Sunday, September 9, 2007

For such a time as this

As my wife's passionate posts over the past few weeks have indicated, our family has been through a rough patch, unparalleled in my own limited experience. To add insult to injury, last Friday our Isuzu Rodeo broke down when we were taking our daughters to my parents. After having the Rodeo towed to Goodyear, they diagnosed the problem as a locked cam shaft on the passengers side. Covered by our 120,000 mile power train warranty. Shouldn't a problem. Right?

Goodyear found a local Isuzu service department that sill administrates Isuzu warranties - Fezeli's Imports in McKinney - so we had it retowed to there. After a day of "looking at it," they somehow determined that the Rodeo's engine had no oil in it, so this is why the cam shaft locked up - only one, mind you, on the passenger's side. I protested that this was impossible, as I had checked the oil myself days before the breakdown and we had had the Rodeo's oil changed only 300 miles before the breakdown. The Fezeli's Service department manager agreed to call a corporate Isuzu rep out to determine warrantability of the cam shaft, and this is where things stand as of now.

All of this has added on to our already financial bleeding due to other mechanical failures around our house. This has been a time of frustration. We have been on the Dave Ramsey plan to pay off our unsecured consumer debt since September of last year, and the past six weeks of breakdowns have cost us half of what we'd already paid off. It feels like we've lost six months of progress.

But it occurred to me this morning that another way to see this is that God has been working with us over the past year to prepare us for these summer events. If we hadn't paid off all that debt, we'd be that much more in the hole than we were at this time last year. As it stands now, at least we're still below that level of debt. And our patterns have changed.

For such a time as this, God has been moving in us and through us to prepare us to move beyond and into something better.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My Marriage Rocks!

In the midst of all the turmoil this weekend, my marriage is stronger than ever! Right when our troubles began, we made a pact to not get mad at each other. It was nobody's fault. The power train going out on my car is some freak thing, that will either get fixed or, find it's way to the auction block!

I have a good man. I have a great man! I need to tell him more often. Me and my children are his priorities. You can't beat that. We work well together. The other weekend when my in laws bought our treadmill, we got the beast of a treadmill out of our bedroom before the in laws got there. We are a great team! God gave me a wonderful gift in my husband. He may not know how to fix a toilet the right way, or build a tree house, but, he truly loves me. He's a wonderful father. I can look in the eyes of my girls and tell them, when they grow up they need to find somebody to marry just like my husband. How many wives can say that about their husbands? He's a great provider. I'd rather have my husband than somebody that can fix a toilet the right way, who is a complete and utter jerk! Who wants a know it all jerk?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

As long as we're all still together

This Labor Day weekend has been nerve wracking, to say the least. The one nice thing about it was that my husband's boss gave him Friday off because their team had been working hard on a project that will not end anytime in the near future. The second great thing was that my kids were going to be shipped off to my in-laws for the weekend, so my husband and I could have quality time together! We were on our merry way when my car starts making a high pitched squealing noise and we try to make it to the next exit, which seems to be an eternity away. We barely coasted up hill on the exit into a Target parking lot. The car died. We smelled burning rubber and rotten eggs. It was 95 degrees outside. My oldest had fallen asleep, so she was oblivious. My youngest was chatting the whole time. It was driving me bonkers.

When we called roadside assistance they said it would be 3 hours before anybody could help us. Then we also found out, they wouldn't have enough room for all of us on the truck. We called my in-laws to see if they could come and pick the girls up and take them to their house. They said yes at first, then when they got into some traffic, they called and said they were going back home. I panicked! At that point, I was hoping we could all have the same goal in mind, and think of my kids first. That, at least, they would be taken care of so my husband and i could take care of the stupid car. My mother in law griped because the spagetti she was making for dinner was probably ruined. I'm not sure why she couldn't have stayed at home to cook her dinner, and then my father in law pick up the girls. I'm thinking, it's only spagetti. It's not filet mignon, and it was her GRANDKIDS after all. So, my husband called them back saying, "No, we really need you to come and get them". They were there in only 45 minutes. Now, at least my kids were taken care of.

The tow truck driver actually showed 15 minutes later. He was nice! His name was, Ed. He got our car on the back of the truck and were off to Goodyear. This is all late on a Friday, so really nothing was going to happen til Saturday, anyway. Well, after the diagnosis was made on my car it turned out to be something on the powertrain that should be covered still under warranty. But, Goodyear doesn't honor Isuzu warranties. Neither does the dealership that we bought our car from that was only 10 minutes away. I wanted to rip the head off of every body at the Crest dealership! So, here we go. We tow my car once again to a dealership in Mesquite that does still honor Isuzu warranties. But, of course they won't have a chance to take a look at my car until next Wednesday. If we would have left my car at Goodyear and asked them to skip the warranty and just fix it, it would have been about $4k. The car is barely worth that much. By 2 o'clock I think I had cried a total of 3 times. I was stressed.

My in laws have 3 cars between the 2 of them. They are retired. My husband asked if we could borrow one for a week, and they were nice enough to agree. We've been married for 9 years now, and he's never asked them for anything. We've never had to, til now.

We've been trying to follow our "Baby Steps", as Dave Ramsey calls them. But, the last 5 weeks, we've been bleeding problems that aren't fixed with just $5 fixes. It's hundreds of dollar fixes. Each time. I'm afraid to ask, "What next, Lord?". God must think we're pretty strong, because of all He's handed us lately. I'm not sure I can take anything else. Thoughts of selling our house and just renting for a while start filling a permanent place in our heads. We need to get out from the dark cloud of debt hanging over us and just be free for a while. The house we are in, isn't necessarily our dream house anyway. It would take at least $100k to make it that way, and it's not worth that. We would just rather move into another house that cosmetically only needs some paint or something. Renting something smaller would also let us take a vacation with our kids that we haven't done in a while. At this point, I could care less about what people say about how this may look. The Jones' aren't worth keeping up with. They're in debt up to their eyeballs, and I don't want that kind of life. After they rack up the debt to their eyeballs, they cower and declare bankruptcy. That option has never crossed my mind, or my husbands.

This is all just stuff. It's rubble in Gods eyes. It doesn't matter where I live, as long as I have my husband and kids all under the same roof.