Tag Archives: fear

I’m Really Not a Cat Person

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I’m Really Not a Cat Person

The grands left for home on Saturday, just after picking up a kitten that was to become their new pet. Unfortunately, none of us are cat people and therefore didn’t know it wasn’t a good idea to let the kitten wander around a strange yard to use the bathroom before boarding the swagger wagon.

She bolted. Almost caught. Not anywhere to be found. After thirty minutes of fruitless searching, they left without her, a van full of sad children and frustrated parents. It wasn’t the most graceful of departures, but hugs and kisses and reassurances were given that we would be on the lookout.

I doubted we would see her again, but I dutifully posted in the local Facebook lost and found animals page.

The Facebook post filled with helpful advice as the day progressed, most of which was far too much effort for a kitten I was not emotionally invested in and…I’m not a cat person.

I had just spent a week with a houseful of grandchildren I am heavily invested in and I was tired. Instead of making posters and knocking on neighbors doors, I tidied the house a bit and then “cat-napped”.

As the cat lovers had predicted, she began to meow around dusk. We crawled around the bottom of the deck, sure we were hearing her cries coming from underneath. A dish of food was strategically placed within view of a window, hoping she would venture out once we were out of sight. There was no sign of her and we went to bed because I am not a cat  person.

Sunset Silhouette

These are the days that count, the evenings that we will remember. And these are three of the reasons that I depserately wanted to rescue that kitten.


I awoke to the sound of a baby crying or maybe it was the kitten? I peered at the clock.  2:30 a.m. – that was definitely a whining kitten, but weariness overtook worry and I feel asleep. After all, I’m not a cat person.

Morning came; the kitten’s crying continued. She seemed more desperate, crying almost constantly but there was still no sign of her.

Soon her cries became hoarse and weak. She had been missing almost twenty-four hours. This “not a cat person’ was getting concerned.

In full sun it was apparent she was not under the deck as previously thought. I noticed a hole in the dirt, at the corner of the deck, against the foundation of the house. Her cries grew louder as we investigated the opening.

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It was apparent she had run into an underground trench, likely forged by running water from the sprinklers. We’d found her!

Momentary relief and joy turned to panic. Hubby got on his face in the dirt and began to carefully excavate the opening. He caught a glimpse of her but the kitten retreated and went silent.

Meanwhile, I consulted with an animal-loving nephew who was giving advice via text message. He suggested we give her some time to calm down; perhaps she would venture out when she felt safe. We reluctantly walked away, and I was fearful that hole would be her grave.

An hour passed with not a sound. My earlier adrenaline rush was gone and fatigue and a bit of sadness overtook. I’m not sure why, ’cause I’m not a cat person, you know.

Neighbors popped in to offer help and I shared my concern. As we stepped onto the deck, chatting about the situation, she resumed crying.

Her voice grew louder as she ventured toward the opening.

And then, peering out of the darkness, we saw her face! She timidly approached the tuna I had placed near the opening and began to take small bites, peering at us in between.

Thankful for a twelve-year-old to navigate the narrow space, we all agreed our young neighbor was the best person to try to coax her out, most apt to be trusted by the frightened fur baby.

kitten shows her face

We all praised the kitty, trying to be totally chill so as not to alarm her. Finally, she ventured far enough to be scooped from her hiding place.

Filthy, she’d spent more than a day down a dirty hole in the earth without food, fearful and hungry. Her fur was matted with mud and fleas. And this “not a cat person” carefully washed the squirming kitty, hand picking every flea. I cared for that kitten like it was my job, but I’m not a cat person.

Dang it.

I planned to write a warm and amusing kitten story, but the analogy just made a direct hit on my heart.

Stuff happens and I feel insecure or wounded.

I’m not appreciated.

I was left out.

I was criticized unjustly.

I’m misunderstood.

I tend to follow a natural instinct to protect myself by my own means, running into a dark hole of sorts.

I try on my own to find a safe place, quivering and loudly complaining about my situation, but unwilling to take a step toward help.

As much we wanted to help that kitten, we couldn’t until she was willing to come out of that hole.

I wasn’t deaf to her cries; they pained me. I had empathy for her predicament. But she had to show her face and take those few steps of trust.

So often I run away from the promises and reassurance that God’s got me, that he is in control of the big picture. I hide and complain instead of looking to him.

These promises came to mind as I thought about our little kitten rescue and the joy that we shared when we “not cat people” knew she was safe!


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9 NIV


He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
Psalm 40:2 NIV


 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14 NIV


 

Can you relate? Where do you struggle to trust him, even when you are frightened by the unknown? Do you long to be known and seen and yet run from the one who knows you and loves you just as you are?

I’d love to hear how all of this landed on your heart, friends. Talk back to me in the comments.

Growing in grace to trust him with my fears and hurt,

lorraine

Kitten2

Here she is, all cleaned up and waiting to be delivered to her family.

When Success Gives Birth to Fear

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When Success Gives Birth to Fear

 

I’ve had the best week of my writing journey. I experienced the joy of seeing the stats jump higher than they ever have and it was all for this. As a writer, I pray that God gives me something to say. The truth is that words are not unique…they’ve all been spoken by someone. It is their arrangement and the truth that they convey that will touch the hearts of readers.

So, when the words that I strung together by his grace alone were read by over 1700 people, I was overwhelmed. At first it’s quiet optimism that this “writing thing” is not just a fluke. I see shares by people I’ve never, ever heard of and I think, this is how this works!

And then, my daughter shared my post. “My mom’s blog hit home with me today!” she said. My family and friends are the ones I want never to disappoint or embarrass, especially my girls; this is the one that meant the most.

For a few days, I just enjoyed feeling successful. Lord knows that I’ve had my share of rejections. I publicly moaned about the second reject from one syndicate and was immediately embarrassed that they responded on Facebook, encouraging me to keep trying. Deep down I know that I may not be a good fit for them. I’m learning a lot through rejection.

And then it was time to start considering a post for this week. I started and discarded so many pages. I wanted Jami Amerine’s sarcastic wit, Ann Voskamp’s meandering stories and Melanie Dale’s in your face truth. I was falling way short of it and nothing that I wrote was any good.

And I realized that I was afraid because of recent success. What if I’m a “one hit wonder”? What if I never write anything so well-received again? What if I embarrass my girls with my inept attempts at this?

So I took a ride, alone in my car. Silence: lots of quiet, and I listened. He already knew that my heart was troubled; no words required from me; I just needed to be still.

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And he said to me, “Go back to your call, Lorraine. Go back to the beginning.”

I’ve written the promise in my journal and I’ve read the words over and over so that they are becoming part of my heart, but I heard him speak them fresh:

The Sovereign Lord (that’s me, you know) has given me (that’s my part, Lorraine) a well-instructed tongue (they are my words, not yours), to know the word that sustains the weary (you’re tired aren’t you love; the words are first for you and then for the weary ones who will read them after you). He awakens me morning by morning (Just focus on today, sweet Lorraine), wakens my ear to listen (wait for me – I have something for you to say) like one being instructed (I’m teaching you how to do this, rely on me).
Isaiah 50:4

The same God who called Jami, Ann and Melanie called me along with a long string of amazing writers that I’m blessed to know. The stats can be encouraging but at the end of it all, I am writing for an audience of one.

Please God, don’t let me get so caught up in the numbers and the syndication that I forget that.

Needing his grace more every day,

lorraine

If God has called you to write, check out this online free writers guide:

http://sacredgroundstickyfloors.com/ladder-to-roof-top/

It’s been my joy to contribute there, but more important, I’ve learned so much from these talented, generous women!

If you missed last weeks post about feeling invisible, here you go!

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