Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

A Psalm for Thanksgiving.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100

We have so much joy in this journey, and at every turn we can see the Lord's loving kindness lavished upon us! We had major purchases to make at Lo.wes and Ho.me.De.pot for pool fencing supplies, as well as the supplies to fix the bathroom windows (also governed under pool fence laws since technically if we had an acrobat midget child, they could climb through the bathroom window and in to the pool). Also, the glass in the window in the baby's room is cracked and we've never before seen the need to fix it since the room (currently the guest room) is only used sporadically, but for if and when it's to be a nursery, we wanted it fixed. We decided to do it now while it's cool and my brother (a Mr. Fixit Wizard) has the time to help us. Since we're replacing that, we decided to replace the other two windows on the front of the house so that they were visually uniform.

All that to say, our pockets are much lighter tonight after those two trips! Last week we went on ebay and bought gift cards for both stores for about 90% of their face value. I guess people get them through those credit card reward programs and those point redemption programs. Other sellers receive them as gifts and don't want them and some get them when making merchandise returns. In all those scenarios, it works well for both the seller with the unwanted gift card and the buyer looking to save a bit.

We were nervous but did a lot of research in to the sellers and they all came with a long list of positive feedback for similar transactions. We thought about it a long time, prayed about it and made the purchases and held our breath! One of them also came with a 10% off coupon to the store, and we were able to find a coupon for 10% off to the other store. The Gift Cards came this weekend and we took them to the stores tonight. 100% of the gift cards and the coupons worked flawlessly! We were grateful for God's protection! We also got 1% in rebates back on the card purchases using a rebates program we have. Not much, but every little bit counts, right?

When we ordered the windows, the gentleman helping us was so friendly and knowledgeable. And it turns out that they were running a promo this week where Low-E (energy saver) was free! This was not a promo when we got the quotes 10 days ago, and was not published anywhere, so the prices were less than we expected! Plus the Low-E is a tax credit for next year!

I told him we had some other purchases to make but we only had one coupon so we wanted to check out all at once so I asked him if we should bring our other items to him or our windows order to the front. He said that he'd enter in the 10% discount on the windows in to the computer and then we could just call it up at the front at check out and then they'd confiscate the coupon there after applying it to the other items in our cart. We paid, used the gift cards and coupons successfully and went out to the truck. I sat in the truck while DH and the store employee loaded the back and I pulled out our windows order and the receipt to make sure everything had been called up correctly. I noticed at this time that the windows were priced at far less than 90% of the original quoted price. We did some number crunching and the best we could figure was that the Window Guy adjusted the prices 10% at his computer, and then when we checked out, they took another 10% off of everything, including the windows.

We went back inside and explained that we thought we'd received more of a discount than we were entitled to. The manager asked me to show him an example so I showed him the quote/contract, and our receipt and the math demonstrating a more than 10% difference between the two. We told him what we thought had happened, and he just said "It all looks fine to me! Have a good night!" So bam, right there, an unexpected significant discount, on top of the discount we'd received with the free Low-E!

It seems like at every turn, God is providing us with resources and blessings as we continue. Some may think it's silly to claim that what is likely a cashier-register error is the hand of God but we file it in our "God Sightings" experiences and utter prayers of gratitude for his Cosmic R.A.Ks (Random Acts of Kindness!) It takes on a particularly emphatic appearance when considered in light of all of the other ways He has consistently been ministering to us through both little and large moments! Each act alone excites our gratitude but when we consider everything together, we marvel.

We'd ask you to rejoice with us and praise God for His provision and generosity.

Switching gears a little bit...

We purchased a life insurance policy for DH last fall. We paid a long time ago and signed all the forms so we thought everything was in order. Today we got word that DH did not qualify for the Top-Best rating, but for the second best. This means that the policy is 50% more expensive than we thought. We're really not concerned about that--what worries us is the reason for the demotion in rating. They said that his bloodwork came back showing high cholesterol. He's never had a doctor tell him that, ever. In the general medical profession's defense, it's also been a very long time since he's had a full blood panel done, but in an otherwise healthy, young man, we just wouldn't have expected to need it (as opposed to me--I get full blood panels every year because of my medications). This blood panel was done before he was diagnosed with his condition and therefore before he was taking any medication other than occasional allergy medication so we can't attribute it to that. We don't think it's strictly dietary because mine has never even been remotely high and since I make most of our meals, most of the time we are eating the same things (though we do know bodies process things differently).

We're not sure if "high" means "2 points above the maximum for the top bracket" or if it means "really really high-danger Will Robinson." I also don't know if the policy increase amount is any indicator of the degree of elevation or if it would increase the same amount whether he was 2 points or 20 points too high. We'll go back to our doctor and ask for some answers, but needless to say we were surprised and a bit alarmed by the news. We'd sure love your prayers that we get some solid answers soon so we can get things under control and get him back to where he should be. Given the fact that he is otherwise healthy, and the fact that whatever this was only knocked him down 1 bracket, we're not terribly alarmed, but we were still concerned and I think we'll both feel better when we have some more information. Thank you!

We're grateful for the fact that we were clued in now because realistically, it could have been a while til he had a blood panel where they check for this type of thing. Again, God has lavished His kindness and generosity of information and timing on us! We are grateful!