On Sunday morning there was no hot water so we packed everyone in the car as soon as we woke up, drove through McDonald's and had our breakfast and bath at the church. I think Natsuki was the most put out since it was such a wide departure from her idea of "normal". But I was mad or at the least, very frustrated. When we moved to Japan, we didn't have very much. Chikara got what turned out to be The Job From Hell and it covered all of our expenses but with baby after baby arriving, we weren't able to save for the future like we wanted to. Before I got pregnant with Natsuki we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel but, of course, Natsuki coming meant that I had to take a break from teaching English. Chikara had found a way better job with a better salary and our needs were being met but our goal was still to build our savings.
This year, 2008, is our chance once again to get our act together. For one year, we won't have to pay any preschool tuition but our kids are still small so their needs aren't expensive yet. Plus, with Natsuki getting older, I can take on some extra English classes if I want. So here we are, January, and we are on the same page and ready to go for it when our hot water heater breaks. It's possible that we could fix it cheaply but it's old so we should replace it. My FIL found a hot water heater last year that had only been used for 3 years so he brought it to our house just in case we needed a replacement. But it would cost money to replace and even then we didn't know if it would work. The last possibility would be to buy a new hot water heater but that could be between $1,000 - $3,000. I was just so frustrated since all options bite into our fledgling savings plan. Grrrr! As I was taking my shower at the church, I just kept thinking that this is Murphy's Law. Why even try?
Anyways, I finished my shower and got ready and headed up to the service that had already started. As I was trying to get my head and heart in the right place while coralling our kids, the worship leader was leading when suddenly he was singing an old hymn. Of course it's in Japanese so I'm trying to place which one it is when the title pops into my head. I Surrender All. It just stopped all of the busyness in my head. Of course. Surrender it. It was so clear to me that I stopped keeping an eye on the kids and just raised my hands and surrendered it all. I felt so much lighter after that moment.
When we got home, Chikara's dad called to see what we were going to do about the hot water heater. We had been in the middle of deciding dinner (part of our savings plan is to make more meals at home). Chikara had been making rice and his fingers were bright red from washing the rice in cold water. They invited us out to dinner and saved the day really. I thought to myself that already God is providing for us. Then dad called us this morning and said that a work friend of his could switch in the used hot water heater for us for $200 and he could come tonight. I almost laughed when I heard. Of course God would protect our good intentions to be stewards of what He's given us. I never needed to worry.
All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to thee, my blessed Savior
I surrender all
Already my resolution for this year has been tested. Did I pass? I'm not sure but at least I learned something!