Dearest Sister of my Heart,
So. The other day. The little boys are playing outside (actually, I think they were just migrating over to our house from the neighbor’s) and Hubs and I are in the Kitchen getting breakfast and washing dishes, respectively. As we’re chatting we hear from outside, “Snake.” *half second of shocked silence* “COOL!”
We both froze mid action, looked at each other as if to make certain that we really heard what we thought we heard and should, in fact, be alarmed. The glance said “Do you think they’re just playing adventure? No, me neither!” Our hands dropped whatever we had and we bolted for the door (hurdling the baby gate barrier to the hallway). The first thing we saw as we neared the door was a flash of red and black and then more clearly we focused on a red, black and yellow snake almost a meter long literally right outside our door.
As he gathered his thoughts, my hubby declared, “it’s not a Coral, it’s the fake one…” Red, black, yellow, black, red. In other words, If it’s black on red it’s ok. If the stripes are reversed and it’s yellow on red (with the smallest stripe being black on the yellow) it could kill ya’. *deep grateful breath*
My hero of a husband is discipling a guy here who works in the anti-venom lab for all of Costa Rica (which is actually VERY comforting to me) and so instead of immediately whacking the SNOT out of it as my instinct told me to do, he carefully grabbed a stick and pinned it down while the neighbor and I searched frantically for something to put it in that it couldn’t get out of (it was pretty long). We eventually got it into our old diaper pail bucket which was relatively tall and held it in there while, in a stroke of genius, the hubs emerged with a Rubbermaid container that had been full of stuff we never use anymore and most of which we were able to throw away. (Yay, the small purge was just an added bonus.)
So our dear friend now has a King or Corn snake to add to the pet collection we have provided him with, the most recent of which had been the scorpion we caught just earlier this week walking across our living room floor.
So… now that I have assuredly convinced you to NEVER come and visit, I want you to know what God has been telling me and was glaringly obvious to me in each of these instances. Ultimately, He is the one protecting us (and believe me, I pray for protection over my family daily). We can do our utmost to watch over them and ourselves, we can disinfect to keep germs at bay, put up gates, lock doors, keep the knives far out of reach and pad the floor around the crib so when she jumps out there is less chance of her hurting herself… but let’s face it, there is always something else. What about when they’re no longer with you 24/7… when they go to school? What about when a scorpion comes into the house in a log that you throw in the fire and, as any sane self-preserving creature would, runs like the dickens when the flames start to flicker?
Here’s what I can see. That snake… 1. It was the non-venomous one (though we do have the venomous ones that live down by the river as well). 2. Our kids were smart enough to obey their instincts and stay back when they saw it. And… 3. We have a good friend who would know exactly what we should do if something venomous were ever to bite one of us (and we know exactly where to go to get that anti-venom). Those scorpions from time to time… 1. In spite of the 15 to 20 scorpions we have found in the 6 years living here nobody has ever been stung. 2. WE have been the ones to find them (not our kids). And… 3. Again we know the guy who can tell us what to do should something like that happen.
There are so many little things that have happened in my kid’s life and my own that, in spite of trips to the emergency room and airport paramedics, those things that have been the worst could have been SOOOOOOO much worse than they turned out to be. Both my kids have scars from wounds just milimeters from an eye.
Kids are always gonna bring excitement (good and bad) as you will soon find out *eep* and there is only so much we can do to protect them before we make ourselves loony bin candidates. There comes a point when we need to relinquish the control that the world tells us we should have… Then trust that God made us with the defenses to fight off germs, survive the flu, and in all actuality prosper due to the exercising of our immune systems… Then rely on unseen hands to protect those dear sweet ones when ours are not able to be present, to control the uncontrollable situations like when and where some dangerous “thing” shows up, and provide the needed resources as insurance.
All of life is increasingly an exercise in relinquishment. That is what I have decided. Relinquishment and gratitude.
My love to you!
P.S. – Where have you seen God’s protection? If you haven’t, look closer… it’s probably there.