Thursday, 31 October 2013

Gratitude or, on this occasion, grati-poo-ed

   Pushing back waves of deep slumber, I struggled to surface.
   'What is that noise?' Tears and angry voices identified my grand-kids arguing. Nothing unusual about that...except the time. 1.30 am
   My brain ground into action. I was in my daughter's bed and the kids were my responsibility. Like a drunken sailor, I heaved myself off the bed and bounced off the walls, trying to find my feet.
   The  lounge room lights were on. I blinked, trying to focus.
   Miss six is wailing. 'I have dog poo between my toes.'
    A cranky Miss Twelve is standing near a pile of crumpled toilet paper. 'Stop yelling. I've cleaned it up!'
   Was this a silly dream? I tried to shake the crazy images away.
   No, I was awake.
   Are the girls acting out a nightmare?

   Then I see it. A trail of diarrhea puppy poo, camouflaged by the cork tiles, runs from the middle of the dining room down the hall. Pooey, puppy footprints lead off into the distance. Reality hits me about the same time as the smell.
   Watching every footfall to avoid brown puddles, I located a wet rag and cleaned both little feet, being careful to clean between the toes. She was still crying and refused to move.
   Miss twelve explained that there had been an accident. Her bed (where they were sleeping together) was wet. She was not happy.
   I sighed. 'Go and sleep in Mummy's bed.'  I'd been asleep there a few minutes ago, but I wouldn't be returning in a hurry.
   'C'mon.' She pulls at her little sister. Even in her tired frustration she still tried to care for her distraught little sister.
   'I'm not going anywhere until my Mummy comes.' Its tough on little kids when their Mummy is pulled off to hospital, without warning, for the night.
   'Whatever!' Miss twelve heads to bed alone.
   I surveyed the damage. My fuddles brain had no idea where to start.
   'Can't sleep in Mum's room.' The twelve year old returns. 'There's dog vomit on the carpet.'

   I'd preached that very morning, about fourteen hours ago. Since then I'd weathered one major family       disappointment, my beautiful grandchild had administered the epipen and gone to hospital by ambulance. On two hours sleep, I was now faced with a puppy poo disaster of epic proportions!
   The words of my own sermon rang in my ears. 'Is your cup empty? God wants to pour out His Spirit so you will never thirst again.'
   I had related the story of how the Lord stripped me of pride and self sufficiency so I could encounter more of Him. Brave words, spoken from a pulpit, mocked me from gleaming, smelly, brown puddles of poo.

On my hands and knees, with toilet paper and spatula, I had to return to basics.
'In everything give thanks.' I knew that was the road to victory, but it took a while.
'Lord, I thank you that  this poo is on tiles, not on carpet. I thank you Lord, that I can do all things.I thank you for your strength that never runs out.'
So in grati'poo'de, I cleaned the house.
As for the great Dane puppy? She's still alive but now sleeps outside at night.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Its been a while

    Sometimes life dips deep into the unknown. In these places I hang on to God, close my eyes, pray for supernatural strength and grace. Then I wait in faith for the ride to level out again. And level out it will.
    But on the ride my brain seems to recede - or maybe it is over used? So the body protects it. I watch very little television, read less books and more of the Word, and write seldom! So I apologise for not communicating with you for so long.
    But I've been clawing life back in a few areas.
    My legs became very weak, due to drugs for high cholesterol. I replaced the drug with coconut oil and have been rebuilding strength in my muscles, with the help of a dear friend who regularly massages the knots from my hips and calves.
    Little by little, I have increased my walk from a slow kilometer to about three kilometers at medium pace. This morning, I decided to try my favorite route, the one I had followed most days of the week, until my legs made it appear impossible.
   I did it quite easily! What an adventure!
   I paused on the little wooden bridge to absorb the reflections, watch the ducks and marvel at dragon flies. 
    Walking further, I saw this koala, one of many in the trees along the creek. They are always well camouflaged. Fellow walkers on the track exposed this fellow's perch. Doesn't he look unsafe? They sit on the thinnest branches!

    The creek is bridged by our local shopping center. Here I met a group of local walkers who feed eels, water fowl, and ducks. I watched the baby water fowl, chasing their parents on long gangly legs, their little red beaks flashing in the sun. Leaving there, my attention is drawn to the big black crow flying across the car park, a helpless mouse hanging from his beak.
     Heading toward home, I'm alerted by a familiar thump on the ground. I scanned the bush until I spied this little wallaby. (Can you see him?) His family lives in this tiny bit of scrub that is bordered by a road, the shopping center, creek and a park, but rarely do they allow themselves to be seen.
    Although it is only a kilometer to walk around the narrow strip of reserve, from my house it is a three and a half kilometers circuit. But I arrived home invigorated. I feel so fortunate to live in such a place. However there about a six hundred homes within a kilometer of this miniature wildlife wonderland. 
    How many people know? Have they taken the time to explore?
    What about you? Where is your closest nature retreat? It may be closer than you think.
    As for me, I think I'll go back again tomorrow. Be strong, legs!