Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Van Fam....

We've been a two van fam for about six years now.  2008, after the birth of our 5th child, we decided to trade in the Honda Passport for another Honda Odyssey mini-van.  I actually love both of my Honda Odyssey vans.  They get great gas mileage and are still somewhat socially acceptable in the world of vehicles.

Oh yes, I'm vain about my cars.  I admit it.  How pathetic am I?  Well, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who has a large family and can't WAIT for the day to get back into a four door car- when I'm too old to actually get behind the wheel and basically will be getting in to go to the nursing home....

The Newest Catholicmomma "van"
So yes, there it is.  The newest vehicle now owned by our family.  I don't know how I feel about it because while I understand that our now 8 passenger Honda mini van will no longer accommodate all of us beginning next February-there is a part of me that feels this is a rather ridiculous change and it's only going to bring MORE attention to us and I am already struggling with that element of my life.  (remember, I'm a work in progress)

I do understand that it was probably inevitable and it won't last forever but something about it makes me cringe.  I remember kids who rode in vans like this when I was a kid.  They were the "dorks" the "nerds" the large families us "normal" families made fun of.  I remember one family in particular who drove a big ole van like this and we made fun of them horribly.  I think even my parents felt sorry for them and we were always saying how "poor" they were.  Yes, says the girl who wore her neighbor's hand-me downs who was a head shorter than me.... Ironic...

Here I am.  Now driving one of those vans.  Actually, I haven't driven it and I probably won't.  For a while.  It's humongous.  It seats 15, but we'll probably take out the back row to allow for things like groceries, strollers, etc, etc.  My kids are ecstatic.  They are crazy.  But I'm glad they haven't thought about their momma strolling up to the school in the gigantuan swag van.  This gives a whole new meaning to the swag van song....

So even though this change may have been inevitable, (both my older two are rather cramped in the back), it's still a change that I was not anticipating quite so soon.  Once again, make God laugh by telling Him what You expect to happen and then wait...  I am learning to see that God is not someone I can place in a box anymore than I can nail jello to a wall.  

I do not know what God wants from me, or what His plan is for me.  All I can do is be open to whatever He allows to happen in my life and receive it with thanksgiving, because no matter what, whether it's happy, sad, hard, easy, painful, or silly, it's a gift to be cherished and thankful because if it's any of those- it means I am alive.  I am alive in Christ.  I will, once again, be a fool for Him.  A fool, only in that, our society, our culture, our media, tell us that people who have more than 1.2 kids, who don't live in the biggest houses, or drive the fanciest cars, or own every electronic known to man, are fools.  

Clearly, 7 children will far surpass my fool status.  From people in my own family to complete strangers at Wegmans, no doubt.  I remember the comments about my "carbon print."  (yea, I didn't want to go there, pretty sure my carbon print is non-existent comparatively, but some people were born to argue and I'm pretty sure, I'm related to all.of.them.)

I was upset that I was so upset about justifying my sixth child.  I mean, who's business is it anyways?  Should I call them up and share all my knowledge about my fertility?  (down to the location of my cervix?  That'll make some of them quiet up quickly... :) ) It was almost ridiculous how many people would exclaim, "SIX KIDS?"  And then suddenly, when faced with my endearing smile (cause looking like a crazed-escaped from the mental hospital-woman might have sent the wrong message) they admitted to being the youngest of six or seven themselves.  

Perhaps I can paint a different portrait for people about large families.  Perhaps, I can prove to them it wasn't only about farming, or helping to run the family business.  

Perhaps I can show them that it was more than that.  It was a deep understanding of the truly sacramental bond of the covenant of marriage between two mere humans and one God of the Universe.  An "earthly trinity" if you will.  God in the center of these two mere mortals who wish to please their God in all they do.

No, I was not planning on another child.  My husband claims to have known this would happen- maybe so- but the central Person in our relationship was in total control.  And He makes no mistakes. 

None.  Nada.  

Not even in this family.  

So as I prepare to receive my big ole partridge family bus and accept the fact that I will one day have to DRIVE that huge thing I will remind myself of this. 

God makes no mistakes. 

That is one thing I can be certain of in this very uncertain world.  That and His infinite love for me and my family. He loves each and every one of us.  Because we not only allow Him in our lives, but we invite Him in to the most private, quiet, special places of our hearts.  Our souls.  He is so in love with us and wants only for us to sit and bask in His glory.  Let Him do the rest.  

Well, today, I shall sit and bask in His glory as I revel in my own love of my van fam....

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