Last week my “little family” went snow-skiing in West Virginia. A couple of days before leaving on their trip, my daughter Joy asked me if I would take care of their three dogs, two cats, and 18 chickens while they were away.
Here is this week’s story …
After agreeing to take care of the animals I reminded Joy that I would need the kitty litter box for the cats, Mittens and Spunk. Joy replied: “Mama, you don’t have to worry about Spunk needing a litter box because he prefers roaming the fields behind the house to staying inside. Basically Spunk will show up when he wants something to eat or drink and then he’s off again. Now Mittens is the homebody. She’ll want to stay in the house the whole time we’re away. But mama, Mittens doesn’t need a litter box. She’ll meow to let you know when she needs to go outside.”
Joy then explained how Mittens has different meows and that her meow for needing to go outside “to be excused” is different from her meow “for something to eat.” When I asked how I would know the difference between the meows, Joy assured me that I would know.
Sure enough, Joy was right. After the first day of animal-sitting I was able to distinguish the differences in Mittens’ meows.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday went by without a single hitch. I was thrilled with how well all the animals were doing. And as for Mittens … about the only thing she did was sleep on the sofa, eat, drink milk, and then head back to the sofa for more sleep. Sunday morning arrives and I’m excited that my “little family” will be home by mid-afternoon. After cuddling with Mittens for a few minutes, I let her outside to “be excused.” Then I went to take a shower before heading off to church.
With my clothes and prescription-strength eyeglasses removed and placed on the counter, I stepped inside the bathtub. Keep in mind that, without corrective lenses, I’m as blind as a bat.
While turning on the faucet and adjusting the water temperature I noticed what looked to be a wadded up, dark-colored washcloth on the bottom of the tub, near the drain. Thinking that I must have accidentally dropped my washcloth from an earlier shower … I reached down and grabbed the “wad.”
As soon as my fingers touched it, I recoiled in horror and let a scream — for it was a “wad” of cat doo-doo! I about broke my neck getting out of the tub … and when I finally got the doo-doo off my hands and fingers, I texted my daughter a message telling her exactly what HER cat had done! She sent a text back to me and I sent a message back to her … and back and forth the text messages flew.
In one of Joy’s messages she texted: “Bless Mittens’ little heart. She must have mistaken the bathtub for the toilet.” What? Never did Joy say anything to me about the cat using a toilet! Never, ever! In the meantime I’ve got a big “wad” of cat doo-doo in my bathtub that’s got to be removed. Then the bathtub has to be scrubbed clean before I can take a shower and now I’m really going to be late for church. Definitely too late to sing with the praise and worship team.
So quickly, I text a message to John, the praise and worship leader, to let him know that something totally unexpected had happened and that I wouldn’t be able to sing with the team but that I’d be there in time to teach the youth group.
Yes, with the doo-doo, the cleaning task, knowing that I was going to be late, and everything else seemingly going wrong … I was sorely tempted to stay home and not go to church. But the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I couldn’t let doo-doo do me in. The fact of the matter is, in life, doo-doo happens. I’m not immune to it and neither are you. My question to you is: When doo-doo shows up in your home, in your life, what do you do?
Do you allow the stinking doo-doo (fear, betrayal, lies, rejection, addiction, anger, feelings of inferiority, unforgiveness, whatever the doo-doo might be) to remain in your life? Do you give up on your hopes, your dreams, and what you know to be God’s purpose and plans for your life … just because of some doo-doo? If so, you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with God and the sooner the better. Frankly speaking, you must not allow doo-doo’s stench to permeate your thoughts and your mind.
For some of you that will mean that you stop cuddling with the doo-doo.
You say you’re weak. I say, tell me something new. The truth is we’re all weak in one way or another. Usually we’re weak in a multiple of ways. But guess what? God isn’t weak. He never has been and never will be. God Almighty’s strength is mightier than any filthy, stinking doo-doo in Satan’s arsenal. And don’t you ever forget it. So rise up! Call on the name of God, surrender your life fully to Him, and watch as He removes and cleans the doo-doo from your life.
“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along.” — Psalm 40:2 (TLB)
— Debra Wallace can be reached online at at www.debrajoywallace.com.