Do you ever start telling a story and realize it’s bigger than you realized? Okay, that’s just bad writing, but I mean it. I often miss the meaning of things until I start connecting the dots in conversation.
This happened on Tuesday when I was telling some friends about our progress in getting funds together for the adoption. And it was just an add-on to the conversation, really. There are about ten of us from Ada Bible Church that meet at 6:30 a.m. every week. We usually pick a chapter of the Bible and plow through it over the course of several weeks. But our studies often turn to conversations of what’s happening in our lives. This week we never got to Daniel chapter 6. And at the end of the study, a few of us stragglers started talking about recent events where we felt like God was involved.
I found myself telling about our finances, and remembered something a friend and adoptive mother told us early on in the process. She said money would come from unlikely places. I smiled and thought sure, that’s how things happen in your life. But for me it’s been slow and steady, scrape and save and sacrifice. I fully believed and appreciated how things came together for her and her family. That’s just not usually how things work for us.
And we have scraped and saved. No vacations, only day trips to free places. Minimal restaurant outings, potlucks and home cooking instead. Only needs, not wants. No Costco-style shopping trips. Still our $15 cable plan. Still patching up the ailing minivan. We went through our finances and got less taxes taken out so we could get the money now instead of in a tax return. And we cleared out the house and had a garage sale.
The garage sale was actually the first extra boost. A few hundred dollars. Nice. The first of about four big payments for the adoption came up. We wrote a check for it, no loans or credit cards.
Then something unprecedented happened. Our savings plan started working. This usually doesn’t happen. We tend to spend what we have. Not overspend, but not save either. All of a sudden we were setting aside money with each paycheck.
Then Kristi got an offer to watch the daughter of a friend. It’s only one day a week, but it adds up. Car repairs, kids shoes, electric bill from a hot month, birthday presents for friends and cousins. It helps. She actually just got another offer and is considering another day. Then yesterday, the bank had a deal: open a new savings acount with $50, and they will match it with $50. We had been meaning to set up accounts for the kids for awhile now. Done.
So now, the next payment is coming due. We will be writing another check. In fact, we are on our way to that third check and may be able to avoid loans and credit cards for the whole thing.
Yes, this doesn’t really happen to us. Or at least we don’t notice … until we start telling the story.