OK…so I had this revelation about the Year of Yes resolution I’ve made: If God wants me to say “yes” without reservation, hesitation or questioning, to whatever He asks me to do, then He must be getting ready to ask me to do some things I’m gonna wanna say “no” to.
And I know I’m ending that sentence with a preposition, but I’m in a hurry.
Stink! It seems that suddenly, the “Year of Yes” sounds much less glamorous than it did a few days ago. I don’t know what I was expecting God to ask of me. Maybe a long weekend ministering on some gorgeous costal island half-way around the world? I don’t know. I just know I wasn’t expecting THIS.
Let me preface by saying, everything you are about to read is true. Here we go:
So I’m lying in bed in our hotel room on December 29th when suddenly the thought comes to my head, “We should get a cat.”
And it wasn’t just a casual thought. It came complete with a childhood giddy-ness…that little tickle in your belly when you are a little kid and about to get your “most favoritest” thing ever!!! Like Christmas morning or a trip to Disney.
Or a pet.
I go to sleep that night and dream that we have a cat. It’s a good dream. It’s the kind of dream you wake up from and it feels real, in a good way.
Let me give you some background info about me and cats:
I like cats.
I’ve owned cats.
Gus and Snickers.
For 10 years.
Gus and Snickers decided they liked the dining room and the adjoining hallway of our Florida home WAAAAY better than they liked the litter box we so graciously bought them.
Two years and $3000.00 later (spent on replacing half the carpet with tile AND professionally pulling up the rest of the carpet, cleaning the floor and baseboards, replacing the foam padding and cleaning the carpet—not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES!), we took the kitties to a new home at the shelter.
I’m not proud of that. I wish I could tell you I lovingly and successfully trained the cats to use the litter box again. That I didn’t mind at all that my entire home smelled like cat urine. That I never once screamed or swore as I was wiping cat feces off my walls and baseboards.
Every. Single. Day.
But I’d be lying, and I promised to tell you the truth today.
Another piece of background info: I have a little girl who loves animals more than she does humans. If she had her choice, she’d be an animal. She asks for a pet
Every. Single. Day.
I’ve complied with several pets in the “caged” category since the Gus and Snickers saga. But no. She wants a pet she can cuddle with. (sorry again about that preposition thing).
Cuddle-shmuddle. I don’t want any more pee or poop in my home than I already have. Period. End of discussion.
So…here I am at the hotel, while out of the blue I’m getting excited about an unknown cat. And then DREAMING about it.
And the giddy feeling is not leaving me. So much so, that I’m starting to think it’s more than just a thought. That maybe it’s God.
One more piece of background info: I don’t ever hear stuff about animals when I pray. I’m not a crazy cat lady. And most importantly, I’m extremely careful not to call something “God” when I’m not sure it’s God.
On the way home from our trip, I tell my husband about the cat dream and the cat thoughts. My husband thinks I’m crazy. Whatever.
So I say to him, “I have a very strong feeling that there will be a cat when we get home. We will be presented with a cat in some form. And when we are, I feel like God wants us to take the cat. Mark my words…there will be a cat.”
I actually said that.
So we get home and start to bring luggage in. I go to my computer and start downloading e-mails. There is an e-mail from my neighbor saying they found a stray cat and they are looking for the owner.
I show my husband. We have a good laugh and I say, “I told you so!” (I never want to miss those opportunities to point out when I’m right, because I have a very smart hubby and he’s right a lot).
I decide I’m not going to go looking for a cat. If God wants me to have a cat (it sounds crazy even typing this), He will make it clear.
Four days later, my daughter is outside playing and comes running in telling me all about the stray cat. That the neighbors found it and how it’s so pretty and the owner’s not coming and they need to find it a home and mommy mommy can we PLEEEAAAAAASSSSSE have the cat and we can just be it’s “foster parents” until the real owner comes….oh PLEEEAAAAAASSSSE, mommy!
I look at my husband with big eyes and mouth the words, “I TOLD you there would be a cat!” and walked outside to check this kitty out.
All I’ll say is that as soon as kitty saw me, she ran to me, jumped into my arms and started purring.
And now kitty’s name is Oreo and she is sleeping next to me as I write this.
Now: why in the world, you might ask, would God talk to me so plainly about taking in a cat? Why, when there are so many other life and death situations in this world, would He spend His time finding a home for a stray animal?
I’m not sure.
But this I know. My daughter, Rebekah, has smiled more in two weeks than she has her entire life. This morning while I was packing lunches, she was going on and on about all the cute things Oreo is doing and how she loves sleeping with her…and then concluded by saying,
“Mommy, I was sitting on my bed this morning and I was holding Oreo. And I just kept saying, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.”
And so, if my “yes” means a little girl learns that she serves a God who lavishes her with love and then gives her the deepest desires of her heart, then so be it.
It’s just that she’s prayed for a baby sister and now a cat…and I’m getting a little scared that the “year of yes” may include more poop than what I hoped.