The end of something is better than its beginning. Not giving up in spirit is better than being proud in spirit. Eccl. 7:8
I'm not sure why I'm beginning with this verse except for the fact that it came to me as I woke up this morning....early this morning. And I do mean early.
Before I get to that, let me share the beautiful soothing-to-the soul weekend I had. Saturday night, we had enjoyed a relaxing supper where my son, Alex, was joking around, teasing his sister, smiling at me in that kind of way that suggests I'm not too bad of a mother, after all. Then my daughter and I later watched a movie in the master bedroom while my husband was downstairs with Alex who was playing Halo 3. (Don't ask me about gaming or all that- I am sharing what is soothing, here!)
Harry, our dog, was- as usual- curled up on the foot of our bed, and Abby and I dropped an occasional bit of popcorn his way. Harry loves popcorn, kisses, and soft places to sleep that are up high (it's rare to find him asleep on the floor. When we do, we're quickly asking, "What's wrong with Harry? Did you do something to upset him? Why is he lying on the floor?" and feeling his furry forehead to see if he has a fever or something).
By 10pm, my daughter was half asleep next to me, Harry had scooched up between us with his head on the pillow, and I was drifting off . Abby whispered "Good night, Mom" and went to her bedroom. "Night, sweetie, " I murmured as she left. Harry sighed in contentment (yes, my dog sighs when he's happy), thinking he might just get to spend the whole night in bed. He didn't. When Bill came in later, he sent Harry out of the room, dashing the dog's hopes of snuggling with me the whole night long.
Sunday was a day full of hope, rejoicing, listening, sharing, worshipping. After church, I took Abby for a quick haircut (they are open now, Sundays). Abby's face glowed with delight as the stylist commented on her thick dark beautiful hair. Then we came home, ate dinner, got organized for the next day, and even my son seemed to be prepared to start the school week in the right frame of mind. We went to bed at a reasonable hour. Such Delight.
Off to la-la land we went. Until 4am or so. I was having a bit of a bad dream, because when I woke up suddenly, I had a picture of a man's rough scarred face in my mind and the scene of me living in an apartment that was a hovel of a place. But what woke me up was this loud insidious scratching, crinkiling, scruffling noise I heard in the walls.
"Bill, Bill- wake up!" I said, grabbing his arm. He mumbled something about it being just a mouse. But it sounded more like a giant rat, and it was right behind my head, right behind the wall behind the bed's headboard. I tossed and turned, remembering last year's mice raid on our house. (Okay, it was just a couple mice and Bill removed them within a couple weeks, but it felt like an all out assault on my home). I started to doze off again, fitfully, sleeping on my side, curled up to my husband, clutching his arm. It was quiet for a few moments. Bill went back to his slight snoring.
And then I felt it- a tickling soft brush against my stomach where my pajama top had crept up ever so slightly and left a bit of my stomach exposed to this.....thing. I screamed and grabbed my husband, jumping on him.
He rolled over and peered at me in the dark as I sat up in bed trembling. And then I felt it- the draw string of my pajama bottoms. That's all it was- just the edge of the draw string of my bottoms rolling over my skin. We burst out laughing when I told him what it was. We lay back down, me clutching him as he turned to go back to sleep. I whispered, "I want you to get rid of that mouse in the morning." A thought of "the end"of a mouse ended my soothing weekend.
And that's when I thought of that verse from Ecclesiastes, "The end of a matter is better than it's beginning....." The end of that mouse's visit to our home will be better for me than the beginning of his jaunt into our abode. I realized my husband had what it took to see this "thing" through. He's always been patient in spirit- and adept at critter removal. He sees it through- all the tough things in our life, like plunging out stopped up toilets, cleaning up after burst water pipes, removing mice- dead or alive- from our home.
I, on the other hand, am a woman of many beginnings, many ideas, and beginning projects scattered around our house. But there are some areas of my life that I am determined to see through. (It's just that mice removal is not one of them).
I am determined to not give up in spirit- concerning who I am, what my calling is, what the labor of my soul will yield. I don't want to be proud or presumptuous about what I can do- but neither do I want to fade away at the first little mouse-like thing that brushes against my skin in the middle of the night.
See it through- what you've started, what you know you're called to do. And be glad for the calling that those around you have- especially when it involves removing things from your life that unsettle you and alarm you in the middle of the night.
We all have a part in progressing forward, going onward, and higher.