Every so often, in the seemingly random sequence of events that make up life, there come along moments that make you go "Hmmm."
Bryan and I have always made a habit of giving regularly to various causes. It started out as "'tithing" but since then has grown to include trying to respond to various needs that come up around us, and balancing that with trying to help those who seem to need it most.
In the last couple of years we hit new personal records for spending big bucks. There was a new mortgage, a new roof, two international adoptions and a new car to replace my beloved pickup truck (which could not accommodate car seats.) At the same time, our income dropped because I went part time and took 2 unpaid maternity leaves of 3 months each. We incurred some debt, but it should be manageable.
The amount we gave away dropped accordingly. We let it slide for a while. A chunk of the adoption fees went to orphans in Korea (the ones who aren't being adopted), so we rationalized that we had contributed what we could and would re-evaluate in 2007.
Well, this Sunday rolled around and the sermon was on giving, and Bryan and I decided we want to go back to our prior giving percentage. At the same time, I was looking into the costs of child care for a few months while Cameo goes on maternity leave. Turns out our current child care trading system saves us almost $500 per month. Anyway, with the expectation of new child care costs plus loan repayments, etc., I was a little worried about returning to our previous "giving" levels. I figured we would get behind for a few months, but catch up later.
So today I found out I got a raise! It's enough to cover the child care. :-) Just a coincidence?
I don't know, but I recently discovered another worthy cause for my new extra cash. Ten dollars will buy an antimalarial bed net and quite possibly save a life. Malaria isn't in the news a lot, but it's a major killer. Check out www.malarianomore.org or www.nothingbutnets.net.