Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Good in ALL things

was reminded of Luke 6:38 this morning as I rode by a neighbor's house and spotted a weight bench out by the curb.  You see, our 15 year old has recently gotten into weight lifting and has been asking for a gym membership and/or some more workout equipment at home but with the holidays upon us we haven't had the extra cash to pursue either.  BAM, once again, God delivers in an interesting but effective way.  While probably not as appreciative/receptive as I was due to being awakened during break at 8AM, I pulled up Luke 6:38 on the web to refresh my fuzzy memory and passed it along to him as a reminder that no matter how small and insignificant something seems, God's got it.  

In my experience, this goes beyond deep down needs extending upward to wants and desires that may be more surface level.  Case and point is our planned trip to Colorado next week to visit family and some friends that are having a baby any day now.  While I love the mountains and visiting loved ones certainly isn't a bad thing, we don't NEED to go to Colorado, but through an alignment of circumstances and prodding from the Holy Spirit via multiple friends mentioning they were traveling to the state over the holidays (seriously, this happened like 3x while we were talking about possibly making a trip), it's happening.

It may seem like a small thing, but the weight bench was a simple reminder to me that God's got us in all things, something I desperately need in this time of planning for kid #4 that will arrive 4 short months from now.  Speaking of that planning, you may be wondering why I took a screenshot of Luke 6:38 instead of just copying the text above.  Well it seems Google Ad Services has a good pulse on the current subject of my preoccupation.  As sad as it may seem, after buying a Prius (which I'm probably due for an update on) we are now considering buying the other type of vehicle we swore we'd never buy--a minivan.  

I'm still hoping with all that's in me that our $3500 Volvo XC90 will suffice but a recent road trip revealed it's pretty cramped with 6 people piled inside (let alone the addition of an infant car seat) and with all the driving over the past year for baseball we're back to the point of our lowest mileage vehicle having over 150k on it.  Sure, I have the ability to fix stuff, but with increasing work and family demands, time has become precious and I'd rather spend what extra I have hanging out with those I love and/or turning a wrench on a friend's car or enjoyable project.

Old me would have probably dumped the Volvo on craigslist and picked up similarly priced van but looking at what's on the horizon something slightly newer/fresher probably makes more sense as much as I hate to admit it.  A new car is most definitely out of the question but there seems to be a good supply of 1-2 year old low mileage vans out there for sale at a fraction of their original list price that could provide many years of faithful service (assuming the vehicle of choice is a Toyota, of course).  Most of these are out of cash-paying range and while I've always avoided auto loans like the plague, with rates hovering around 1.45% from our local credit union it's an option worth considering, especially since we could funnel any funds received from selling other vehicles towards a naggy student loan with a 4.25% interest rate.  Ignoring the inevitable depreciation on a vehicle (accelerated by 3 of its occupants being under 4), the slightly fuzzy math of that choice may make sense.

I've also considered liquidating our vehicle inventory (currently 3 running, 2 not) for a cash purchase but that leaves us in the range of a 100k+ mile van and no backup cars and also reeks of a fight for self-sufficiency which has typically not worked out well for my stress level in the past.  We're just in the beginning stages and while I'd usually post about something like this after we'd worked through options and made a decision, I figured I'd drag everyone along for the ride...

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