The Beauville

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It might be hard to believe, but there were times in my life when I wasn’t always so grateful and aware of my blessings. (Just pretend it’s hard to believe, ok?) More and more, I’m learning about what a richly blessed person I am. I’m discovering how much I have been lavished with opportunity, education, privilege, and gifts. I’m learning that while I may not be “rich” by national standards. By global standards, I’m living large!

Not long ago I would have laughed or sneered if you told me that I was a rich person. Growing up, I was always aware that my rich friends at private school had much more than I did. It wasn’t true for everyone at the school, but some kids at the school were WEALTHY! While my parents scrimped, saved, and sacrificed for me to be there, their parents barely felt the loss. They had more toys and I had to share with my siblings. They had new clothes when I wore hand-me-downs. They had cable, we had an antenna. And their cars! Oh, their cars! They had leather seats. Fancy conversion vans with beds and captains chairs. They had car phones, and tvs, and personal headphone jacks. Things I’d never dreamed of! And then there was our car…. We had a HUGE old peach and white Chevy Beauville van. It was diesel. It was louder than other cars. It smelled differently than other cars. It took up more space than other cars. It needed to be plugged in during the Winter to stay warm. It was an eye-sore, and it kind of embarrassed me.

You’ll have to imagine my surprise then, when I FOUND that old van recently. When I shot Titus and Rachael’s engagement photos in a junk yard, there it sat. It’s unmistakable. It was more yellow and white than peach and white, it was rustier than I remembered. However, it was the same van. I was not only surprised to see it there, I was surprised how emotional it made me. Suddenly instead of an embarrassment, it was a memory. I ceased to compare it to other vehicles. I just remembered the trips to New York. The songs we’d listen to in that van: Chicago, Crosby Stills and Nash, Acapella, Petra… Listen to… and sing along as loudly as we could. Harmonizing, of course. I remembered stopping for picnics at rest areas and eating homemade sandwiches out of the cooler. I remembered seeing Niagara falls. I remembered TRYING to see the Grand Canyon, but turning around because of a blizzard. It all came flooding back. And I remembered I was blessed.

I might not have gone to school in a car with leather seats and a car phone, but I went to private school and was near the top of my class. I might not have had new toys and new clothes, but I had piano lessons, swimming lessons, and voice lessons. I maybe didn’t have cable, but my family sat and read the Bible together every night before bed. Maybe I didn’t go to Disney World, but we went to beautiful and majestic places to see our friends, family, and to enjoy God’s amazing creation. It’s amazing the change in perspective a few years can give you. (A few? 20 is a few, right?) It’s amazing the nostalgia that can come from spotting a single item that didn’t mean much to you, but over time you’ve discovered it’s real worth.

I am spoiled rotten. I have way too much. I don’t deserve to have as much as I have. I share too infrequently and I complain too much. Lord, help me not to forget how much I have.


  1. I love you, Marah Grant. You’re an inspiration. I can’t believe you found the van. I would have wanted to take it home with me!

  2. That is so crazy that you happened upon this piece of your childhood! I love that. And why do your posts always make me teary? :)

  3. I see it all the time and think of you all. We call it the Shaffer-mobile! If you’re looking into a restoration project, I’m sure I can get you a good deal :)

  4. Wow! That brings back a lot of memories! You guys and that van and the Jump with their bronco or whatever it was.

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