Season’s Greetings my beloveds!

There will be no formal blog posts this week or next week as I am taking a bit of a holiday. I’m feeling a bit of “writer’s block” and want to take some time over the holidays to rest, reflect and recoup. I’m hoping to gather inspiration for the new year and be back with all kinds of adventures for us to share. Until then, stay safe, hug who you can, and be blessed!

Keep Away

Welcome back my friends, and thanks for joining me each week and taking an interest in our rather (seemingly) un-eventful lives as I share glimpses of what my brain processes every now and then. Believe it or not, it’s been quite busy in the Mitton household this week… we finally attempted to put up some Christmas decorations (although we still haven’t fully unloaded all the boxes yet!) and yes, I tried my hand at the citrus garlands (read about it here). We all have been working long hours and feeling the pinch of time. We also started our dog training this week. An adventure all its own. “Reese” is now seven months old and at that awkward teenage male stage — perfect to start training. *insert eye roll here*

Among the books and plans and online “games” to keep said dog entertained, mentally stimulated, and on his way to becoming the perfect dog, we learned that food is highly motivating. Typical for any teenage boy, right? But I digress… Training. We have been practicing our “sit stays” as well as something called avoiding the “keep aways”. A “keep away” is when your off leash pup easily responds to your voice and comes ever-so-obediently to just within arms reach – and then quickly dodges your grab – and eagerly runs in the opposite direction. All fun and games as we attempt a catch-me-if-you-can chase. Tongue a’ lollygagging all the while. Mothers of toddlers also understand this game… especially just before bath time or as you head out the door. Who needs shoes — or even clothes — am I right?

Okay, so you get the picture. Now let’s push it out a bit and begin to ponder with me… how many times have you played the “keep away” game? I’m just as guilty as my doggie. I tend to be an avoider. I struggle with the conflict or the confrontation, or simply just don’t want to give up my freedom for something that might be hard or challenging. I know I am not alone. Lots of us play keep away… not only with others, but often with God. Have you had that niggling of the Spirit one too many times to do something or say something, and you eagerly move towards the obedience just to turn away at the last minute? Even when our hearts are in the right place and we want to obey, our fears and misgivings often get in the way of the final commitments to get “locked in”. Those nasty little “what ifs” make us second guess, doubt and scare us out of what could be special treats and pleasant rewards.

Or perhaps you are a bit like Jonah and Nineveh. Jonah 4 lets us in on Jonah’s secret: He didn’t head off to Tarshish because he was afraid, he really was throwing a little pity party and wanted God to have the Ninevites pay for their wicked ways…not repent and be granted mercy! Maybe you “keep away” to watch from the sidelines as someone struggles or fails when you could be in there sharing God’s love and mercy. Are you out for revenge and eager to watch the wicked get their “just desserts”? Even when God calls you to love and compassion?

I’m here with you, my friend. “Reese” and I are both on the journey to learning. Both of us are in training to give in to the gentle tug on the leash and avoid the keep away game. And if you are here, then maybe you are on the journey with us. Or maybe you are just starting the journey and are getting “leashed up” shall we say in this whole following God thing. I encourage you to share! mittonmusings never claims to be perfect. It’s simply sharing the adventure as we walk along. And I am pretty sure the treats in God’s reward pouch are worth it. Until next week, my friends!

Garbage In…

It’s been a long, stressful day, and I am tired and a wee bit grumpy. In fact, the last month or so has been long and wearisome. Covid-19 is taking a toll, the new puppy is full of energy, I started a new-to-me job, it’s been difficult deciding how to school the kids, church in person or church online… it’s been a challenge navigating this pandemic and all the seemingly normal tasks have had added demands and adjustments. Maybe you’ve been feeling it too. Perhaps my job is not to complain. Joy in circumstances and all that. I don’t know about you, but some days I have a hard time being joyful. Some days I have a hard time connecting and being the light of Jesus in ways I know that I ought. Some days I choose not to shine.

You wanna know what the new puppy did this week? He’s been barfing socks. He’s a labrador — and I know they have iron stomachs, but he has a particular affinity for socks… and with a house full of teenage boys, socks seem to be quite readily available. And he’s quick, too. And so, I have been panicking about intestinal obstructions, up at night worrying about possible major surgeries in our future for exploratory searches to find foreign bodies — and the guilt about not having enough energy to follow around the dog and his adventures in eating strange things. I was told not to worry “he throws them up whole”… and I wondered at this gift – until I got to see it for myself. Yup, an esophageal miracle: sport sock completely intact, gagged back up, packaged neatly in a thin film of bile. (Sorry * graphic warning* for those of you who are squeamish). It’s actually quite impressive in a sword swallowing magician kind of way… how did that little body encapsulate such a bulky thing and expel it, all while wagging it’s tail and happily playing for the last hour?

Alright, enough of the gory details — but I share them with you to explore some thoughts with me. I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase: “garbage in, garbage out”. It’s actually a computer reference, implying that what you enter into a software will influence the information the computer will spit back at you. Perhaps you’ve even experienced it as my new co-workers and I have as we navigated this new computer system implemented in the last few weeks. Unless you follow the correct steps, you don’t get to the place you need to be. And that can be frustrating. And so it is with life sometimes.

When your faith journey is “disconnected” or you’ve been entering in all the wrong stuff, it tends to come back up. Or come back out. And not in the way you want it to. We get grumpy, burnt out, and ill tempered. People say that you need some “self care”. A time to replenish and recoup. And although those words seem fostering and valid, I’ve been challenged recently about that whole idea of “self” care. If, as believers, we have died to self, are we feeding the wrong entity? If He is the vine and we are the branches, does watering the leaf do any good? Or is it better to quench the roots? To dig deep and choose nourishing food that sustains and grows us. Not fillers made of old socks. Do hot baths and candles really replenish the soul?

Do Hot Baths and candles really replenish the soul?

Now, please, don’t get me wrong… I love a good spa day as well as the next girl. And I’ve convinced myself I “need” them once and a while too. Yet, no amount of warm drinks and essential oils are going to repair a damaged heart. It takes the life giving, supernatural gift of grace given to us by a perfect heavenly father. I’m saddened that we are missing some forms of our corporate worship connections during this pandemic. Even being the introvert I am — fellowshipping with other believers fuels the flame of my heart. It is the soul food I sometimes require.

So, what of it, my friend? Are you spending your time devouring sports socks only to throw them up later? Guilty as charged here this week. There. I even admit it to the whole internet. I’m not connected in the way I need to be. But there is always tomorrow…