Today I'm Grateful for an Early Christmas Present

I'm grateful for the newest addition to our family.

Brian and I have talked about trading in the Dodge Durango for a new car for a while. We spend sooo much in gas money every month. We were very interested in the new Ford Fiesta, but I finally talked Brian out of buying a brand new car. Best case scenario: we find a nice used car that we can pay for with the monthly savings in gas. 

So, one night we drove through a few used car lots and picked out a few we wanted to look into more. The last one we found was a black hatchback Ford Focus, 2006. It has a manual transmission, which is what Brian wanted. Since it would be "his" car, that was ok with me. While Brian was looking at it and I was waiting in the car, a salesman came out and talked to Brian. He said that the car had been recently marked down, but he wasn't sure how much. Brian told him we would be back the next day to look at it again. 

But that night, we looked up the cars we were interested in online. We were very surprised to find that this car had been marked down to $4,999, when according to Kelly Blue Book, its retail value was $7,100. 

We decided to test drive it first, since of all the cars, we were most interested in it. Honestly, we didn't think we'd be buying a car that day. But just in case, I asked Brian if I could drive to the dealership so I could get some practice with him in the car, in case I had to drive the Durango home by myself. I'm deathly afraid of driving, by the way. But we survived, test drove the car, and went inside to run some numbers and see what the payments would be. 

After quite some time of going back and forth, figuring out this and that, the payments were going to be even lower than we'd thought. With the money we saved from gas each month, we would easily be able to make payments on the car and pay for insurance. We wouldn't have to trade in the Durango either. 

We both felt that God had led us to this car. We decided to buy it. 

With all the time doing paperwork and waiting to hear back from the bank, we had many conversations with the salesman we were working with. At one point in our conversation, he asked us if we had family or friends in Arizona. We said we had some very extended relatives that we'd never met, but otherwise it was just Brian's job that brought us here from Iowa. We said we did have friends though, people we'd met from church.
"What church do you go to?" He asked.
When we told him, he asked, "Is that an Independent Baptist church?"
Slightly surprised, we said that it was. Come to find out, he had been raised Independent Baptist and his parents back in Montana had been encouraging him to visit our church! He showed us a slip of paper in his wallet - it had the name and address of our church on it.
"I don't think it was an accident that you guys came here," he kept saying.

He talked about how his faith and being in the Word was helping him get through some hard circumstances in his life, and how working at the dealership helped.
"Did you know this is a Christian company?" he asked.
We had no idea, but apparently on the website it states that they are a Christian company. They even hold weekly Bible studies for the employees! We had noticed earlier that one of the nearby salesmen had verses typed up and posted on his cubicle wall, and when we went to talk to the head finance lady, her Bible was sitting on the desk.

How awesome is that?