Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Economy's Lesson

Last year at about this time I was desperate for a new car. Really desperate! Mine was a bit worn out- leaking oil, making strange sounds, encrusted with food I had let the kids eat in the car, cluttered with random things the kids had dragged into the car, smelly, the brakes were bad, the tires were worn, and the interior was getting some holes on the driver's side.  

I noticed every problem every day and I hated that car. I really, really wanted a new one.

I drove my kids to school this morning in that same car. It is actually an SUV, a gas sucking guzzler. That was purposefully redundant. 

Do you know what I realized just last week? I don't hate my car anymore. 

It didn't get an extreme makeover or anything. It just got a mini makeover. We got new brakes and tires along with some new spark plugs, hoses and some other things to keep it actually running. It is now safe, but aesthetically it is still not so appealing. 

I realized that I don't hate my car anymore when I was picking up my boys from school and one of their friends looked at the car and said, "Is your car old?" I said, "Yeah! Do you want to buy me a new one?" He smiled.  Last year, I would have been so irritated, thinking "Even a 3rd grader noticed how horrible this car is." But, I didn't feel that way at all. 

Instead, after this whirlwind year of a descending economy that has most definitely hit our household, I am delighted that I have a car. I am delighted that is runs, that it holds all of my large family, that it holds all of our baseball gear and that it gets me where I need to go. After all, it is fulfilling its purpose. Its real purpose is not to look pretty and feel nice. Although those perks would be nice, I don't need them right now.

I live in the LA area and see a lot of people still getting new cars. Last year, I would look at those other mamas in their new shiny SUV's and I would covet those vehicles. Now, I can honestly say that it does not even phase me. 

I think that somewhere between being grateful to be able to pay this or last months bills and buy food at the grocery store,  I have learned to be content. Desiring new shiny things has not been able to be my focus and so I have become truly grateful for what I already have. 

I am showing my car the love now- even if it is old and worn out with interior that scratches my arm because it is falling apart.

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned to be content with whatever I have." 
Philippians 4:11

"So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content." 1 Timothy 6:8

I have to tell you that feeling content is much better than feeling desperate!


Farmgirl Paints said...

I love your change of heart. Amazing how God can shift our attention to things that matter most.

sealbeachmama said...

I am in the same boat or should I say SUV with you! This year has been harder than in the past but I appreciate even more the things and people I have in my life! Not to mention, recycle, reuse, reinvent what you have and save the $$$. Thanks for sharing!