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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, March 21, 2011

There's Always a fly in the Ointment

I saw my first chipmunk yesterday. He was scurrying back and forth on our rock wall just outside my study.
"Already? Isn't it kind of early in the season for them to be out?" I said.
Bruce told me he'd been seeing one outside his office on the other side of the house for at least a week.
I love those little guys. They're so cute and perky.
The presence of the chipmunks signals the return of spring. But, unfortunately, when the chipmunks return, the ground squirrels follow soon after.
If you've been reading my posts for a long time, you know that I've waged a losing battle against those destructive critters.
Today is the first day of spring. Yippee!
That means that soon I'll be able to savor my mountain paradise from the deck.
I'll wear shorts, in the privacy of my own home,  and get a little sun on my way-too-white legs.
I'll take long walks around Lake Estes and not fear that I'll slip on the ice.
Local horse-back riders will traverse our neighborhood.
The aspen will finally get their leaves.
The cursed wind will stop wailing and whacking at my house.
Traveling up and down the canyon won't be nearly as hazardous.
Estes Park will come alive with excited tourists, eager to sample the beauty and the delights of this area.
But. . .
with the wonders of the spring-summer seasons, my battle with the chewing, clawing, digging, ground-pushing rodents begins anew.
My mother-in-law used to say, "there's always a fly in the ointment."
Of course, there's always a fly in the ointment. There will never not be a fly in the ointment. But we keep hoping that one day our situation, our life --if we just set things up perfectly -- will be perfect.
We're so naive. Haven't we learned yet? It's never perfect. Never.
We lived on a flawed planet. The ground was cursed.
(Maybe that's the reason for ground squirrels.)
 Even my wonderful marriage to my wonderful man isn't quite perfect. Because I'm not perfect, and he's not perfect.
And we'll never have perfect kids even if we do a perfect job of raising them. Because they are not perfect, and they live in a world governed by Satan.
There always a fly in the ointment.
But. . .
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, for I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Jesus, who does not lie, said that we will have trouble in this world.
Naturally, because this is not Eden.
The ground squirrels and my chronically painful neck remind me that I will always be plagued by trouble and unpleasantness, mixed in with the obvious delights of my relationships and the natural world surrounding me.
I am reminded to keep looking up for the grace and wisdom that God lavishes on us when we draw near with a humble and needy heart.
I am reminded that my redemption draws nearer, when all things will be made perfect and there'll be no more flies in the ointment.
What a blessed day!

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28)


  1. Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

  2. I am so glad that spring is now here. Will Colorado Springs cooperate with the calendar, we will see.
    I enjoy watching chipmunks but they scurry away so quickly that they are gone before I can observe them.
    The nuisance we fight at our home is the woodpeckers. Every year they begin new holes in our house. :(

  3. Thanks, Dakota. I'll certainly check out your site as well. Have a good day!

  4. I know, Diane. I've got a friend who battles them as well. They're probably worse than the squirrels. Good luck stopping them!