I drive a minivan. And it’s true: Minivans Get No Respect. Within weeks of purchasing Odessa the Odyssey (I just decided to name her) I was rear-ended. Twice. I’ve since thought that it’s because there is actually some sort of Star Wars “force” surrounding a minivan that makes us invisible to other drivers. Whatever the reason, I’m telling you, to drive a minivan, I had to get over myself, my right-of-way, my lane, my turn, and learn to drive defensively.
Speaking of getting over myself, I’ve been in my minivan for a year and ten months and I’m finally ready to admit publicly that I actually own one. I’m finally ready to sing the praises of this amazing vehicle, and it’s not for the reasons you might think. The double-sliding, remote-controlled doors are nice, yes. The remote-controlled start that cools or heats the van is also a perk, yes. But the main thing that this car has brought to my life is the freedom to be who I really am.
I am a Harry Potter fan, I love to wear dorky hats, I am not crafty, creative, or a DIY person. I believe in Jesus Christ and He is the only reason I have to boast about anything. I’d pick Disney as my #1 vacation spot and I love that my kid loves his Fart Gun. That’s me. Honda Odyssey and all.
I’ve taken a long break from writing any blog posts because I was too sensitive to others’ comments and criticisms. But a good friend encouraged me to write again, and even if it’s not perfect, or hilarious, or moving, one thing is for sure: I enjoy it. I make myself laugh and it really is a chronicle of my life.
As I re-read a lot of my posts from the past six years, I realized that I’ve learned a lot since 2008. In fact, GOD HAS CHANGED ME. In that time, I faced a two-year battle with infertility, worked in a job that I was NOT suited for, got a degree, had two children, lost my dog, and went on a Carnival Cruise. Although all of these things have obviously changed my life, my circumstances, and my measure of sympathy for others going through a round of toddler diarrhea, this blog has helped me to see that I am different.
This last year has been a hard one for me. I’ve made huge mistakes mainly because of my Pride and my Tongue. Mistakes that have humbled me and brought about a bit of “suffering” that has been good for my soul. I know now, for certain, that God allows those of us in Christ to suffer in order to get our attention, to reveal to us our sin, and ultimately to bring us closer to him. This life is not about being happy, or going on a fun vacation, it’s about being reformed to be more like Christ. And that is what will bring us joy, and peace.
Mommyhood has reformed me. I used to think that to be successful, I needed to be interviewed by Oprah and appear on the Today Show for whatever monumentous thing it was that I had done. But just lately, I’ve come to a place where I am learning that God’s measure of success has nothing to do with Oprah, entrepreneurship, or creativity. Instead, success has everything to do with being who God created you to be, doing what God created you to do, and giving him all the glory. I have a “Don’t DIY, Buy It Instead” board on Pinterest. I have never started, nor will I ever start, a business. And Oprah will never know my name. Who cares?! God made me this way on purpose!
So I’m praying about what God wants me to do with this uniqueness that is Leanne. I believe He has already planned out good works for me to complete and I need to get to it. “IT” doesn’t have to be big, flashy, or even noticed by a single person. Please pray for me that I would find the “it” that I’m supposed to be doing. I am humbly searching for more. And search I will, in my minivan.
Special thanks to Matt for your patience and unconditional love, Jean for your guidance, Stacy for your encouragement, Mom and Dad for your example and faith, Jennie Allen for your book, Restless, and cross body purses- for allowing me to forego the fanny pack.