Most of the time being a big family is a lot of fun. It’s also a lot of work. I believe that in the end it’s totally worth it, and remind myself often that the blessing of posterity is one of God’s greatest gifts. Occasionally it’s incredibly humbling.
Like when you have to buy a space shuttle to drive.
This 15 passenger van is now ours. We’ve nicknamed it the space shuttle. I came up with the name when we were test driving some of these vans because it was the nicest thing I could think of to say about them when I really felt like crying. I was hoping for any color other than white, but there were none to be found. After driving some of them, we gained a real appreciation for carpet on the floor and power windows. Honestly, I didn’t even know they still made windows that you “roll” up and down! The car I’ve been driving is a Toyota Sequoia which is now 10 years old. I wasn’t sure I’d like it when we bought it, but it turned out to be the car of my dreams, which only served to make this transition harder. The used vans we were able to look at really didn’t seem like they were meant for a family. They were more like the bed of a truck with seats in it.
As we were on the freeway a couple of days ago I was thinking about how hard this purchase was to me. I feel like it represents leaving a comfortable place and entering a world of big and ugly. I felt embarrassed to think that I’ll be driving something so ugly. Suddenly I was reminded of Mary, the mother of Jesus, walking into a stable to give birth to the son of God and I felt ashamed of myself. I realized how much I still have to learn about being humble and letting my Heavenly Father meet our needs in HIS way. Sometimes we’re tempted to handle life (and prayer) like we’re at a drive through window placing orders, like a burger without onions. I was reminded that prayers and needs often aren’t answered in that way. They’re GIFTS. Gifts are chosen by the giver of the gift with special consideration for the recipient.
Just this week I was pondering this very thought as I read my scriptures:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Matthew 7: 7-11
As I looked out my window at that moment in the car, I felt grateful that I can trust God to be the great giver of good gifts, and I decided to change my heart and trust him.
Sure enough, we found a van. A van with carpet and power windows. A van with a cd and DVD player. A van that’s been owned by a christian family with 12 children (in 14 years, I might add). A van owned by a man who lives about 2.5 hours away from us but who just happened to be driving down to Salt Lake City for a meeting. A van that feels like it’s meant for a family to drive. A van that looks pretty decent. A van that’s been well-maintained. A van at just the right price. A van that our children are ecstatic about.
So it’s ours, and instead of being a grudging owner of a space shuttle, I’m the grateful owner of one. I’m a little nervous about learning to drive something so big, nervous about how it will handle in snow and not looking forward to taking children to the grocery store and parking at the back of the lot. My kind husband even agreed to keep the Sequoia. I think that the blessings will outweigh the drawbacks, and last night we discovered that it will fit in our garage. Relief! In the middle of the night, as we pulled it in and it fit, my husband turned to me and said, “Does this make you realize that Heavenly Father’s been thinking of us all along?”
Yes, we’ve received another good gift.