P.S., Twenty-Seven to One!!!

It’s funny how some days go. I wonder how often, when you have a bad day, it’s really just God trying to tell you something…. but you’re not listening? I think today qualified.

It was just one of those days where a lot of little things went wrong. Don’t get me wrong, overall it was a very good day and I actually had a lot of fun. But interspersed throughout the day were many irritating little snafus and glitches that just kept me constantly befuddled and frustrated.

First thing in the morning, right after my quiet time, our phone rang with a text-to-land line message from a pastor/music director/friend from church. Hubby’s in a church band, so we frequently get encouraging texts like this…it’s really helpful and makes everyone involved feel connected and loved. We have been struggling with our cell phone service (some day there may be another iPod type post about that issue) and the text-to-land messages sent to our regular phone can be a bit garbled…they are delivered in a computerized voice and occasionally they ring through at interesting hours of the night. Sometimes they lose something in translation and don’t make a lot of sense. This morning’s message, droned in a strange digitized computer voice (think Hal from 2001 a Space Odyssey) was:

The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

P.S….twenty seven to one!!!!

I loved the quote…what an awesome thought to start the day off with! But the rest of the message baffled me…twenty seven to one? What’s that mean? I was trying to get everyone ready to go on the zoo trip we had planned with friends, so I didn’t have time to think about it. I threw some oatmeal on the stove and logged on, planning to blog that verse because hey…who *doesn’t* need to hear encouraging words like that? Especially on a Monday.

I couldn’t log on to my account. Everything else worked, just not logging in to blogger. I tried looking up the verse on Biblegateway.org so I could paste it when blogger let me log in…no luck. Biblegateway wouldn’t load either! EVERYTHING ELSE worked! Email: fine. Other websites: fine. OK, so apparently Satan doesn’t want that message out? Can a computer become possessed? I was quickly getting irritated. As I punched and jabbed at the keyboard, I smelled….

BURNING OATMEAL!

Argh, I am forever burning the oatmeal to the bottom of the pan! I managed to save most of it and spooned it into bowls. There were not enough regular sized spoons left, the rest were in the dishwasher and the soap compartment hadn’t opened during the wash cycle so the dishes were not clean. I found a soup spoon, a baby spoon, and a grapefruit spoon and passed them out. Rachel cried because she doesn’t like oatmeal…since yesterday, apparently. Sarah complained because she doesn’t like eating with a grapefruit spoon. I needed to make a picnic lunch to take to the zoo, but there was no bread. I made PB&J on stale, rock hard dinner rolls. The kids needed constant redirection, the computer was still refusing to let me log in (and I was determined to get my message through!), someone tried to fill a water bottle with a very small opening full of ice cubes at the freezer’s dispenser and they went all over the floor, somebody slipped on ice cubes, and the cat jumped into the toilet. Our friends got here just as I was frantically yelling at the kids to get their shoes on for Pete’s sake, and trying to stuff sunscreen into my backpack while chopping some questionable looking fruit into chunks for the picnic. I couldn’t find our zoo pass. What’s the deal here? Is Satan working overtime to foul up my plans?

At the zoo, I paid for another copy of our pass as my youngest wandered off. Yelled at youngest and gave her a stern talking to about the importance of not wandering off at the zoo. Got a few yards into the zoo and felt something wet dripping on my feet…must be the misting outside air conditioners they put up to keep you cool. The kids were hot and grouchy already (barely even 10:00 yet!) and needed constant redirection. Friend and I suddenly understood what it feels like to be a sheep dog…nip at their heels, redirect, nudge this one forward, pull that one back. Our flock of 7 seemed awfully unwieldy. Drip…drip…where IS that water coming from? Hurry flock of grouchy sheep towards Big Cat exhibit. Drip….drip….Take off pack, notice that one of the kids has tossed their water bottle in without tightening the lid. Notice that my whole backside is soaked, and the sunscreen and picnic are swimming in a pack full of water. Notice that the rock-hard dinner roll sandwiches are now soaked. At least they are no longer stale.

By now, I am losing the ability to see this as humorous. Now I don’t need any actual little things to go wrong, because everything around me suddenly seems irritating. It’s too loud at the Tiger Show, why can’t those people control their kids? It’s too hot. That guy is standing directly in front of us at the Elephant Show, can’t he tell that there are people sitting behind him who can’t see? You get the picture.

Drive home, get to work on a sewing project. Can’t find all that elastic I just bought. Look everywhere. Find everything BUT what I need. Give up. One child falls from a tree and gets a scratch, another keeps getting left out, siblings bicker. At this point, it’s hard to tell who’s at fault because nobody is innocent. Oldest 2 go out for a walk and don’t return for nearly 2 hours, I panic, go driving out looking for them. They return while I’m gone. Friend and I manage to enjoy ourselves and get some sewing done, while dancing around a thousand tiny crises and distractions. Bid friends goodbye. Remember I don’t have a dinner planned. Dig for leftovers.

After dinner, kids are tired and emotional. Son has to be sent back to the shower because there’s enough soap left in his hair for three more shampoos. No, you can’t wash it out in the sink. NO, I said you can’t wash it out in the sink. Because I said so, that’s why. Start cleaning while son showers a second time. Notice that kids have scattered kitten chow, Hansel and Gretel style, throughout the house in interesting trails. Find strategic stockpiles of kitten chow under things, in various rooms, and in unlikely places. Enlist the girls to pick up the chow. Find that the dog does a far more efficient job of it. Son comes out of the bathroom, along with a lot of water that has escaped the tub (how many times have I told him to keep the curtain inside the tub?!?). Something has clogged the drain and the water is draining verrrrry slowly. Cat seizes the opportunity and goes swimming again. WHAT is wrong with this cat!?!

Read a book on our bed, snuggling and enjoying ourselves. Send kids to bed with a kiss and a prayer. Each child returns downstairs for various unlikely and contrived reasons, and is sent promptly back up. Two of them return more than once.

Log on (finally!) to post this morning’s uplifting message. Remember the odd ending of the text- to- line voice message: P. S….27 to one? What’s that mean, anyway? Twenty seven irritating moments to every one calm one? That must be it. 27:1.

WAAAAAIIIIIIT a minute.

Smack your forehead squarely with the palm of your hand. Duh! PS….Psalms, 27:1….

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Today was certainly filled with mishaps and irritants. It’s possible that the enemy was indeed trying to foul my day up and distract me from my joy. In fact, I’m pretty certain I could easily count 27 separate (and remarkably creative) attacks on my peace of mind throughout the day. However…the odds are good! 27 to 1 is no sweat, when the 1 is God.

I have heard Satan described as one of those irritating yappy little dogs, nipping and biting and whining and yapping at your heels. He has lost the war…God (the ONE!) declared victory a long time ago when He rose from death to give life to us all. Satan’s only power is to try and keep us from living Victoriously, as people who have won the war and are marching towards Heaven. He can only lie to us, irritate us, steer us towards following our worldly desires and dwelling in our bad moods. The yappy little dog can become an accepted part of the background noise of our lives, always yapping and nipping and darting in and our of our legs, tripping us up. Or, we can notice him, pick him up by his ridiculous furry little tail, and kick him to the curb. His 27 best attacks are nothing compared to my ONE!

Tomorrow, I’m going to remember 27 to One…both the verse and the analogy I seem to have lived out today. And I’m going to have Zero tolerance for yappy little lap dogs, vying for my attention. I’ll stay focused on the ONE. Why fear that yappy nipper when you have God with you? Why be afraid when God has you in His hand? Of whom shall I be afraid? Thanks for the reminder.

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2 thoughts on “P.S., Twenty-Seven to One!!!

  1. ahh my friend I am sorry, I hope our stress did not overwhelm you to much! I wish I would have know thing where affecting you so. I will pray for a ay of peace for you! But I will tell you I had a wonderful time and we all enjoyed the zoo very much. I had a great time sewing with you and look forward to doing it again. hugs hugs

  2. Ack! No no no…it was totally not you guys! It was my own stress! Had you guys not been here, I’d have probably chewed my own leg off by the end of the day…the kiddos are just really experiencing summer boredom and I seem to be experiencing a reduced ability to deal with it. No, today has been going pretty much like yesterday as far as irritating problems are concerned and we’re all on our own…so don’t think for a second it was because of that! You guys were the reason that it was still a *good* day, even though I experienced technical difficulties all day long. I’d have done it all the same if I could do it over…my own attitude was what was getting in the way. I’d have sat around all day being grouchy and not had any fun at all without you!!!

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