Step back in time to a different era when struggling families made ends meet with one paycheck, a milk and cookies mom at home after school for the kids. It was a time when single-car garages and carports were all anyone needed.

Seven-year-old Jacqueline tagged along with her mother and sister as they walked a few blocks away to eat lunch with Mrs. Haines and to play with her kids.

“Jacqueline, please go help Mrs. Haines in the kitchen with lunch while the kids and I set the table,” Her mom commanded.

Jackie did. She was amazed that the toast Mrs. Haines gave her was golden brown. As the girl spread butter over the slice, she noticed it didn’t have one speck of black on it. Her mom usually scraped the black off the bread if the toaster stuck on high and overcooked it. But her family would eat it anyway, spreading it with lots of fruit jam so it tasted good. Toast with no black! Golly!

After a hot lunch of meatloaf with carrots and toast, the ladies sent the children to play together upstairs. That’s when Jackie saw a sight that left her astonished: a television set in the bedroom. I saw one downstairs, too. That means they have too televisions!

Later when Jackie, her brothers and mom walked a few blocks home, Jackie was quiet.

“What is it, Sweetie?”

“Mom, it’s about the Haines. Their toast doesn’t burn in the toaster. They don’t scrape the bread like we do. They have two televisions, too.” She paused before asking, “Are they rich?”

“No. I think they saved the old TV when they got another one.”

“Then are we poor?”

“Of course not! We always have food to eat, the car runs, we have furniture and a house, Dad works hard and we get to go on summer camping vacations. God takes care of us every day.”

“If we’re not rich and not poor, why don’t we have two televisions?”

Good question. Today, having multiple electronic devices and computers, as many phones as people in the house, and a second car in the driveway is a common lifestyle. But milk and cookies moms who are home with the kids in lieu of these luxuries is rare indeed.

Jesus said much about asking for needs. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who weeks find; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” [Matthew 7:7-11]

Though God may give us a surprise in something on our wish list, the most lasting one is the relationship with Jesus. How soon does our excitement about a new purchase fade? His life with us is rich, and he doesn’t even need two televisions!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women available where print books and e-books are sold.  Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now  on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website,]