A Love Story Involving Turtles, Neurotic Kittens, And Bacon

The baby doesn’t nap.

He’s a maniac, and I’m exhausted. He is walking everywhere, and when I say he’s walking what I really mean is jogging. Usually with things in his hands that he’s not supposed to have. The kid is fast. He never seems to get tired. He just runs from one end of the house to the other, dropping TV remotes into laundry hampers and throwing wireless computer mouses when he hears my footsteps. He’s a whirlwind of electronic devices and cereal bar crumbs.

There’s a monkey on my back.

I had an anxiety attack this morning. I get very upset sometimes, about the state of things, and by “things” I mean “how messy my rain gutters are”.  This might be a good time to point out that it’s over 100 degrees here, and there is no danger of rain. Nonetheless, the gutters are full of pine needles, my kitchen drawers are a catch all for the curse known as “stuff”, my minivan is a disaster, and so am I.

Perfectionists don’t need logic to make them worry. We can make up problems in any situation. Last night I was on the verge of tears because I have a kitten hiding behind my dryer. He seems to have a social disorder or something. Either that, or he’s having a love affair with lint. It was very upsetting.

I know that worry is a sin. God tells us to be anxious about nothing, but with prayer and petition bring our requests to Him.

This morning I tried to petition Him about neurotic kittens. It was mildly hilarious. My prayers are often tinged with hysteria.

I flung my rain gutter worries and my kitten problems to God, knowing full well that I’m ridiculous.

He didn’t call me ridiculous. He didn’t call me anything. I drove to my friend’s house for breakfast and waited for peace.

The bacon helped.

You know what’s hard about being a Christian? Knowing that you should be feeding the poor and stuff but instead you’re devastated by messy rain gutters and dryer kittens. Understanding that all of the cool, holy Christians are probably being selfless and thinking of ways to encourage you to start a soup kitchen or a neighborhood event.

But today I remembered this: Christ following is not built on social justice, it’s built on the Cross. If I live for social justice, I’ll burn out. If I live with the desire to know Jesus, I’ll thrive. When I go to God with my silly problems that make my heart race and my lips dry, he doesn’t chide me for being so materialistic. He doesn’t shake his finger at me for being so selfish. He feeds me waffles and bacon.

And as I sat at the table, thinking about how ridiculous I am, basking in self loathing and neurotic kitten hate, He loved me. He sent me a little piece of happiness, because He is joy, and He is peace, and He is funny.

Nothing says “I love you” like a sunbathing turtle.

God doesn’t love you because you are worry free, organized, friendly, kind, or charitable. He doesn’t love you because you did the right thing. He loves you because while you were a mess, while you are a mess, He died for you. He died for me. Nothing you and I can do will make Him love us more. He first loved us in our sin.

So I’m a selfish, anxious person with ridiculous problems that keep me up at night. Maybe my world is too small and I need to serve more. Maybe I need a nap. All I know is that I need Jesus, and Jesus keeps showing up to give me hugs and weird turtles, because He knows what I like. Because he loves me.

“Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could. The latter befriended the impostor within; the former raged against him.” 
 Brennan Manning

13 thoughts on “A Love Story Involving Turtles, Neurotic Kittens, And Bacon

  1. Well, yes, as always. And all Christians are in different places. I've been thinking about that a lot, this week, as I have not been able to bring myself to eat Chick-fil-A. There were plenty of other Christians to support that man who was, most likely, just being authentic and Word-of-God loving. I didn't have to be one of them. I don't have to be anything for anyone else. It's all between Jesus and me: all of it. And I've decided I'm going to stop allowing myself to feel badly about who I am…and where I am, in Christ. If I'm not close enough, He'll draw me closer in His own way and in His own time. It's alllll good.


  2. Thank you a million times over. I really needed this right now. I am caught up in dealing with my parents, the abuse, and a bipolar child. I just can't get excited about social justice when I can't get my laundry caught up! I'm really happy to be reminded that it doesn't make me a bad person or unloved. I eat Chick-fil-a, shop at Home Depot, and buy Nabisco products not to make a statement, but because it makes my life a little easier. I'm glad God doesn't expect me to do anything but Micah 6:8!


  3. Praying for you Melanie, that God will give you the strength to make the right decisions in these areas, and His peace that surpasses circumstances. You are more than a conquerer in Christ, and the wilderness is where He carries us, like a child in His arms. Who knows what He has planned for you?


  4. Oh how I have missed your words…your perspective…

    Only you could bring this kind of humor and peace to a post using kittens, bacon, turtles and jogging babies.

    Add me to the list of those who love you thoroughly.


  5. thank you for writing this, as always (i'm so glad you're “back”!)… i feel loved by God, too, just reading his grace for you(not so much by the previous comment re:boycott american women? maybe delete that one? 😉


  6. Amen and Amen. I've had a lot of teary prayers lately. Stuff I can't talk about in open forum. Thanks for the confirmation, it's what I've been hearing from that Still, Small Voice. Now I could just use me some bacon. Love you.


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