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cats and cameras

October is most definitely my favorite month of the year, so I am trying to soak up every day, and it sure is flying by! This October has been…different, so I am really trying to make it great. Let me just get real, as if we are sitting together on the swing outside this great local coffee shop, taking in the fall breeze. Last week was a tough week. It was not that I was unhappy, in fact, there were many things to be thankful for, but nobody here is sleeping much. I wake up early before the alarm and the little people wake up during the night and sneak snacks out of the pantry. It has come down to keeping the door monkey, which alone is supposed to keep tiny hands out of the pantry, slid all the way to the top of the door facing AND sliding not one, but TWO couches in front of the pantry. If not, I will wake to chocolate chips, cheese puffs, and other baking goods in beds upstairs…on clean sheets…Yes, this is now reality. Monsters, I tell you.

Some days I feel like I can’t catch up! I simply go to change a diaper, and it has gone everywhere! I then have to change an outfit, to realize the diaper pail is full, to realize I have to wipe out strange stains in it, to realize I am out of Lysol wipes I have to run downstairs for, and at the end, a simple diaper change has taken an hour. Whew.

Nap time is vital any day. I really dislike running upstairs repeatedly for children to settle down in their assigned areas for “quiet time.” I usually use this quiet time for working and writing, sewing, or some other crafty activity. I must mention that many times when I am just trying to get a little work done, I get super frustrated at the little people in my house crying, fighting, and not resting at rest time, so I find myself in a bad mood. When they are finally quiet, I plop down at this desk, open my Bible to write the devotions I am working on for the magazine, and feel super unspiritual, which makes my mood feel even worse! I mean, I was just mad and now I am trying to get in the zone to write devotions about Jesus for preteens and I am not feeling exceptionally Christ-like. Ugh.

The world lately has been tough for many and the struggles do not always bring out the best sides of people, me included. One Friday night recently, everyone was spread out on our quilts in the living room, pizza served, ready to watch When Calls the Heart, and we noticed two girls sitting on the sidewalk right in front of our house. I wondered why in the world the two girls would choose to park themselves and look right at our house, so I opened the door to call our cats. They asked if I was looking for Bumble. I was surprised they knew his name and answered I was. I also told them I was also looking for Noelle, if they happen to see our other black and white tuxedo kitty. They told me they had their cameras and were waiting for Bumble to come back to take pictures of our shiny black kitty boy. I immediately felt like a jerk. I had been annoyed for absolutely no reason. These girls could have been into anything else on a Friday evening and they chose to take their nice cameras and take pictures of a cat! How sweet they knew his name from looking at his collar! Not only is that something I would definitely love, I am honored they were waiting for my kitty cat. I enjoyed talking to them about their cameras for a moment and let them know I hoped they had a good night! They seemed like great teenage girls and I hope they come back!

I am allowing this little moment to teach me to see people how God sees them and love them first. No matter what mood I am in, I can choose to give the benefit of the doubt and just exercise grace. I try to teach my children to give grace to each other. I also have conversations about grace with my clients in counseling sessions. In this culture, especially this year, grace is sometimes rare. How have you shown grace lately? Has anyone shown you grace? Talk soon!

But He gives greater grace…

James 4:6




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