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NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE

 You would think by moving to a new location---an entire state away--literally in the middle of the city--you could avoid some of the nuisances found in small town Louisiana.  NO SUCH LUCK!

My very first night in our new home, I woke up to find my very small front yard and flower bed had been visited the night before by this varmint~


Those of you who have read my blogs for a long time KNOW I have a long and sordid history with the armadillo.  I know some of you think they are "cute", but anything that digs up the grass and tears up the flower beds is my sworn enemy.  Let's just say I am known for my late night varmint hunting back in the good old days.  I lived in the country--you could shoot guns---I might have unloaded a pistol on one armored destruction machine and another night I might have been knocked on my rear when switching to a borrowed shot gun.  The tales are endless and I love to repeat them.  I DID NOT THINK I WOULD BE PLAGUED BY THESE GRUB EATERS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY.

Perhaps I was naive - I have seen two of the biggest raccoons I have ever spotted a block away from #1 Daughter's home.  There is a river with protected land and trees not far from my house.  I live on a dead end street which has trees, a railroad bed down a ravine, and an open field by it.  Obviously like the deer in North Louisiana these varmints have figured out they are protected by the no shooting in the City limits laws in the Big City.  In Louisiana, I had neighbors in the hood who "took care" of these varmints while we all turned a deaf ear.  We were surrounded by woods and the varmints were plentiful.  Guns going off in the Big City tend to create quite a stir.  We are packed in to a small area tightly and a stray bullet could do great harm.  SO--no shooting in the City Limits.


There is the trapping option.  Not to brag, BUT I am quite talented at trapping the varmints--you just herd them in to the trap with plywood chutes.  There is only two problems with this plan.  Where in the world am I going to find a live trap in the middle of the Big City.  We had them in several stores in small town Louisiana--they were a proven seller since we all dealt with varmints at one time or another.  Perhaps Amazon--which sells anything and everything- will have one.  The BIG PROBLEM---WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO DO WITH THE VARMINT?    I might look a little suspicious if I carry him across town and release him.  You know they have doorbell cameras everywhere now.  I can just see me going viral releasing an armadillo in the hood across the interstate.  I would have the SPCA breathing down my back and protestors lined up in front of my tiny yard.  I could just bring him back across the state line.  No one would blink an eye in Louisiana to see someone releasing a varmint.  YES--that might just be my answer.  BE WARNED LOUISIANAIANS--MORE ARMADILLOS HEADED YOUR WAY!

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, 

and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

Genesis 21:6

"IT'S THE STUFF"

 Moving is stressful enough without combining two households!  Leave it to me to take the most difficult path.  Think it over--we have to discuss each and every common thing to decide who brings what.  THEN if you are off the hook for packing the item--you have to find it a new home.  It has been daunting to say the least! 


NOT MY STUFF--PHOTO FROM WWW

Also, I am going from lots of storage over a nice sized house to sharing a house with a family of three.  My ability to spread out has been seriously diminished.  To start the process, I decided to try on every piece of clothing I planned to bring.  HUGE EYE OPENER!

It seems the pandemic and old age have had an impact on the way my clothing fits.  I knew I had gained a few pounds, but couple that with not going to the gym and OH MY!  Let's just say I transferred quite a few garments that I am certain I will never get in to again.  I do not believe in keeping things I cannot wear, and do not kid myself about getting down to that same size at this stage of the game.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE STUFF!  My favorite line from the old movie, "The Jerk" is

"IT'S NOT THE MONEY
IT'S THE STUFF!"

Having cleaned out my mother's belongings, after we lost her, and helped with the same after losing my in-laws, I have learned a very important truth.  Listen carefully--OUR TREASURES PROBABLY HAVE NO EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO ANYONE OTHER THAN US!  When we are gone they will sell, give away, or throw away what we so tightly clung to.  It is JUST STUFF!  You cannot take it with you and more than likely no one else treasures your treasures.  (Well except for those who love to collect (horde by another name).  Sooner or later most of it will fly out the door.  

I was able to clean out LOTS with each of my moves and think I have gotten it down to a very minimum now.  The trick will be to NOT start collecting again.  When my sweet therapist friend told me I was doing my children a big favor by going through all of this now---I was able to breath a sigh of relief.  All you have to do is remember cleaning out someone else's home to understand what she is saying.

We all tend to place far too much importance on "things".  Things are certainly nice, BUT they are not what makes the world go round.  Relationships are the true gold in our lives.  Their value is unlimited and they need our constant care and attention.  More on that another day, but for today, I encourage you to think about your material possessions and the importance you place on them.  What is taking up space in your life--stuff or people?  Where is you time, energy, and resources spent?  What does that say about your priorities?  Thinking over here after putting away two truck loads of "stuff".  DO WE NEED ALL OF THIS?

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
 where moth and rust destroy 
and where thieves break in and steal,
 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
 where neither moth nor rust destroy,
 and where thieves do not break in and steal. 
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21"

NEW ZIP CODE

 I have been in my new zip code an entire week.  Finally I am beginning to think I may survive the move, although there have been a few times I have wondered what in the world I was thinking when I thought it was a grand idea to pack up and head west.   My head is spinning with stories, but exhaustion is playing a number on me.  One thing is for certain this has been the most physically demanding move of the five in the last decade plus.  My head still thinks it is able to do so much more than I can get done in a day.  Since I am still working on putting up and organizing, I will tell you one story of God's abiding presence and tender care.



The first morning I was alone after moving (son & family will permanently move at the end of the month) I followed by normal routine.  Starting my day in The Word, after dressing I came down to take my faithful sidekick for a walk.  Normally I would walk out the front door immediately.  For some reason- I still do not remember- I walked into the kitchen without turning on the lights.  I noticed a reflection in front of the refrigerator and discovered a growing pool of water.  Somehow I was able to roll the fridge out to discover a tube which had blown off its end and was pouring water into the room.  I grabbed towels, I grabbed a mop bucket, I grabbed a garbage can-----while frantically looking for the cutoff valve.  It seems the kitchen sink had a plethora of equipment under it.  One of these-



AND one of these-


In my world of ignorance I had no idea I needed a hot water booster or a filtration system.  There were tubes and shut off valves galore.  I am frantically turning off anything  with a valve, while keeping buckets emptied & calling #1 Daughter for help.  She sent the cavalry in the form of her FIL who lives 4 blocks away.  He locates the right valve while I control the water.  All  left to do is mop up the water and find a plumber.  The water had traveled toward the mudroom not the great room where there were rugs and hardwood floors.  I was able to dry things out fairly quickly. AND THE BIG MIRACLE--a plumber showed up before the end of the day.

NOW, you wonder how God was in this?  Why did I end up straying from my routine and discovering the leak?  The leak could have started in the middle of the night and the tube was on the floor so there was no sound.  I could have come downstairs to a swimming pool.  The water initially flowed in a direction which confined the damage.  It would have eventually filled  up the entire downstairs--wood floors, wool rug, & siskin rug---NOT a pretty thought.  Instead I made the discovery very early in the flooding process and with good assistance able to stop the flow.  YES--the disaster happened, but God's gentle nudge allowed me to discover what was happening.  I LOVE how God shows Himself--even in very physical ways.  Another day I was standing on the kitchen counter while packing and felt myself falling---somehow (a shove from God?) I ended up upright instead.  I was already thinking this could be very bad with granite counters all around me--but instead disaster was adverted.  God is present--day in and day out---we only have to "mind the checks".  




WHAT ELSE I LEARNED OVER THE SUMMER

 One of the pearls of wisdom I took from this summer is the desire and need for peace to rule in my life


  Couple this with peace being in the list of those desirable fruits of the spirit and you begin to see the absolute necessity of the attribute of peace centering our lives.  The listing of peace as one of the fruits should create a drive-a desire for peace to be our state of being.  Surely we all can agree, as Believers, it would be desirable, at a minimum, to seek and live in the state of these attributes God has listed?


My spirit has an overwhelming need for peace to rule in my comings and goings, and in my thoughts and actions.  Peace is not only knowing and resting in the fact that God is by our side, but also living this peace out.  If we do not have peace, what do we have--conflict, discord, dissidence, strife, trouble, tumult, turmoil, unrest, upheaval, fighting, warfare, combat... It does not take a rocket scientist to understand we had rather live in accord, amity, concord, harmony, calm, quiet, serenity, tranquility, order, stability..  The very words associated with peace bring a sense of quiet to my spirit.

The question becomes--what part is our responsibility in allowing peace to center our daily walk.  Do we have to perhaps not only do our part, but step beyond that mid line and do more than our part in order to have peace between us and others?  Does God expect or perhaps require us to give up our grudges, our need for our perception of justice, our desire to sit on the judgement seat?  Is it more important for us to require others to acknowledge their mis-doings to us or for us to forgive as we have been forgiven?  

In these final chapters, I have not only a desire to finish well, but to also be at peace with those God has placed in my life. My peace with God is dependent upon my peace with others.  Do you remember the lyrics of that wonderful hymn-

"Peace! Peace!  wonderful peace,

coming down from the Father above;

Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,

In Fathomless billows of love."

What a beautiful state of being---peace.  God's desire for those He loves.

"If possible, so far as it depends on you,

live peaceably with all."

Romans 12:18


THE COMPOUND

 AND THIS HAPPENED OVER THE SUMMER-

I have long had a dream of having a family compound.  At long last this dream may be coming to fruition--in a manner of speaking.  NO-we will not all live on a 5 acre tract, but 2/3's of us will be within walking distance of each other.  I am moving back to Fort Worth (Call me the human boomerang) to share a house with my younger son and his family.  We will be within walking distance of my daughter and her family.  Tucked in the middle between us are my daughter's in-laws who we consider family.  I have to pinch myself to believe this is really happening.



This will be my 5th move in 12 years.  When moving becomes old hat, you have perhaps overdone it.  The only thing which would make this better is if the oldest son and family were joining us.  I feel like I have been looking for something for over a decade--perhaps I will finally find it with this move.

We have bounced this idea around for a while.  It began by trying to talk my brothers into us all building on a family compound.  I had no takers. 


Then my younger son began talking about building a mother in law behind his home in Austin.  No offense, but I have no desire to live in Austin.  Fort Worth has the feel of a big Ruston and that big city is more doable for this small town girl.  I will be back in the neighborhood I lived in and LOVED while there for four years.  I am very familiar with this part of Fort Worth and will quickly adapt.  THE REALLY GREAT PART--family all around me.  We have not had this for a LONG time.

SO, I will have plenty of blogging material for a while.  Changes, moving, multi-generational home, and on and on.  The most amazing thing was how when God started throwing open doors I was literally breathless trying to keep up. 

I will greatly miss Ruston and have vowed to try and visit every few months.  I still have family and friends here that I do not want to lose touch with.  It will take an effort--but an effort well worth expending. 

Hold on---bear with me---and be ready as the next chapter begins.



REST


 

MAY WE ALWAYS REMEMBER

THE ONLY SOURCE OF TRUE REST

AMEN

What AM I READING?

 


A read this past summer.  A wonderful "coming of age" story.  Truly a pleasure to read.  You can find this HERE

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