Life Lessons from The Cat

This is our cat, Tux. Tux began his life in a field near a small subdivision in the country. After several cats, not from his litter, were thought to have been tortured, someone from the subdivision phoned the shelter and the shelter phoned Barbara. Barbara rescues kitties, keeps them in her home and finds good homes for them.

My Girl was working at Barbara’s home, helping her with the kitties, giving them shots, taking their temps, weighing, them, etc., to fulfill her volunteer requirement for 8th grade. Tux and his siblings needed some socializing time so My Girl and her friend would go over a couple times a week and love on all the kitties. We (The Man and I) were not looking to bring home a kitty. My Girl had other ideas and, amongst much conspiracy between My Girl and Barbara, Tux became our cat.

Tux, somewhere along the line, decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the porch screen door. He would stalk the sliding glass door to the porch and dash out onto the porch whenever he could. So we started keeping the screen door to the yard latched because the dogs (who are way too intelligent, I might add) know how to open the door. The beasts. But, as is inevitable in a household with children, Tux made his escape on numerous occasions. A week ago was just such an occasion.

Day 1. The stalking, the longing, the euphoria as he made the escape to the wild, crazy new world on the other side of the screen. New mice to play with. Squirrels to chase. Bugs to catch and eat. Tons of birds to stalk. He would be quivering with excitement. Heart racing. Night 1. The darkness sets in. But it’s okay. It’s NEW! Its’ EXCITING! It’s DIFFERENT! Not the same old thing to eat, drink, live!

Day 2. See Day 1, but no quivering, no heart racing. Night 2. Seems kinda dark.

Day 3. Where’s the warm bed? The soft sweet voice of My Girl calling my name? Pouring yummy food in my bowl. Filling my water bowl with fresh clean water (or better yet…finding an open toilet bowl and drinking my fill). Night 3. Panic begins to set in. No food. No water. Can’t hear the soft sweet voice of My Girl calling me. Maybe that’s her off in the distance? Too scared, too overwrought to be able to tell.

Day 4. Hiding. Crouching. Eyes darting here and there. Jumping at every sound. The newness is long gone. The excitement long dead. Fear. Worry. Regret. Night 4. Terror. Crying into the night. Where are you? Why have you deserted me? Please rescue me!

Day 5. Is that a light I see, a crack in the door? Running towards it, crying, begging to come in, begging to be taken back.
Soft, warm arms envelope me. Cradling me. Sweetly singing my name. Tears of relief. Tears of Joy. Home.

This isn’t just the story of Tux, the cat.

It’s the story of me and my God.
When will I learn that the grass LOOKS greener on the other side, but isn’t? When will I stop longing for something different than my routine (I think), boring (I’m sure!) life!?

It takes crossing to the other side and diving head-long into my pit to clearly see what I have left on the other side. The right side. By His side.

It is SO good to be Home again.
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Good Golly!

It has been 17 days since I posted a comment! I have been busy reading everyone else’s blogs, posting my own comments to them, but the thought never crossed my flighty little head to post on my own blog!

(long sigh)

I’m afraid this is just the beginning.

You see, I am a mother experiencing her first child going into his

SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL.

Man, is there a ton of baggage that comes with THAT realization! Here is a sampling of my thought process lately…

The obvious/clicheiest…

WHERE DID THE TIME GO?????

And then…

Have we done our job in raising him to love Jesus and put Him first? I believe we have. Have we taught him that the only other thing you can count on AFTER Jesus is your family. I know that he knows it.

Have we instilled in him a good work ethic. LOL. Well, he loves to work. But school doesn’t fall into the category of “work”. Volunteering does. Helping others does. Working at the bike shop does. Mowing lawns for our single, woman neighbor does. So…I guess we pretty much did okay there.

Have we taught him to be a leader and not a follower among his peers? Definitely. He has never been one to follow the latest fads or to follow his peers into (real) trouble. One of the main reasons he is hoping to get into CNU is because of the President’s Leadership Program.

As I’ve worked through all of these things, I am actually becoming excited at the thought of going through this time with him. I plan to take a ton of photos, and spend as much time with him as he will allow me to! He’s pushed away from us (and by us I mean his dad) which has absolutely KILLED The Man. Even as he has recognized that it HAS to be this way, is SUPPOSED to be this way…it’s still hard for The Man to swallow. But never has The Boy pushed US away…he’s just pushed away a bit to allow some room. Some freedom. Some space to expand who he is. It’s pretty cool.

I’m excited to go through this first real step into adulthood. Getting into college. He’s already been accepted to LU. But his first choice is CNU. Marshall was deemed too far by his trying-not-to-cling mom.

The Boy and His Clingy Mom
Germany, 2003

And he has, surprisingly, agreed.

So, I imagine that this next year is going to race by. The end of July is upon us. Volleyball camp starts Monday for My Girl. Football camp for The Little Boy. In two weeks The Boy heads to Colorado with his Best Bud to spend two weeks in the mountains…fishing, riding ATV’s, hiking, repelling. Doing all of the things that FREAK ME OUT because I’m not there to “protect him”. Please, Jesus, watch over The Boy and his Best Bud. They belong to You. Please protect them. Amen.


The Boy and Best Bud

Once The Boy returns from Colorado, he’ll meet with his yearbook team (he’s Senior Editor), get his wisdom teeth out and his Senior Year will begin.

I’ve already asked The Girls to give me some grace…I’m The Connector. The one who keeps us connected, in touch, and informed about each other’s lives. I may need some connecting myself. But it’s okay, it’s just one year.

Unless I start thinking about The Boy’s sister, My Girl, who is exactly 11 months and 1 day younger than him…

Five Things I Dig About Jesus

Darla tagged me to list five (only five???) things I love about Jesus. I’ve had to think about it for a bit, because narrowing it down to five seemed impossible. Here goes Round 1:

1. I can do all (any, every) things through Him as He gives me strength. When I am scared, when I am lonely, when I am frustrated, when I am depressed, when I am challenged, when I feel defeated…He alone is my Rock, my Strength, my Salvation, my Fortress. I will never be shaken.

2. He touches the untouchable. Mark 1:40-42 and Mark 5:25-34.

3. He is my best friend. I long for my meetings with him. I treasure our time together. Praying. Talking. Listening (usually He listens and I talk!). Studying His Word.

4. Although I do not deserve it, He blesses me beyond measure. And I look for ways that I can earn His favor and be blessed further.

5. He has made me This Girl and I am no longer That Girl.

So, now I’m tagging Jen.