Grandma's Hat

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Bids Us Shine"1 (Lyrics)

One summer when my two young sons spent time with their grandparents, a mystery presented itself. Their grandmother was a kind, loving, and self-controlled woman, but anyone can be pushed too far. She had prepared a large straw hat with a tie under the chin to secure it. On her return from her outdoor work, she always hung the hat on a hook inside the entryway. Strangely, her hat began to appear on the floor, with the string pulled out, which was inconvenient for her. Each time she questioned the boys to see if they were playing a trick on her, they denied doing it. They all felt frustrated and were at the edge of their patience.

In God's providential way, He intervened, and just in time. One afternoon, they heard a noise in the entryway, and they quietly crept near to take a peek. Their kitten was underneath the hat, rolling around and batting its paws at the boot string. It had knocked the hat off its hook, and then playfully pulled the string out of the hat. The kitten was the culprit. Because the boys and their grandmother respected God's Word, nobody had completely lost their patience. The mystery was solved, and everyone had a good laugh. Our loving God had applied a blanket of grace to the situation.

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (NASB)

My boys and their grandmother responded with godly self-control in this situation, even remembering it 50 years later as though it had happened yesterday. Imagine what our homes, churches, community, and world would be like if we graced each other by practicing these principles and applying them to our life. Every person would be living out kindness and gentleness.

However, our human nature gets in the way when we don't know God's Word, or don't connect with it before words come spewing out of our mouths, or we act out. Yet, when we pray for strength, listen to the Holy Spirit's guidance, and practice, we get better at it — acting in the goodness of the Holy Spirit and not on our own. Are we accessing the help of the Spirit sent by God? I am so grateful that although we are sinners, we are saved by God's grace.

At some point of growth, we may realize that we love living life in Christ. I am so grateful that we have divine guidance to succeed. Even when we offend someone, we can graciously apologize and then repent with a sincere heart to ask God for forgiveness. Let's each one of us choose a fruit of the Spirit that we need to improve and then grow in showing God's grace to others. Christ is our victory.

Prayer: Dear Father, we ask that You would empower us to live our lives in the Spirit. Thank You for Your forgiveness when we miss the mark, and that You allow us to begin again. Thank You for Your encouraging Word. Amen.

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About the author:

Karen Milam <>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouraging thoughts, Karen.

    Good one Karen!

    Thank you, Karen, for this kind and gentle message.

    This is so beautiful. You really touched my heart. Thank you.

    Memorable, gentle story, Karen. Your words echo faith and hope for me today.

    A wonderful story, and great weaving in of the fruit of the Spirit. Well done, Karen!

    Thank you for your devotional today. It encouraged me a lot and reminds me to work on the fruits of the Spirit. Thank you again.

    Thank you, Karen.
    Your devotion rings in my heart.
    We all need the fruit of the spirit, to keep us on the road.

    Right on the button, as usual, Karen!
    Thanks so much for this wonderful memory of different generations learning God’s word together in a practical way!

    Hi. Thanks for the inspiration to choose.
    “Let’s each one of us choose a fruit of the Spirit that we need to improve and then grow in showing God’s grace to others…”

    This is such a cute story. Thank you for the reminder of how we can rely on God to show mercy and to help us do the same.

    Oh Karen, what a wonderful example of the Fruit of the Spirit. I especially appreciated that you challenged us to choose 1 in particular.
    Thanks for inspiring me today!
    Blessings as you continue writing!

    Thank you so much. Your childhood story helped me to connect to the Holy Spirit this morning in a gentle yet encouraging way.
    We are living difficult times. We need each other to keep strong in our faith and love for one another,

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for this very sweet and mindful devotional. So cute to hear about that mischievous little kitty enjoying a fun time in the hat! Yes, it is so easy for us to rush to a decision of blame in situations when really, we should take time and wait for more evidence before jumping to a conclusion. Your advice about reflecting more closely on the fruits of the spirit is very good. Blessings for these special writings you do.

    Dear Karen,
    Isn’t crazy the things we remember from many, years ago. We will soon be married for 50 years so I have a measure of how long ago that is and good memories of many things that happened at that time – purchasing a ring, finding a place to have the reception, showers and gifts, deciding who we could invite, picking flowers, and I had just started my first full time job having just graduated from university – so I know you can vividly remember things that happened that long ago.
    I am working on gentleness and have been for awhile. If you say something in a gentle voice you are more likely to be heard and understood. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the cute story from long ago. May you be blessed with peace and joy.

    Thanks Karen, for your devotions.

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