Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chiggers are from H E DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS

My sophomore year in high school I sat behind a boy in government class that always called me “legs”. He was pretty impressed with my calf muscle. Between cheerleading and running track my legs didn’t look all that bad. As a matter of fact, they looked pretty darn good. They don’t look so good anymore.
When we moved down here from Oklahoma almost three years ago it was Autumn. It was so beautiful here. It was cool outside, the colors of the leaves were so pretty, and most of the bugs had already gone into hibernation. That next May all of our kids came in for Mother’s Day. It was such a fun weekend. The next week I started getting phone calls from them confirming what we also had just come to realize – we have chiggers in our yard. I hate chiggers. I have yet to figure out if they fly, walk, or just plain run as fast as their eight little legs can carry them to the playground of your body. They think elastic is more fun than Six Flags. I believe they set up base camp at your ankles, lay out their maps, and start their adventures from there. Several hang back just in case they are needed later on.
The thing with your skin as you get older is that it gets “see-through”. Your scars don’t heal quickly and they show up better than they ever have before. I’ve mentioned before that I fall a lot. I have several scars because of it. I also have the heartbreak of psoriasis on my knees. I also have scratches from trekking off into the woods to see the land one of our church members just moved on to. It was beautiful out there and as we were praying God’s blessing over their place, I could feel a little trickle of blood slowly coursing it’s way down to my tennis shoe. "oh shoot! Another scar!" Nothing comes without sacrifice. So Lord, I give You my legs. Sorry for the pride I had in high school all the way up to a couple of years ago because I thought I had nice legs. Sorry for the envy I have over Christy’s thick-skinned, beautifully tanned legs that poke out of her shorts down to the sandals that show her pretty toenails that she can clip with regular fingernail clippers. Thank You that I can still walk on my legs and that even though Fred Flintstone feet aren’t pretty, they are kinda cute sometimes if I have toenail polish on. I guess I’ll get used to the scars and the GPS system mapped out in blue all up and down these tired old legs.
As for the chiggers . . . I’m on a mission to eradicate them from our yard. I feel power when I have a sprayer in my hand knowing that chiggers are dying. My legs aren’t too pretty, but if I can get rid of these little varmits, I’ll have less scars, and if I ever hear anyone shout “hey, legs!”! I might turn to see if they were shouting at me. Ha.

FYI - Use Equate Acne Treatment cream instead of regular chigger medication. Just spread it on and your chigger affliction is reduced from a couple of weeks to a couple of days.
FYI - Don't use Terro Spider Killer instead of Equate Extra Hold hairspray. The cans are the same size and the lid is the same color, but the spider spray will not keep your bangs in place.

Hey Punkin, what are you doing here?

Last January our ladies Bible study started learning about the women of the Bible. We started in Genesis with Eve and have been slowly working our way through. A couple of weeks ago we were in I Kings and starting on Jezebel. This woman was one that had to be in control, and would do anything to get what she wanted. The gods of her country were Baal and Asherah. She was pretty tight with the prophets of these gods, even feeding them at her table.
Elijah was a prophet of the one true God and decided to have a little contest with the prophets of Baal to see whose god was really God. He had the people bring two bulls and told the prophets of Baal to cut it however they wanted and then to pray to their god and he would pray to his God, and whichever God answered by fire was the true God. They cut up their bull, and started calling out to their god. No answer. They called some more. No answer. They limped, they cried, they cut themselves. No answer. Elijah comes up and says, “Hey guys, your god hasn’t answered. Maybe he can’t hear you. Maybe he is asleep, or on a journey, or reading Western Horseman while sitting on the toilet!” Their time was up, so Elijah had the other bull cut up, laid it on the altar and told the people to fill up four jars and pour it on the bull. Three times. The water soaked into the bull and filled up a trench around the altar. Then Elijah said, “O Lord, God, let it be known that You are God in Isreal and that You, Lord, ARE GOD!” Fire fell from heaven and consumed the bull, the dirt, the rocks and all the water and then the people fell on their faces and cried “The Lord He is God!” Then Elijah had all the prophets killed.
Somebody told Miss Jezebel and boy was she hot! She got word to old Elijah that by that time the next day he would be 6 feet under. Elijah, this mighty man of God, who had just seen the fire from heaven, started running. He ran straight to a cave. Many times in scripture a cave represents shame or fear. In Elijah’s case I believe it was both. He was hiding in this cave and the word of the Lord came to the cave and asked, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” Why does that woman’s condemnation scare you? Elijah began telling God all he had done for Him and that he was the only one left to do the work. There came a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire, and God wasn’t in any of those. After all that, there came a still small voice. Elijah covered himself and went to the opening of the cave. Once again, God asked, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” Once again, Elijah started telling God all he had done for Him and that he was the only one left to do the work.
Jesus did an amazing work for us and because of that we don’t have to live in condemnation. We don’t have to stay in the cave of shame. All the ladies at the study that night (including me) came to that table with a past.
Some of us find comfort in bringing condemnation on ourselves. We enjoy being in the cave, maybe even hang curtains and have a “home sweet home” sign on the wall. We can’t forgive ourselves. We live in defeat instead of victory. Jesus comes and asks, “Hey punkin, what are you doing here? You don't have to live here.”
One lady had family members who would remind her of her past. Remind her of her kids’ imperfections. She would run to her cave. None of us are worthy of His love. He gives it to us anyway. We can choose to stay in the cave or let others keep us in there. Or we can listen to that still small voice that draws us to another shelter full of grace. The shelter of His wings. Safe. Peaceful. Forgiven.