Should we buy a house? This was the question we were tossing back and forth. Our girls were grown, married, and home only for occasional visits. It was just the two of us now. We had been renting a large house with way too much room for our present needs. True, we had managed to fill it up, but did we still need all those things?
My husband had just accepted a new position. This current job could be busier than his previous one had been. Yes, we decided we should downsize. We did not have the time or energy to keep up a big house and yard, nearly an acre, and both work in the office, as well as travel most weekends.
What a lot of junk we had accumulated over the years. More than you might think went right into the garbage. Our children took the things they still had at home, as well as other items we urged upon them and their husbands. After all of this we had a garage sale, and then gave away a lot more.
During this time we shopped for houses and decided on a new townhouse. (No more mowing lawns or shoveling snow!) This move would be number 22 for us! Several residences were apartments we rented in college and seminary, and some were only temporary housing, as we waited for a house to become available. We had a bit of experience wrapping up those fragile dishes and maneuvering pianos and hide-abeds around corners and up and down stairs, to say nothing of transporting tons of books!
Moving day was unlike any we had known since our early years of marriage. Our friends from work came about 8:30 a.m. on a Wednesday and we were loaded and unloaded by 11:30 a.m. Most everything fit into a 17-foot rental truck.
As we were in the process of unpacking, we saw evidence of mice. We even saw one peek around a corner and run across the kitchen floor. Out came the traps. The mice seemed to love the peanut butter and we wondered, are they such smart mice that they have figured out how to keep from getting caught? The problem was not only in our kitchen. While we were away for a few days, the mice found a bag of soybeans and put them all over the house. There were other beans available but they chose the soybeans. Do mice know that soybeans are a complete protein?
They had put some in a half-full bottle of vitamins, others had been tucked into other unlikely places, like under pillows on the sofa, or in a box of powdered sugar, etc. We checked on our return home, still no mice in our traps. There was a lot of other mice activity in my kitchen including what looked like the beginning of a nest. I opened a drawer and there was a little mouse peering out at me as if to say, "Why are you disturbing me in my new house?" Well, I thought, this is not his house! We will get new traps—a different kind.
The new traps worked! They do make a better mouse trap! In all, over a period of three or four days, we caught seven mice! No wonder we had such a big mess! We had never seen mice colored like these were. Their backs were a soft light gray and their undersides were a pure white fur, and they had white tips on their feet. I was asking people about this at work and a friend, that had lived in the country, said they had seen mice like this. Since our townhouse was built on what had been a farm, we decided they must be country mice.
After this we saw no more evidence of mice except for a few soybeans that had been previously scattered here and there. One day, as I started to water my aloe vera plant, I noticed it looked like there were long shoots that might be blossoms. This was strange, as that had never happened before. I called Walt to come and see and as he bent down to look he said, "Those are soybeans growing in there!" There must have been thirty plants. Indeed, those were country mice and they had already planted a crop. I bet they would have harvested it, too, if they had been around. We had a good laugh.
Now I am not a lover of mice, so Walt had to be the one to dispose of those creatures, but I have been thinking of how industrious those little mice were. They didn't waste any time in preparing for the future. They also made the best of their situation of being shut up in our new house, and used whatever they found available to provide for the future of their mouse family. Couldn't we learn a lesson from them?
Jesus is coming soon, are we industriously looking for ways to help prepare our families and others for His soon return? Let us use whatever means we find to us to do this. God has given each of us our little corner to work in. Let's make the best of wherever we find ourselves. God provides everything we need to do whatever He expects us.