“What did you buy this time?”
“This time? You don’t have to be sarcastic about it. I bought you a leather jacket. I saw your face when Jack wore his to church last week, and I just thought you’d like it. What’s wrong with that?”
“I don’t want to argue, Cindy, but it’s too expensive and I don’t need it - or want it. We’re having enough trouble just paying our bills.”
“Well - I suppose you’re right - but if Jack and Angie can afford it, I don’t see why we can’t. It’s not like you don’t deserve a new coat, that’s for sure.”
Cindy turned her back on her husband to hide the tears. “All I wanted to do was surprise you and make you happy.”
“I know you meant well. But, we just can’t afford it. I wish you’d realize how we need to be more practical. We have everything we need, and I thought you wanted to save money for a new car?”
Chuck put his arm around his wife. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, and I do appreciate your thinking about me and I love you so much for that. I’m just frustrated right now because of the overdraft notice from the bank and the late payment letter we got from the electric company. I don’t see how we’re going to ever catch up, let alone get ahead.”
“Oh, honey. I’m sorry. It just makes me feel so bad to see you going around in rags while Jack struts all over in his new clothes, drives his new car, and brags about his investments.”
Would it ever end? Scraping by every day to make ends meet? One step forward, two steps back? Chuck contemplated a second job for the third time this month. If only God would open a door.
AJ slammed the screen shut as he ran into the house like he was being chased by a bear. “Hi Dad. Hi Mom. What’s for dinner? I’ve got to hurry ‘cause Toby and me are going to play catch after.”
“Slow down there, buddy. Dinner’s in five minutes, and I’m sure there will be plenty of time for playing ball after we eat. How was school today? How did that spelling test go?” Chuck grinned at his son’s excitement and enthusiasm.
“Oh, well, I didn’t do so good on the test. I missed three words. But school was really fun. We went to the library in the morning and got to have cupcakes for Brandy’s birthday after lunch. And, Sam finally got caught chewing gum.”
“Wow. You did have a good day, didn’t you? You must be feeling pretty special, huh? Mom and I were just talking about our day, too, and do you want to know what? We love you so much. You are our most prized possession!”
The nine-year-old wrapped his arms around his father’s neck. “I love you, too, Dad.”
He wrinkled his brow. “What’s a prized position, Dad?”
“That’s possession, AJ. A possession is something that God gives you to make your life full. He gives us everything we need to be happy, and you are the best gift of all. Our prize. Our prized possession.”
Cindy listened from the kitchen and realized that everything that was important and necessary was right there in front of her. She didn’t have to buy things just because someone else had them. She was proud of their home, her husband, and her son. How stupid to think a leather coat would make anything better.
“Come on my handsome men. Dinner’s ready. I think I‘ll make a quick drive to the mall while you guys do the dishes tonight. I have to return something I bought today that we don‘t need afterall.”
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