This is one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen in a long time! Our new-to-us used car! After two months of being a one-car family, we are back to having two cars! Yay!!!!! Happy dance all around!!!!
Last December, the night before the funeral of my mother-in-law, I was minding my own business, driving to the grocery store. A random stranger rear-ended me at a stoplight. Wham!!! Just like that, my car was totaled. Fortunately, nobody was majorly hurt, similar to the accident I had back here in 2017. Because this collision happened close to Christmas, I didn’t jump on replacing it. I had Christmas to take care of. I do have my priorities, after all. For one month, I got to drive rental cars paid for by the stranger’s insurance. (A fun story involving the monster rental truck I had for my New Year’s Eve vacation is here, skip down to where it says, “I had my own little post-Christmas miracle just this past Monday..”)
After that, I shared our remaining car with my husband. On days I needed the car to run errands I took him to the commuter train station. Then our washer broke down, and I was feeling soooo low. It was cold, it was winter (still is), it was gray, we only had one car, and the washer was broken. Ugh. Long story short, after months of wrangling with the insurance company, we finally got the insurance money to replace the car. Last Saturday, we finally got to go shopping and found another iteration of my absolute favorite family car, the Toyota Sienna. See photo above. This is my fourth. I’ve had one white one, two blue, and now a gray one. Yes, we have owned three Siennas that have been totaled! One was my fault, the other two times it was my teen driver’s fault (who shall remain anonymous) or another driver’s fault (the random stranger mentioned above).
I just love Siennas because they last a loooong time (if not involved in car collisions), have amazing engines, and feel so rugged yet smooth when I drive them. The Sienna model is a beautiful car, yet so comfortable and functional. It’s the ultimate mom car. It has over a dozen cupholders, a little table between the front two seats, where I park my purse, a compartment to store sunglasses over the driver’s seat, and a little mirror that comes down so I can see what’s going on in the backseat. I love that I can take out all the seats behind the driver’s and front passenger seat if I ever want to haul cargo instead of kiddos. Like when we picked grapefruit in Phoenix to sell at a Farmer’s Market.
I am feeling so blessed because this one we found is better than the one that was totaled, overall. It is older, but it’s in better shape. Both sliding doors are automatic, whereas in my previous one just one was automatic and it was broken. Same thing with the liftgate. It was broken in the previous one, works in the new one. I’m so grateful we could pay cash for the replacement. We are continuing with our Dave Ramsey commitment of paying all cash for cars for the total price with no monthly car payments.
I see this new-to-me yet used car as a complete blessing and tender mercy from the Lord. He knew that I wanted my old car replaced. It had all the problems listed above, plus more I don’t want to mention. (Like maybe something involving an Instant Pot of tomato lentil soup by one of my children acting carelessly, spilling it in the back storage area.) This is the way the Lord provided for me to replace my old car with a nicer one.
So, I have this car to add to my ever-growing list of tender mercies of the Lord. In the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Nephi testifies that, “I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Nephi 1:20, italics added). I have been delivered so many times by the Lord from first world problem bondages of frustration and inconveniences, with the tender mercies of the Lord.
Today in my church meeting a woman in my congregation shared that scripture I just quoted. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Finland. She shared that in Finnish, the word for word translation of “tender mercies of the Lord” is “tender graces of God.” She then shared that many years ago she took upon herself the challenge to read the Book of Mormon with spiritual eyes looking for tender mercies. The challenge was to then find a tender mercy of the Lord in each and every chapter and mark it for future reference. Continuing with the second part of the challenge, she then wrote in the back of the Book of Mormon every day about a tender mercy from the Lord Jesus Christ that she had seen that day.
She testified that she has seen at least one tender mercy every day, and she has continued with this challenge. She has been overwhelmed with the love she feels from our Savior Jesus Christ. She feels so blessed. She has been teaching in the public school system for 32 years now, and these tender mercies have kept her going through the “third toughest year” she’s ever had. She shared several examples which I won’t share but they were really sweet.
Instead, I’ll share a few of mine:
-For years, I really wanted to give birth to a baby on a Sabbath Day. I can’t even remember if I ever voiced this request in prayer. God knew I wanted it and blessed me with the tender mercy of giving birth to my last three babies on a Sabbath Day. The last one was even born within a few hours of me attending a temple dedication, so that was extra special.
-I really wanted to move to AZ in 2015, and God arranged for that to happen by blessing me with the tender mercy of inspiring a person my husband respects to suggest to my husband that he look for a job in AZ, when dear husband wasn’t listening to that suggestion from me.
-I really wanted to move back to UT in 2020, when I could see that my older children weren’t staying in AZ with us to go for college, but going to college in ID and UT and would most likely marry someone with UT roots. They would never live close to us, if we stayed in AZ, I could just see it. So, I prayed deeply that God would work it out for us to move back to UT, and He blessed us with that tender mercy.
-After we moved back to UT, I realized God blessed me with three little tender mercies. These were things I’d never voiced in prayer but desired. Here they are: 1. That I would someday live in the neighborhood I ended up in. 2. That I would have a kitchen with white cabinets. 3. That I would have a living room with yellow walls. I had tucked away these three desires in my heart long ago, and God blessed me with them when we moved back to UT.
I know God desires to bless us with tender mercies when we show that we love to honor Him with obedience and service. I’d love to hear yours!