If You Give God’s Girl a Bible
For an opportunity to win a prize (Not a cookie!), please follow the crumbs to the end.
There’s a sweet children’s book our littles loved called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. This story by Laura J. Numeroff tells of a mouse who simply asks for a cookie, but, having been given one, finds himself on a trek to discover other things he needs as well—like a glass of milk which requires a straw which, in turn, leads him to ask for a napkin and so on and so forth.
The boys especially loved it, and all it took was for me to say, “Come snuggle up! Let’s read this!” And we’d usually read it several times a sitting–looking for the cute little mouse in the blue bibs on each page.
Recently, my writing space, too, was inhabited by a mouse. Although it took some time for us to discover our furry guest, evidence of his presence showed up in nearly every nook and cranny of that small space. I’m not sure I would have even known he was there except for a spilled mug of coffee one Saturday morning. Cleaning up my mess led me to discover his deposits behind a bookshelf, which led me to discover them, too, behind a chair and then inside my leather book bag and so on and so forth. (Sound familiar?)
What I found almost comical—though, I admit, brought some irritation—was the little chew marks on my Bible, a Mother’s Day gift last May from my daughter. Indeed, the hungry mouse had nibbled the cover of God’s Word, likely wishing afterward for a glass of milk or water or something else to wash it down. At least he’s a ‘holy’ mouse, I thought to myself, examining all the tiny chew marks.
That’s the problem with creatures taking up residence in a space with no food or water at their disposal. Alas, the little fellow eventually expired—his remains discovered behind a curtain on a shelf that held hand towels, which he’d also hungrily nibbled. But his presence got me thinking—Somewhere there’s a blog post in this. Perhaps I’ll highlight the passage, ‘Your words were found, and I ate them, and [they] became to me a joy and the delight of my heart …’ (Jeremiah 15:16—ESV).
Our tiny house mouse literally ate God’s Word, though I’m not sure how much delight he experienced. (Truthfully, I shudder to think that the very place I turn to discover life perhaps led to his death, as it was likely the last meal he’d eaten.)
As my wheels turned regarding the words I hoped to write to somehow tie together this mouse in my house and his affinity for God’s Word, desiring to point readers to inspiring truth, my plans were turned upside down.
I’d kept the whole day free, and I had my To Do list ready—reminders to finish my online creative writing course; work on Wednesday’s Bible study; change a dental appointment; schedule a session with my writing mentor; send a birthday card; and edit my work in progress, not to mention, begin my If You Give a Mouse a Bible blog. (I thought that a creative title.)
Everyone out the door, the quiet of the house lured me back to bed for a few minutes. When I stirred, I checked my phone to discover a text from one of our adult sons. Are you coming in to town? he’d inquired.
Feeling a tug on my precious time, I responded, Not until I get Allie this afternoon. Why?
Needless to say, the conversation ended with me agreeing to meet him halfway to deliver a forgotten item he needed for work. I’ll be back quickly. There’ll be plenty of time to tackle that list, I justified.
Home again, I’d just sat down when I received a text from our daughter. Mommy, my pants ripped in two places.
Irritated, I wanted to say, Tough luck, but replied instead, Can you cover the holes with your jacket tied around your waist? Or maybe go to the office to see if they have something you can wear.
I only felt slightly guilty for suggesting such, knowing the attire they’d have would be clean enough, likely lost and found generic sweat pants. But it’ll be a good lesson, I heard myself think, before another, kinder voice retorted, What lesson is she supposed to learn—to not pull up her pants?
Just then the phone rang. Waynesville Middle School ran across the screen. Oh no. Panic struck with the threat of more loss of my time.
“Mom, the office doesn’t have anything, and I can’t cover these holes all day.”
Once again, I felt myself clutching selfishly to the hours remaining in my work day and, frustrated, huffed, “Allie, I’ve just been to town, and I have a lot to do.” Silently, I was shifting tasks from that day’s list—shelving some things on the next day’s with, Perhaps that can wait …
“Here.” Allie interrupted my mental shuffling. “The secretary wants to talk to you.” I could almost hear her tears.
“Mrs. Miller, I think you’ll need to come with some new pants.”
A silent pause. Then, “Yes, of course I’ll come,” and before hanging up, I added, “It’ll be about forty-five minutes, but tell Allie I’ll bring her a pair of un-holey jeans.” I chuckled at my play on words, as the day felt anything but holy.
Still in pajamas, my teeth not yet brushed, I hurried to get ready. Allie’s school is a 30-minutes drive one way, and I didn’t want to keep her waiting long. Throwing on some clothes, I spied two trash bags filled with clothing to be donated and thought, I’m going in anyway. I’ll take these to drop off.
On the drive, I pondered my wrecked schedule—the edits that didn’t get done, the unwritten blog post. In the quiet of the car, I heard–
Establish the work of my hands for me (Ps. 90:17).
Had I asked God to establish my To Do list? Had I even invited Him in to my day?
Then I heard–
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
Was I submitted to His ways? Did I fully trust Him with my time? The space inside my minivan was beginning to feel a bit holy. The irritation caused by the tug on my precious minutes and hours eased, and peace settled as I heard again the passage I’d considered earlier for a possible blog post.
Your words were found, and I ate them, and [they] became to me a joy and the delight of my heart ….
How relevant these words, though not in the way I’d first thought when I had considered joking about them as they related to the mouse having snacked on my Bible cover.
They were tangibly true. After all, I, too, have snacked, feasted even, on God’s Word, and it is hidden in my heart—a weapon to wield when I need it most. Like today, when my schedule was sabotaged, causing me to grumble and complain, the deposit of God’s Word filled all my nooks and crannies—evidence of Jesus’ presence in my life.
When I arrived at the school to give Allie her pants, I was met by a teacher I know. Like me, she’s a mom of three but also bears the burdens of her students each day. Delighted to see her, I asked how she was doing, earnestly desiring to know. Her eyes welled as she confessed, “It’s been a hard day.”
“Oh no, I’m sorry,” I sympathized. “Well then, you’ll appreciate the day I’ve had.” I explained the crazy, unexpected changes to my plans, and we both laughed.
“God knew I needed to be encouraged,” my friend said, patting my hand. “Your being here is no mistake. Thank you.”
I felt humbled. If only she knew how much I’d complained. But God whispered–
… encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing (I Thess. 5:11).
Allie, having changed, handed me the holey jeans, and as I walked out the door, I silently thanked God for the holy moments made possible by an imperfect day.
Later, after picking Allie up from school, we took two trash bags filled with clothes to a children’s clothes closet and visited behind masks with the sweet woman who warmly greeted us. Hungry for company, she showed us around. When we left, Allie said, “We should buy a bunch more clothes and take them there for children in need.”
And again, I heard God’s voice–
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done (Proverbs 19:17).
As we drove home, my To Do list was forgotten, replaced by the day’s list of holy opportunities–deposited like bread crumbs leading to a Savior, guided by His Word.
And I thought I heard Abba whisper, Snuggle up close, My child. Let me tell you a story. It’s called ‘If You Give God’s Girl a Bible’.
Dear Jesus, help me trust all my moments to your tender care, and help me seek the holy in every opportunity–yes, even in giving a tiny house mouse a cookie!
If you would like an opportunity to learn more about the beautiful journey of holiness, please comment below with your favorite “meal” from God’s Word (aka–Bible verse or passage), a favorite memory of reading a good book, or simply what you think holiness means. Your name will be entered in to a drawing. I’ll choose one winner next Monday, and she will receive a copy of my friend Ginger Harrington’s wonderful book Holy in the Moment.