The zoning enforcement officer knocks on my door. “So you’re starting a hog farm in your backyard? We’re getting complaints about some sort of smell.”

I shook my head. “No, that’s my daughter, Adilene. She has the stomach bug.”

He crinkled his nose. “May God be with you.” He quickly leaves the premises with his hands over his face.

Luckily God is with us but I suspect he’s teaching us patience or something. I hate when God teaches us patience. When God wants to give us patience, he doesn’t just zap us with patience. He takes away our time so we can practice doing without it. Right now our time has been taken up by coddling our baby even more than normal. My goodness, though! The smells that emanate from her diaper under normal conditions can euthanize a horse but when she gets the stomach bug I could sell her diapers to ISIS to use as chemical weapons. And the consistency… I’ll spare you the details.

You laugh but you don’t have to smell it.

Oh yea, she was also puking everywhere which doesn’t smell so good either. Plus, the puke made my wife queasy and had me suddenly asking for overtime at work.

Luckily, however, God made our bodies pretty amazing and now Adilene has one more virus under her belt of immunity. The sickness is not without it’s consequences, however.

We were working diligently to get Adilene to sleep in her crib. We were getting somewhere too. Adilene was actually settling down and sleeping after a mere fifteen minutes of indignant, bone shattering screaming. Then she got sick. So we coddled her and allotted a place in our bed for her to sleep, which is no small feat because we only have a full size bed. I have to balance my right arm on the night stand and my legs on the ceiling fan so I don’t flop to the floor. Adilene, who is about two feet tall, seems to take up about five square feet of bed space which only makes the space situation worse than normal. But the poor thing was sick, so like good parents, we sacrificed sleep and sanity to help her feel better.

Now she feels better but also feels entitled to the bed. I carefully explained to her yesterday at 1 o’clock AM that she did not pay for the bed therefore has no right to it, but she dismissed my economics lesson by screaming louder. She knows how to win an argument.

Not only that, she clings to anyone close to her like an octopus with separation anxiety. It’s really difficult getting out of the range of all those tentacles. You can set her in the living room and dash to the kitchen to perform some highly necessary task. You get the stove, blink, and an arm has already oozed around the doorway and is wrapped tight around the bottom portion of your pants. Crying soon follows.

She can be a tough little girl, don’t get me wrong. The other day she fell and hit her mouth on the coffee table hard enough to bleed. She got over it in a minute or so. She complained less than I would’ve (which isn’t saying much). You set her softly down on the floor, put a toy in her lap, and then dare to walk away without her? Time to go nuclear, baby! “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” The windows of the house burst from the exploding atmospheric pressure as the magazines on the floor shoot away from her like debris emitting from a blast zone. Car alarms go off. The world stops rotating on it’s axis.

Needless to say, nothing is getting done in the Snader household lately. It’s hard to accomplish things when you have a thirty pound weight sucked tight to your right arm.

Parenting is an emotional roller coaster. I like to tell people who don’t have children that parenthood is far better and far worse than they can imagine. After all, I’ve been parenting for a whopping total of ten months. I’ve learned a thing or two. At 4 AM you’re considering giving your child up for adoption and then at 8 AM you’re prancing around on your hands and knees oinking like a pig just to get your child to laugh. You’ve never met a more unreasonable, obnoxious human being and yet as soon as shes sleeping, you can’t stop smiling from all the pride welling up inside of you because your daughter is the cutest human being alive.

Oh yea, kids are also expensive. So, in an effort to figure out how to pay for them, my wife and I met up with Janice’s cousin and his family. They seem to be budgeting wizards who calculate the depreciation of their welcome rug at their front door just for fun. We turned to them to help get our foundation of a budget started.

I realized the other day that I never learned how to use money. I know how to spend it and I’m quite good at being cheap in innovative ways, but I’m not good at accomplishing big things with my finances. Saying “Yes” to God’s calling in mission aviation certainly began showing me that my vision had to get much larger and more focused on long term accomplishments rather than just staying out of debt. My idea of a budget was “spend less.” We starting using a program called YNAB (it stands for “You Need A Budget”). I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It’s basically a digital envelope system for you finances and helps allocate your current funds into categories so instead of seeing a large lump sum and feeling good about yourself, you put every dollar to use – or give it a “job.” The idea is that you look at your YNAB budget and see that every dollar is used up because it’s accomplishing something, either paying off credit card debt or saving up for new car tires you know you’ll need next fall. This keeps you from dancing down the aisles of your local TJ Maxx while filling up shopping carts with discounted cooking kettles and cat scratching posts just because you can (or maybe you don’t do that).

Pray for us as we continue to learn to be better stewards of what God has entrusted to us.

A quick note about finances: Any support we receive through MMS Aviation is not available to us to use until we move to Coshocton, Ohio and begin full time service. We must have all our debts paid off before we move and as such your support will not go towards credit card debts, new cars, or vacation homes in Thailand.

Prayer Card

Learn more about what my family and I are doing with MMS Aviation by clicking here.

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