Monday, December 26, 2011


9:31 p.m. Today's project was to host a lovely Christmas gathering that began at 8:45 with the arrival of our son Kriss and Marisela, and developing baby Clark. The caregiver had just left and Steve and I were pretty much ready, just getting some table settings done and wrapping up my devotional time.

All five of our kids and their spouses came, and we all had a wonderful time eating Marisela's delicious gourmet French toast, downing lots of hot cider and Kriss' perfectly brewed coffee. We had three kinds of bread: pumpkin from Nick's mom Kathleen; cranberry from Heidi, and cinnamon coffee cake made by our son Sean. Gifts were then exchanged. The more novel ones included a personalized ceramic pig for Clark, who also got children's books and a gyrating food bowl--non-spill, it says! Steve was very happy with his "Not of This World" t-shirt and new jeans. My dad loved his devotional books, the girls were pleased with their handmade necklaces, the Amazon and Starbucks gift cards were plentiful. I received a mushroom garden from Steven, which I can't wait to start cultivating and eating from!!

We had seven kinds of homemade cookies, too! A roast beef dinner was enjoyed by several of us, followed by--more cookies! Steven, who had been sick all night, was able to join us and definitely livened up the conversation. Heidi and Pavel returned from his parents' house with a huge bag of pomegranates. We all visited for another hour, and they left, as did Nick & Heather. I was helping Marisela pack up their gifts and goodies
when she mentioned, "Be careful with the pomegranates. They have ants all over them."

Did that ever get my attention!

Do you remember the cavern scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) where Harrison Ford yells out "Snakes! Why does it have to be snakes?!" Seems there was a phobia going on there. Well, I feel just as fanatically disgusted and revolted by ants! Give me one long snake or a big spider any day over a trail of ants!

So I asked her to take the bag out to the garage, and we went on with our goodbyes, including sending Steven on his way back to Fresno.  Hoping for the best, I went to the dining room table to do some clearing up when I saw them--tiny grayish-black ants, not a lot, but enough to put me into a smashing and brushing away mode. I got the Basic-G organic germicide that kills them on contact without poisoning the dining room table cloth. Steve vacuumed for me, and I felt like we were on top of the situation. Heidi got a text asking if she knew about the pomegranate-loving ants. She replied that sometimes they do have ants. I wrote, "You know how I am about ants, lol!"

The Lord just showed me not to ruin a fabulous Christmas Day, and to make a joke out of the ant invasion.  Steve and I  enjoyed such a great day with all of our kids. Even Jada enjoyed the treats from her stocking and being played with. Irritating though they are to me, ants just aren't worth letting go of the blessedness God had seen fit to give to us. We had lots of opportunity to share the gospel and testify of Jesus in a very natural, relaxed, sugary atmosphere. The Lord was in this place! Steve and I witnessed our children giving and receiving thoughtful creative gifts to their parents and siblings.

Life has lots of "ants," doesn't it? And the devil loves to blow tiny incidents or details up to the point where all of the Holy Spirit's work and witness are forgotten. What are your ants? A house that isn't perfectly clean? Low on cash? Kids acting up? I can testify that all of these conditions are temporary, as a mother of five grown children and a grandmother of two and  a half.  But God's richest blessings are kept in store for, and meted out to, His precious children throughout the world. Just like earthly, sinful  parents do. Jesus pointed out this out with an incisive question in Matthew 7:11:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!


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