Raindrops. They were falling. Some annoying, some refreshing, some necessary.
Two years ago we ventured into the world of no longer being a one-car family. For all but a brief season of our marriage we have always had one car. [While we briefly owned an older Jeep, it doesn't really count because it was broken down more often than it ran!]
In October 2009 we were told about a program called "Air Check Texas". If you had a vehicle that was 10 years or older and wouldn't pass inspection, you could apply for a voucher from the Texas government to help you get a newer car. [Part of a plan to help reduce emissions in urban areas--like Dallas.]
We didn't have an older car. We had one van. But, friends of ours had an old Honda that was falling apart. They didn't qualify for the program (there are income restrictions). So, they gave us their old Honda. We only had to pay for the title transfer. We found a 2007 Hyundai Accent at a dealer who would accept the voucher. He offered us a great deal on the car. We walked away with a second car for just a few thousand dollars. We committed to paying it off in one year.
Last fall we did just that--Daddy's little white car (as the kids call it) was completely paid for. We were blessed to have a second vehicle. Joel took Rylee to school each morning and then went to work himself. I had the van to run errands. We didn't have to juggle who would pick up whom.
We were especially blessed as we would let others borrow it when they needed a car--if their car was in the shop or if Joel was out of town. We let someone borrow it this summer while we were gone for a month. The whole story of how it fit into this really neat plan of God supplying our friend with a vehicle for months on end so he could save money was just one story of many. God used our second car in some neat ways.
We have seen God's faithfulness through vehicles in more ways than I can chronicle here.
Most recently, though, we saw His faithfulness as we realized Daddy's little white car was, indeed, very little. The Hyundai has suited us well for the past two years. However, this year Joel takes the three big kids to school each morning and I pick them up. His little white car could fit three booster seats in the back, but they were a tight squeeze and the kids couldn't buckle it themselves. It was also a 2-door car, which was a royal pain when I used it--taking Jett in his car seat in and out.
We decided it was probably time for us to sell the Hyundai and look for a bigger vehicle.
We decided to sell the car over Labor Day weekend. We listed it on Saturday. I got a few calls Sunday. A woman came to test drive in Monday and gave us a deposit. She brought us the rest of the money and we signed off the paperwork on Tuesday.
The kicker--we sold it for $1,000 MORE than we paid for it two years ago! (And, remember that Air Check...so we actually paid out of pocket several thousand less than that!)
Apparently 4 cylinder used cars are in high demand with this economy. When have you ever heard of someone making a profit on a car they drove for two years? Okay, maybe a used car salesman, but not a family like us!
We found another van (almost identical to our current van) within two days and bought it. So, we now own a little mini fleet of minivans. They are both older vans, but the new one only had 62,000 miles on it. It's now "my" van and Joel's driving the van with more miles on it.
I'm constantly amazed at the ways God chooses to take care of us. We will sometimes hear people talk about how much faith we have to trust God with support raising. I've heard people talk about the crazy life of living on one modest income. Honestly, God has shown us His greatness so often through having limited finances (according to this country's standards), I can't imagine that I'd see Him as the provider so easily if we had more.