We lived in the “mouse house” for 2 years. The house was gray – we could have described the residence that way. It was also the only farm house we ever lived in. Why not use this charming title. Because more than a gray farm house, the mouse description stuck…and for good reason. Mice were the original “owners” who resisted relocating when we began to rent the old gray farmhouse.
There is a back story and a lesson to be learned.
We were temporarily renting a house that got sold giving us 90 days to move. Plenty of time, so we began to look around. Staying in the same school district was important to us and our sons, so that did limit the area we searched. There were not a lot of options that offered what we needed for our budget. So, we began to re-evaluate our budget and started looking at other areas without much success.
Time was running out and we neared the last month, then 14 days yet to go. Desperation was setting in as we realized in a little over a week, we would be moving in with family until we settled this dilemma.
Then, we had a brilliant idea. We prayed.
Now, as Christians, you would assume that we had already been praying. We did offer up a few quick words, but didn’t really start the earnest work of prayer until we were running out of time…and ideas. We came to the end of ourselves and efforts. I’m certain God was glad we finally stopped striving and trusted the one who knew before we did that a house would be needed.
After our serious prayer, my husband headed to work at a truss plant. That morning, he asked a local contractor if he knew of any houses for rent in the area we wanted. He didn’t. Both he and my husband were surprised when he came back by 2 hours later with a story. He had just won the bid on a kitchen floor repair to a home that was owned by an out of state landlord. She asked if he knew anyone needing to rent a house. He remembered our plight and came back by to tell us he was given permission to rent the house for his client…and it would be ready the day before we were moving out.
We gave God a lot of praise that day.
One week later, we learned the lesson of giving Him more time.
We joyfully took up residence in the hour God provided after our desperate prayers seven days earlier. Shortly thereafter, we met our roommates. I still recall how brave some of them were, so unlike any other mice I had seen that scattered and hid. No, these mice calmly walked out to the middle of the room, stopped to look at us and then calmly went about their task. Even stomping our feet only made them move a few feet. The younger ones ran away, but a few just stared at us and blinked their beady eyes, somehow knowing I was more scared of them anyway.
Surrounded by cornfields, this location had many creatures that lurked about. Mice don’t generally like outdoors, especially when it gets cold. Now, the mice had plenty of openings in the drafty old farmhouse and were used to making themselves at home.
Meals became a long adventure as I had to wash the pans and dishes prior to using them to avoid any droppings and or “mouse cooties” that ended up on them. Yuck! After cooking the meal, a second round of washing commenced. Without a dishwasher, my hands were really, really clean.
We (and by “we,” I mean my husband) patched as many holes as we could find. I was most likely still in the kitchen.
We tried catch and release, but couldn’t keep up with whether they were more mice or returning squatters. Eventually, I made a pact with God. I figured if He could get animals on the ark, He could get these to leave our abode. The “deal” was if they stayed outside, they could live. If they insisted on coming in, they were likely to encounter a trap. Proper burials commenced…sometimes up to 6 a day. Maybe more. But, we were reclaiming our house…and I was looking forward to less kitchen work.
We often joked about what house God may have led us to find if we had only prayed earlier…and wondered about what would have happened if we had prayed FIRST.
I firmly believe there would have been no mice!