Search This Blog

Friday, 31 August 2012

Dear God... Not Again!

Now before you think I am about to announce another pregnancy, let me remind you that my tubes are tied!  And while such news would be rather remarkable and miraculous, what I am about to blog has nothing to do with rejoicing in new life.

In fact, it is quite the opposite.  It is about a deep rooted loathing... a dreadful disgust... a wretched revulsion (hey, this is kinda fun thinking of some good words and it's making me not so mad anymore.  But I digress.).

Have you guessed it?  The mice are back.

It started a few weeks back already when Melina exclaimed from her bedroom in the attic "MOM??  I found a dead mouse!!"  Sure enough, there in the sticky tape we'd laid out under her dresser, there was a dead mouse.  My heart started pounding as I remembered last fall and the havoc those vermon wreaked!  How many did we catch again, fifteen?  And those were the ones CAUGHT!  Who knows how many more there were!  Surely the good Lord would not do this to us again???  Please, Father?  Pretty, pretty, pretty please?

Melina claimed to hear "baby mice" in her walls and sure enough when grabbing some spare toilet paper to restock the bathrooms, some of the rolls had been chewed through for nesting purposes.  Great.  We won't be reaching for any of THOSE rolls in our moments of need!

But my kitchen seemed to remain untouched.  The cereal cupboard was not full of mouse droppings nor were my cooking pans filled with them (oh I am literally shuddering re-living it all).  And so far, I have not "shared" a muffin with a mouse living on my counter!  (Hey, I'm pretty sure there's a kid's book about 'if you give a mouse a muffin').

But tonight... oh tonight, my dear friends, I returned from my large grocery shop at 11:00 pm and began unloading the groceries.  As I was walking back into the kitchen, I swear I saw the "tail end" of a mouse scurrying beneath my stove.  I stopped dead in my tracks and just whispered "Oh no!"  In that moment of brilliance, I grabbed my broom.  Yes, so cliche but I couldn't very wall grab my cooking utensils!  I stuck the broom handle under the stove and the little bugger came running right out.  I swung that broom and whacked with all my might only to watch him scurry under Avalyn's exercauser!

I picked up that thing and it scurried towards the living room with me whacking it in hot pursuit!  His little feet skidded on the floor as he tried turning the corner and the end of my broom went flying off leaving me only with a stick!  At the basement stairs, I poked him hard and he scurried under the door (which leads to suspended stairs).  He would have fallen the whole way... good!

I ran after him, but first I put on Melina's cowboy boots (sorry, Mina) ready to stomp him if needed!  I tiptoed in the basement... knowing that little bugger could be anywhere!  The kids toys were everywhere offering endless opportunity for refuge but I heard something by the door to the basement laundry room.  I poked a few toys with the stick just as he came running towards that door and I yelled!  I slammed the door and he squeaked but still slithered the rest of the way through.  All I could say was "Ew GROSS, EW GROSS, EW GROSS, GROSS, GROSS!!"

And now I am back to hearing every single creak and crack of this old house wondering if it's more mice.  We had a bee infestation (killed over thirty of them in one afternoon) in the main floor laundry room, we've got crickets making themselves at home in the basement and I've even found the occasional frog down there (although thankfully not for a few years).  Hmmm, anyone want to come over?

We have such a beautiful home and our heart's desire is for it to be inviting and welcoming to others.  Mice, crickets and frogs do NOT make it inviting!  Not even if it was a vest-wearing, conscience-telling cricket who could sing "when you wish upon a star"!!  Ok, well maybe we'd charge admission, but it still wouldn't make our home inviting!  :)

So if I may be so bold as to ask for your prayers, I really don't think I've got it in me to battle with mice again this fall.  I'm getting 3-5 hrs of sleep per night and going hard all day long.  I'm too tired to fight this battle, to clean everything thoroughly and constantly, of fretting over health risks and of just downright feeling ambushed in my own home.

And for Pete's sake, with someone having spent big bucks replacing my Bose sound system after Squeakers in the Speakers wrecked it last year (because I refused to spend that money to buy something I ALREADY HAD), if a mouse took up residence in this new one, I think I may very well go insane.  With all the cats around this farm, you'd think there would be fewer mice!

And why is it that all early reader books have to do with Mouse and House?  Really?  Is God just sitting up there and laughing at it all?  I bet you He is!  And I guess if He's laughing, I should be, too.  And I will, just not right now.

Goodnight, dear friends.  And may this find you pest-free.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Do Not Be Afraid

I read somewhere that God tells us not to be afraid 365 times throughout the bible... coincidence that it should be our daily reminder?  Fear is something I get so frustrated with!  I remember one day being greatly humbled reading 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."

Not perfected in love...

Man, that sucks!  I want so much to be perfected in His love.  When I pray for humanity, for the babies of the world, for the mamas who are alone, for the sinners who keep themselves from being forgiven because they don't believe they deserve it... when I pray for our world, I feel nothing but love.  But how small is that love, no matter how big it feels in my heart, if I keep letting fear creep into my life?

Fear of Ethan getting stung by one of the bees from the hives out by our clover fields.  Fear of driving down the two-lane highway everyday at that one moment when someone isn't paying attention.  Fear of losing one of the children.  Fear of Isabel's suffering.  Fear of being the cause of any of their life traumatic experiences.  Fear.  Fear.  Fear.

How is His love supposed to shine through me if I don't allow Him to COMPLETELY fill me?  And if He completely fills me, there should be no presence of fear!

Yet in some aspects of my life, I do feel fearless.  I am fearless in the face of other people's opinions (my sister said it best when she said "what other people think of you is NONE of your business!").  I am fearless in being WHO I am.  I am fearless in loving those around me... their rejection does not scare me (it just makes me more determined to love them beyond their prickles... cuz those are usually the people who need the MOST love!).  Fearless in my honesty, even when it makes me look bad.

So how can I have such fear in some aspects of my life yet fearless in others?

1 John 4:12 assures us that "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."  So if God is in us, why should we fear one another?

Hmmm, some food for thought, n'est-ce pas?

As a young child, I slept on my father's bedroom floor for two years straight because I was convinced monsters would come to get me.  Even when Duane and I were married, I told him "You have to sleep closest to the door that way the monsters won't get me first!"  Ah yes, truly loving, I know.

But as I have had more children, I have been relieved to discover that the things I once feared have dissipated in the face of longing to be present to my children in their fears.  Ironically, my fears have shifted from self-preservation to preserving their precious lives at all cost.  Perhaps it will not be long before that apprehension shifts from preserving their life to simply giving thanks for each moment and trusting that God has their timing spaced perfectly according to His good and pleasing will.

Ethan has been struggling with fear of the dark and other things that are all too familiar to my childhood fears.  Duane has been greatly blessed by the fact that he never recalls feeling afraid of anything so he looks at me proclaiming "you'll have to explain this to me cuz I just don't get it!"

We've tried to help Ethan address his fears by reminding Him that God is always with Him, even though he can't see Him.  He's like love, or the wind... you can't put your finger on it, but you can just FEEL that it's there.  Eventually, we'll be able to teach him the ironic conundrum of those who do not believe BECAUSE they have not seen Him in their lives... the conundrum being that as long as one required PROOF, faith cannot be a component.  But when you believe in FAITH, suddenly His evidence and "proof" is all over the place!  Isn't that just how He works?

Veggie Tales has a great DVD with a song called "God is bigger than the Boogie Man" and Ethan has been especially appreciative of this song.

Well, our recent visit to the optometrist revealed that Ethan will be needing glasses.  I had to bring him back for special drops in his eyes that would dilate his pupils for a more accurate prescription.  I explained this process to Ethan so he knew what to anticipate.  But he was a little bit afraid.  Yesterday was that appointment.  The woman checked his eyes, put the drops in, waited and then we had to test his eyes again with a special scanning machine.  Ethan was obedient and not at all apprehensive.  The woman looked at him and said "Boy, are you ever a brave little guy!"  To which Ethan replied "that's because God lives inside of me" as he rested his chin on the device for further testing.

The woman stopped, looked at him with her jaw open, then she looked at me as tears welled up in her eyes, then looked back at Ethan and said "You're absolutely right... God lives inside of me, too."

Ethan experienced for himself that leading up to scary moments can be fearful but the truth of the matter is, when it comes right down to facing it, a fearlessness sets in and somehow we KNOW we are in the presence of our Father and the fulfilment of His promise that He would never leave our side.

So may this find you lifting up your own fears to a Father who longs to take them from you.  May your burdens be lightened and your joy abundant.  And may you rediscover again and again the glorious freedom of FAITH.  In this moment, I cast all my fears aside, surrender them to God and ask Him to fill my heart with His love... and I pour it forth right now through my fingers, through these words and into your minds and into your hearts where you can FEEL that which cannot be seen.  For God lives in me, and He lives in you.

Isn't it beautiful to know you and I shall always be united by that?  God bless you, dear ones...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Humility & Servitude

The moon is round, bright and so full that it almost seems like God has turned on a flashlight and pointed it straight at us!  I just came in from sitting on the screened veranda with Duane only twenty minutes away from midnight and figured this might be as good a time as any to jot down some thoughts before a whole new day begins all too early with the screeching yells from Sivana at 6:00 a.m.

I miss writing... these days, the hubbub is so ongoing that any free moment is usually met with the option to either exercise, nap, shower, catch up on emails and/or administrative tasks, or blog.  That is usually the order in which the choice is won so it is very rare that blogging wins.  But tonight, I have already exercised, I've napped, I've showered and in an effort to avoid going through my 409 emails waiting for me in my inbox, I've decided to finally blog!

Sooooo many thoughts, so many funny moments... so many humbling ones, too.  I wish I could capture them in thought and send them out through the written word.  Today, the thought that visited the most was around the topic of humility and selflessness.

Antoinette and I often have really deep conversations about what it means to love God, what our challenges are, where we could be missing the boat and how we should aim to learn more.  There is a mentality out there that as Christians, we are to be humble, in fact, we are told to be... but what that humility is to look like varies considerably!

I have seen those who believe that self-punishment is a way of ensuring one never thinks highly of themselves.  I have seen those who believe that they must think themselves nothing... worthless... unworthy... as a form of servitude.

But then there is my understanding of humility, whether right or wrong, I cannot tell you for sure but it makes the most sense to me at this stage in my life and my understanding of Christ's living example.

If someone who thought themselves worthless was to serve me, their "service" would not mean much to me.  But someone who considered themselves a queen... and then CHOSE to SERVE me?  Well then, that servitude would humble me greatly!  It would be a great gift indeed!

Just like Jesus, the very son of God, God incarnate, our Saviour... got down on his knees and washed the feet of His apostles.  In my eyes, THAT is the image of humility and servitude!

It is not to think myself great, but to think of myself a Child of God!  That is why I say to each of you out there, He has breathed His very breath of life into you!  BECAUSE He CHOSE you!  Your worth in His eyes is beyond our ability to measure.  Our worthiness is small but our worth is great... so let us boast about our preciousness as children of God and in that greatness let us fall to our knees and love one another.

Let this be a reminder that we are to recognize our GREATNESS through the Father, but only for the purpose of understanding that there is nothing GREATER than loving someone MORE than ourselves.  But that MORE has to mean something!

So stand tall in knowing your worth through the eyes of God.  And know that I boast of His breath in you, my fellow siblings those known and unknown, and that I pray should the opportunity arise for me to serve you in any way, that I rise to the occasion with full conviction and fall to my knees honoured by the privilege!  What can I do from this computer chair?  From this hectic life tucked away in the country?  Well, I can love you with every ounce of my existence!  And in that love, I am given wings to soar on the winds of freedom... and I want nothing more than to find you all there.

God bless you my dear ones and allow this post to be my kiss on your forehead affirming that you are wanted, you are precious and you are loved.