I’m divorced, but jokingly often refer to myself as “recycled – recovered, stronger, even better”….. I’m also fiercely independent (although I can think of at least ONE friend who will beg to differ).
Maybe what I view as independent has now been clearly identified in the past 24 hours as just plain prideful. Yeah – that’s it. I’m really just full of pride and stubbornness.
You see, I’d rather fork out $500 to get a room painted than let someone do it for free. Why? Because I don’t want to feel indebted to someone for a favor. If I choose to do something nice for someone, I don’t want it to be because I now feel obligated because they did something for me.
The problem with that is this – I am actually ROBBING someone of doing something nice just for me because of the assumption I make that they will actually feel like I owe them something! I’m assuming the worse. I hate when people do that to me, but apparently I’m really good at doing it to others.
Speaking of independence, I have this friend. She is a little older than me and I watch her closely for several reasons, the first of which is the most obvious. She is my friend – my sweet, dependable, loving, kind, generous, faithful friend. Secondly, she is packed full of wisdom. Jam packed, I tell ya! Oh! And thirdly – she always, always has ice cream in her refrigerator 😉 (Don’t tell her this but sometimes I say I am just stopping by because I was in the neighborhood, but the truth is that I just want a bowl of ice cream and some of her wisdom!)
Yesterday Edna and I were sitting side-by-side at an event at our church checking people in when someone asked me if our little Baptist church was “SBC.” Well, I had no idea, but Edna responded, “No, we’re independent!” Then both of us began laughing and reiterating, “We sure are! We’re INdependent!” But a nearby listener promptly reminded us that we are all truly “DEpendent” on God! Both of us having been divorced single parents raising our children alone, we understood our dependence on God, but that didn’t stop either of us from feeling proud of our independence, and having done that alone! We had a good laugh over it. We always do.
This morning I got up early and was putzing around the house when out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw something run by. It was tan colored and large. I panicked. I’m not a pet person. My home is clean. What WAS that ??
Was it a shadow? A figment of my imagination, perhaps? I stooped down to see if something had run under my dining table and there was! And this litter critter was looking right back at me!
Now, I’ll admit I screamed, but not before I jumped up onto the chair! Then I watched as the critter took off behind my couch. Thank GOD I had my Vermont Country Store pajamas on! Why? THEY HAVE POCKETS! If there were no other reason in the world to buy their nightgowns – pockets would have sold me! They are my favorite!
So here I am standing on the chair screaming, shivering, literally CRYING OUT TO GOD! For at least 10 to 15 minutes I stood there. Then, at a loss for what to do next, I called a neighbor to come help. I texted a friend asking if they knew a good exterminator and posted on Facebook that I needed a recommendation for an one. “Asking for a friend,” I added.
Yes, I lied.
My friend came over, we grabbed brooms, and what happened next almost felt like a hockey game. A really, really bad hockey game. It consisted of me jumping back up onto a stool every time that little critter showed his face. After an hour, we resorted to a laundry basket which I taped all the way around so that once we caught him, there’d be no way to wiggle out of the basket’s holes.
Yeah, that didn’t work either.
So we prayed. I think we prayed a couple of times. God please, give us back our morning! Please help us find this little mouse and get him outside!
My friend ran up to Lowes and bought a 54 cent trap. We smeared some peanut butter on it, set it behind the couch, and we waited.
Nothing happened. I stood on the couch a couple of times to look, and that little critter would look right back up at me.
Up until now, the morning in my living room would have reminded you of this old Three Stooges episode:
During the period of waiting for the trap to kill the little critter, I texted my next door neighbor asking if they had seen any mice. Well, I ended up scaring her half to death, and she called her sister who she lives with to tell her I had a mouse in my house. After about 20 minutes or so, the sister knocked on my door saying, “Don’t tell my sister, but I think I lost my hamster, and I am just wondering…….”
I let her in, she peeked behind the couch, and sure enough her beloved hamster was so excited to see her that he was actually trying to reach for her but was unsuccessful because my couch is just too big and too heavy. So the furniture moving began, and the last period of our rodent hockey game ensued with the three of us now trying to catch Addie.
Yes, our “mouse” now had a name!
About half an hour later, the hamster was rescued and is back home safely tonight.
And the moral of the story is…….
When we become too confident in your own abilities, God always has a way of humbling us. When I found myself practically crying while standing in a nightgown on a dining chair because I was afraid of something that probably weighs less than half a pound, I remembered immediately less than 24 hours prior bragging about how I didn’t need anyone! For anything!
I’m glad He chooses to make fools of us rather than break our legs.
I made it to church – a little late because of the great hamster chase, but I made it. Pastor Bob was preaching about bearing one another’s burdens – something we strong, independent women can sometimes refuse to let anyone do for us.
So tonight, I stand corrected, and not just corrected – humbled (by a hamster). As it turns out, I’m strong (sometimes), but I am completely dependent on God for all things! Psalm 121:2, “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”
And, it is not only good and right to help bear the burdens of others – it is also good and right to let my brothers and sisters bear some of mine – even if one Sunday morning that burden comes in the form of spending a few hours chasing hamsters. Starting right now, I’m going to be a lot more aware of my dependence on God, and I’m going to begin dividing up my burdens so as not to rob anyone of a blessing, or exhaust those two friends who believe these crazy things only happen to me. LOL You know who you are 🙂
Which one of you want to paint my hallway?
As for the Addie update – tonight Addie is rescued, and has been returned to his own home with his rightful owners………….. and Addie is thankful to be alive.
I just love a good ending, don’t you?
Hickory Dickory Dock!