Friday, July 17, 2009

Of Mice and My Man

My tender heart has caused some problems in our marriage. One Fall, in a small town in Minnesota where we called home, we were visited by some friends. These were really quiet house guests, didn't ask for anything, and seemed to respect our privacy. In fact, they were so shy that we didn't even know they were there. That is, until one night.

As we were sitting in the living room one evening watching the news, out of the corner of my eye I saw him (or her) scurry down the hall and into the kitchen. Eeeeeeeeek! You guessed it, a little mouse. After searching every inch of the kitchen, we never saw where this little guy went. The busyness of the next day lent itself to forgetfulness. But, like clockwork, at the exact same time during the nightly news, our little house guest emerged and followed the same path into the kitchen.

Hence, the beginning of our marriage problems.

After a rather emotional conversation, Barry was off to Wal-mart for a live trap. If you haven't ever heard of such a thing, yes, they do exist. It is a little plastic box that traps the mouse in while preserving its life - no poisons, glue or violent snaps. Then you can kindly take the mouse and transplant it away from your house. Plan in motion.

We placed the trap in the path that we had witnessed this little guy taking, and voila! The first night out, he was trapped. Cute little guy. (My dearest friend is squirming right now if she is reading this - mouse lover she is not!). Anyway, hubby takes the trap and walks across the street to an open field and lets the mouse out. Ah, I can rest peacefully knowing that we didn't harm the little guy and most importantly that he was out of our house! However, the very next night (you guessed it, during the evening news), behold.....the mouse was back. Or, much to my disgust, a cousin perhaps of the one we just freed. So, trap in place, we caught him yet that very night. This time, hubby decided to walk a bit farther away, in case it was the first one that had returned. Freedom unfurled again.

Can you believe that this happened again a couple days later? We were completely dumbfounded and disgusted. Press repeat on all of it (ALL of it), except this time my dear husband was RESOLVED to get this mouse FAR away from our house. It literally was 1:00 a.m. when we heard the rattling inside that little plastic trap. "Barry, we got him. Can you please go let it go?" Much to his displeasure, he climbed out of the warm bed to head out into the brisk Fall night and release this mouse. This nemesis that had come into our lives and refused to leave. You see, we really didn't want to believe that we had three mice in our house. Much easier on the psyche to think that this mouse loved being a house guest, that it found its way back each time. That faulty assumption is what led to the next series of events.

Armed with the trap, van keys, and determination, my Beloved sets off to teach this mouse a lesson. Being the wee hours of the morning, the options were endless. Not a soul in site. He drives for awhile and finds the perfect spot. A grassy field just outside of town! Alas! Surely this mouse will not come back from here! Grabbing the trap and using only the light of the moon and a distant street lamp, release and freedom for the mouse is moments away. The mouse, seemingly very attached to our family and clinging to entrapment, does not come out easily. A quick jiggle of the trap and finally he is released. Whew! Hubby thinks little of the gentle thump he felt on his leg after releasing the house guest and climbs back in the van to head home to his warm bed and sweet dreams. All the while grumbling under his breath about how annoying his wife's tender heart can be at times.

"What was that?", he thinks, as panic starts to rise. "What is that tickle on the back of my leg?" His heart starts to race as he remembers the thump. "Hmmmm......could it be?" "Nah"......he keeps driving. "There it is again! OH NO!" Without a second thought, he has swerved the van to a stop on the side of the road (now in town and under full street lamps), whipped off his sweat pants and stands shaking his pants violently, adorned in skivvies, socks and shoes. Realizing his vulnerable predicament, gives the pants one more shake, tosses them in the back of the van (of course NOT willing to put them on again) and heads home. Anger and disgust filling his thoughts and blazing out of his eyes, I see him trudge up the sidewalk of our home, still adorned without pants, empty trap in hand.......

......lucky for ALL of us (mouse included), this was end of our house guest problems. Prudent for our marriage that I abdicated mouse disposal techniques to his discretion.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Daunting Day

My day before me feels daunting. I really hate the feeling that sometimes hits me as my eyes open at first light. Reality of what lies ahead comes crashing all around me forcing out the feeling that blissful sleep has cocooned me in during the night.

Let's see: finish laundry, pull out suitcases to start putting in the clean laundry, begin straightening the house so that we can come home to organization (so that our chaos of reentry won't be met with more chaos), hair cuts for Emily and myself, get vehicle cleaned out and ready for guest travelers, figure out what entertainment items need to be packed for kiddos. Hmmm, feels like I am forgetting something. Oh yes, I need to create a check list for myself (on real paper) so that I don't have that nagging feeling of forgetting something.

I best not spend any more time enjoying myself on this computer, my day is too short!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fine-Feathered Friends

Writing is such an incredible release for me! I am loving having a venue to jot thoughts! Somehow getting it out on paper (so to speak) opens more space in my mind. Ahhhhh, I love it!

So, I am thinking about birds tonight. Have you ever considered how many species of birds exist? It is quite staggering. I give credit to my mother for my love and fascination with birds (and nature for that matter). We had a bird feeder in our backyard while I was growing up and a bird book on the coffee table near the picture window. Many times we would excitedly take the book and try to discover what new bird was visiting the feeder. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Purple Finches, American Goldfinches, and Evening Grosbeaks were some that caused excitement when they first visited us. Stunningly beautiful. Stunningly unique. Thanks Mom for instilling in me an appreciation for nature and for God who created it - I miss you!

Elastic Hearts

Motherhood, is there anything else quite like it? Have you ever known your heart to be so incredibly elastic? There are moments in raising my children that I wonder if it truly will burst this time, as it stretches and swells beyond its borders. I remember gazing into my son's eyes when he was about 2 months old, those colbalt blue wonders, and feeling lost in hopeless abandon to the love I felt for this little child. And, wondering if my heart could survive the massive expansion as the second child arrived and third. Miraculous how God contructed our hearts to love deeper and wider with every opportunity to love.

Mothering my children has opened my eyes in a new dimension, given me insight into the love of God and to His massive heart. Where my heart has conditions (whether I like to admit that or not), His does not. How quickly my bursting heart can collapse and deflate in moments of frustration and anger. I have to choose to love in spite of feelings, where God IS love. There is never a moment that He is not Love. That is why we can completely trust Him. Everything that He does as He parents us is in the context of Love. While certain times in our lives may not feel covered in His Love, we MUST grasp this truth. And we must CHOOSE to believe in the same way that we must CHOOSE to love.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Part Two: Redemption's Tapestry

And dying.......banished from their birthplace, from THE birthplace. Eternally separated from God's presence. The entrance to the garden was blocked from reentry so that they could never return. Isn't this what they deserved for their disobedience? Was God cruel and harsh? After all, why throw them out of the only place they knew? Wasn't being naked and ashamed punishment enough?

Was it punishment or was the stage now set for grace and redemption? Think with me about the necessity of the banishment. Why was it that God could not allow Adam and Eve to remain in their birthplace? Oh yes, it has to do with the Trees. Two trees were of enormous significance in the garden. We all remember the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree that was off limits and used of the serpent to temp and entice, snare and ravage. But, there is a second tree. The Tree of Life. Eating of this tree meant remaining in your present state, forever. In humanity's case, separated from God. Banishment from the garden was God's love and protection in action. It was so vital to God's plan of redemption that they not eat of that tree, that He placed a guard with a flaming sword outside the garden blocking its entrance.

For you see, redemption was set into motion. Redemption that would be woven through the tapestry of history until another tree comes into view. The Tree of Life that held our Savior, Jesus Christ. The One who bridged the chasm that once separated Creator from His creation. The One who will bring us full circle back to the fellowship and connectedness with Himself we were created for. Who can fathom the breadth and heighth of the love that God has for us!

Part One: Where ARE You? Genesis 3

Have you ever stopped and pondered what the Garden of Eden was really like? Earth in its glory. Perfection. God walking through the garden in the cool of the day. What was that like? What was it like for Adam and Eve to walk along in the cool of the day with God? I love that image. Fellowship and connectedness at its finest. What did they talk about? Did they marvel together at the "goodness" of what they beheld in that Utopia? I believe so.

Now, ponder for a moment the tragic turn of events as God meandered through the Garden. "Where ARE you?" he called out. The connection and fellowship broken. Did He ask because He didn't know that His prized creations were hiding and peering out from behind that bush? Or was He calling them out because they were behaving as never before, painfully aware of their nakedness and deeply ashamed? Oh, the crushing pain in that question, Where ARE you? For the first time, a chasm existed between Creator and created. A chasm that leaves creation unplugged from its source, writhing in unfulfilled potential and intention. And dying............................

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Symphony of Fireflies

I remember as a child the magic of Fireflies dancing in an open meadow at my sister's house. It was a stunning display of flickering lights that made the night seem somehow whimsical instead of frightening. We were all gathered one year, as we did annually, to delight in fireworks that my brother-in-law smuggled into the state (as it was not legal to have fireworks in Minnesota). As we were waiting for our entertainment to begin, we looked out to the meadow in front of us and saw a display of little green flickering lights like I had never seen before. It was almost a symphony of lights, random and breathtaking. We laughed with delight to see what looked like millions of Fireflies doing their best to "open the show" for us that night. A memory I will treasure forever!

For the Love of a Cat

I love my cat Maisy! She is a beautiful calico cat with very unique markings and gorgeous blue eyes. I love watching her as she lays stretched out on the bay window watching the birds at the feeder and soaking up the warm rays of sun coming in. I love to hear her purr as she nestles underneath my chin (one of her favorite perches). I love to hear the jingle of her little bell on her collar as she comes running at the sound of my voice. I really love that I can press my nose into her fur and she smells like nothing at all! Ahhh, the joys of being a cat owner!

Brand New

There is something rather intimidating about starting something new. Be it a new job, a relationship, motherhood....even this blog page. I thought it would be a fun way to write, something that I have always wanted to do. So, here I go!

It has been a long-time inkling in my heart to write something and title it Kaleidoscope Wisdom.

Why? What do you you think of when you come across the word Kaleidoscope? I think of a myriad of colors swirling and beautiful. I think of, depending on how you capture light, shadows and brilliance dancing before my eyes. I love sparkling, shimmering colors.

Now, imagine if you will, those colors - the reds, blues, greens, golds, oranges - representing pieces of our lives. For me, red indicating times of strong emotions (both positive and negative), blues representing times of tranquility, greens of productivity. And so on. Our lives, then, being displayed if you will as a Kaleidoscope, ever changing and unique. Even the most difficult or painful moments add to the color of who we are and when mixed in with the other colors, makes for a beautiful image.

When we hold the Kaleidoscope up to the light, the colors are brilliant and beautiful. For me, this represents God. He is the Light. Through Him, the bits and pieces that make up our lives come into clear and brilliant view. Without Him, without the Light, we do not see how each moment in our lives comes together to form beauty. In essence, without Him, it is senseless. He alone takes the shards of red, orange, green. blue, and puts them together into something spectacular, radiated through His light....if we are willing to truly look, we will see.

Where, then, is the Wisdom piece? Well, I thought that this blog may be a spot to share my thoughts on things.....friendship, peace, forgiveness, healing....bits of wisdom gathered from my life and experiences to be shared with those who want it or need it and left behind by those who do not.

I hope it will bring a sense of release for me as I create, and a sense of hope and enjoyment for those who travel to this spot! God bless us all on this incredible journey of life! Thanks for visiting Kaleidoscope Wisdom!