Friday, December 17, 2010

Tis the season... for a van?

So lately, we have realized that with the arrival of our second child in a few months, we will be in need of a larger vehicle. This was something that we were originally hoping to avoid until our third child, but since Karla's sister Kristina has moved in with us and doesn't have a vehicle, we will be needing one that can comfortably seat 3 adults with at least 2 car seats. I've been doing some research and have found some surprising results! I looked into a company called leasebusters, since our vehicle is a lease, and found that there are quite a few mini vans on their website that people are looking to get out of leasing. In particular there are 2 Mazda mini vans that only have 15-16 months of their lease left before the buyout. These 2 people need to get rid of them quickly and so they are also offering a cash incentive and the monthly payment is roughly equivalent to what we're paying for our Toyota! The only bad part is that they're both in Quebec! So I looked into getting a vehicle shipped here from Quebec and found that the cash incentive they are offering would be enough to cover the shipping and still have a fair bit left over! So on Tuesday, Karla and I will be taking an equivalent Mazda mini van for a test drive to see if we like it and then if we do, we'll be getting in touch with the sellers in Quebec and start to proceed with the further information and potential purchase! Please pray that if this is what we should be doing that God would help all of the little details to fall into place quickly and easily and that if it's not something that we should be doing right now that God would quickly shut down these options.

For a totally different topic, I've been reading a new book called The Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card. It's a really great book and it's the first in a series of 6 books. It's nothing like Ender's Game which is without doubt his most well-known book. This book takes place back when America was first being settled but it takes a twist from reality and throws a bit of fantasy into it. One thing that I quite enjoyed about it is the style in which he wrote. For example he would write things like "Ma said to set yer butt down." I love it! It's a really fun read and it has a lot of spirituality in it, although it's not always Christian. I just really enjoy books that incorporate the spiritual realm in them. If any of you are looking for a new book, try this one out. After I had finished reading it, Karla read it and now Kristina is reading it too!

For a third totally unrelated topic, I have a real appreciation for the way my family has been re-vamping Christmas gifts. This year instead of buying more "stuff" for each other, we decided that we would give money to charity in each other's names. We've been doing charitable gifts with my dad's extended family for quite some time and now I'm excited that we're incorporating this idea into our immediate family too! There are some amazing things that you can put your money towards. For instance if you look at World Vision, they have a bunch of medical supplies that have already been donated to them by pharmaceutical companies and all they need is money to ship it. So for every dollar you give, SEVENTEEN DOLLARS worth of medical supplies are shipped to the countries that need it most! This is just one of the many awesome places that you could put your money. At our church, our pastor has been really encouraging us to be more generous with money, even if things are tight right now. We have accepted that challenge and have been amazed! It seems that now that we have committed to giving more, we are less stressed about ourselves and it seems that we actually have more breathing room financially. It's bizarre and all I can say is that God is amazing and that he explicitly says in scripture to test Him with our money and to see what He can do. This has been a real encouragement to me and has really helped me to trust Him more and to rely on myself less. I would highly encourage you all to try to give even just 1% more than what you have been and to watch and see what God does in your life!