Skip to main content


"Mama! Mama! Let me in! Somebody! Let me in!" I hear the sound of little fists and feet pounding against a door. Charlie. How did he get outside and which door is he at? I listen carefully. He doesn't sound too far away. I open the door off the kitchen. There he is.

I wipe away his tears and pick him up. "Charlie, you don't go out front without Mama. It's not safe."

"It's not safe? Why, Mama?" And he's off again to join the kids in their play.

Our sprawling ranch has six doors to the outside. I would need crazy cartoon x-ray see-around-the-corner eyes to keep track of the comings and goings of this mob. The neighbors must have been elbowing each other behind their curtains the morning we arrived. "Look honey, the Whac-A-Moles moved in." Before we collected our wits and established sound boundaries, the kids were bursting in and out of every door. We found them riding their bikes in the neighbor's driveway. We heard them running around in the front yard after dark when they were supposed to be getting ready for bed. We collared one across the street looking for lily pads along the lakeshore.

After the lake incident and before we unpacked the pots and pans, we sat all of the children down in a row along the hearth. "Look at my eyes! Repeat after me! Do not go in the front yard! Stay in the back yard! Use the back door!" The children opened and closed the correct door for emphasis. For the most part they have complied with this edict. Although, why Charlie was at the kitchen door remains a mystery.

The kids and I read about a group of Whac-A-Moles in Judges 18 today. God assigned the tribe of Dan a choice plot of land nestled safely between Ephraim and Judah. The Danites were overwhelmed by the thought of fighting the Philistines and the Amorites to settle in this territory and so they looked for an easy way out. By the end of the chapter, the Danites have popped up a hundred miles away from the land that God had for them. They settled in a rich, isolated territory. It meant nothing for them to disobey about where to live so it was just as easy to make concessions on how to worship. They stole some silver idols and convinced a renegade priest (Moses' grandson, Jonathan) to lead them.

They would have been safe in the middle of the tribes if they had chosen to follow God's directions. They would have been close to the center of worship. This may have made obedience more likely. What was convenient in the beginning led to their destruction in the end. That prosperous, isolated territory made them an easy target for bands of marauders. In the end, the tribe of Dan was no more.

We can be Whac-A-Moles too if we do not take care. God gives each of us a territory that he wants us to settle. Tasks that perfectly match our abilities. How often do we pop our heads up, crane our necks and look for something else to do? Somewhere else to settle? Something a little easier or more entertaining than the task before us? I can almost picture Jesus standing at the door to the sheepfold with His hands on his hips, "Can you not just stay in the fold? Look! You have purpose. You have direction. You have Me! What more do you need?" If we keep popping out, He lets us go where we will but we forfeit the blessing that He had for us in the original territory. He graciously welcomes us back if we choose to return but it is better to stay safe with Him in His plan in the first place.

More on the tribe of Dan
Judges 18

Posted by Picasa


Popular posts from this blog

Spelling Wisdom

One day while skipping around the internet, I came across these:

And when I clicked on the sample, I knew we had to change spelling curriculums. Again. Goodbye Spelling Power and MacMillan and Sequential Spelling! We've found our true love.

The problem with the afore mentioned curricula is sheer boredom. Memorizing lists of words is mind numbing and as my children don't like their school work to lull them to sleep, they often push spelling to the side in favor of more exciting lessons.

When I found Spelling Wisdom, I realized what has been missing: an idea, something to engage the mind so that learning the difference between than and then occurs almost incidentally.

Sandra Shaffer uses the writings of famous men and women (Helen Keller, Beethoven, Winston Churchill...), Bible passages and quotes from quality literature...poems and novels (Robinson Crusoe, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, All the World's a Stage...) to teach more than six thousand frequently used word…

Cousins and Chaos

All of the people in all of these photos are family. Lots and lots of family. Not everyone is represented in these pictures but what's here will give you a good idea of what Thanksgiving week looked like. We were so busy with visiting and crowd control that we never thought to capture a photo of the whole group.

This Week

This week, I let a kindergarten kid play with my iPhone to coax him into the tutoring classroom.  I set up a plan for dealing with this ongoing issue and consulted with his mama.  She’s a tough one to get to know, his mama, but I try.
This week, I promised two little boys I would pick them up on Friday and take them to my house.
This week, on a crazy afternoon, a granny asked me for alcohol and I thought.  I wish!I could use a swig.  But that's not what she meant.  She was looking for rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to take care of an injured kid.  A few months ago, we were awkward because we didn't know each other but now the awkwardness is gone and I can’t help but hug her every time I see her. I love that granny. 
This week, I dropped off a little girl and shook hands with her father.  His hand was dry, he had a tattoo on his neck and he's just fresh from jail.  He asked how his daughter was doing in class and they both basked in the rain of praise.
This week, a …