There is a beautiful young girl in my life--she is 21, graduating college, and getting married. If you have known me for over 8.5 years, you know that I could be writing my own story there. She is quite an accomplished young lady who traveled to multiple continents on mission trips to serve the Lord, lived in Mexico for 9 months helping build homes for families, and is finishing college in 3 years. She chose to take a graduate level seminar this last semester of her college career in which she had to write a 30 page paper. She chose to write on the UN's transition from a "humanitarian intervention" policy to nations' "responsibility to protect" citizens whose nations are refusing to protect them. I helped her go over the paper at various stages, and then proofed her entire intro again. What I learned, besides the fact that she is an incredible writer (okay, already knew that, I have been proof reading her papers for 6 years) is how much I don't know. I had no idea that the situation in Kosovo at the turn of the century sparked Kofi Annan (Head of the UN) to create a new program that took the focus off the nation that was abusing it's citizens and put it onto the world at large to protect people who are being tortured and killed and denied aid. It's so incredible--the R2P principle, as it's called--and I want to learn more about it now. It's that always humbling realization that I don't know as much as I think I do, and there is so much to learn.
Do you know the best way for Dan and I to hold the Title to house we are buying? Do you know about converting a chlorine pool to a salt water pool? Do you know how to polish granite (well, sort of fakey granite) counter tops? I don't know, but I am learning, because we are buying a house! Yea! I will try to post some pictures of it soon. (And, yes, it has a pool!)
Gabe is 4 today. His party is on Saturday so pictures coming then, but he is so excited about today being his birthday! Dan took the two oldest to "Kung Fu Panda" because Mckenna read 30 books this week and Gabe did well with night-time potty training for a week, so they earned it. Then we are off to Karate (that's another post too) and then we are going to Chili's for Gabe's birthday (it's his favorite restaurant) with some friends from church. What a full and fun day.
I am in essays up to my ears. Overall, I ended up with 450 to grade in about 3.5 weeks. Yep. That's right. I still SO LOVE this job. And, the set of 150 I just finished were the seniors' final essays and they were a joy to read--they have come so far! But, between essays, escrow, and a birthday party to plan, I have had some late nights.
Dan and I have had some deep talks about money. The Lord has provided for us above and beyond our dreams. When you see the pictures of the house we are buying, you will know what I mean. Believe me, we were not smart enough on our own to buy low, sell high, buy low. That was a gift. When we consider that the house we are buying (1931 square feet, built in 89, tile roof, beautiful yard, next to elementary and Jr. High, pool and spa, mature landscaping, 3 houses down from my favorite park) we are paying only $20,000 more for than the house we sold (900 square feet plus a studio apartment, built in 69, shake roof, steeply sloped yard, no landscaping) --we are floored. We see what God has done as His provision, but we are working to not see the money as a life-line. God is still our provider. God is still who we run to when times are hard, not the money, not the house. In God alone can we put our hope, for He alone will never fail us. There is a passage in James that talks about the poor man boasting in his circumstances because in trials and hardships he has to turn to the Lord, there is no buffer between him and God. But a rich man does not see his need for God when his riches can rescue him from Hardship.
Lord, may we forever run to you, trust in you, see you as our sole provider. Help us to see your provision as just that, as a gift and blessing of wise choices, but never as a lifeline. Help us freely give away all we have, in possessions, in energy, in time, and in spiritual life as you have freely given to us, whenever you call us to sacrifice. Amen.