to call it a storm because it doesn't seem to be that trivial. There is something to be said about a bit of upset in your life, whether it be your plans not working out, or your car not running or the kids bad attitude. Some of these changes I have learned to embrace because it helps me to see life from a different angle. Let me start at the beginning to tell you what I am talking about in regards to Tyler and I and how we are learning to sing and dance in the rain.
Our lives' are always changed by education. I have even changed the way I write things now that I understand a little bit of grammar (please don't check my doc, I don't edit that well). From the beginning of our marriage Tyler and I have tried to understand both how to make a budget and how to live on it. This proved to be quite difficult because we didn't know anyone who could mentor us in this pursuit. I must admit that we have done fairly well on the little bit of education that we had (no thanks to the public school system). A couple of years ago we discovered a gentleman by the name of... drum roll please... Dave Ramsey. Now I don't know if you have ever heard of this man, but he is very good at teaching us all what we needed to learn in high school about money and finances. By this time, Tyler and I had been living on a budget, but we had also acquired a house, a tractor, two cars, and the Sallie Mae pet. We decided that the ridiculousness of life was getting too complicated so we started truncating everything. We dropped one car, paid off the tractor and other various loans, and made a pact to not borrow any more money for anything ever.
Enough of the background, now let me tell you what has been happening this year...
I am not going into great details here, this is a very long story. I will start in April when we attended our first Financial Peace University class taught by none other than Dave Ramsey. What a great class this was. We learned how to revamp our budget to work harder for us, but we also learned how to set financial goals for the future. During the class we struggled with one decision: to sell or not to sell. As it turned out the only debt that we had left (I am anxious to kill this thing), was equivalent in value to this tractor sitting in our driveway. We prayed about selling this thing, after all, we had already built the house, and although we used it, we didn't use it enough to justify it. Most christians would say that we put out a fleece to see if selling the tractor was what God wanted us to do. Alas, we didn't have any serious inquiries and the tractor remained in our yard along with the ever detestable Sallie Mae. Then the dreadful thing happened...
Alas, our Dave Ramsey jalopy beater of a vehicle died. I am talking dead in the water died, engine gone and going to cost more than the car is worth to fix; dead. Now we had our emergency fund, a dead ugly beater, and a tractor. It didn't take us long to decide to sell everything we could. After almost a month the Lord blessed us with a buyer for the Mazda and the Tractor in one day. Isn't that awesome? It just comes all at once, after a month of waiting. We sold those and now had cash to buy a dependable reliable vehicle, that holds more than 5 people. Last Saturday we drove down to Portsmouth NH and laid an envelope filled with cash down on this desk and purchased a car at just under the trade in value. A very good buy, especially when you consider that for the first time we didn't finance this dealership purchase.
This was a bitter sweet moment for me, because as much as I liked our new wheels, I saw the dream of killing our pet this year go away with the tractor money. But now I know that God didn't want the tractor to sell this Spring because he knew we would need the money for a vehicle. Anyway, off we set for home Tyler in the new car and I in the old. Actually Tyler had two little boys occupying the rear seat in his car, but they were good and having a grand old time buying cars (even though Josiah was upset that he forgot his money to buy a car; too cute).
The story does not end here. On the highway around Biddeford I guess it was, Tyler and the boys were stranded. The new car that was going to be reliable and dependable and get us through this hump, died. The alternator just plumb went dead and Tyler was stuck on the highway with two boys at 9:00 PM. Where was I? I was in the OLD car trying not to worry about the boys and telling myself that they were fine, even though I couldn't locate their headlights. I kept convincing myself they were ahead of me. Anyway, I arrived all the way back to my parents to discover that they had been stuck with a dead car. Praise the Lord! My parents were at OOB and were able to pick Tyler and the boys up to bring them home. In times like this I am reminded of the trivial things in life. I was so upset about my husband and children stuck on the highway at night, and me not being there to help them that I couldn't care less about this new vehicle that we purchased. I didn't care if it was broken; I cared that my children were in a difficult situation and I wasn't there to help. God took care of my boys though, and like everything else, they saw it as an adventure. When I saw Eli that night at 11 he said "Mommy, we had a bit of trouble". Well, I should say so boy! You broke my car!
So now you see we are in a rain cloud, but Tyler and I are learning to dance and sing in the rain just like those boys did last week. I don't know when it will end. I don't know if God is trying to prepare us for something bigger ahead, whether good or bad. I just know that we are learning to trust Him with our finances, cars, time, and give Him control. I share with you the scripture that I keep quoting to myself...
"Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, Yes, wait for the Lord" Ps. 27:14
I am waiting for the Lord, I don't know what He will do, but I am sure that it will be glorious. In the meantime I am learning to trust Him with every aspect of my life and keep my mind focused on what really matters.
* I am sorry that this story was so very long, I have so much more that I could say too, but maybe I will share more about what I am learning some other time.