I am a strong believer that God sends us messages, and sometimes, if we ignore His message, and it's really, really important that we listen, He says it a little stronger until we get the hint. Right? Right. Well, today is a very good example of why we should listen the first time. Read on, friends and you'll see exactly what I mean! Be forewarned though that drinking while you read this post might not be in the best interest of your computer and you may end up with a "message" of your own!
My story actually began two days ago. For the past two days, I have been very seriously contemplating whether or not to attend a church meeting taking place tonight. If I go, it will be really only to resign my position on the council in person vs. over e-mail or through snail mail alone.
Yesterday I waited for a message, but what I wanted to hear didn't come, so I second guessed what I thought of it all. Then this morning, I got up and our middle child - Smeagol - was ill with a fever. Hmmm... clue one, people. But... Papa is a good dad and can take care of a sick kid.
So to give myself a mental distraction, I pulled out my Little Green Clean Machine and used it to fulfill a promise made to Jeff just over a week ago: to steam clean the dining room chairs. My chairs are now drying and look so much better! In the meantime, Smeagol had a couple of Children's Tylenols and slept on the couch.
Then I got an e-mail about tonight's meeting. The way it is being set up, the meeting looks more like a lecture-to-be or a firing squad than any kind of a true meeting. This is not a very comforting thought - (let me be clear: this is clue 2.) But still I prayed and contemplated on, Lord, please give me some sign of whether I should go.
I did the dishes and began making lunch: a bit of rice for Smeagol and Miso Soup for the rest.
Then I came 'round the corner a short while later to see this:
This is my Little Green Monster, aka "Buttercup." She found all the rubber stamps and ink pads and went to town. Papa, before you panic, please know we cleaned up fast enough that none of it is on floor or furniture, etc. For the rest of the world, this is a sneaky and smart almost-two year old and what can happen in fewer than five minutes, even just after she has been fussed at for something else. Pop, also know that we have thrown out most, if not all, of the ink pads in the house now. Until I have a lock box for such items, nothing in the house is safe! I'll be getting one tonight or tomorrow. Trust me!
This, I suppose would be God getting a bit louder and more emphatic. I'm beginning to listen.
What I now perceive He is saying is,
Do go out tonight, but do not go to the church meeting. Nothing good awaits you
there. Instead, go to the mall, alone, and enjoy the peace of using the gift card
you've had for the last two months. Have a cup of coffee and sit and read a book.
In the meantime, know that this too will pass and you'll laugh at your hard-to-
manage smart almost-two year old that I've given you. Send a picture to your
parents and your in-laws so they can laugh at your predicament. Be blessed in
knowing that one day, this same daughter will have a child and will call you at 34
and ask you how to get ink out of a blouse - or a child's outfit - and you'll be able to say:
- Divert your prayer attention from the church meeting to the clothes.
- Spray hairspray on the stain.
- Soak it for 30 minutes in a tub of water with laundry soap and a bit of white vinegar.
- Try giving it a scrub. If the soap and vinegar don't work, allow it to dry
- Then put a cloth with rubbing alcohol on the stain and let it sit. Rinse the cloth periodically as the stain is lifted.
- Barring that, try resoaking for another 30 minutes in a tub of water, laundry soap and 1 Tablespoon of ammonia. But be careful, Grasshopper, ammonia can be a little tough on clothing fabric. Rinse the garment and let it dry.
- Hopefully - with the prayer you were using for the upcoming church meeting diverted to the fabric, the stain will be removed by the above method.
After that, laugh. It is all that's left sometimes and you don't have to wait 30 years for that to happen. Time to e-mail Jeff that I'll be going to the mall tonight. Enjoy the laugh-for-the-day... On Me!
p.s. - having written this, Buttercup is now taking her nap and not getting into anything at all and Smeagol is playing in his room with Legos. Still slightly feverish, but clearly on the mend.