Since that purchase, my boys have grown several feet and car seats no longer occupy the middle row. Soccer cleats and balls still fill the seats come spring, but we figured it was time to move out of the minvan stage.
It was a very tiring 3 days of trying to find a vehicle for our family. We had even done our homework in the days prior to actually going out to car lots. We don't have (as my dad calls it) "no tag shopping". So...after the sticker shock wore off....we were just trying to find a dependable vehicle in our price range. This was quite a challenge. After a day 1/2 of vehicle shopping, those minivans were looking a lot more do-able.
About halfway through our 3 days of shopping, we stopped at a friendly local car dealer. This was fun for the boys because we got to ride around the car lot in a golf cart. We told the gentleman what we were looking for, along with our price range. He told us there was one minivan on his lot that fit that description...and that it would be perfect for us. After circling the lot, he realized it had been sold. I got a bit deflated at this point. Car shopping had never been this difficult for us in the past. I was feeling a little sorry for myself...that we would just have to settle for something or maybe just nothing.
As were were leaving, the salesman asked my husband what he did for a living. My husband shared that he was a pastor and that I homeschooled our boys. The car salesman looked at my husband and said, "What you do everyday is worth a whole lot more than money." As I shook the gentleman's hand and said, "Thank you", I was glad I was wearing sunglasses. What he said really touched me. It was one of those "God Moments" when you realize that the Lord placed a particular person in your life just at the moment you needed it. When we got in the car the boys asked my preacher-husband why I was crying. He said what he usually does, "Because she's Mama, and she's allowed."
I don't know if car-shopping/buying is supposed to be a spiritual experience--but for me, it many times is. (At least the 4 out of the 5 times I've actually purchased one! The "1" was just us being stupid.) I think car buying can be spiritual, because it has a whole lot to do with prayer and provision.
A few car lots later.....It was nearing the end of the day, but we decided to re-visit some car lots since we were now way more open to minivans. At our last stop, the car salesman invited us in so he could look for a minivan on his computer. We sat there for a LONG time. He just kept click, click, clicking on his computer. My husband and I were both thinking we could do this at home. We later shared with each other on the way home how we both wanted to say something, but just decided to be patient. He was clicking through EVERY car in the inventory. Then he stopped. He said, "I found one." He immediately got up and went next door to bring us the minivan. Long story short...that was our minivan! (Can you say, "Thank you Lord for stains on the carpet, a bit of high mileage and sitting on the lot for more than 2 months?")
And...Guess what our car salesman does when he's not selling cars? Yep, he's a bi-vocational pastor!
***I call it our "blue spaceship", because of the control console up front, and the fact that it is just so funny how the back and side door open with just a touch of a button. We're a big Star Wars family, so it works!***
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