I Ain’t Running No Mouse House

September 17th, 2018

Well, it was only a matter of time.

As my true love and I snuggled in bed Friday night, I had a thought about critters. The kind that get inside your DWELLING and try to do a terrorist takeover of all your good crap. Hubby laughed and said, “No worries!”. Imagine my surprise about 30 minutes later on one of mamaw’s runs to the restroom in the semi-dark….when a tiny little dark thing ran by my foot!!!

I jumped from the throne and hit the lights, while screaming for help as the little monster ran for his life under my seat at the table!! As in, under the cabinet where every important thing I need stored is hidden!

Oh ya. We party on Friday nights usually and of course this was a wing-dinger of a celebration!

It’s been one long sad week since Ms Lizzy died and look what happens!

MOUSE TAKEOVER!

So, there we were in the middle of the night….literally tearing out every nook and crevice of the camper searching for the terrorist! We found nothing! Not a dropping of poop, a skinny little shaky tail…not a single thing! I slept with one eye opened all night and woke up feeling dead the next morning! I watched some other RV’r videos on rodent invasions and developed a plan Galloway style. Why? The videos I watched were clearly people who DO NOT kill animals and WE ARE NOT THOSE PEOPLE!

We kill mice! Dead, bye….no, you can’t live here! We are full at the Inn!

Now, I feel it’s important to say that we are not trashy! Really. We are clean. We have clean stuff and I hope this isn’t like that if you have to tell people you’re a lady, you’re probably not one kind of thing cause…I MEAN IT, WE ARE DECENT PEOPLE. WE LIVE IN A BRAND NEW CAMPER!!

Mice don’t care!

They want luxury. Nice houses, perfect spot to steal, poop and enjoy the finer things of life. Especially, when you live in the country! Montana is pretty much all country but we live 6 miles from town. So, country mouse came lookin’ for a good spot!

Saturday night we set out a trap and went to bed.

No catchy a thing!

I went to the table to take my pills that I organized the night before and over half were missing!

Oh my gosh! It got real! I screamed again! What kind of mouse steals pills? Is he a druggie on the run from an intervention? Does his family know? Is this my future? A mouse drug dealer?

I quit!

Hubby hopped up and started searching around again while trying to look as if he had the whole situation under control. It was clear, we were stepping into a mouse war. Since it was our 29th anniversary, we decided to take off for Yellowstone and Beartooth Highway for the day. I opened my makeup drawer and there was my chewed up makeup sponge!

Lines were drawn!

Wanted posters hung!

Big guns came out!

4 traps were set! 1 with string attached in case he tried to GET AWAY!

We’re brutal. I feel no shame. I hate rodents. I live in a flippin camper! I CAN’T JUST LET THEM RUN MY HOUSE!!

After a whole day gone, we came home to all empty traps again!

We invited the Lord into the situation and went to bed.

I’ve shaded his face out of respect. He probably has a family and if they read my blog, well…you know. Painful.

So, here we are celebrating the death of not one but two mice!

Happy 29th anniversary to us!

Oh and just to tell you how brazen these little devils are….my hubby moved his briefcase on his side of the table and found a little pile of my missing pills. He had nibbled on a few of them and left the rest to taunt me!

Evil.

Today, I’m buying bacon! We’re upping our game with these critters. It’s war! And like the southern rebel I am, I’m going to fight to the death!

Give Yourself to Others

September 14th, 2018

If you ever feel like your life is in the toilet, go volunteer somewhere and see the truth of all the ways your life is superior to many. I’ll be the first to admit, things can get real hairy in big life struggles. Still, there’s always someone else struggling more and hurting deeper than me or you.

So next time you’re tempted to feel real sorry for yourself… Go, work a food line. Meet people who are just as human as you and see, God is good in every circumstance of our lives.

It’s perspective.

Time For An Upgrade

September 13th, 2018

A few years ago, I dropped a very hot curling iron on my arm while doing my hair. The contact was quick but the lasting scar is still with me today. Everytime I wear short sleeves or a swimsuit, there’s that ugly large barrel burn on my upper arm. It boldly sticks out and there’s no hiding it without wearing 3/4 length sleeves or longer. My hubby hates it. Not because it’s ugly (which it is) but because it reminds him that something hurt me and he couldn’t do anything to prevent it.

I have scars elsewhere too. Some of them have scabbed over and others are still festered and raw. These are the scars on my heart. I’ve tried healing them up on my own but that’s impossible. Only God can soothe and repair the scars from hurt & disappointment. His love, mercy and grace are like a healing ointment to every ugly scar I carry.

If you’re a breathing human here on the earth, you’ve fought some battles too. Heartache, loss, brokenness, illness, stress…the stuff that knocks us down and tries to destroy us all play a huge role in our faith. For many, these are the things that send them running to the cross and yet, some just fall deeper into a hole.

My journey the last 2 years taught me so many good faith lessons. I admit, I wanted to give up (in my head) so many times. I just couldn’t do it, though. Something kept me going, well… a lot of things kept me going. My faith was stretched so big that even I couldn’t believe it was mine. I’m a worm in comparison to many in faith in Christ. I’m weak and I’m flighty. I tend to throw my proverbial crap down and cry NOOOOOOOO MORE! I can’t take anymore! (ask my kids or hubby) The Lord must really enjoy my drama! Or is that just more of his mercy?

I don’t have what it takes (on my own) to pound down the tragedies of life. I require help. Maybe you do too. When I’m at my weakest, God has shown up for me and pointed me back to His love and grace over my life. He is always working. He is always waiting for me to seek Him out and follow His lead.

I needed an upgraded faith.

The only way my heart will ever heal is through thankfulness. I’m thankful for all the ways God came through for me and continues to do today. His plan for my life is still unfolding and I’m blessed to watch and experience Him in so many new ways. I may carry scars, like the one on my arm – forever, but His love for me reminds me that I AM NEVER ALONE or ON MY OWN with my struggles.

My scars are the best reminder of His goodness.

This next season of my life will be good. The last one was good too.

God
You heal every hurt in your own time and way. Thank you for all the ways you came through for me and for the times I thought you didn’t. I needed to grow and I probably wouldn’t have without a few battles in my life. Thank you for the upgrade!
Amen

5 Things My Dog Taught Me

September 12th, 2018

I’ve slept 4 nights stretched out as long as I wanted to because my dog is gone and I hate it. I really thought if I just avoided talking about her that I would eventually be okay. That’s not the case, the tears just keep coming at the oddest times. My heart is broken and I owe her all the love for the 15 years she lived with me. She was so much better than me and I know she was “just a dog” but she was mine and that is why I grieve her today.

She loved being in our family. Everyone has a Lizzy story or three. She had a funny personality and if you were close to our family….you’ve heard us imitate her as some bossy little wild woman who took herself for walks, judged others and did whatever the heck SHE WANTED TO DO sans worrying about any repercussions! Girl was a boss! She was responsible for a lot of laughs and it’s hard to remember a time without her.

She was 5 weeks old when we brought her home. I’ll never forget the first moment I saw her, she was so tiny…sitting in a big chair in the breeder’s living room. I took one look at her and thought, you’re my dog! Little did I know, she was totally taking me up on that. Instead of devoting herself to our daughter (whom she was originally bought for) she made it clear that I was her mama. No matter where I went, she loyally followed. If I cooked, she stood alongside and watched. Her favorite activity was our naps together. Nothing could keep that dog away from me. Sometimes, it annoyed me.

Since she died on Saturday, I’ve thought of all the ways she made my life better. Honestly, there a million. My photo storage is full of pictures of her interspersed with our lives because….well, we loved her that much. It’s impossible for me to avoid seeing her because she’s everywhere I look. How do you just get over someone you love so much (even if it’s a little dog)?

While my heart is shattered, God gave me a gift to help cope with her loss. The last several weeks had been rather terrible for her. She was so sick and yet, she never complained. Her love of food was crushed and she lost more than half of her body weight. Then her tiny belly started to swell and she eventually couldn’t stand or walk anymore. That horrible stuff nearly killed me and while I wished she would get better, heart disease doesn’t ever heal or go away. The process of watching her dwindle away prepared me for now. I prayed constantly for God to help her, either heal her or HEAL HER for heaven. Dog heaven. Which I’m convinced is the same heaven I’ll be in because…heaven is perfect and whatever your theology, God made animals so they’ll be there too!

It’s only fair that I honor her with the truth about who she was to me and how God used her to make me a better me. Dogs can be used by God, I’m a perfect example.

1 — She taught me to think outside of myself.

Dogs need care and if you own one you know, they need your help. They can’t fix their own food or open doors to go outside. It would be abusive to ignore her needs for my own. Every day, I had to think of her and what she needed. That’s a good thing. Life’s NOT all about us.

2 — She taught me that I’m valuable.

She loved me all the time. She didn’t get mad or hurt because I was busy or distracted with life. Her loyalty remained the same. She waited patiently on me for much of her life but she didn’t count any of it against me. Humans don’t offer the same grace. Her love gave me a glimpse of my own value in this world. How many times has life beat you up and when you got home, your dog celebrated you just for showing back up? You matter.

3 — She taught me to slow down.

I’m so good at running around and keeping busy. She was content to just lay by my side watching a show or reading a book. I have so many great memories of the two of us outside on the porch. Sitting quietly together gave me ample hours of rest and good prayer time. She managed to train me to hang out!

4 — She taught me to be fierce.

I’m certain the “though she be little, she be fierce” saying was meant for her. She was a squirt but she was also brave. Nothing scared Lizzy! I especially giggle looking back at her ability to growl at pitch black windows when my hubby was far away out of town! Thanks, Lizzy!!

5 — She taught me to love the ones you’re with right now.

Kids grow up and leave. Family & friends pass away. Why do we forget to love them with all our might when they are in our very presence? I can attest that nothing stays the same in life. If you haven’t had a big life change, just hang on. You will soon enough. I look back and see how EVERY SINGLE DAY Lizzy was there and I purposely gave her the love that she needed from me. I am so glad that I had her to love. She loved me even more. What a good lesson for me to genuinely love the people I still have in my life every day. Our time here is temporary. Why waste it hurt or mad at the people you love?

The love lessons won’t end just because she’s gone. I feel her all around me still and I know I’ll never forget her or the love she so freely gave to me and my family. Truth is, I’m wounded but I’m walking right now. This hurts but I’m so glad for all the pain. She meant so much and filled all the most memorable years of our lives. She was there for all of it, elementary ages to grown up years. Thank you, Lizzy. You were our favorite everything!

Grief is the price you pay for love.

Unoffendable

September 11th, 2018

When was the last time someone offended you? If you’re living in the world and walking amongst its people, probably not very long ago. It’s easy to get your feelings hurt or your ego squished. We live in a society gone mad in a sense, thanks to keyboard warriors and endless social media sites to camp out on all hours of the day. You can pretty much count on someone stepping on your toes if you dabble at all in any arena where people live and function.

We are humans, afterall.

Not a day goes by that I don’t find something annoying or offensive online. I read posts from friends or acquaintances and cringe at the thoughtlessness behind some of them. Thankfully, God is quick to remind me that I am no different than any other person who posts my beliefs or ideals on the internet. It’s all a heart issue. What’s in our hearts, we spill out.

That’s convicting, huh?

I’ve been wondering, what’s it like to live without offense? The one person who had every right to be offended was treated as offensively as a person ever has been yet HE FORGAVE every one of his offenders. My answer comes in the form of Jesus. He knew offense and he forgave anyway. What a challenge to my own flesh!

Been offended?

I’ve felt the sting of exclusion in friendships.

I’ve experienced being gossiped about.

I’ve been lied to and about in my community and relationships.

I’ve walked the pain of backstabbing so-called friends and even church people.

I’ve been on the receiving end of ugliness & even hate.

I’ve been falsely accused.

I’ve known two-faced people with bad intentions towards me and my family.

I’ve had hurtful words said to me.

….

I’ve experienced being offended, wounded and hurt beyond what words can describe and I AM STILL ALIVE AND WELL.

If you just peek out in the world, you will find the hurt that’s there in the form of offense. Someone somewhere is lurking around with a heart that’s all messed up and they will find you. You cannot hide from the pain of offense. It’s here, there and everywhere.

However, you can live with an attitude of forgiveness.

This might sting a little but there’s real freedom in NOT TAKING something personally. No matter who or how someone treats you — it DOES NOT reflect on you (or me). It reveals everything about them. Worrying about what someone says or does to us can be exhausting! People are flawed, they’re hurting and from my own life experience….hurting people really do try to hurt other people.

If you are feeling like others constantly dump their poison & anger on you, you can do something about it. First, forgive them. Pray for them and ask God to help you love them like HE DOES (because, guess what? GOD LOVES THAT PERSON). Second, come to grips with the fact that if what they say to you offends you, you might be a little off-balance yourself. What is going on in your own heart that your first inclination is to be offended? Is it a hate issue? Is it that you just want to stay the same and never grow? Listen, I have grown more from the pain in my life than I’ve ever grown from joy.

Stop being offended.

You are not a delicate daisy. You are strong, you are smart and you are God’s child. You are capable of living unoffended. If Jesus could do it, so can you (and me).

I’m convinced that the enemy enjoys the broken relationships of our lives more than anything else. If he can keep us angry, jealous or in a state of dislike with one another…what better way of destroying the good that can come from healed people. When we wallow in our hurt, we are not in the game of loving outside of ourselves.

Somebody out there needs you (and me) and if we’re trapped in an offendable state, we’re useless!

Sort Em Out

September 6th, 2018

I went to bed last night and thought I’d watch some late night tv before falling asleep. Impossible. Every channel the theme is the same, hate the President…his family & the entire White House. Hate them to the nth degree.

I clicked it off. (oooo the power of the clicker)

This morning, I turned on the morning shows and once again…the popular kids were spinning the same wheel of hate just in case I needed some more in my heart since the midnight hour.

It’s only right that I use what bothers me to LOOK INSIDE MY OWN HEART and to clean up any self-righteousness, anger or hate I might be oozing out onto others myself.

If all I do is bang a gong of self-righteousness, who’s going to listen?

If all I do is spew hate and offer no solution, who cares?

If all I do is scream obscenities, throw drinks in the faces of people who I disagree with (uhh, I don’t do that) or trash the streets, who will ever take me seriously?

So, here I am again…looking inside of me. What is there [God] that doesn’t belong? How do I show love when all I see around me is hate? I know I cannot be who God needs me to be when I’m no different than the world. I ran across a sign the other day that says, “Love them all, I’ll sort em out later. God!”

Simple, to the point and as theologically correct as I’ve ever thought a meme could be.

Lord,
I never thought I’d ask for a hate clean out but I think I might need one. Teach me your ways and remind me when I’m looking to the world for answers to look to you instead.
Amen