That’s What Parents Do

 The fruit of the Spirit is love . . . – Galatians 5:23(RSV)

We love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19 (RSV)

 At first I thought I had a flat tire. I was on my way to Johnstown to take my college-age son to the doctor’s. He’d called earlier, asking me what my schedule was for the day.

“I have a list of things to do,” I said. “Why?”

“Never mind,” he mumbled.

Turns out he needed a ride to the doctor’s office because he couldn’t shake a weeks-long bout with congestion and persistent coughing, and his car was in the repair shop—that is, Dad’s repair shop, with possibly a blown motor. My husband had driven to Johnstown two days earlier to bring it home and, hopefully, fix it or get it fixed. At our expense, of course. Most college kids don’t have the money it takes to fix cars. At least, ours doesn’t. He barely had enough to keep it running.

So I put aside my do-list, gathered the makings of homemade chicken soup, stuffed my checkbook in my purse, and headed for Johnstown. That’s what parents do.

It was on the other side of Northern Cambria that I heard the whoomp-whoomp-whoomp. I pulled over, put on the four-ways, and got out. None of the tires, though, were flat. But as I walked in front of my 11-year-old Explorer, which boasts nearly 164,000 miles, I heard what sounded like little stones hitting the inside of the hood. I checked the gauges—all were showing normal readings. The sound soon ceased, and, after checking the gauges again and listening to the engine, which sounded like it always does, I was on my way.

That evening, with half a tank of gas less than I had before my unexpected trip and $57 more on my credit card (for medicine—that’s what parents do), I arrived home. My husband popped the hood, examined the engine, then came and got me.

“Look.” He pointed to the belt that runs the engine and just about everything else.

It was split in half—but lengthwise. Although half the belt was twisted up and useless, the other half still held, running the engine and getting me home safely.

“You ran on prayer. He scratched his head. “I don’t know how that held.”

Or how the broken half didn’t twist around the motor, stopping everything.

I grinned.

“My Father,” I said, the warm fuzzy reaching from my heart to my lips, “takes good care of me.”

You see, that’s what parents do.

Dear God, thank You for Your awesome love for and care of me. It’s exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or imagine. Amen.

Read and reflect on 1 John 4:7–21.

For more on God’s love, read Romans 8: 31-39; Ephesians 3:17-20; Psalm 139; Psalm 103:11; Isaiah 43:4 … gee, the entire Bible is filled with His love for us!

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea, Vol. 3, © 2019 Michele Huey.

Control Freak

 

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. –Galatians 5:22–23 NLT

Growing up as the youngest in a poor family wasn’t all that great.

I rarely got new clothes. Hand-me-downs from my older sister had to do, whether I liked them or not—and just about everything needed hemmed or taken in.

Then there was the keep-her-close-to-home syndrome my parents seemed to suffer from. Neither my brother nor my sister were rebellious in the sixties way, but, for some reason, my parents kept me close to home—and that included not wanting me to get a part-time job. A little pocket money would have improved my practically nonexistent social life, but my parents told me my job was “to be a good student” and “help your mother around the house.”

I obeyed on both counts. I made the honor roll every grading period and cleaned the house every week during the summer months. One time, wanting something different, I rearranged my bedroom furniture, now that I had the room all to myself, then spent the evening at a friend’s house. When I returned, the room was back the way it had been.

Then there was the financial situation. I’d been selected to be a band majorette for my junior year, and that meant money for boots, tassels, a new baton, band jacket, and a brand new uniform—and occasionally a soft drink after practice. My parents were still struggling from my father’s layoff years earlier. Knowing it was hard for them to come up with the extra cash, I got a part-time job at the school library for the summer months. It was one of those underprivileged student jobs through the local government.

My first day was heaven. I loved the work—I mean, here I was, an avid reader, working in a library. And I loved feeling useful, doing something to contribute to the family finances.

But when I got home, my mother told me that I wouldn’t be going to work the next day—or any day.

“There was a mistake,” she said.

Once again, I obeyed, but when I landed my first teaching job years later, I seized the reins of my life. And have struggled with relinquishing them ever since—even to God. Even though I know His way is best and He’s not a control freak like my mother was.

The kind of control my mother exerted led to frustration, disappointment, heartache, and rebellion.

But the kind of control that God, through His Holy Spirit, exerts leads to only good things—such as joy, peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Isn’t that what we all hunger for?

Dear God, when I fight You for my way, remind me that Your way leads to all I’m searching for, all I desire. Break the control freak in me. Amen.

Read and reflect on John 15:1–8; 14:16–17, 26; 16:13

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.