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Very like The Green Machine, but mine is actually green,

with running boards.  Oh how I love those!

I have a 12 passenger van.  I love it.  I don’t mean I kinda like it.  I don’t mean it’s sorta nice to drive and has the space I need so I’ll keep it.  I mean I seriously love it.  I know I shouldn’t be this attached to anything, but I can’t seem to help it.  It’s my favorite “thing” in the world.  When I drive it, I feel like I’m literally on top of the world, surveying the other, tiny cars from my seat up oh so high.  The ride is smooth and the seats are comfy (the driver’s seat at least, and I don’t ever sit in any of the others, so I can’t comment), and when the AC is on, it’s so nice and cold.  I love this van so much that, on our trip down to Disney World this past summer, I chose to do the lion’s share of the driving.  The trip is 1000 miles each way.  Like I said, I love this van.

Soooooo many seats. 🙂

Other cars I’ve owned, not so much.  A few years ago, another time when we were a one car family, if I needed the car for the day, I’d have to drive the husband to work.  This involved getting up earlier than usual, getting the kids all dressed and bundled, hauling them outside regardless of the weather, driving to his office, and then doing it all in reverse by myself to get home.  I hated that car; “Ugly Car”, as I called it.  It was small and cramped, a Ford Escort, in white, with dark tinted windows.  I shudder just thinking about it.  I would try to put on a good face, but all that hassle just to go to a doctors appointment or weekday Mass, or anything else I may have needed to do during the day seemed like a lot.  I know I would grumble about it more than I liked and more than I should have.

God is good.  Whenever I started inwardly griping, He would send me the reminder I need that He has blessed me in incredible ways.  Inevitably, it would happen.  I would see “her”, the mother with the stroller, usually covered in a clear plastic rain shield, with a baby practically swaddled a la Randy in “A Christmas Story” to keep him warm in the driving rain.  As I drove past, inwardly complaining about how hard the morning was, there she would be, walking to work or probably to the babysitters and then on to work, with a baby, in the rain, in the cold, in a stroller.  Have you ever seen a grown woman shrink to about three inches tall?  That’s what it always felt like.  Here I was, in my (now) nice, warm, DRY, car, with my children in car seats and, more importantly, not out in the nasty weather.  Here I was, with my (overwhelmingly) good life, with a husband who worked so I could stay home, with a backseat full of healthy children, and a home to go home to, where we could spend most of the day dry and cozy until it was time to pick said husband up from work.  Sure I owned a stroller, but in car insurance terms, it was my “pleasure vehicle”, not my primary means of transport.  If we went for a walk, it was because we wanted some exercise or fresh air, not so that we could get to work, and it was never in the rain or snow or cold.  Seeing “her” always put my life, and car, into perspective insanely fast.  I had it good, and she, she was the one with a right to complain.

My “other ride”

One might think that having seen “her” once, I’d never have this problem of grumbling over the good things I had again.  Of course, one would be wrong, or this wouldn’t be much of a post.  It still happens from time to time.  When I feel worried over the loss of “our” job, and the hard times ahead, I hear about a friend who was abandoned in her time of need, and I remember that my husband is here until the end so comparatively I have it great.  When I feel like I have too much laundry to do or clothing to wash or [insert random daily household task here] I remember that there are some women who would love to have the work, because it is only because I have five healthy children that I have almost 50 pairs of socks to wash each week.  I have it so good it hurts sometimes.  I just haven’t figured out the trick to remembering it constantly, and so, from time to time, I’ll begin to grumble.  I’m thankful that, when I need Him most, the Holy Spirit gives me a good kick in the pants to stop complaining, and start being thankful for the many blessing I have that other’s don’t. God is good because I have (among other things) the Green Machine.

So now I want to know: is there one thing that is constantly popping up to remind you to be thankful for all the blessings in your life?

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