Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Blessings of Tithing

Since we've moved Sean's pay has been really weird. That along with our mounting expenses due to moving, our budget has been frighteningly tight for the first time since we've been married. Payroll keeps screwing up Sean's paycheck. First off they paid him double when they shouldn't have and then decided to prorate it out of his next few paychecks. HR was late in issuing our move package to us and we realized pretty quickly that the amount they gave us didn't even cover moving our stuff from Vietnam to the States. There's also taxes that we owe to Sean's company from overseas because they paid them for us upfront.

All of this has amounted to Sean's pay being extremely inconsistent. We're not even sure what his normal take home salary is going to be. Anywayz, so I've kinda been getting on Sean's case about paying our tithing. He was frustrated because he wasn't sure how much he needed to pay because everything has been so messed up. So we hadn't paid yet, but more on this later

The amount of money we've had to spend on the move has been ridiculous. We had to ship stuff from Vietnam to NJ and then had to ship our stuff from Seattle to NJ. We drove ourselves here in the Prius so there was some expense with that including hotel stays. When we rented this place we had to pay a Realtor's fee (which I think should have been paid by the Landlord, but apparently that's common practice in this area). Everything in this area is about twice as expensive as it is in Washington. That includes food, groceries and rent. The only thing that seems to be cheaper is gas, but we hardly drive anywhere here because parking fees and tolls are horrendous. Of course we've also been used to living somewhere where everything costs about half as much as it does in Seattle so everything here seems outlandishly costly. Then our stuff from Vietnam got held up in Customs for an extra inspection which we had to pay for. Great.

Sean has been trying to contact our domestic moving company for the last month and a half, but hasn't been able to get a hold of anyone. There are a lot of things that happened with the move that were unprofessional or straight up negligent. They broke all our lamps (I don't think they even wrapped them or protected them or anything). They broke the crib, which was due to negligence on their part. You can tell it broke because of the way they packed it. They put the headboards together with the brackets facing into each other. This meant that the bracket punched a hole in the headboard. They should have flipped the headboards outwards and this wouldn't have happened. They also broke one of the rungs on the crib. To me, the crib was the most upsetting thing. They lost the hardware to our utility shelves, yet we have our shelves. Why were they separated to begin with, I couldn't say. We're also missing a large mirror.

When they came to pack us up initially, they were over four hours late. They ended up wasting Sean's ENTIRE day because they were so slow in getting everything into the truck. Keep in mind a lot of our stuff was already boxed and it was in a storage unit... meaning no doors to go through and no stairs. That infuriated Sean.

When they delivered our stuff they were a day late and ended up coming on the Fourth of July. Really? A Holiday? The truck showed up about an hour late and arrived with insufficient help to unload. Sean and Sterling ended up doing a lot of the work unloading into the house. The moving company was supposed to do all of this. We PAID for them to do all of this. No one was checking off the boxes that left the truck. They are supposed to go down the packing list and check off all the boxes on the list to make sure they delivered all our goods. No one did this. Then the driver insisted on being paid in cash. Sean was kind of ticked because the company wasn't returning phone calls and he hadn't received the final invoice of the cost of the move. Now the driver was insisting on payment in cash and we didn't know how much to pay or if he was over charging us etc. The whole thing was just a nightmare.

I've been really worried and stressing out about our finances. Was I going to have to go back to work? How would we afford childcare? Are we going to have to deplete our savings for the next year until we can relocate to somewhere else? These were all things that were running through my mind.

I was ticked off at Sean's work for putting us in a terrible, stressful situation for the last four months. (Granted some of it was our own doing.) I was ticked off at the moving company. I was sad about leaving Vietnam and feeling homesick... both for Vietnam and Seattle. I was stressed out from dealing with my children and their unpredictable behavior since moving here. I can't blame them entirely since we've flipped their worlds upside down multiple times the last few months. I was also mad at Sean for a number of things.... among them not having paid tithing yet.

So Sean finally wrote the check for tithing and two miraculous things happened...

First thing was that Sean finally got hold of the move company. The lady told him a number of surprising things. Apparently their company has come on some difficult times. Their drivers haven't been maintaining their trucks properly or following DOT regulations on driving time, etc, so the DOT eventually shut them down temporarily. They aren't even doing pick-ups right now until their suspension is lifted. Also, their company had a number of trouble spots with their movers. One of them was Seattle. Lucky us. Also one of the guys that does their price quoting was fired. And guess what? It was the guys that quoted for us. Wow. The lady told us a number of things to do and said that there's a good chance we might be compensated for our experience since just about everything went wrong for us. Luckily most of our stuff arrived in decent shape despite everything else that went wrong.

The next thing that happened is related to our move package. Sean had been talking to his HR department and discussing our move package. We were under the impression that the amount was to cover the move only from Vietnam to Seattle. They either hadn't reviewed it or believed it was the amount for the entire move. They called Sean with some awesome news that they reviewed the original contract and agreed with us that the stipend only covered moving expenses to Seattle. Whoo hoo! They allocated additional funds to us for the total move. This new amount was about triple the original figure. I was so happy that I wanted to cry.

I guess we'd better make darn sure that tithing check ends up where it's supposed to. I am so grateful that things are looking up. I feel like a huge worry that I had has dissolved. Thank you God for blessing us. I'm not sure we deserve all this goodness, but we'll take it!


  1. Tithing is an awesome thing! Hang in there, we have experienced crap like that too!

  2. Great story! (Well, despite the not-so-great parts!)