Malnourished Sheep (Prayer Devotional for the week of November 22, 2015)

One thing the boys and I first noticed when we moved to Utah was the number of sheep farms. (In fact, Utah has the 5th highest number of sheep in the country!) Our city even has an annual sheep parade, where they shut down Main Street for a few hours to let the sheep meander through downtown.


I recently heard someone talking about what to look for when purchasing a sheep for your flock (not that I’m buying any sheep, but there’s a point to this story; I promise). He shared several tips, and one particular comment resonated with me. He described how you need to dig your hands deep into the sheep’s wool and feel its torso. If the animal’s ribs or hip bones jut out, then that is a clear indicator of malnourishment. Underneath all the fluffy wool could be a terribly sick animal!


The question for us is this: what is beneath our fluff?


Are you healthy, or are you malnourished? If someone could reach through the exterior of your life – your work clothes, your family portrait, your Sunday morning smile – and touch the core of who you are, spiritually, what would they discover?


The Bible uses the analogy of sheep and a shepherd repeatedly to describe our relationship with the Lord (check out Matthew 10, Mark 6, Luke 15, John 10, and 1 Peter 2, among others). I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in case you didn’t already know, sheep stink. Seriously, they smell horrible. They are also pretty dumb and have a tendency to get themselves lost and/or injured.


Honestly, I can think of other animals I would rather be compared to, like a graceful bird or sea creature. But since the shoe fits, I am a sheep. Sometimes my attitude stinks, and sometimes I wander aimlessly and get myself hurt instead of listening to the Lord – our Good Shepherd.


Let’s do a spiritual wellness checkup this week and be sure that we stay healthy.

Packing surprise

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Found my lost earring!

I don’t usually wear a lot of jewelry. I have one watch that I received as a parting gift for my tenure as Chair of the Staff Council five years ago, and I wear it almost daily. I have a few of Lisa Leonard’s necklaces and her lovely silver bracelet with discs of each of the boy’s names that I wear often. My jewelry box also contains several pairs of earrings, though I tend to wear the same 3-5 more than any others.

One of my favorites is a pair of oblong silver hoops. The selfie photo doesn’t do them justice, because you can’t really see the etching/texture. Several months ago, I lost one of the hoops. I was disappointed, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the match. While I was cleaning out my closet to get the house ready to show, I found the lost hoop! It was a nice surprise during an otherwise arduous chore.

Speaking of cleaning and packing, whew! I haven’t gone to bed before midnight all this week, and I am zonked. The good news is that the house is tidier than it has been since we moved in five years ago, and although it may lack froufrou decor, at least it’s spacious and open for people to walk through without tripping over video game cables, laundry baskets or random things that kids leave out because they apparently lack the eyesight to see things right under their noses.

2014-06-18 12.39.10I’m not one to talk, honestly. Housekeeping has never been my strong suit, and I struggled to keep my small apartment tidy when I was young and single, much less nowadays. It’s a huge challenge for me. My bedroom looked like a unit from Storage Wars, with a bed in the middle and a chair in the corner. It wasn’t as bad as Hoarders, but six years of grad school materials, plus five kids’ pipe cleaner & bead bracelets, lost teeth that the Tooth Fairy stashed in zip baggies, old pictures and handmade keepsakes that I couldn’t throw away in front of them had really piled up over time. It felt so good to throw things away (discretely, in case someone noticed his knotted string bracelet that he made “just for me” in the garbage), box up things that were to keep, and give away bag after bag to Goodwill.

Between the Realtor, friends who came over to help sort & pack, handymen and a housekeeper, we’ve had a lot of people in and out of the house over the past couple of weeks. Bruiser and Sushi aren’t sure what to make of all the changes. They like discovering new boxes to sit in, and they’ve been sniffing around everything like a pair of puppies rather than cats, but mostly they just want to stay out of the way.

Case in point, I found Bruiser hiding in the bathroom when I went home for lunch today. See what I mean about no froufrou decor? I don’t even have a towel hanging on the towel bar. 🙂