Minivans Change Lives

When we found out I was pregnant with our third child my first response was complete shock and trepidation.  The second visceral response I had was the part of me that died inside knowing I’d have to get a minivan.  I can’t explain why I cared so much about having to make this change.  I’m not sure on what planet I thought my sedan gave me any sort of cool factor or why that would even matter, but I do know that somehow that day the second pink line showed up on the pregnancy test, my life crossed the threshold into full-on stereotypical minivan driving mom world.  

Another part of this memory I cannot explain is how utterly alone I felt in that moment.  None of my close friends drove a minivan.  Surely I could not traverse this transition alone.  I needed some solidarity from someone else who had gone before me.  I needed someone to tell me a minivan didn’t change things all that much.

We bought our van on a trip.  I know that sounds weird, but that is how it happened.  I don’t even think we went and looked at them.  There was no test drive.  There was no fun exploration of all of the bells and whistles.  My husband emailed the salesman from a hotel room as I went from vomiting (those baby boy hormones haunted me until the end) in the bathroom to laying on a beach chair watching the waves roll in.  They negotiated back and forth throughout the week, a process I was grateful to be removed from.  When we landed, my husband went to the dealership and drove the navy van back to our house.  Threshold officially crossed.  

As I began my minivan mom life, our oldest began to point out all the other cars on the road that looked just like ours.  Suddenly all I saw were navy Honda Odysseys.  Every stop light, every parking lot, and seemingly every other car in the preschool parking lot was the exact same car that I was driving.  Did everyone decide to buy a minivan while we were on our babymoon?  Or was I just now aware of how many people actually drive minivans?  Was I finally noticing what had been around me all this time?

I reflect on this memory often.  It is so interesting how when something matters, we see it all around us in new ways.  It’s caused me to examine my life and what is always around us that we let pass us by on a regular basis.  In the seasons where things are hard, I try to diligently remember to notice the good around me.  And in the seasons where things are abundantly joyful, I try to remember to notice the good around me as well.  Sometimes I write it down.  Sometimes I take a photo.  Sometimes I just make a mental note.  Recently, I’ve been sharing some of them on Instagram with the #countyourmiracles.  Yes, if you listen to Maverick City Music this probably sounds familiar and the thought was completely inspired by their song.  

Miracles are all around us all the time, small and large, simple and ornate.  They are everywhere.  I think about my entry into the minivan world and can see so many: our baby was born healthy and full of life, I never threw up in that car while pregnant with him (although I threw up so many other places – sorry to the Target employees at the Brentwood store), that van ushered in a new phase of life that was crazy and fun, there were so many moments of laughter, togetherness, and car naps in that van.  It in and of itself taxied our family around and was a witness to many miracles.  

It might seem trite or even silly to try to see the good in things this way.  I totally get it as I would have thought the same at different points in my life.  What I can say now though, is that counting your miracles will bring things into a new perspective and usher in a sense of hope to your life that will truly change how you see things.  So join me and the Courage Community here and on Instagram.  Follow along, send me an email, post a picture and let’s all be encouraged to #countyourmiracles.

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