What I really needed was a new battery

Aug 1, 2012

With all three older boys finally loaded in their car seats, I turned the key and heard a click then nothing. The lights in the car turned on briefly, but no engine purrs. After 8 summers in Texas, my stomach sunk knowing what’s going on. Often in the extreme heat “borderline” car batteries stop functioning.

I cried out, “Lord, why is this happening? The boys want to go learn more about You at VBS. I want to go write about You. Please, Lord start this car.” I turned the key in hopes He would perform a miracle for a weary mom.  The lights flashed again, but it wouldn’t even turn over.

One reason I was even more frustrated than I expected, is we had just spent money on this car. Last Thursday while my mom watched the boys I headed over to Discount Tire and purchased two new tires. The old ones with worn tread, weren’t flat yet. But to avoid a possible disaster I replaced them.

On Saturday, Bruce took all three boys (yes, he is a saint) and my car to a body shop to get an estimate on some dents and damage to the passenger side of our car. All minor cosmetic repairs, but again we thought we’d be proactive and fix them.

Yet in God’s provision, I decided at the last minute to have a sitter come that morning and watch Knox. She was kind enough to loan me her car. We squeezed 2 Britax car seats and a booster in the back of her car. I called AAA while driving to VBS.

Again in God’s provision, Mike from AAA arrived 20 minutes later. He was able to run diagnostics on the battery while my car sat in the garage. Since it was the original battery…from 5 years ago…the diagnostic revealed it needed to be replaced. Grace for that moment, Mike had the battery I needed in. his. truck!

Thirty minutes later the entire ordeal was fixed. Despite my change in plans, my gratitude list started building…

Thank you Lord I had my sitter’s car to use to take my boys to a much anticipated VBS. Thank you Lord the battery didn’t die while I had all 4 boys in a parking lot at Walmart (could have been sooooo much worse). Thank you Lord for AAA and having the exact battery I needed.

The day before I had shared with my Sunday School class an idea from Chip Ingram. He compared our marriages to cars. Just like cars need gas, oil-changes, and regular tune-ups, our marriages need commitment, communication, and fun. He suggested we can’t just “work harder” on our marriages. His last words were, we need to have a full battery ourselves.

To fill my “battery” he suggested: personal time, hobbies and fun with girlfriends. If I’m not meeting my own needs and getting energized I can’t work on my marriage (or love my kids).

Lately I’m the Surburban, I’ve been getting “new tires”, making “cosmetic changes”, but those things won’t matter if I can’t even get started because my battery is dead. I can’t keep giving to these ministries and my home if I stop having fun and don’t charge my battery.

So for the month of August, given the start of school, helping organize the upcoming Mamas Write conference, some personal ministries, and needs of my boys, I’m going to only write here if I feel led. I already have some posts written for next week…so don’t get nervous if you see I’m still posting the same amount. I just want to make sure in the free moments I do have I’m “charging my battery”…girl’s nights, reading, crocheting…or maybe going out on a fun date to listen to an 80s cover band at the Dallas Arboretum (and enjoying the beautiful Chihuly sculptures).

How is your battery lately? What hobbies do you enjoy? Do you get to go out with friends or hubby? Do you get any personal time during the day?

Well, sit down next to me on a soft blanket, take in the beauty and the music. Recharge your battery with me in the month of August. 


  1. Patti @ JoyfulMama (@becomingjoyful)

    I am so glad that you are taking time to recharge! It makes such a difference. Kind of like the flight attendants’ admonition to put on your oxygen mask first, yes? 🙂 I’m pretty much always a “scheduled by inspiration” blogger, so I get that part too!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      oh totally Patti…the classic “put on your mask first”. So hard to make myself a priority, but if I don’t I end up either burnt out or bitter…which are selfish responses to unmet needs. Much better to recharge my battery and serve my family selflessly! Happy mommy = Happy Family! Thanks for understanding my blogging verbage. 😉

  2. joyceandnorm

    *whew* Glad that it got fixed, and in a timely manner too.

    Hoping to get some time with some girlfriends this weekend. 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Yes, Joyce! Even though it was a little bit of a “pain” (hardest part loading three carseats into the back of a sedan), God HUGELY blessed me with the timing and the provision of a “way out”. Have an awesome time with friends this weekend!

  3. Stephanie Rische

    I love your perspective of being able to find the little graces in the moment. And that sounds great for you to charge that battery–great analogy!

  4. christina8592

    thank goodness for AAA 🙂 what a blessing that your babysitter had a car for all of those massive car seats. 5 years is an impressive battery life. have you changed out your a/c filter recently 😉

    • Heather MacFadyen

      oh good point Christina! I’ll have to see if we have…bruce usually takes it in to get the oil changed. yes, love me some AAA!


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