The Shins

So last night Austin and I were invited by the Shin family to eat dinner at their home and meet their family. Their precious little boy, John, is a first grader at my school. (this March was all 1st graders' first time to come to school in their lives...March = new school year...first grade = first real grade level) On Tuesday, the first day of the school year, John's Dad approached me and asked if I was the foreign English teacher at this school. After saying yes and introducing myself he called his wife and said into the phone, "I found her! I found her! Come meet her!" I felt like royalty or something because of how excited he was to have 'found' me!!

Come to find out, the members of the Shin family are world travelers: their eldest daughter currently studies in the Philippines in an international school, their next oldest, Romy, will be leaving soon to begin high school at an international school in China, the mom and the two little ones will soon be moving to TEXAS for her to attend Seminary and the Dad has traveled ALL around the World to preach the gospel of Jesus. John's first language to learn was English, then Korean, and the 9th grader (Romy) speaks Korean, English, Tagalog and Chinese. Both of the parents spoke English SO stinkin' well and the little baby, Angelica (1 1/2), didn't have to talk because she won me over with her cuteness. Those of you Americans reading this might not think that their traveling is THAT big of a deal, but for us ex-pats in Korea we have learned how little Koreans travel (or have much desire to ever leave Korea). For example: I told my co-teacher about the Shins today and his response was, "Are they Korean by birth? [yes.] ...then why do they travel to other countries? Why don't they stay in Korea?" Austin and I have been shocked by how ridiculous it sounds to Koreans to travel, see the World and move to other countries for periods of time. So, being World travelers was my first obsession with the Shins!

After arriving at their house it was so apparant that this generous family truly lives out the Bible. The Dad, Paul, is the pastor at a nearby church in Yangsan and he loves and leads his family so well. He is also a photographer and has this huge super nice camera. Austin and I were pretty much in a constant photo shoot while we were there! The Mom (Esther) loved, supported, served and cared for her husband and family with such gentleness and made it apparent that taking care of her family brings her huge joy. By watching the way that this Korean married couple (who as a culture typically don't show affection in public)showed affection toward one another and were on the same page in thought and conversation, I knew that their source and foundation was Christ. I have met many Christian families in my time, but something was different about this one: the love of Christ and family closeness just kept on overflowing and pouring itself into their home. Romy, at probably the age of 15, tenderly held his baby sister and whispered prayers into her ear quietly enough to where most couldn't hear (only those who eavesdrop like me!). John proudly displayed his crayoned pictures of angels surrounding Jesus in Heaven and continuously looked at his Dad like he is his biggest hero! They talked about Jesus like a brand-new hyped up Christian boasts about the grace that he has recently found and, sadly, like we all should. They live each day asking God how they can best serve him that particular day...and last night God answered by saying to bless us Schauers and demonstrate the love that a Godly family is designed to have! Praise God.

After eating a yummy dinner of bulgogi (Korean sauteed meat), salad with fruit, spaghetti, chicken soup (yum!), and rice Esther brought out a cake with one candle in the middle. She lit the candle and said, "John, don't blow it out this time! This candle is for the newly married couple who are learning to become ONE." I could've cried right then and there, I was so touched. At that point, I knew I was in love with the Shins (especially Mama Esther)!!!

Austin and I got home and, literally, did not stop talking about this sweet family for probably 30 minutes:
"...Oh, and what about when they said that..."
"Oh, did you see the way that Romy did..."
"...I want that baby!"

I kept on praying "God, thank you. God, thank you. God, thank you." Thank you, God, for being SO good. Thank you for showing two broken sinners like us what it can look like to live for the Lord and raise a family that praises Jesus! Thank you that you send your servants to bless others like us! God, thank you! God, thank you!


I'm in love with you, Dave Ramsey...well, not really...but kinda...

So now I step up onto my soapbox and demand that every single one of you that is currently reading this silly blog should stop reading this silly blog and go and buy Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book. Or any book of his, I'm sure. I think he should bring me onto his staff and pay me because of how many people that I am going to tell to read his book.

What is it, you ask? A book about life and money and how to combine the two so that you don't end up spending your life stressed about money.

Why get it, you ask? Because it is so stinkin' practical but something that our crazy, obsessive culture doesn't teach us. Don't have debt. Ever, except for a house. Live within or below your means. Save. Give. Invest. Simple! He, obviously, goes into much more detail in a very elementary way to make us non-finance majors understand what he is talkin' about.

I think the reason why I am so obsessed with the book and Dave Ramsey right now is that while Austin and I were in premarital counseling, once we got married and recently when thinking about what we will do when we get home I am the typical woman who worries. I have been failing at putting my trust in the Lord that He IS going to provide for us and that He WILL take care of our needs. Instead, I have been convincing myself that living in a shack is worth it if we get to do ministry. Although I should not and will not put my trust and hope in good 'ol Dave before Jesus, I now have learned that as long as we are smart with our money that God gives to us and blesses us with (unlike about 98% of the Americans who have numerous debts out the wazzoo) that we will be able to live, save and give very generously. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to know that, God-willing, if we follow his plans listed in the book that I will be able one day to stay at home with our little kiddos and not have to wonder how a day care is doing at raising my kids for me.

That's my rant. That's my soapbox. But seriously, GO GET IT. You will fall in love too. I think Austin thinks I'm crazy right now because most conversations I start begin with, "...So Dave said..." No shame, though. No shame. Go get it. Seriously.