Jeremy and I have decided to purchase the car. I find it no coincidence that what was asked for the car was almost exactly what what we had in savings and excess checking. Of course, our savings is a money market, so the funds aren’t readily available. It will take probably until the end of the month for the funds to be available, and I figure this is another one of God’s plans to teach me something, like, maybe, patience? He knows I need a good dose of that!
I do have to rejoice and share a moment of what I feel is successful parenting in the middle of this story. On our way to look at the car last week, we were talking to the kids about what we were doing. “We’re going to go and look at a car to buy.” Hudson’s immediate response was, “Dad, we don’t need a new car. This one is perfectly fine, and, besides, cars cost a lot of money. We should save our money.” At this point I felt my heart swell, and I thought to myself, ‘We’ve taught him so well.’ Jenna quickly responded, “Wait a minute, Hudson. This new car might have an air conditioner that works!” HA! If you’re not familiar, the Protege’s air conditioner is somewhat unstable – okay, it hasn’t really worked the last two summers. There is a freon leak, so it doesn’t cool well unless we’ve just had a charge of freon, and that weekend it had been in the 80s with no recent freon charge.
Can I tell you that cars really don’t matter to me? Really. Lexus – don’t care. BMW – whatever. I want safe, economic, and durable. I didn’t even know what a Toyota Avalon was when Jeremy asked me if I would drive one (I’m pretty adamant about something small and highly maneuverable – I can parallel park the Protege ANYwhere). I know the Corolla and Camry. Well, when I saw the car with its leather seats, DVD players in back for the kids, and sunroof, I got uncomfortable. I shouldn’t be driving a car like this. Too nice. I guess as a “pastor’s wife,” I feel like people are watching to see how I spend my money. Too nice a car might make us start looking like some of those TV evangelists that live too large. You’re right; I’ll never please everyone, but those are the thoughts I have.
I did love the way it drove – smooth, quiet, turns quite sharply. Though I don’t think I’ll be parallel parking for a while! We took the car on Sunday, and I think by Wednesday I let myself get excited about it. I spent the first two days worried – what will others think? should we really spend the money, I mean, my car is still running? too nice? On Thursday I even took the liberty of driving with the sunroof open and started using the radio and AC controls on the steering wheel. I LOVE it. We returned the car Thursday night. Once we have the check in hand, we’ll go and make the exchange. They offered to let us go ahead and take it, but that didn’t feel right.
So, in the last week, God’s messed with me a little. The car is such a gift from Him. He watches out for us all the time (not just material things – though He’s blessed us with an amazing grill, an amazing camera – friendships – my job share – my children – their health – on and on). Gifts from Him are all around me, everywhere I look. This most recent blessing has really done a number on me. I’ve been very open that I’ve been searching for what God wants me to do. I’ve been open that I haven’t really surrendered it ALL. God has put me in such a place of humility and praise, that, can I tell you, I will do w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r He calls me to do. Full, total surrender.
I think the change has made my husband more attracted to me. We’ve talked more about giving to the church building, and I’m not even flinching at anything. We’ve talked more about what God might be calling me to do in a ministry sense, and I’m not flinching at anything. It’s also VERY weird because I’m not even flinching on the inside. I just want to give back to God. I want to show Him how very, very grateful I am. How very much I see Him as the Lord of my life. It feels really good.
I challenge you – look to see where God is blessing you in your life. How can you show God that you are grateful? What can you do for Him?