Friday, July 22, 2011

If there ever was a time I needed my day planned by God, it was while we had 3 teenagers. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. It's the key but it's also the hardest thing.
Kimberly, our first born, was 16 and so proud of her driver’s license…maybe a bit too proud.
“Slow down, Kimberly!” I repeatedly and pointlessly nagged.
“Mo-oom! I know what I’m doing!” Lead footed, one hand on the steering wheel, her confidence soared way ahead of her competence. And this time of life coincided with my stupid years. You know…that one year, when moms go from hanging the moon to kids wishing we’d go there.
Doug handled the whole driving thing better than I. I wore a hole in the mat on the front passenger side, jamming my foot on the imaginary brakes. The day came when we turned her loose to drive without us.
I began one morning with this devotional from Our Daily Bread: (You'll have to take the time to read it for the rest of this blog to make sense.)
That evening Kimberly and Katy headed for piano lessons.
I washed supper dishes as Kent flopped on the sofa feigning homework. Then the phone rang and I answered, “Hello.”
“Mrs. Henderson?”
“This is Officer Johnson with the Newport News Police Department. Your daughters have been in an accident…”
I literally dropped the phone, felt my knees turn to Jello and heard myself scream as I sank to the floor. Kent dashed to me with Doug right behind him. Kent held me as my pale husband cradled the phone. I couldn’t breathe until Doug finally said, “They’re OK, they’re OK.”
Police should begin with that phrase.
We hurried across the James River Bridge into Newport News and found the girls shaken but safe. Kimberly had turned left into an on-coming car heading right toward the front passenger door where Katy leaned, asleep. Realizing they were about to be hit, Kimberly accelerated. That quick move caused the impact to be on the back door, rather than the front, shielding Katy from the direct hit. Kimberly’s protective role as big sister was never more dramatic nor more precious.
We found them huddled together, crying softy, answering Officer Johnson’s questions. Family hugs, police reports, quiet tears all swirled until we were finally ready to drive home. It was then that I remembered the story from my morning devotion.
“When it was time to go home he handed her the keys…no angry tirade…”
I handed the car keys to Kimberly. Wide-eyed in terror, she shook her head, “No-oooo, Mama. I can’t!”
“Yes, you can, Baby.”
NOW her confidence was way behind competence. We both did the extraordinary that night as we reacted contrary to our natures. God ordered our steps. She became a better driver and I grew as a mother.
I wonder how many times God’s tried to prepare me for the day He knows lies ahead. How many times have I not listened or asked His help? That’s the key.

Today Kimberly is a mother of four. Her firstborn, J.D., just became a teenager. She recently said, "Mama, the older I get, the more I realize how little I know." Beauty, brains AND wisdom! I love when our kids outdo us.

Staying attached to the Vine is crucial to living abundantly.
The sap of the Holy Spirit flows only as I cling to the Source of Life. It’s His job, not mine, to produce fruit.
Sometimes that fruit is a simple key.



  1. The acorns did not fall far from the tree.

  2. Love it! I had never heard that one! Great application.

    And the pictures were great...I could almost smell those perms!

  3. oh, i LOVE this story. so needed here. thanks for sharing.

  4. Let me play Paul Harvey here: after this incident, my half-blind eyes were diagnosed, and I've worn glasses/contacts ever since.
    I love you so, Mom. Thanks for your kind words ;-) and constant, unassailable encouragement.
    You da' bomb. (Does ANYone say that anymore??)

  5. I console myself with the thought that everyone else had the same horrible 'do. Whew, what we were thinking, mall bangs and all??

  6. Only sweet little girls with curly perms! You're so like totally RAD, you Valley girl, you!

    Love you to the moon and back, Alice!