Last week, our car began to have multiple issues. We had the choice to try and fix everything or trade it in. We opted to trade it in and get a new/used car. But, big purchases always scare me. I get nervous about taking on debt. I've shared on this blog how much debt we had 3 years ago and how much we had to take on when we got water in our basement. This past week we tried to take a vacation. Sadly, so many things went wrong! We tried to go to Williamsburg for 4 nights/5 days. On the way down, we got a star crack in our windshield--it even took a small chunk out. Then we got lost in Richmond and found ourselves in unbearable heat for our kids. When we finally made it to the hotel, we had to switch rooms twice. The kids wouldn't sleep and then Sami threw up in the night without realizing it. We decided to cut it short and simply come home. A mile from home the back tail light cover fell off the driver's side and when we stopped we realized our car was making a strange high pitched noise.
God was gracious. We made it home in one piece. The other two didn't get sick and I am thankful for that. We realized that we needed to replace my car sooner than we had hoped. We were trying to wait until February and our tax return. So began the search.
Minivan or SUV?
Mileage? How high is too high?
Cost? What's our range? What can we afford? 5 or 6 year loan?
Bank or dealer financing?
New or Used?
In the end, I test drove a Cadillac SRX, a Toyota Sienna, and a Toyota Highlander. I had a certain number in my head that felt right for the size of our loan. It scared me, but it didn't feel overwhelming. It scared me because I simply hate loans and debt. But, I was trusting that God would help us find the right car. One tricky thing for my husband and I is that I'm the shop around kind of person and he's the let's find it now kind of person. God has been so merciful to us in our purchases and in giving me peace and helping me to trust Him.
On Thursday, I felt the Sienna was the wise car for us to purchase. A friend on facebook shared with me about how SUV doors are heavier and so it's harder for little kids to push them and keep them from banging into other cars. But, my husband didn't have peace, so we went home. I took care of dinner and getting the kids to bed. I crawled onto the bed and read Choosing to SEE while my husband surfed the internet downstairs. After a while he called me downstairs and asked me what I really wanted in a car. I had realized that I wanted a car that would make my life easier not harder. Then, my husband said he thought we should get the minivan. I was very glad for that.
We went in the next morning and bought the car. God was gracious. It is just what we wanted without the extra bells and whistles that we didn't want. It does make my life easier amidst all that life has going on to deal with!
I am thankful for how God works in the big things and the little things to work everything out!