Monday, June 24, 2013

What My Old Car Taught Me (and a car cleaning tip)

It's a 15 year old Toyota Corolla.
I've driven her since I was 17.
She has been with me though high school, college, marriage, and new babies.
And…it's weird I'm calling a car "she".

The wear and tear on that car is super noticeable. I've run into walls, driven through snow storms, lost hubcaps and side view mirrors. She has countless scratches, dings, and dents. A broken windshield and a broken rearview mirror. Yeah…I have been rough on that little car.

She's not pretty, fancy, or "cool" by any means.
But….she's loyal. I've never had a problem with that car. Not one. It is still getting around 38 miles to the gallon. She's running great.

And I catch myself hating this car. Every time I crawled into it, I wanted a new one. It's not even the car I drive. James takes it to work and I'll use it for errands. But I have had such a bad attitude about it.

It was disgusting inside. In college a can of OJ concentrate exploded (don't judge me!) inside and I could never clean it out fully. It's just grimy and gross. I had enough…it was time to clean it out! God was telling me to get over it and be grateful for what I had.

So I got a bottle of Turtle Wax Oxy Interior Cleaner and starting scrubbing, and scrubbing, and scrubbing.

AMAZING. Seriously, why didn't I do this years ago?!?!

I told you not to judge me. The car was nasty. Just wretched. But with about an hour of my time, some elbow grease, and a great cleaner it's like a new car.

Lets be honest, it's still not the prettiest car.
I mean I'm still missing a hubcap folks.

But the fact of the matter is I was not content with what God has given our family. He takes care of us. He provides everything and MORE than what we need. He's good to us. He's so good, and all I can do is sit in that car and complain.

I like to think of myself as a content person, but the truth is I'm a coveter. I covet all sorts of things that aren't mine. Things that God didn't intend for me. God has called us to be content with what he has given us. He knows what we need and what we don't need.

When I choose contentment, life is so much better. To choose to be happy with what you have can even make the ugliest car seem perfect. After all, she's perfect for us.


Emily Kazmierski said...

Amen! Thanks for sharing, Bethany.

Rachel said...

Some good cleaning can do a lot to help you get a better perspective on the good things you have. I drive a 17 year old Chevy--it was my first car and it's looking pretty beat-up right now (most significantly from the time my grandpa backed his Buick into it and the time I unintentionally went "off-roading" during a blizzard last year) but I hope I'll be able to drive it for many years to come!

Arlyne Nelms said...

It's true, Bethany. No one is content with their cars long enough. But what you can do is to make it somehow meet your expectations of an ideal family car like keeping it clean. It is still performing well; you can still do so much with it. It even hit miles you didn't expect it can reach. :) Arlyne @Spartan Toyota

Em @ And Nothing Else Matters said...

Oh I hear you! I catch myself all the time coveting things that I don't have. I am trying so hard to just be grateful for what I have, and refresh them if need be to make myself be truly appreciative of what my family and I have been blessed with.

Ava Harness said...

“I've never had a problem with that car. Not one.” - For a 15 year-old car, this is great! Only a few cars can last this long that's still in good condition and didn't give you a single problem aside from cleaning it. For me, cleaning is always a difficult task but the most effective trick for maintaining a car.
→ Ava Harness @

Dwayne Charles said...

Great to get this simple but worthy tip from you and I will surely act upon your guidelines while cleaning my car to test it.
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Jason Murphy said...

That's an excellent way of caring for your car. Thanks for sharing.
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Padhma said...

Being new to the blogging world I feel like there is still so much to learn. Your tips helped to clarify a few things for me as well as giving..

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