Can You Help Me With My Cat???

Okay, so this post has absolutely nothing to do with being 49andcounting, other than that at 50+ with no children at home, my need to nurture has sprung forth!  The answer…a cat!

Cat’s are easy enough, right?  A litter box, some food, a little TLC.  They don’t talk back, they don’t have a pile of laundry to be done, they only need fed once a day.  And when I leave for a day or two…no babysitter.  Yes, a cat it is!

Introducing…Miss Hissy.

Miss Hissy

If you have the time, it would probably help to read a prior blog post I wrote about Miss Hissy. http://wp.me/p16d8h-yg    If not, here’s the short version,  and where I’m needing help!  Miss Hissy came to me as a house cat, needing a new home,  as she didn’t get along with other cats (hence, her name).

It’s been a year, and Miss Hissy has warmed up to me…somewhat.  But the craziest thing…she hates my house!  The minute the door opens, out she runs.  Even before the door opens, she cries, going from door to door.  How did I get her in the house in the first place???picked her up.  I have to physically carry her in the house!

Now, my problem.  It’s zero degrees in Kansas in January.  Cold, cold, cold.  And I just can’t stand the thought of her being outside in the cold.  She runs under the deck, or curls up in our little stone house, but either place is so cold.  So, I pick her up, and bring her in.  And shut the door before I even put her down, as it’s a race to see who gets to the door first.  I’m telling you, Miss Hissy is the strangest house cat I’ve ever met.  Not that I’ve met many.

So you cat lovers…what’s the problem?  I try to entice her with things like canned cat food in the house, a warm fuzzy blanket, holding her in my lap during Real Housewives…she tolerates it all, but open the door… and out she goes.

Is there any such thing as a “cat shrink”…I believe we need one!  When it all comes down to it…I may need a “people shrink”.  She’s driving me nuts!  What more can I do?

Thinking there’s a moral to this story…”we can’t make everyone love us”, no matter how hard we try.  But…that doesn’t mean to quit trying.  Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do…keep being loving to someone that’s not so loving acting to you.  But that’s what Jesus told us is the greatest commandment…love one another.  Keep loving, keep respecting, keep being kind, keep biting your tongue if you have to.  And eventually, just maybe, they will come around.

As for Miss Hissy…I won’t give up, but I sure could use your help!

 

 

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Second Chances…

Yesterday was just a Holy Spirit kind of day for me. I know, some of you are on a much better track than I am. You pray and listen and obey. Somewhere in the listening and obeying, I occasionally get lost. I’d say I’m a prayer, even a pray-without-ceasing kind of gal. But somehow in the listening for His answers I get caught in the “is this from the Lord or am I coming up with this idea on my own?”
Anyway, I occasionally have a day or period of time in my life that God chuckles and says…okay, Michaela…I’m going to slap you over the head with the 2×4…are you listening now?? Of course, I’d prefer skywriting…but that hasn’t happened yet!
So yesterday…was just like any normal Saturday, except…I started my day with this prayer. “Lord, I’ve got a lot of options in front of me. A lot of ideas. I’m pretty happy with where you have me right now, but…do you want me to step out in faith?”
Let me interject, different story…but it all comes together.
Two of the sweetest little urchins (I mean boys) from Wednesday afternoon Kids Club had told me that they were moving at the end of the week. And earlier I had a thought…a God thought. “I should stop by their house, give them a gift, and tell them goodbye. Just to show them love.”
You know how it goes with the obeying…the week slipped away and as I drove by their house on my way to my Saturday appointment, I saw the truck full of household items and thought…”darn it, I should have stopped.”
Well..as my Saturday played out, I was lucky enough to sit right next to a woman I’d never met. We got to talking. We had the same ideas, the stepping out in faith ideas! I even believe maybe we share the same brain! It was so much fun and definitely a direct answer to my morning prayer.
I was feeling pretty joyful. “Thank you, Lord! You’ve sent this soon to be friend…I just know it. You’ve shown me the path you want me to take. I prayed, you answered..and definitely this time I heard!”
Just one more stop on my way home. The gas station. And who do you think was pulling in…my little friends. Three vehicles, loaded to the top. I asked their mom, “are the boys with you?” “Sure, in the red minivan.”
So I grabbed a couple packs of SweetTarts, headed out to the van and said good-bye to my sweet friends.
“Hey boys, I’m going to miss you. Here’s a treat for your long trip. And always remember that God loves you, and keep on loving one another just like you do so well.” Those precious big brown eyes, and the nodding of their heads…I can not tell you how that was my real joy of the day.
And at the end of the day I prayed…”thank you Jesus, for giving me days like today, that I absolutely know your voice and you give me second chances”.
My joy is complete.

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Next Stop…Heaven!

Do any of you remember “Promotion Sunday”?  In the Methodist church, once a year all the Sunday School classes gathered for Promotion Sunday.  It was always a time of great excitement as you looked forward to moving “up” to a new Sunday School class.  Awards were given out for “perfect attendance” to those little angels who had made it to Sunday school each week.  Bibles were given to the 3rd graders, now old enough to read and have their own bible.

Promotion Sunday was important.  So with polished shoes, pin curled hair and our best hanky with pennies tied in it, we marched in to the sanctuary probably to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers”…that part I’ve kind of forgotten

sunday school

Many years later, I was the Sunday School superintendent.  I checked the rolls with each teacher.  Who would be the new Sunday School teachers, who had come faithfully, who could move on to a new class?  I’ll never forget stopping in and talking with all of the teachers.  Elementary…Middle  School…High School…even Young Married and Adults.

Then, last of all, was that group of little ladies that met in the corner of the sanctuary.  Most had white hair, spoke softly, carried a pocket-book.  These were the ladies that were well over 70 and many had lost their soul-mates.  They still faithfully attended Sunday School each Sunday.  And when I inquired about Promotion Sunday and realized there was no class for them to promote “up to”, one little lady laughed and said.  “Next Stop…Heaven!”

I love Sunday School, and little white-haired ladies:)

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Unexpected Moments…

There are moments in life that smack you in the face with the “unexpected”.  Moments that you can look back on and say…”that was when my life changed”.  Nothing could prepare you for the difference you would face after “that moment”.

The birth of a baby.  No matter how many books you’ve read to prepare, or if you’ve gone to birthing classes in advance…you just don’t “get it” until the moment that child is born.  At that moment, you feel love like you’ve never felt before and responsibility for the new life you hold in your arms.  You knew it was coming, but at that moment life changed and the feelings are so unexpected.

The death of a parent.  We all know the circle of life, we know with age or sickness comes death.  Sometimes we watch and wait knowing the end is coming.  But the moment you lose a parent the hole in your heart is so “unexpected”.  You can’t know the feeling or the sadness until it happens.

In our family, we’ve encountered the unexpected.  We knew it was a possibility, even a probability…but until that moment, we didn’t even know.  My brother has been diagnosed with a hereditary disease, a disabling disease.  My heart aches.  His moment has come.  Life has changed in the most unexpected way.  Each day is a struggle.  Six months ago would he have foreseen life being this way?  No.   Not until the moment came did we really know.  Know the fear, know the heartache, know the confusion.  Know the courage, the bravery, the love that this moment would bring.

What my brother has shown me in his moment is hope.  Is to never give up.  To count your blessings.  To hold on to faith, and friends and family.  He has shown us honesty and transparency because he wants to help others.  He believes in a cure and because he believes, others do to.

When life changes, when the path you’re on will never be the same again, when the unexpected becomes your reality…how do you handle it?  I know how the brave one in my life holds on…

Isaiah 41:13  I am holding you by your right hand — I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you.  –New Living Translation

I love you David, and I’m so proud of you. — Michaela

 

 

 

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Not So Busy Anymore…

One of the perks of being 49andcounting is that life slows down.  The house isn’t full of hungry bodies asking “what’s for dinner?”  The stacks of folded laundry aren’t a permanent fixture on the couch anymore, no more finger prints on the refrigerator door.   No pile of shoes near the front door!   The wall calendar has blanks, that at one time were filled with ball games, practices, church meetings, and more.  The nest is empty!

And that feeling I dreamed of so many times… that feeling I wished for as I locked myself in the bathroom for just a moment of peace…well, it’s a double-edged sword.  I’m not so busy anymore, and, guess what?  I don’t always like it!  And to top it off, I feel guilty!  Guilty for not being busy!  Who’da thought it?

And so at fifty-something, I make my list.  Of all the things I can do or could do.  All the things I’ve wanted to do or should do.  And I fill my calendar…with helping others, adventures with friends, visits with children, a nap here and there.  At 49andcounting I’m not frantically rushing through each day with very little time to stop and enjoy the small things.

I am so blessed to be growing older and not so busy anymore.

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Your Angel? Child…

I remember the days that my child was wearing on my last nerve.  How many times had I said, “don’t”?…  a hundred?  “Don’t do this, don’t do that”…and how many times had she seemed to put cotton in her ears?

Honestly, was my child the worst God had made?  Had I totally messed up on being a mom?  And then she would say or do something… giggle from the tips of her toes, give me a random hug and kiss, or look at me with big brown eyes and ask “mama, are you okay?”…and I would feel guilty, guilty for feeling all those “I have a bad child” feelings.

I think that God really understands that at times a mother feels she must endure.  And that’s just what he gives us strength to do in His word.  We can go to the Bible and read just the words that we need.  To feel encouraged, to feel Hope.

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.  Romans 15:4  New International Version (NIV)

Scripture just like Romans 15:4 can feed your soul.  They speak to exactly where you are.  God knows how you feel.  He loves you enough to give you hope.

Hope that the day will get better, hope that your child is really an angel…His angel.   Hope that you are not a “bad” mom…and a better day or moment will come.

Open your Bible, cling to His word and feel His encouragement and hope.

Blessings:)

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My cat…George Jones

“She’s such a nice kitty.  Just doesn’t get along with the others.”

Those words should have been my first clue to “Miss Hissy’s” personality.  Let alone her name…that should have been my second clue.

And so I filled my need for a nice little kitty by bringing Miss Hissy home.  She is a beautiful cat, soft coat, well fed.  But for the first 3 weeks of her stay with us she hid behind the furnace…and each time I tried to coax her out with treats and soft “here kitty, kitty” words…she looked me in the eye and hissed.  Not quite what I was expecting.  I was about to give up, about to send her back to her previous owners.  I was beginning to think that the poor cat was terrified and the move had just been too traumatizing for her.

Then came a miracle.  Miss Hissy made a run for it one morning when I had the back door open.  She bolted outside… and I had no hope of calling her back with a pleasant “here kitty, kitty”.  Much to my surprise, she stayed near.  Lounged on the patio furniture, soaked up the sun on the deck, and much to my amazement even began rubbing up next to me when I had my morning coffee.   Miss Hissy became an outside cat.  She was finally happy.

Until…she met “George Jones”.  Now George was just an alley cat.  (One of many in our small town.)  He showed up one day… skinny, scrawny, and very hungry.  Hungry enough to share Miss Hissy’s food.  Once he found that pot of gold…well, George hung around.  And each day I’d watch, Miss Hissy and George tolerate each other.

cat

 

Poor George…he just wanted to be her friend.  He’d gently tip-toe towards Miss Hissy, sniffing and meowing… that’s when Miss Hissy’s true personality came out.  Up went the back, out went the claws…and sounds from Hell came out of her mouth.  She would swipe at George and run him off.  (George is actually a “her”…the name just fit!)

That’s when it came to me…”do not judge by outward appearance” (John 7:24)

Skinny old George with the dull gray coat and the alley cat look,  is the sweetest, gentlest kitty… then there’s Miss Hissy…beautiful Miss Hissy.  Change the “H” to a “P” and you’ll much better describe her personality!

That’s my kitty lesson…don’t be fooled by outward appearance.  And “love”…love them both…personality flaws and all.  Who’s to know…maybe Miss Hissy had emotional trauma when she was a child and just needs love 🙂  And that silly old George..he just keeps on trying!

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Hold On…

Someone reminded me that prayer should be a conversation, not a list.  So, last night I talked with the Lord.

I must admit, I had a list…the brokenness I see around me, and the heartache I feel for others…there’s so much, there are so many…it becomes a list.  But as I plead with God, as I prayed for healing and answers, I found myself asking something different.  “What can I do, Lord?”  “How can I act differently?”  “What can I say, Lord?”  “Will it always be so hard?”

And that’s when my prayer became a conversation…when I began to ask, and listen.  God spoke.

“When they have clung to me, they have all come out on the other side of the fire.”

And it came to me.  Each person I had prayed for had great struggles in their lives, terrible heartache and fears.  Many are still in the midst of those struggles.  But each day, they had prayed, believed and hoped.  Each day, through tears and turmoil, they had clung to God.  And each day had passed.  Some, can look back and say, “I made it through that trial and I saw God bring blessing out of pain.”  Some can only say, “I made it through this day and I don’t know the answers, but I know the one who does,”

But I know that every one of them, each friend, each family member, each stranger…each one that clings to faith in God, in Jesus…comes to a better place.  God can take turmoil, grief, fear, shame… and bring blessing out of pain.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”             I Peter 5:10

Hold on, Hold on to His love…hold on.  When you are weak, He is strong….hold on to His love, hold on.

Blessings.

 

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Just a little black dot…

I remember giving a children’s sermon once.  I had a large sheet of white paper with a black dot placed right in the middle.  The first thing I asked was what the children saw.  No answers like, “a sheet of white paper” etc.  The answer from all of the kids was…”a black dot”.  That led to a sermon on what sin can do in our lives.  How that small dot, was like sin.  It’s what stuck out, although there was a full sheet of white paper.

And then I had this weekend.  I’ve never been a believer in “Murphy’s law”, but this weekend, well…I was beginning to wonder.  I know you’d love to hear all the grimy details…but really, it just about makes me sick to even think through them.  Suffice it to say…one rv electric jack system, one camper awning,  one I phone, one bleeding finger, one Mazda, one antique canister (that I LOVED)…and to make it all worse…my favorite pair of blinged out flip-flops!  Those are just the few “Murphy’s law” things I can think of off the top of my head.  So last night I was praying about most of the said incidents among other things…and it came to me.  I was letting all the bad things that had happened over the weekend take over.  I almost failed to see all the great things that happened too.  I cried, “Lord, lord…why?, why?…and help me…help me” But what about, “thank you, Father”…for the rain, for the awesome sunset I watched, for Meg’s new job, for good friends, for sisters helping each other.  The list goes on and on.

Moral of the story.  That tiny little black dot is just a speck compared to the blessings that surround it.  We can choose to see the bad, complain about the uncomfortable, whine about what’s going wrong…or we can look at the blessings.  And be encouraged, and joyful, and Praise Him for all that He does.

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A Sister-friend…

It doesn’t matter how old you are…ten, thirty, or 49andcounting…every girl needs a sister-friend.

I was reading a book recently and a scripture jumped off the page at me. One-to-another. Wow, what a thought. That’s what a sister-friend means to me. We share the most heartfelt thoughts, we cry, we laugh, we rant and rave…and we spill our hearts one-to-another.

We all have a lot of “friends” out there. Nice gals. We chat it up in the grocery line, we say “hello” at church, we may even discuss a Bible Study. But who but a “sister-friend” do we call when our children are misbehaving and we’ve locked ourselves in the bathroom, who do we call but a “sister-friend” when we just want to cry because the scale has slipped over that dreaded number, who do we want to laugh with when we’ve seen our first grey hair?  A sister-friend.

Some of you may not have sisters by birth, and others are lucky like I am and have sisters who are their very best friends.  But no matter your circumstance, God has planted women in your life to be “sister-friends”.  I promise you.  Women who will encourage, women who will hold you up, women who will open your eyes to new ways of thinking.

I can’t tell you if that friend will be 80 or 20something, I have some of both…but I do know God has them waiting for you.  You are not alone.  Make that contact.  Invite her over for a glass of tea, take a walk together, make the phone call.  And enjoy the gift…one to another.

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