Cat Caper

Provie

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. –Ephesians 6:12 ESV

 That morning I woke up eager to jump right into my day. With nothing pressing on the schedule, I was going to get so much done! I neglected, however, to don my spiritual armor. I just didn’t want to take the time.

My enthusiasm deflated before I even got out of the bedroom when my nostrils caught a whiff of something that belonged in the litter box.

That darn cat! Not mine. I was kitty-sitting my grandkids’ two furry beasts while they were in transition between houses. The past two weeks had not been the picture of feline domestic harmony in the Huey house. Bella, one of the two guest cats, tormented my little Provie (short for Providence), who’s called this place home for 12 years. She’d corner Provie at least once a day, and they’d get into it, hissing and growling and all. Poor Provie was so traumatized she wouldn’t even go downstairs to use her litter box.

So I put a litter box in the upstairs bathroom for her. But wouldn’t you know that darn guest cat filled it. So out it went (the litter box, not the cat) because I couldn’t stand the stench whenever I went into the bathroom. I think that’s why Bella left me a present on the bedroom carpet.

Then there was the hair – light, fluffy gobs refusing to succumb to the vacuum cleaner’s suction but immensely attracted to the seat of my pants. I ran the vacuum every morning after I cleaned the you-know-what from the floor in the laundry room because Ben, the other guest cat, had an aversion to litter boxes.

But I digress. Back to my “I’m going to get a lot done” day.

After removing the mess from the bedroom carpet and treating the spot with stain remover and odor eliminator, I gathered up not one, but three more piles in the laundry room. Then vacuumed the floor and the furniture. And barricaded the beasts in the furnace room­ – with a fresh litter box and plenty of food and water.

Then I took a shower. Cleaning up after cats will do that to you.

Things went kerflooey from there. Nothing went according to plan. I kept picturing fiery darts flying at me all day.

The challenge was not to lose my temper (it just raises my blood pressure and doesn’t do a bit of good), to keep corrupt communication from spewing out of my mouth, and to maintain a calm spirit in the midst of domestic chaos.

The day ended much better than it started. After water aerobics, I spent the rest of the evening with my grandkids decorating Easter eggs at a pysanky workshop.

The next day my feline guests were gone, collected by their people at my request. My Provie came out of hiding.

But other battles will come. Such is life. Another day, another skirmish. If I’ve learned anything from this cat caper, it’s that I’d better put on that armor before I get out of bed.

Thank You, Lord, that You not only provide armor for the battles I face from day to day, but You are right there in the thick of things, on my side, by my side. You are a shield around me. (Psalm 3:3). Amen.

Read and meditate on Ephesians 6:10–20.

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

What Room Are You In?

“My Father’s house has many rooms.” – John 14:2a NIV

Paging through my prayer journal recently, I came across an email I sent to my writing buddies following a time of discouragement.

“For a while I thought everything seemed to be drying up,” I’d written. “I was wrong. God told me this is but a season, to savor the quietness, the solitude, the unhurried pace of life because it will not always be so. Life will get hectic (another season), and I will long for this quiet time of peace. I am to fortify my spirit by spending time with Him, in His Word, in prayer, in feeding my heart, mind, and soul.

“I am not in the wilderness. I am not in the recovery room. I am not in the waiting room. I’m in the preparation room.”

The email was dated February 20, 2008, 10 years ago.

Seasons of life are more than the spring, summer, fall, and winter years. They are also times we live through – or rooms, if you will. We’re all in one room or another, aren’t we?

The waiting room. Here is where our patience is tested and grown. We don’t know how long we’ll be here, waiting to be examined and given a diagnosis. Our wondering leads to fear, anxiety, worry. Like David, we cry out, “How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1)

What can we do while we’re waiting?

Trust. God’s got this. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6).

Pray. Not for patience (Lord forbid!) but for strength for the wait.

I love what Melissa Sylvis, the speaker for the 2017 Punxsutawney Christian Women’s Conference, posted on Facebook last month: “When He opens a door, then the place is prepared for you and you have been prepared for that place! You can walk into it hand-in-hand with God, and then you will realize that it was worth the wait!”

The preparation room. This is where you get prepped for what’s coming up. It’s a busy room for all but you. You lie (or sit) there, feeling helpless, anxious, and fearful. What’s the best thing you can do?

Submit. To the experts’ ministrations. They know what they’re doing. So does God, who sends people and circumstances your way to prepare you for what He knows is up ahead. Trust comes into play here, too.

The operating room. This is where the fixes take place. Note you’re not the surgeon. You’re not the anesthesiologist. You’re not on the medical team. You’re on the operating table. Your life is in the hands of the Master Surgeon.

In a real operating room, you’re usually asleep, unaware of what’s happening. But for our analogy, you’re aware of what’s happening, but you don’t know why. You don’t see the end result. You have to trust your life in the Healer’s hands, believing that He knows what’s best for you. That all this is according to His plan and purpose for you, to mold you into His vision for you.

The recovery room. Here is where you recover under the watchful eyes and skilled care of a trained medical staff. Often you’re taken to therapy, where muscles are stretched and strengthened, where sometimes you have to re-learn things or learn new ways to cope.

“There are times I cry in anxiety and frustration, in fear and discouragement,” I wrote in my email. “But I live expectantly. I am to enjoy this time, savor it, and not rush to get through it.”

Note that every room has a requirement if you’re to get through it successfully: Trust. In God, His Word, His promises, His steadfast love. Trust in His goodness, mercy, and grace.

What room are you in?

Lord, I trust You. I really do! Help me when my faith falters. Remind me to rest on Your unchanging grace and let You do what You do best. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 91

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.