God Provides

Family Updates

One of the beautiful things about the marriage relationship is that God not only directs us as individuals, but together as a couple. Two weeks ago, we saw this happen in a very definite way in our efforts to replace our aging vehicle.

1986 BuickYears ago, my parents purchased a used 1986 Buick from the farmer across the road, and later gave it to me as I branched out on my own. This car served me faithfully on into two years of marriage, requiring only minor repairs that I could do myself.

As a single guy, air-conditioning is a nice luxury, but it becomes more important when you are traveling with your wife, especially on long trips. Now with baby Abigail in the back seat, there were additional factors to consider, and we felt that it was time that we look at replacing our 28-year-old car with one that had air conditioning and possibly a little more cargo space.

Searching through Craigslist ads, we found ourselves leaning towards the Ford Focus Wagon, which would provide excellent gas mileage as well as the additional cargo space of a station wagon. I was looking for something in the range of $1,000 – $1,500. (I realize that’s a bit on the low side, but we are planning towards overseas mission work and don’t really feel the need to invest a lot of money in a vehicle.)

CraigslistDoes God care about things like vehicles? I believe He does. He cares for us as His own children and has promised to meet all our needs as we seek first His Kingdom and righteousness. (See Matthew 6:24-34.) Our search for a vehicle was centered around prayer that God would direct us to His best.

As you might expect, there was not much available on Craigslist for a 2000 Ford Focus Wagon within our desired price range. Several days later however, I noticed a new listing with a Ford Focus Wagon for $1,500 or best offer… Hmm… Could this be the one?

From the single picture, it looked really nice. No major rust spots or damage. High miles was not really a concern to me, as my family had driven cars like this for years. A phone call with the seller answered some more questions and everything sounded positive. Valerie and I decided to make the two-hour drive to look at the car, praying that God would make His direction very clear.

“I think we should probably make an offer on the car.” Valerie suggested. “Did you have a price in mind?” I wasn’t really sure what to say. If the car was really as good as it looked in the picture and description, the Kelly Blue Book value was considerably above $1,500. But somehow Valerie felt that we should offer $1,300 for the car.

Arriving at the beautiful country home of the seller, I took my time looking over the car. It was every bit as good as the picture, and the mileage was actually 15K lower than they had advertised. As the seller had described over the phone, the back tail gate did not open but I felt pretty confident that I could repair this. Overall, I was quite impressed. After a test drive, I turned to Valerie for her thoughts. We both felt very good about the vehicle, so we went inside to talk with the middle-aged couple that was selling the car.

2000 Ford Focus“Well, it looks pretty good.” I told the seller. “It does look like it will need a little work on the back tailgate,… so would you be willing to negotiate on the price?” She nodded and responded, “Sure. Would you like to make an offer?” I paused and looked at Valerie. Turning back to the seller, I asked if she would take $1,300. What happened next took me completely by surprise.

The seller’s face suddenly filled with emotion, and she said, “I think I am going to cry… Would you like it for $1,100?” What we didn’t know is that while we were out test driving the car, she was talking with her husband over dinner. Her husband told her, “If they offer you $1,300, I want you to give it to them for $1,100.” I was astounded! Who but the Lord could have impressed upon Valerie that we should offer $1,300? The seller went on to exclaim, “I can just feel the presence of God in this!” Valerie and I could not agree more.

After completing the transfer of title and bill of sale we were getting ready to leave when the seller reached over and handed me one of the hundred dollar bills from the stack on the table. “Here, why don’t you and your wife go out to dinner on the way home.” Needless to say, we were rejoicing all the way home, grateful for the Lord’s provision through the generosity of this couple and amazed at God’s answer to our prayer for clear direction!

The following day, I took the back door panel off and found the lock was simply gummed up and stuck from lack of use. With the aid of some cleaning lubricants, the tailgate was restored to normal operation. A do-it-yourself recharge kit brought the air conditioning back to full capacity and we enjoyed a great drive to Nashville and back the following week.

What a blessing to see how God provides for His children! He kept the Buick (affectionately known as the “Bronze Chariot”) running for all these years, and then provided us with a beautiful replacement for our needs this summer. It is great to have a car, but even more special when it has a story behind it. –And a good lesson for me as a husband to consider the suggestions of my wife. After all, He impressed Valerie with the exact offer amount that turned an ordinary purchase into a precise answer to prayer and testimony of God’s loving care for us!

Our "New" Car

 

 

Abigail’s Big Day

Abigail, Family Updates

Today was a big day for little Abigail. Her first little tooth came through and she discovered the art of crawling! An enticing toy on the other end of Mommy and Daddy’s bed provided ample motivation for little Abigail to figure out how to move those little hands forward and propel herself across the bedspread. She is still working on the coordination part, but it was really cute to see her excitement as she realized that she could get from one side of the bed to the other all by herself.

 

Learning to Sit Up

Abigail, Family Updates

Our little Abigail is growing up quickly, or at least that’s what it seems like as we watch all the changes taking place week by week. :-) A few days ago we set up her highchair at the kitchen table, and this has quickly become a favorite spot for her during mealtimes. In the video below you can see her learning to hold her spoon as she tries out her highchair for the very first time.

 

Israel Pictures

Family Updates

Ruins at Bet She'anWe have enjoyed an incredible trip to Israel! Many, many special memories to take home, along with a better understanding of the land and culture in this special nation. Last night my Dad asked what my favorite part was. I told him that I felt like the whole trip was like a mosaic, where every part made up the picture as a whole.

I have compiled an album (shared on Google+) of some of the photos that I have taken during our trip. Many of the pictures include captions to explain a little more of what you are seeing. You can also check out David and Priscilla’s blog for more pictures and videos taken during our trip.

 

The Trip of a Lifetime!

Family Updates

Waller Family in IsraelWith the next generation of the Waller family growing quickly, we realized that there was perhaps a narrowing window of practical opportunity for us to travel together as an extended family. This fall we finalized plans for a three-and-a-half week trip to Israel, the land of the Bible. Our group of 14 represented three generations of  the Waller family, and included all but one of my siblings. (Rachelle and her family would have loved to join us, but had to decline due to the timing of the trip.)

Walking on the Wall of JerusalemFor us, this was not a spiritual pilgrimage, but rather an opportunity to see with our own eyes the land we read about in the pages of the Bible. It is one thing to read about the Sea of Galilee, but another to actually drive through the city of Tiberias, and eat a picnic lunch on the shore, and gaze up into the hill country where Jesus fed the five thousand.

I love the verses we find at the end of Psalm 48. Picture a father walking around the city of Jerusalem, pointing out to his children the landmarks and memorials that remind us of the great things that God has done through the ages.

“Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” –Psalm 48:12-14

Abigail at MegiddoAs a new father, I find this passage of particular significance as I ponder my responsibility to teach my children to know the God of the Bible.

In this picture, Abigail is sitting in a feeding trough at Megiddo, found in the ruins of Solomon’s palace in this city.

Someday when Abigail is older, I look forward to going over these pictures with her and describing the significance of the places we carried her through at just three months old.

 
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