The Armadillo in my Heart

We’ve lived in Florida for nearly 13 years but are having our first battle with an armadillo. Our new home doesn’t yet have a fence and the area behind our house is wooded. I love everything about that…except for the pesky armadillo that raids our yard at night to dig for bugs. We’re using coyote urine because it’s a predator (how in the world do they get enough urine to make the stuff you put down on your yard?!?!), bug killer to get rid of the little guys they’re feeding on and are leaving our outside light on to dissuade our nocturnal pest from coming into the yard and leaving holes for us to discover in the morning. We’ve even allowed our lab to run outside and chase him away when Wallace sees him out there.

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

We thought he had moved on to a more buggy yard. But, alas, he was back last night.

Do you ever feel like something ugly is sneaking up on you? I do.

Like my temptation to be fearful about the potential negative consequences of a child’s unwise choices. (By the way, my kids are all young adults.) For awhile it seems my anxieties are under control and I’m able to trust God with them. But then something comes up and I realize that pesky fear is back.

Or then there’s the craving for approval from others that tempts me to value or devalue myself by what they think of me rather than what God does.

And, oh yeah, the envy that seeps out of my heart when others are treated in ways I wish I was.

The list goes on.

Recently I’ve been thinking what “predator” needs to be sprinkled on my heart to keep anxiety, craving for the approval of others and envy away. For me, I think it’s increasing gratitude and love for God. When I’m marinading in His lavish kindness, generosity, compassion and care for me — most beautifully demonstrated when He stretched out His hands and died for me on the cross — the temptations stalking me slither back into the woods where they belong.

Thinking about this over the past few days has lightened my heart and lifted my eyes upward. I’m more aware of the many things for which I am grateful and less focused on the temptations that have been tiptoeing into my heart to feed on self-pity, ungratefulness and jealousy.

Benny said something yesterday that is rolling around in my mind this morning: if we starve something it dies. Starving my temptations and sin is one way I can watch them shrivel up. We’re attempting to make our yard an unfruitful place for the armadillo. I’m trying to make my heart less of a feast for temptation and sin.

I’m praying for success for both.

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