Filling Your Tank
“Fill ‘er up, please, with high-test”. If you are of a certain age, you have heard this phrase before. You know what I’m talking about. You have either been asked that question yourself, or you’ve heard it from the passenger seat of a car in which you were riding.
Back in the day, when you needed gas for your car, you would pull into a service station, gas station or filling station. (What you called it depended on which part of the country you were from.) Your car would run over a rubber hose which would ring a bell and someone would come out of the office to help you. Sometimes, you would instruct the attendant to “fill her up” but other times you might ask for a dollar amount. I remember my baby sitter from the 1960’s pulling into the gas station and asking for a dollar’s worth of gas. That certainly wouldn’t get you too far today.
As the attendant pumped gas into your car, he would clean your windshield and check your oil. You simply had to sit in your car and receive the service. You would pay cash or use a credit card. He would have a small plastic receipt holder for you to sign your name and you would get a tissue-paper thin receipt of the transaction. Then, you would be on your way, your car refueled for your future travels.
This memory came to my mind on a recent road-trip. No, there were no old-time service stations with attendants who pumped our gas for us. My husband had to do that job. The memory came to mind when I saw a friend’s comment on a picture I had posted on social media.
Refueling My Mom Heart
You see, our road trip was a five-day whirlwind trip to Birmingham and Nashville to see our two children and their spouses. Because of the COVID pandemic, we had not visited Nashville since our son and daughter-in-law’s wedding in December of 2019. It had been longer since we had visited Birmingham to see our daughter and her husband. We had not even seen where they currently live. (Thankfully, we have seen our kids several times in the past year and a half, just not in their homes.) We saw them all most recently when they came home for Christmas, but that was four months ago.
I posted a picture of myself with my daughter and also a picture of myself with my husband, son and daughter-in-law. I guess I couldn’t hide my happiness, because my friend’s comment was “Mom’s heart is happy and getting refueled.”
It was true! Even though I only got to see them for a day and a half each, my heart felt refueled.
If you live in an empty nest, I’m sure you understand. You can only go so long without seeing your kids in person. Technology is great. I’m thankful for FaceTime and texting, but, there is just something special, even necessary, about seeing your child face to face and being able to touch them. Because we had all been so cautious with COVID, I had not given my daughter a proper hug since her brother’s wedding in Nashville. I can assure you that our embrace on the sidewalk in downtown Birmingham was like filling my tank with “high-test”.
So yes, my Mom heart was refueled and I’ll be ok for a few more months. Then, at some point, I’ll start getting antsy and know it’s time to “Fill her up” again. It will be time for another face-to-face meeting.
I’ve noticed that in my spiritual life as well. Sometimes I feel sluggish and dry — things just aren’t running right. When I contemplate why I’m feeling the way I am, I realize that I need to refuel. I do that by praying, reading my Bible, worshipping, journaling and having fellowship with other believers. These are the activities that refuel my spiritual tank.
How about you? What refuels your Mom (or Dad) heart? What refuels your spiritual tank? I’d love to hear.