A mouse who likes cookies. And milk. And needs a haircut after checking his whiskers in the mirror for a milk mustache… I can relate. 1. I like cookies. and milk. 2. My choices – even the simple ones, like getting a glass of milk to go with a cookie – create a snowball effect that sometimes we don’t mean to create.
When you give a mouse a cookie…
That mouse’s story has been on my mind a lot lately. He goes on a wild journey, dragging his patient friend with him, all because he wanted milk with his cookie. I have gone on many a wild journey all because of a simple choice, and they haven’t all been joyful journeys.
Last Winter was one of those not-so-pleasant journeys. Tim and I were new to life in Idaho and I wasn’t adjusting well. I struggled to find community, to adjust to a new culture, and to embrace all four seasons. When Winter hit, I felt cold inside and out. I was anxious and grumpy. I was overly sensitive and competitive. I was negative and critical. I thought I did a pretty good job of keeping the worst of those feeling inside, but looking back I can see those emotions manifested quite clearly in my actions and attitudes.
Tim received the brunt of my failure to adjust. I cringe remembering how sour I was last year and how many opportunities to be a supportive and caring wife I missed while I pouted and complained. On top of that, I missed out on opportunity after opportunity to do something about the things I was unhappy about because I was too busy being selfish.
I wasn’t pleased with God’s plan for me; so I did my best to adjust on my own terms and it wasn’t working. at. all.
When you don’t give God enough time…
I like immediate solutions. I’m more likely to send up a prayer for help while I’m in the midst of trying to straighten out my own path than I am to slow down and ask God for direction before I start moving and shaking.
Now that I have a year of perspective on last Winter and my failure to adjust, I realize how much of my struggle was wrapped up in impatience. I wanted instant results. When I didn’t make bosom buddies right away, when I didn’t love Idaho immediately, when I didn’t feel connected at our church, I felt disappointed and irritated. If God was going to pull me from family, friends, community, and a location that I loved, why wasn’t He providing for my needs in our new environment?
If I was offered cookies, shouldn’t milk be offered, too?
I was blinded by my own timeline. I gave God a small window to show up with milk and when it didn’t happen, I gave up. I didn’t give God enough time and my new little family reaped the consequences.
A year after the cookies, I’m just beginning to sip the milk. God IS faithful to provide for our needs, but He does it on His timeline. And He does it in ways that don’t always match up with how we expected. [pullquote position=”right”]If I learned anything during the past year it’s that God changes hearts but He doesn’t change them without permission. [/pullquote]
Adjusting to anything is a process. Even with God’s hand guiding you it can be painful, but it’s certainly less painful when you aren’t resisting and ornery. Had I stepped back and allowed God to do His thing with a yielded and patient heart, I would have saved myself and those around me a lot of grief.
Sure, I definitely still miss the things we left behind, but I didn’t give God enough time to heal my heart in a healthy way, to be what I needed in that adjustment. And When you don’t give God enough time…