In the days before health food was chic, I did my very best to feed my children healthy food. This required a lot of extra work on my part, but it was my joy to provide for them.
“Mom, I’m thirsty. What can I have to drink?”
“Oh, there’s a drink machine in the kitchen. Why don’t you try it out?
“Where? I don’t see any drink machine.”
“It’s the shiny, silver thing at the kitchen sink.”
“Mom, that’s just the water faucet.”
My big thing, though, was fresh vegetables. We had broccoli, cauliflower, squash, celery, carrots, cucumbers and on and on. It seems like I was always preparing plastic bags of chopped, diced and sliced veggies for their school lunches.
Years later I was sharing with the children how much I appreciated the way they always listened to me and were respectful of the things I had to say. That’s when my older son told me the ugly truth.
“Mom, you were always in the kitchen, and you always had a knife in your hand. That’s why we showed you respect!”
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” — Proverbs 1:8
Wouldn’t you know it? It was Sunday afternoon, and the refrigerator stopped working. Rattle-rumble-gurgle-splut! It was gone.
“Now what, Lord? Help!!” I pleaded.
“Call Janice,” the Lord whispered in my heart.
So I called Janice.
“So glad you called,” Janice remarked after I explained our latest plight. “We have an extra refrigerator in our garage. We were wondering what to do with it. If you can get some guys to load it, you can get it today.”
I did, they did, and the party was on. After church we invited people over for an “All-You-Can-Eat-Whatever-Thawed-Out” supper. There were a few hot dogs, a couple of hamburger patties, homemade soups, assorted vegetables and bread. Quite a feast from a broken-down refrigerator!
“Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get. ” — Proverbs 20:18 (The Message)
On my way to the outside garbage can I stepped on something. It gave me a start since I was barefoot, but I really didn’t pay it much mind until my return trip. Then I saw it. It was a snake. It was lying right in my path — between me and the door.
Giving a loud scream, I jumped maybe thirty or forty feet in the air, leapt over the snake and into the safety of the house. I ran to find the boys’ baseball bat, returned to the scene and spent the next five minutes beating that dead snake to death.
“He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.”
— Proverbs 2:7-9 (NIV)