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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, January 14, 2013

Illicit Cookies Attract Mice!

My son, Garrett, has been sneaking Oreo cookies into my husband's office downstairs.
He does this out of affection for his dad, and out of pity because I won't allow anything "bad" in my house.
You know, cookies, candy, ice cream—well, that one, occasionally—chips, sugary sodas.
Usually Bruce discovers his treat the morning after Garrett and family have been up for dinner.
It's usually the small package. Enough to share with a friend.

Garrett knows I'm the sugar gestapo-woman.
If I find any sugar contraband anywhere inside my walls, it goes out. OUT!
I've told him, "Garrett, you're really not doing your dad any favors by sneaking him these treats."
Then Bruce shoots me one of those sad puppy-dog looks, intended to make me soften.
It doesn't.

"Nein!" I growl. "Ve haf no bad tings in zis house!"

So, after Christmas Bruce went down to his office to do a little bit of work. And discovered a big package of Oreos.
Oh boy, oh boy. A whole package.
A couple of days later he noticed that some of the cookies seemed to have broken.
Strange. He hadn't taken the bag out, or bumped or jostled the cookies.
They fit neatly, undisturbed by any other hands but Bruce's, inside his desk.
He'd eaten a couple of the broken cookies before discovering the neat little whole in the side of the package.
Uh oh. Wonder what made that hole.
Bruce came upstairs and confessed about the cookies, knowing I'd have a better handle on just what is attacking his cookies.
I was tempted to lecture him on the evils of Oreos, but I kept my mouth shut about that.
First we had to determine what kind of creature was helping itself to his treats.
Bruce thought is might be bugs.

"Bugs?" I laughed incredulously. "You think bugs chewed a nice, neat little hole in your Oreo package? Hah!"
I folded my arms over my chest and declared, "We've got a mouse, tempted into our house because of your sweet indiscretions!"
Okay, I know that's a bit of hyperbole.

"And," Bruce said, "it also chewed bits of paper and some Kleenex."
"Great," I groaned. "The critter has a ready stash of sweet stuff and now it's collecting paper and tissue so it can set up house nearby. Get out the traps!"

Moral of the story:
There are natural laws that God has put in place.
Society may turn a blind eye to your actions.
The Law may not catch you at secret law-breaking,
But the natural consequences of unwise actions will get you!

Drive recklessly? Get in an accident.
Smoke two packs of cigarettes every day for twenty years? Maybe get lung cancer.
Eat too much and sit around all day? Heart disease, diabetes, fat body.
Treat people around you with rudeness and inconsideration? People avoid you.
Ignore God and worship only yourself? Broken relationships, unhealthy attitudes, sick soul.

I know Bruce's Oreo illustration is a silly one, but it still fits the law of natural consequences, don't you think?
And wouldn't you rather read a cute story than a tragic one if it gets the point across?

I think I want to re-phrase the moral of this story:
"Illicit cookies attract mice. "

Now the next time I'm tempted to drive over the speed limit, I can tell myself, "Illicit cookies attract mice."
The next time I'm thinking of giving someone a piece of my mind, I'll remind myself, "Illicit cookies attract mice."
The next time...oh, you get the picture.

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." (Galatians 6:7 NIV Bible)


  1. Good illustration Dena..we reap what we sow..

  2. A serious point, but I had to chuckle. My late husband always said, "I like going to Mom's house. She has dessert." I admit I'm also a sweet tooth and not as diligent as you about treats, but I do try to keep it under control.

  3. I like this post, Dena. And would, indeed, rather hear a cute story than a tragic one if it gets the point across. This accomplished both. :)

  4. Oh, Susan, husbands are so funny! I do give my husband treats...occasionally. I remember that my dad hid stashes of sweets all over the house. They were really good hiding places, too. We kids never found them.

  5. Thanks, Nancy. Bruce put a mouse trap down in his office, but so far, no takers.