Monday, March 16, 2009

Gratituesday: No car for three weeks!

That's right, my trusty Volvo has been in the shop for three weeks. My husband is gone from 5:30am to 6:00-7:00pm every day. I've been house-bound with a toddler and an infant for going-on three weeks.

So, you probably figure this post is going to be about how grateful I am for having a car, since I've discovered how much we rely on it. Wrong! :-D

These few weeks without a vehicle have taught me some really important lessons about myself. The first being that I actually can "make it" without a car all week, if necessary. I got creative with my meal plan a few times because I didn't have a particular ingredient; I kept a pile going of things that needed to go to the post office. I put a list on the fridge of miscellaneous things I needed to get or do.

Secondly, I spent a less money! Always a good thing. Besides the obvious (not using gas), there's also the afore-mentioned creativity in regards to stretching the meals. There were a few times I would have otherwise popped out to grab a craft item, or a spur-of-the-moment trip for entertainment (be that PetsMart or Target). Well, all of that adds up, so if I'm not going, I'm not spending!

Most revealing for me was the revelation that my car can be a crutch for me. Sometimes, I run to the car for comfort and rescue. Life can get hairy with two little ones under two, you know!, and being able to load us up in the car, if only to go to Target for a few hours, can be just the ticket for me on a long rainy afternoon. (Before you start to feel guilty for anything, I'm not trying to say that it's wrong to go out when everyone needs a change of pace, or that a mama doesn't need a trip sometimes - I'm all for it, and we'll have some fun once we get our vehicle back!)

But is it healthy for me to use the car as a means of escape from realities that I'd rather not face-up to? To "get me through" a particularly difficult day. Instead of facing my sinfulness, fighting off my despondency with the Gospel, looking to the Holy Spirit for comfort and calm, I would hop in the car to be distracted by a trip somewhere. It's just been really revealing NOT to have the car, so I'm forced to deal with the long hours and rough days.

Okay, so how's it been without that crutch? Honestly? Some days I've given in to my sinfulness. I can't go anywhere in the car, and the weather has been cold/rainy/snowy a good I'm stuck. I get impatient with Graeme. I poke around aimlessly. I tune Cole out when he's fussing more than I normally would, just because I don't have the kindness, the patience, to put aside my selfishness to care for his needs. Yep, it's been ugly some days.

So as I've "weaned off" of the car LOL - I've been working on filling that need with good things. With Christ-honoring things. Where I would have looked to the car for distraction, instead I'm looking for ways to fill my thoughts with the Gospel, and redirect my attention to those things God has called me to fulfill today. I stop my selfish thoughts, I turn to the Spirit, and I ask for strength. I quote some Scripture in my head. I turn on a CD that brings my gaze away from myself.

I am seeing more vividly how when God calls, He also provides. He's called me to be a wife, mother, and keeper at home...and He is the water from which I drink to be FULL so that I can give myself to that calling with a FULL heart.

Who knew? What lessons a broken Volvo could teach.

For more Gratituesday posts, visit Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.


Melonie said...

This is a great post. We switched to only having one car almost a year ago and for the most part I don't mind. Luckily for me we have lived in areas that we can walk to the PX, library, or *something* to get out of the house if hubby has the car. But it can become too much of an escape, whether you have one or are relying on your feet. There are certain days that I can only clean the house so much and then there's just nothing left to do. Luckily for us we have to drive to another base now to check the mail, so that's my time out. By the time I'm done with traffic there and back, I'm ready to be back home. haha

Great post - tho I do hope your Volvo is done soon for you in case you need it!

barefoot in gitchigumee said...

super mama! honestly, I am the opposite, I don't like to leave much, but my kids do we compromise;)

Sarah said...

What a great attitude to have about being without. Thanks for this post.

Laura said...

Great post, Amanda! I have to say that I'm with barefoot in gitchigumee...I'd prefer to stay home all the time. It's just so much easier than getting all five little people out and and about! But I think that your point could be applied to those of us who would rather stay home as well. There are plenty of things at home that can be used as a means of escape (for me it's tuning the children out and cleaning the house like a mad woman!). Everyone is more content when I do what you fill that time with Christ-honoring things.

You put it very eloquently!:)

Melonie said...

Hi! Just wanted to thank you for the comment on my Thankful Thursday post. :-)

Chatty's b-day is 2 April. She'll be 8. Scary. lol

Myra said...

Amanda, this post is just what I needed to read today. I've been feeling kinda down and it's SO easy to let how I "feel" dictate how I live and what I get/or don't get acccomplished. You've blessed me today and encouraged me to truly LIVE in the light of the Gospel!