Is It Possible to Keep a Van Clean?

Keeping the van clean is among one of life’s greatest challenges for our family. We are ready for any type of crisis because of the items that take up residence in our vehicle. The fact that some of my kids like to travel with a change of clothes everywhere we go, is beyond me - others pack food every time we leave the house! One of my kids is a traveling library in case she has time to study, or finishes studying and finds time to read a book for fun. Then there are the toys that sneak into the van via pockets and backpacks. These toys land on the floor and multiply when we get out of the van. I would not mind everyone bringing these extra personal items if they would simply carry their belongings back into the house after the trip and put them back where they belong. But inevitably everyone is racing to the bathroom when we get home and the van is left holding the goods. Personal belongings accumulated times ten have been a cause for embarrassment. I know humility is good, but couldn’t it come another way?

One afternoon my oldest daughter, Madeleine, and I were going to pick up our Oreck vacuum cleaner from the shop. Now Oreck has absolutely the best customer service a vacuum cleaner owner could wish for including curb service. I had forgotten about the blankets and clothes piled on top of the strollers left in the back of the van after our latest picnic at the park. Not only was our van packed to the gill with miscellaneous stuff, but to top it off the one back door handle was broken and could only be opened from the inside. This meant that the passenger in the front seat had to reach back and open the door for anyone wanting to board the back rows.

Being a typical fifteen-year-old, when Madeleine saw the young handsome employee carrying our vacuum cleaner to the car for me… she panicked. She thought, No way am I letting that guy see our van!

So as the sales clerk and I approached we heard the doors lock, Click. Not that we could have opened the back door anyway. Talking through the glass I said, “Open the door, sweetie, so he can put the vacuum cleaner in the back.”

Her front door flung open narrowly missing the poor guy holding our vacuum and she said, “Just hand it to me, I like to hold it!”

What? I thought.

When the salesman left and I walked back around to the driver’s side and climbed in, I looked at her underneath the burden of our vacuum cleaner and asked, “What was that about?”

She answered, “There was no way I was going to let him see our broken door AND our dirty van!”

“Good choice,” I laughed and vowed to make all the kids clean it out when we got home.

“But all things should be done decently and in order,”

1 Corinthians 14:40