Battle in Bowser’s Castle

Too many video games before bed make for a rotten attitude and a poor night’s sleep…and that usually carries over to the morning.

Irritable, achy head, sore from tossing and turning, jaw tight from tension induced grinding of teeth…coming down the hall with hair a mess and a scowl on my face. Yup. I am not talking about one of my kids. This is me today. U-G-L-Y.

Last night I decided to play classic Mario Brothers and I am…well…let’s say “competitive”. All of that jumping and bouncing and fireball throwing, ducking, sliding and battling gets a little intense for me. It is a battle that I MUST WIN. I must get all of the large gold coins. (I must know when to call it a night and put down the controller!) When I lay down last night my brain was still bouncing- but, not just on Mario…it was scattered in a bunch of places. That’s why I decided to play in the first place…to distract me from some things that were on my mind. I think it’s safe to say that my plan backfired.

I didn’t go to bed late, but had a hard time falling asleep. Today, my son is having a friend over today and came into my room at 6:30 am to discuss the matter. He forgot to close the bedroom door on his way out and the dog…THAT dog….grrrrr…came bounding in, jumped on top of my head and started rolling- spinning on his back like he was Bowser himself. As I scream and swat him off I hear it…LOUD and coming through the vents on my bedroom floor…”Let it go! Let it go! Can’t hold it back anymoooooore!” She was playing her CD on the highest volume that her little Hello Kitty radio could handle…at 6:30 am. Wait…6:30 am? What is she doing up? Oh yeah. Today was the beginning of the “dry run” for school. Our daughter has always been slow to wake up so hubby had the good idea to start some back to school morning routine practice so she would be ready for Kindergarten.

Let me tell you…if THIS is what each morning is going to look like when school starts we are all in trouble.

I am restless and embattled. Not just from last night’s sleep (or lack thereof) but, because I just know that God is leading me to do something but I don’t know who or when or how. I keep praying that He will reveal it all to me, but I am impatient and a little anxious and intimidated. I can’t pull a ‘Jonah’ because, frankly, I know how that story ends. So I wait. I know that He has equipped me for my purpose…but, I don’t feel equipped. School is almost here and I am not ready in any way shape or form. Finances ebb and flow and I have been praying for provision, guidance and good stewardship. And I have been feeling a flutter in my chest that I have not felt in some time. Anxiety. I don’t like that flutter. That anxious flutter makes me more anxious. There are battle lines being drawn on many fronts and I remind myself that not all battles are bad. I pray about these things…but, my prayer life has been less than intimate this month because of all of the upheaval of summer travel and family coming and going. Bouncing, ducking, sliding…the battles in life get a little intense at times as well. I need to spend some serious time on my knees and less time in Bowser’s Castle.

I have mentioned a Christian author that my friend introduced me to named Charles Martin in a few prior posts. I just went to the library and picked up what will be my fourth Charles Martin book this summer. This, in itself, is unheard of! I usually only get through one non-Bible study book during the course of a year and that is during summer vacation. I have been reading in the evening instead of flipping on the TV and have been so blessed by it. As I read the prologue I got some really sound, Biblical advice. A word from God in a fiction novel…yup! With all this anxious bouncing and battling, God still found a way to slip in a word to get me grounded.

 “Tucker, I want to tell you a secret.” She curled my hand into a fist and showed it to me. “Life is a battle, but you can’t fight it with your fists.” She gently tapped me on the chin with my fist and then put her hand on my chest. “You got to fight it with your heart.” 

She pulled me back to her chest and sucked through her teeth like she was trying to pick the corn out with her tongue. “If your knuckles are bloodier than your knees, then you’re fighting the wrong battle.”

“Miss Ella, you don’t always make sense.”

“In life,” she placed her finger on my knee, “you want the scabs here”- she placed the other on the cracked skin of my knuckle- “not here.”

—Excerpt from Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home, by Charles Martin

I am currently reading in Hebrews during my morning quiet time, but never anticipated that God would whisper during my evening reading, too. Profound and timely.

I can’t wait to read more. I can’t wait to pray more and see what God has planned. Man, I hope I get the message loud and clear and pray that I listen. Fish belongs in my belly- not the other way around.

In the meantime…I just had an 8 track flash back! ha ha Like cutting the rings on a tree to reveal its age,  a certain song from my past just came to mind. If you’re into 80’s hair bands, you will appreciate it (and I invite you to listen to them more online because they ROCK!)

So here it is…Get On Your Knees and Fight Like a Man by Petra


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