Mindless Mistakes

When we were children and my mom would do something silly, stupid, or ridiculous, she always blamed us kids. "Well, I gave all of my brain cells to you kids so you would be smart, and now I don't have any left!" How can something so silly sounding, as giving your brain cells to your spawnling children, be so true? But it is. Pregnancy round two has only compounded this problem for me.

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Evidence #1 of my loss of brain cells.

The other morning I had a dentist appointment at a new dentist. Unbeknownst to me, some major changes in the construction to the road my new found dentist is located on happened just the very day before my appointment. There was no easy way to get to my dentist without having to cross some major construction, which at that time was not happening since no cross roads were open. A little meandering here and there in the good ol' silver minivan left me frustrated enough to just park and walk. Glancing at my cell phone to figure out where exactly the place was located and to check my very impending lateness led me into a pregnancy induced frenzy. I was already five minutes late, and I parked really far away! Picture a crazy pregnant lady "running" down the street in old birkenstocks trying to find a dentist... because that was me. I use the term running loosely here, because at the ripe pregnant age of 27 weeks I am not really sure if it really even resembles running anymore. Continue following this crazy lady because you'll take note she stops to check the time again, just to see how late she is again. You'll also notice her frantically trying to find a street sign somewhere because they all disappeared with the road construction. Oh look, she found one!

Guess what? I was running in the wrong direction. For FIVE BLOCKS! without noticing! How I didn't notice this the world may never know. My parking spot was actually spot on at about 1.5 blocks away. No worries. It was only 80+ degrees with horrendous humidity. I didn't need to wipe my face, belly, or whatever other crevices pregnancy creates once I got there because I only glisten. Oh wait, yeah I did. Great first impression! :)

If only evidence #2 of my loss of brain cells wasn't worse.

After moving into our house a little over a year ago, we found we weren't the only dwellers of our new fixer upper ranch. We also housed a few tiny mice families. After some traps here and there, and a very swift cat, we were able to sleep a bit more peacefully at night. Fast forward to about two weeks ago. Our laundry is in the basement, and I noticed every time I went into the basement that there was a peculiar smell. You know, the smell of a rotting rodent. That smell. Fortunately I am familiar with that smell because my trusted hunter cat left a half eaten mouse under our couch as a little present, which we didn't find for a few days. I digress. So the smell was continuing to get worse and worse. My husband moved the washer and dryer to find the poor little guy, but no tiny carcass could be found. After a while, we kind of assumed that something maybe had been crawling through the wall and proceeded to die there, and we were just doomed to smell it until it finished, you know, decomposing.

Fortunately for us this story has a more ridiculous ending. After doing a few odds and ends around the house, the hubsters was perusing the basement for some lost hardware to some shelves we were hanging up. He comes upstairs with the hardware (still can't believe we found that!) and the dreaded culprit of the rotting aroma.

His sweet little voice says, "Oh, I found what was causing the smell."

Me: "Oh yeah!! What was it? Is it really gross?"

Hubsters: "Did you happen to leave a bag of beef stew meat on the cabinet for any particular reason?"

Me: Look of complete horror...

Seriously, a freezer bag with a pound or two of what was once beef stew meat! Can you even believe this? Because I still can't. Want to hear the kicker? I "cleaned" that out of the freezer at LEAST a month ago. At least! (This is where you don't judge me and the state of my basement that I didn't notice this for a whole month.) I must have set it down while switching the laundry before going back upstairs. :)

What an amazing and hilarious reminder these experiences have been for me that we mothers, wives, parents are not perfect! We "lose" our brain cells. We forget things. We get lost. We are late. We are sinful human beings. But fortunately for us, our Father isn't.

He never leads us in the wrong direction--though we may think our path is the right one. How many times have we gotten lost only to be reminded and gently guided by Him back onto the right trail.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

He never forgets our needs. He always answers our prayers (though perhaps our sinful flesh feels these are late).

Matthew 7: 7-11: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Thankfully we don't have to worry about our heavenly Father "losing" His brain cells with each of his children. :) We are so blessed to have such a loving God to look to for help, reassurance, and guidance at any point in our lives, especially since there is no way we can do it on our brain power alone.

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An Elephant Never Forgets

I wish I were an elephant.

 

Why is it that when my daughter wakes up screaming for the 3rd time in the middle of the night that I so quickly forget the feeling that washed over me when I heard her cry for the very first time? Why do I forget so quickly the mothers that have lost their children or aren’t able to have one in the first place? If only I were an elephant mother, then I wouldn’t forget.

 

Why is it that when my loving husband doesn’t just read my mind and know what I need from him do I so quickly forget how terribly much I yearn for his presence when we’re apart? Why do I forget the wives in broken or abusive marriages? Why do I forget the widows? If only I were an elephant wife, then I wouldn’t forget.

 

Why is it that when I am faced with disappointment, suffering, pain, or loss do I so quickly forget how Christ brought me through each previous struggle? Why do I so very quickly forget so many of the lessons I have already learned? Why do I think this time is any different than the last time, when my Savior carried me, built me up, and blessed me through each trial? If only I were an elephant daughter of the King, then I wouldn’t forget.

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James paints an all too real picture of our forgetfulness.

 

James 1:22-25

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

 

I too often “merely listen”, and end up forgetting “what I look like”. I have had so many moments where I have felt unnecessarily overwhelmed because I did not “look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continue in it”. I think that my life and my relationships are somehow more personal, and that I might know better how to maintain them than some old book telling me how to live and love. How very foolish of me to forget the Wisdom of my Father in Heaven.

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Psalm 46 is a wonderful comfort, reminding me that all I have to do is be still and know that God is there as my ever-present help.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,

   an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

   and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

   the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;

   God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,

   the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease

   to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

   he burns the shields with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

   I will be exalted among the nations,

   I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Lord, Help me be still and trust your almighty and constant presence. Dwelling in your forgiving peace will help me to be better than an elephant wife and mother, but to be the wife, mother, and Christian woman that you designed me to be. Remind me Lord, and don’t let me forget to remain in You so that You remain in me.

Amen

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