Friday, December 11, 2009

Book Review: The Betrayal by Douglas Bond

The latest work of historical fiction by Douglas Bond is a phenomenal read! It is the first I have read by the author and it did not disappoint. Eager to learn more of the life of the great reformer John Calvin and having difficulty grasping much of the non-fiction I've been reading (due to first trimester fatigue ;), I decided to turn my attention to a bit of fiction which requires less of my mental faculties. Tim Challies of Discerning Reader had reviewed this book favorably, and P&R had significantly discounted a few copies, so I ordered one for my personal library. I am so glad that I did! Bond holds the attention of his reader well with the suspense sprinkled throughout the text. Reading this work has helped me better grasp the climate of the time of the Reformation throughout Europe, the persecution that was so prevalent, and the enduring faith of the saints that have gone before me. I was reminded afresh that there are many who are currently enduring persecution just as the men and women of this time period, and I was stirred afresh to pray for my brothers and sisters. The book also stirred me afresh to memorize and mediate on Scripture that I might always be prepared to give an account for the hope that is in me (1 Pt. 3:15).

I have a lot of respect for Calvin and the way that God has used him to shape our modern-church. Though he was not a perfect man, just as we are not perfect, there is much to learn from his life.

"Christ came to save sinners...And only those who believe that they are great sinners will be saved...You...are a great sinner. Yet is Christ a far greater Savior. Flee to him alone" (Douglas Bond, The Betrayal, pg. 371).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Win A Baby Carrier

11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven is giving away a gorgeous Hotslings baby carrier!

To enter click HERE.

Momma's Joyful Little Helper

What a blessing it is to have happy helpers! I think somebody needs a pint-size apron! ;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cost of Giving Birth

So lately I've been doing some number crunching as I consider various options for bringing our new baby into this world...not that numbers are everything...there are many other factors to consider, but numbers are more objective so I don't mind sharing that data ;)

These are the charges for Harrisonburg OBGYN, Labcorp, Rockingham Memorial Hospital, and Valley Children's Clinic (who sees the newborn in the hospital):

Harrisonburg OBGYN: $2,500
Initial Ultrasound: $ 165
20-week Ultrasound: $ 265
Lab work (minimum): $1,159
RMH Room Charge: $3,995 (1 day)
Pediatrician: $ 175

Total: $8,059

With the lab work, I have excluded many of the tests (i.e. HIV, many STDs, Triple Screen, etc.)

I've also had to factor in gas as I live over an hour away from the doctor's office. At 46 miles each direction, figuring about 20 miles per gallon, and current gas cost at $2.85, gas would cost $170.43. Not to mention other wear and tear including replacing brakes and changing oil as a result of the extra 1200 miles I would be putting on my vehicle.

So...with a 20% co-pay and gas, we have $1,822.23...add brakes and an oil change, as well as the other miscellaneous items that I haven't taken into consideration and you've racked up quite a bill. Note: this is not including any drugs...not for induction, pain killers, or anything. If they give you pitocin, pain meds (including ibuprofen), you will be charged extra for those things.

This is the first time I've had a co-pay so the data is very enlightening. Every hospital is different, but this is an approximate figure in 2009 for a standard vaginal birth with no complications at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA (pretty much the least expensive birth you can have ;). Hopefully, somebody else will find this helpful. Please share if there is anything that I have failed to consider as I am trying to get the most accurate figure that I can. ;)

(For those of you who might be wondering about Grant Memorial Hospital, I am still waiting on a return call to find out what the room charges there are, but so far, everything else is comparable (some things a little higher, some a little lower, but pretty much coming out the same in the end ;) It is a little closer, so mileage would be cheaper and there is no mountain so probably less wear and tear on your vehicle...but anyway, I'll let ya know what I find out there too ;)

Update: Never could get the data from Grant. Sorry folks!