Our van has really been needing to go into the shop, and as we're contemplating going to Hutchinson for Christmas, the need had become more pressing. So the Blessings and I took the van to Carriage Care yesterday morning. You should see the lovely paper chain we made in the waiting room!
Lots of brake work (including dropping the axle to get to the needed area) - around $500.
New Tires - $???
New Throttle Position Sensor - $170
The exciting part of the day yesterday came when they figured out that our parking brake cables had gotten locked in the "On" position and had ruined our rear brake drums. They had to order the cables and couldn't get them till this morning. Pretty fast when you think about it, but there were my children and I (all of us!) sitting in their waiting room. We obviously weren't wanting to spend the night there, but it's not that easy to find a 30 minute ride for 6 children and a pregnant woman!
My terrific mom-in-law wound up driving over to pick us up and we crammed into her car. Before anyone calls the cops on me for that, Missouri seat-belts laws say that if you have more people in your vehicle than seat-belts, you don't have to worry about seat-belts. :-P While we waited for Mom, the Blessings and I walked several blocks down the street and had lunch at a fast food place - a rare treat for us. So I think for the Blessings especially it was a fun day overall.
You know the really amazing thing about all this? The thing that gives me perspective and makes me so very thankful? Last year about this time, our van broke down. A few weeks later, some dear friends of our Gave us the van we have now. This is a family with 10 children, whose own van was not running all that well. Yet they gave us a van that someone had given them, and trusted the Lord to meet their needs while they were His hands and feet to us. I believe this repair will be the first significant money we will have spent on this van. Isn't that neat??
And an additional note on God's amazing ways is that our homeschool group recently collected money and bought a "new" van for our friends that had given us their backup. It's the nicest van they've ever had (even has AC!!) and it was sooo wonderful to see the Lord reward them for their cheerful selfless giving.
To finish telling about our day yesterday, I got to have a shopping date with Jonathan last night, and we finished up most of our Christmas shopping together.
There are so many things in life that look "bad" to our earthly minds. Isn't it terrific that His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours?! He is working ALL things to the good for those who love Him. More importantly, I think, is that He is working everything for HIS glory. How amazing that our lives, in the pleasant times and in the rough times, can be used to bring glory to our Savior!
What an awesome God!