Snake Infested Joy

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It was difficult actually typing the word “snake” in my blog title. I literally can’t stand them. As a teenager and young adult, I used to have nightmares about them being under my bed at night. I can’t even watch a movie or TV show about them without sweating.  Sooooo…..I have a good idea……let’s move to the country on thirty sprawling acres that houses several ponds, a ravine, and at least two large wet-weather creeks. I’m sure there are no snakes on the land. Yep.

When we moved to Green Acres almost six months ago, it was freezing cold outside and I could pretend that our land wasn’t the home to probably hundreds of snakes. I roamed around our land at will picking up anything I wanted without a care in the world.  I could wander around our ponds, the woods, and even dig around in the ravines without worrying at all.

About a month ago, we began spotting them. Mainly water snakes. We have killed about 5 or 6 of them in our large pond so far.  However, last night while my family was building our first big “Pinterest project” on the ranch, I had my first close encounter with a snake in our feed room.

Because decorating is absolutely my favorite thing to do, I had wandered off to gather some decor that I have been storing in the barn. When I got in there, I began organizing and cleaning up some clutter so that I could see everything better. While I was in there, I kept hearing a sound that I thought was a vibration from the drill that my husband was using outside to build a porch on our shed. I looked up and there it was. About a 5-6 foot long, striped snake that was leaning towards me from a spool of electrical cord that was hanging about 2 feet to my right. It was like a slow-motion movie. I saw it leaning away from the wall towards me and moving its head and tail at the same time. I then focused in on the body that was wrapped back and forth several times on the extension cord.

Chills started at my toes and went all the way up my body as I eased my way out the open door and announced the encounter to The Outdoorsman and our girls. He quickly sprang into action and, within minutes, he had killed the snake and had it laying on the breezeway of the barn.  I am positive that my frequent daily trips to the feed room will take on a new meaning from now on.

Why am I writing about this? I am writing to tell you that it was much easier to enjoy every aspect of our ranch before I knew, for sure, that the snakes were actually here. Even though I knew in my heart that they were here, I had the peace of mind that existed when I was not facing them daily. Earlier in the day yesterday, I had total freedom and peace every time I walked into the feed room even though I am positive he was sitting there all along.

It is kind of like that in life. The awareness of evil can be paralyzing. The acts of violence, hatred, and sheer cruelty in our country and world can be paralyzing if you let them take control of your mind. If you allow yourself to imagine those senseless acts of cruelty that we see on the news every single night, it can rob you of every ounce of joy that your actual life is producing.

Do not give in to the lie that all people in this country and world are cruel and intentionally mean. Are those individuals out there? Yes, of course. People will always be affected by evil because there is a sin (evil) nature in all of us that has to be conquered through willful and intentional choices to be kind and loving to others. If a person is not taught or led to be willfully kind and loving, the evil side of him naturally comes to the forefront.

As a mom of two young adults and a teenager, I am here to tell you that there are some amazing and dedicated young people in this world who are still trying to make a wonderful difference in this world.  They are working hard daily as missionaries to third world countries, group leaders for children in their college towns, college leaders on their campuses, and leaders in their high school organizations.  They are working to spread joy, peace, and God’s truth to as many people as they possibly can during their lifetime. They are not allowing fear to keep them from being effective.  They are not allowing evil to change the course of their plans.  They are not allowing fear to paralyze them into inactivity.

Trust me, there is hope for our country.  Hope than extends far beyond the walls of politics and religion.  It extends into the hearts and homes of our young people.  They are preparing themselves for something big.  They realize that our country needs to change direction or it will dismally fail in the areas of home and family life.  The young people I know (and there are many) are fighting hard to make those changes.

Yes, there are hidden dangers and snakes in our midst.  They are real and have to be dealt with at times, to be sure.  Be aware of those snakes and unpleasant situations we have to face in life, but do not allow those snakes to rob you of the joy of everyday living.  The snakes are there, but go about your business as if you have never seen them sitting there on the electrical cord of your feed room.  Trust me, it is better if you ignore them completely.

Today, I am choosing to focus on the many kind, amazing, and dedicated people whom I am privileged to share this life on Earth with each day.  Thank you for the joy that you bring to my heart and to the hearts of my family every single day. Thank you for loving us, for praying for us, and for pointing us to Christ in our everyday lives so that we can have hope for our future.  We truly love you and appreciate you for helping us find joy in our everyday lives in the middle of some snaky situations.

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