Naughty is really starting to show her age these days. Her red hair has started to quickly fade to grey and her shapely figure is beginning to sag a bit. She sleeps more than she has in the past (if you can even imagine it!), and she is having some issues moving as fast as she used to. But no worries--she has adjusted for slower speed by increasing in "stealth" and stubbornness. Where it may have taken one quick swipe to steal a cookie from the table, it now requires some thought and ingenuity. (She learned to pull a chair out and climb upon the table to swipe the cookie. After all, her body doesn't stretch like it used to!)
The boys had recently picked corn with our neighbor, Ike and we had set up shop in the driveway to prepare the bushels of golden yummy-ness for the freezers. The boys shucked, Ike and I blanched, cut and placed the corn in freezer bags. Little did I know in the buzz of all this business Naughty had slipped in under the radar and helped herself to an ear of un-shucked corn. She proceeded to "shuck" it all through the freshly cleaned house. I followed the corn silk from the kitchen, through to the living room where I found her. Corn kernels, chewed up cob and silk were strewn all over the furniture, the carpet and hardwood floors. And there in the middle of the mess was Naughty--snoring like a freight train, completely satisfied with her corn cob massacre. I’d like to say the destruction ended there…but three days later, while investigating a putrid odor coming from the laundry room, I discovered my vacuum cleaner. We had done corn right up until karate time and my boys had wanted to "help" me by cleaning up Naughty's mess. With us running out the door to the dojo they had "forgotten" to empty the corn from the canister. I couldn't believe what the unattended "mess" had morphed into while it sat and "stewed" within the sweeper canister in our laundry room!
I had penned these first few paragraphs earlier in the month, but due to an unforeseen time of "business" in our home, I haven't had the extra time to research scripture and wrap them nicely together in a finished story. The lives around me seem to be full of sickness at the moment. Big Sickness. The life changing kind. There has been a life lost within our little community. A life that meant so much to my husband, boys and I--and so many others. We've had sick parents, sick kids--oh--and even a sick cat.
Within the storm around me, for the most part I have felt complete peace. I know that is entirely of God. But notice I said, "for the most part"? I have had times of failure these past weeks also. It's part of being human and on this side of Heaven. In these times the only word I can use to describe my state of being is "overwhelmed". In those moments of feeling overwhelmed, I find myself short fused, unfocused, snippy--and sometimes I have just stood and cried in my kitchen. Time passes so quickly in these moments, yet I feel as if I'm standing still with no progression in sight. This morning God revealed exactly what I needed through my husband…
Wayne and I have breakfast every weekday morning together. It's something we've made a priority in our marriage. Every couple has their "thing". Some spouses find it necessary to bond over a weekend get away, or a night out on the town. We simply find all we need is a short time of prayer together, a cup of coffee, and some scrambled eggs--But also, occasionally, a moment of setting something on fire--but that's another week, another story!
During our morning coffee and egg time (no setting anything on fire!), I shared some of my thoughts with Wayne. He listened whole heartedly. He even shook his head as if in agreement with my thinking. He allowed me to spew my words of concern and heartache. Then--he did the hard thing. He looked at me and said, "Those thoughts are directly from Satan, and you know it." He went on to lovingly explain to me of how he viewed my thoughts, and what he felt I needed to do. He also shared his concerns on where he felt my thinking would lead.
As I sat down for a rare quiet time tonight, (the Dodgers are playing!) I was lead to the scripture in Hebrews 12:15 "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." I think about the words I had sat at this table and typed weeks ago about the sour corn. I am reminded of how my wrong thinking was leading my heart to becoming comparably sour like that nasty corn I discovered in my sweeper--and like the sour corn, if not "cleaned out", those sour thoughts can spread to our entire household. "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…" Psalm 51:10 (Thankfully I didn't start the sweeper and pump that smell throughout the house!)
So as I sit here tonight at the computer enjoying a cup of coffee, a dog snoring at my feet, my husband and boys in the next room where the World Series is playing--I am thankful. Yes, the world may be spinning rapidly and out of control around me, but I will chose to trust the one who wrote all of it. The One who put it all this "spinning" in motion.
"From the ends of the earth I will call to you, I call as my heart grows faint (overwhelmed); lead me to the rock that is higher than I, For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings." Psalm 61:2-4