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.

Putting On My Armor

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Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

Have you ever felt beaten up?

I sure have. It’s been a pretty rough year, with challenge after challenge slipping in, slamming us, shaking our lives and spirits.

Lately I’ve found myself sitting on the side of the bed in the morning when I awake, putting on my armor. Using my arms, I visualize myself donning each piece of the armor of God.

First I slip on my helmet. I need this to guard my mind because my thoughts can create either havoc or harmony. It’s my choice. So I choose to chase away the bad thoughts and focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2).

Next I put in place my breastplate of righteousness. I need this to protect my heart – the home of my emotions – against the feelings that can cause damage to my spirit, to my relationships, to others, especially to those I love. I can’t let anger or envy sneak in, or self-pity or hate. These emotions only destroy. Instead I choose love and joy.

The belt of truth is next. I pray the words of the psalmist: “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3). Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking lies (Psalm 34:13).” I pray that I will always speak the truth in love. And, since I tend to be gullible, I also pray for wisdom to discern truth from falsehood.

Next I slip on the shoes “of the gospel of peace.” I pray that I’ll always be ready to explain to another the hope I have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). I pray that my eyes will be open to the opportunities I have each day to share God’s love with another.

Next is the shield of faith. Now, for some reason, I imagine my shield as heavy, hard to lift, dented, and very used. It has extinguished many flaming arrows shot directly at me by the enemy of my soul. But I must remember to use the shield. It’s really not as heavy as I imagine it. But it sure is beat up.

And finally, I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. I must read, meditate on, and memorize Scripture daily, because it sends the enemy fleeing. I do admit, though, that I need to spend more time in the Word. All good soldiers should fortify their defense and strengthen their offense.

What about you – have you donned your armor today?

Dear God, remind me that even though the battle is fierce, victory is already mine, for greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4). Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Ephesians 6:10–17

I love the way The Message phrases Ephesians 6:10-17

A Fight to the Finish

10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.