About an hour ago, we returned home from Stake Conference. And because we live in the booniest of the boonies and our drive to Stake Conference is 4 hours each way, it wasn't exactly an easy feat for us to go.
I don't tell you this for pats on the back at all. In fact, I often have a pretty bad attitude about going. It means I have to give up my entire weekend to driving in a car with all of my kids for lots of hours. It means figuring out how to pay for the gas and other extra expenditures when we're still trying to recover from the summer of no paycheck. It means attending a bunch of meetings with wiggly children. It means sacrifice.
But it also means spiritual edification, spending time with wonderful people, opportunities to serve, and family togetherness. And sometimes it even means being blessed in ways you didn't expect.
I don't have to tell you how tight the finances have been around here lately. Even though we squeezed by in the summer, and Joel's getting paid again, a lot of bills are coming up that we don't have in the summer. Music lessons, preschool, school expenses for the older girls and just plain catch up with a few things that we couldn't pay for over the summer. The trip down to Green Bay was a financial strain, and we were going to be completely strapped until the next pay check. And since we're also planning a temple trip to Chicago (yes, that's the closest one), we want to make sure we can pay for that, too.
Imagine my feelings when we picked up yesterday's mail tonight and found a packet from our mortgage company. I thought it was weird, because they already sent us the payment booklet thingy for the next year, so I couldn't figure out why they were sending another. So I opened it and found that our monthly payment had been adjusted down a bit, which is always a nice surprise.
But then I realized that there was a pretty hefty check in there as well. Turns out we had an unexpected overage in the escrow account. I have no doubt that this is a blessing from above because we are making sacrifices. I'm still crying over it.
Heavenly Father loves us, and don't you ever forget it.