Monday, April 30, 2007

Blessing This Material Girl

As God boot camp continues in my life I am having serious growing pains. God's loving correction often stings the ego a bit, but being the kind and loving father that he is, many of his "lessons" are laced with "gifts".
When we mention gifts in the same sentence as God, we think spiritual gifts. Yeah, I got some of that... but my father KNOWS my love language. I'm all about the presents.
So what did he get me????? A car. That's right. God bought me a car.
Basically, I've been driving the same ol' minivan for 6 years. Manual windows, no CD player. PREHISTORIC. We bought it new, but it was a Dodge Caravan, which if any of you have owned one know, they don't have the best longevity.
Anyway, we took it in and our mechanic said the transmission could go at any time. At a minimum of $3000 to fix it, and a Kelly Blue Book of $2500, we figured it might be time to start looking for another vehicle.
OK, this might not sound like a big deal, but we are totally anti car payment, and we just bought my husband a big extension of his manhood truck with a mutha of a payment last fall! Another car payment? I was sweatin' it.
What did we do? We researched vehicles, looked over our finances and PRAYED. We needed something that could fit 7 people AND got great gas mileage. Good luck!
First thing... I found my dream car. It was the new white Mercedes SUV/car conversion, with tan interior. Yeah right. That didn't quite fit into the finance part of it...we wanted to stay under $20,000. Poor me... no Mercedes.
Ah, but in our search I found KIA version of the suv/car conversion that fit 7, and it got 29 mpg. We called a dealership and they had one for $19,900! Perfect.
Now the prayer part. No one wants to add more debt, and I really stressed about this one. 'Cause you know what? God is big enough to make my minivan last FOREVER if he wants. So my prayer was "God, what should we do? I want to follow your perfect will. Do you want me to buy the car and have faith that the payment won't hurt the we keep the van and trust that you'll keep it running."
OK, here is the big lesson. God said "YOU choose. It's not about a right or wrong choice here, it's about having faith that I will provide for you, what ever you choose". This was huge for me. I am a super black and white person. The whole idea of their not being a defined right or wrong answer is a hard concept for me to grasp. All I could think was "wow, God is letting me use my "free will". It's a surprise my brain didn't explode from this total mental shift!
So, God will keep my van running, or help a new car fit into the budget, I just need to have faith! New car, here I come.
I know this is getting long, but bear with me, I'm almost to the part where God buys me the car!
We all load up into the minivan (I cleaned that baby for 3 hours and I still couldn't get the lollipop scum out of the drink holder) and we headed to the dealership. Well, wouldn't you know, they had a my car out front, and get this, it was WHITE, with TAN interior. After our down payment and our trade in value on my not so well kept minivan they came back with a payment of $300. Not bad for a dream car knock off. We figured we would save at least $70 a month in gas, bringing it down to $230 a month.
I drove home my new car without regret, but that night I woke up from a sound sleep and thought. Oh CRAP we just bought a new car. I heard God speak audibly "Are you going to have faith in me or not?". Suddenly a peace came over me and with new faith, I fell back to sleep.
Next morning I get a call from the dealership. "Hey, we approved your loan with good credit, but it turns out you have excellent credit so your interest rate went down, and your car payment went down $30 bucks a month!" I was so excited by this God confirmation that I called my husband to share the great news! So, I told him how God had come through for us because now, with the additional savings we were now down to a $200 car payment. My husband laughed and said, "That's not all God did, this morning, I just got a $200 raise!"

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Near Escape From Bigotry

I've got stuff to tell you about my God walk...especially dealing with my children, raising my children, and more God breakthroughs, but not today. Today I want to write down a lesson I learned, so that I can come back to this blog, and remember a moment when my heart could see beyond the politics of a matter, and into the human side of the issue.

I'm big into border control. I don't buy into the idea that the Hispanics only take the jobs we Americans don't want. I have watched friends (contractors) loose jobs to the Hispanic population who works cheaper. I live in a agricultural town and I see the culture clash during picking season. The crime goes up, the doctors are too full during that season to see regular patients because the migrant workers are taking advantage of America's policy that no one is turned away from medical treatment based on their inability to pay, or their citizenship. It is no secret that our tax dollars pay for this. I watch as Mexican flags are erected in yards, often towering over the American ones.

I'm going to be painfully honest here. I've started to strongly dislike the Hispanic culture. I have started to build up prejudice. Yuck. I hate to even admit it. When I see a Mexican, my thoughts are often bitter.

Today I got another God lesson. I had a jewelry booth at our local Spring festival (not something I usually do, but I was filling in for someone.) Well, after several boring hours of type A me, sitting on my butt, I decided to talk with the other vendors. One vendor was a young man who made the most beautiful pieces of art. I talked to him about his family, and where he was from. I was truly impressed with this person. He was intelligent, articulate, and kind. As I was leaving I noticed a faint accent. When I asked where his accent came from he skirted the issue. I persisted and he shyly claimed to be Mexican. This young man's skin was fair, so I would have never guessed. I was shocked. Who knows how many awesome people I have never taken the time to get to know based on their tan skin and Hispanic features. How sad that this young man was so nervous to share his country of origin. For fear of persecution I'm sure.... from people like ....ME. OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH.

I still beleive in border control, I know that new laws need to be passed, and things NEED to change for the good of "our" country. BUT, my first allegiance is to Christ. His love knows no borders, his people are from ALL cultures.

May politics no longer callus my heart, I pray that I start to see people, instead of problems. May my love be unconditional. AMEN

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Blog... New Faith

I am so exited to finally write down some of the things God is doing in my life! I've been over at homeschool blogger for the last year, but since God is shaking up my life a bit lately, I thought it was time for a change. Plus, I never did talk a whole lot about homeschooling. Politics? yes. God? yes. Random pointless thoughts? Oh yeah...
So, I'm just going to jump right in. I've got enough material here for 10 blogs, but I'll pace myself. My hubby just brought in a movie via Netflix, and I'm looking forward to some cuddling on the couch time.
It all started a couple of months ago. We were unhappy with our church, especially the kids program (they were teaching fire and brimstone stuff, and talking about the kids in service being demon possessed. So not a good place for my kiddos. So me, being the psycho legalistic Momma that I am yanked them out (that was the smart part) deemed all children's church evil (this is the legalistic part) and joined an odd start up church (that's the psycho part).
Scare me a little bit and I go running away to my safe legalistic zone where the ladies only wear dresses, the kids are only homeschooled, and the worship never leaves boring.
So.... the problem with the "ultra perfect church" was that I'm not ultra perfect. I look too cute in a good pair of jeans to give them up and I like to jump around during worship. Two big no no's. Also, while I'm totally in to biblical ideals of womanhood, I freaked out a bit when the "ultra perfect church" spent 4, yes FOUR hours discussing whether or not women could talk in church. They finally agreed that we could speak through our husbands. I thought it was so dang funny that I kept telling my husband "naughty" things to tell the pastor for me.
"Bad Wife"!
The final straw? The big debate over a family with a scandal. They had been divorced, then remarried and they were concerned over allowing them to teach because of "past sins" Yeah, let's just forget what Jesus died for!
OK, No more cults for Conservachick...PROMISE.
During this entire "church" process, I was attending a Bible study by Beth More titled Believing God. Oh it is SO good. Well anyway, there is a part where it says to verbally speak out about our strong holds. I thought, great.... I'll give it a try. My only stronghold is Chocolate, Doritos, white cake with pink frosting and sprinkles... oh, you get the idea. So I went into it full force. I daily claimed freedom from my strongholds, expecting to shed those last 10 pounds.
BIG SUPRISE, my mega stronghold was not doughnuts, even the hot ones that slide down your throat in one blissful gulp... NO, it was LEGALISM!
Can you guess the changes that have been going on since God started breaking down that monster.
Well enough for now. My hubby has watched the previews and he's threatening to push play, plus, I think he's got my Ben and Jerry's in his clutches, and I must defend what is rightfully mine!
I'll get into the "changes" in my next post. Until then... be careful what you pray for!!!!! God Bless.