Let’s face it. We have all kinds of issues with critters around the house. This past spring, we had moths in the bird seed and before I knew what happened, we had moths all over the garage and we couldn’t get rid of them. We had all sorts of things in place to trap them, but it was problematic, to say the least, and we had to make sure that every day we made a quick move toward the door to the house to keep all the little flying moths out.
And then, since we planted our outside urns and baskets this spring, we have been inundated with little chipmunks climbing into them and throwing dirt all over our decks and patios. I couldn’t figure out what was happening until we started to see sunflowers germinating in almost every pot we have. Apparently, these little guys were taking seed from the bird feeders, carry it up to the decks and then planting the seeds for some later date in the future. However, the seeds sprouted and it has taken some hard work to make sure that the planting areas are full of the intended plants and not these renegade pretenders we now have all over the yard. By chance, I did choose to leave three sunflower plants in the perennial garden and it has been fun to watch the goldfinches eat the seeds as they ripen.
We have also had raccoons hang from our feeders and literally destroy them. It has been like some weird episode of man vs. beast to try and outwit these food predators. While I would like to tell you that it has been an interesting challenge, I just wish I didn’t have to deal with the critters at all.
The last several weeks, we have woken up each morning and noticed that some small chipmunks have left us messes to clean up outside our front door. We have sprayed the area and even set up a mouse trap, all to no avail. We even sprayed some repellent in the area to deter them from messing up the front steps. We are losing the battle.
Today, things were even worse. We arrived home from several days of travel and as I opened the garage door, things seemed out of place. There were several bottles on the floor, which is highly unusual and I noticed some sort of material on the garage floor. It didn’t take me long to see that some animal had eaten the rubber strip off the bottom of the garage door and had gained entrance. There were kernels of corn all over the place and it was impossible to even get into the house without stepping on them. Not only that, I looked over at the windows on the front of the garage and the critters had climbed up and destroyed the blinds that cover those two windows. Almost all the way to the ceiling! I have never seen anything like it.
An hour later, I had things pretty well cleaned up. The blinds will have to be replaced and I had to find a place to store the ears of corn where animals couldn’t get near them. I put a call in to the garage door company and let them know I needed a new rubber seal. I also had to clean out the garden cart where the rest of the food is stored in critter proof containers. I was returning the bags of seed to the cart when suddenly the front of the cart dropped and came down on my toes.
Even though I had some shoes on, I was almost afraid to look down. It hurt – like something had sheared my toes and after I got over the surprise, I finally removed my shoes and looked at the damage. Bruised skin at the base of my toenails and that was about it. Clearly nothing was broken and I was most grateful for that. It stung for a while but I was overjoyed that things weren’t much worse – they could have been.
Suddenly, I was less concerned about the damage caused by the chipmunks and far more appreciative that I wasn’t really hurt today. As we all know, things can change in an instant. Our verse for tonight reminds us about gratitude. We are told by Paul in his letter to the Colossians, in Col. 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
I was reminded of a great lesson today. I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Luckily, the lesson didn’t come with a high tuition. My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to stay focused on Him and pay attention to the important things – not the small stuff. My prayer is that you will notice the small lessons that God teaches you if you are paying attention. I had a little reminder today… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…