Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kids in a Bind

March 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

I had just gotten out of the shower when I heard a faint rap on the door. I quickly wrapped a towel around myself and released the hook-latch in order to peek at what the kids might be needing. They were 9 and 11 and we had just moved into our country home after living in town for six years. When I got in the shower, I heard them playing upstairs in the little attic over the office.

Upon seeing a sullen look on Ethan’s face, my curiosity was peaked. There was actually a tear in his eye. He turned to look at his sister and said, “Tell her, Kayla.”

The suspense was killing me. …”Well,”…{wincing, a bit fearful} she said, “…Ethan and I caught a chipmunk and brought it up in the attic to play with and…it got away!”

Concealing my laughter inside I said, “Well, you caught it once, go catch it again!”

Outside under the bird feeder, where Chippy frequented, they had set upside down a plastic, mesh, shoe-box-sized basket with a forked twig propping one end up. There was a string attached to the twig. When the chipmunk entered the basket, they tripped the twig with the string and caught it.

Those were the days of Beanie Babies. We had a neighbor in town that collected them, and shared several with my kids. Often when I was working in my craft room, the kids built things out of scrap wood. They had been in the attic with their Beanies, home-made Beanie Bunk Beds and Beanie jackets made out of old sock-remnants with arm-holes cut in the sides. I imagined them trying to get Chippy into a little sock-jacket.

I heard them up there scuffling about. The attic is probably 10’x10′ with low sidewalls and a peaked ceiling. We only had a few things up there…suitcases, a few boxes. It was a perfect child-wonderful place to play! As things go, I could hear them getting frustrated with each other. After letting them pursue the little varmint for nearly 20 minutes, I went up to offer adult wisdom.

It was clear that Chippy liked the edges of the room, so I told the kids to bring everything into center and I would hold a box in the doorway, they could route the little guy and we would corral it in the box. It looked to be working like a charm until Chippy found a hole along that one edge of the room. He slipped in and was gone!!!

My mind went to the stench that would be in the house when Chippy went to Chipmunk heaven, and also to the reality that I wasn’t going to stand guard at that hole waiting for him to emerge sometime in the next few days…so I did what any other mother would do. Wadded up tin foil, stuck it in the hole in case he resurfaced, then I could check, and if the foil was knocked out of the hole, I would know to look for him. I dreaded him not emerging, and wasn’t sure I wanted him to come back inside either.

He never did come out. I checked the foil over the course of the next three days and it never moved. I braced myself for the smell, but never had to endure that either. He must have found his way outside somehow.

Similarly, I have delighted in God’s creation and savored His gifts, and then I have gotten myself into little messes that I cannot seem to fix myself…I’m so grateful that He stands over me with His Fatherly affection and helps me out of the binds I get myself into.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul. ~Psalm 143:8

With a passion for prayer and God’s Word, Kathy loves to build women up in their faith and encourage them in devotion to the Lord. She is director of Women’s Ministry in her church where she teaches and leads Bible Studies, organizes and hosts women’s events with her team, publishes a newsletter and mentors several women.

Kathy and her husband Dale own a hobby farm in Western Wisconsin where they raised their two children. Kayla (married to Andrew) made them joyful grandparents of baby Bennett last fall. Ethan is entering his sophomore year in college.

Kathy, a former hairstylist, owns and operates a country gift shop on their farm where she is free to tend her many perennial gardens and her two blogs in between shoppers stopping in. Kathy can be found at: Blessed Builder and Bittersweet Farm Gift Shop. You may email her at

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