Critter Invasion

Written by: Margaret Connolly

Several years back my husband and I invested in a beautiful twenty-eight foot travel trailer. After visiting some friends who were camping, we knew it was something we wanted to do too. Now, almost four years later and countless camping (er, ‘glamping’) trips later we have so many fun memories shared as a family. It is one of our favorite things to do with our kids, and they absolutely love it too. They love pulling up to a new campsite, hopping out of the truck and running around exploring while the hubs & I get everything set up. The memories my kids will take with them throughout their lives is worth every minute spent planning/organizing and executing a camping trip.

Throughout the winter months we store our trailer about 10 minutes down the road from home, at a trailer storage site that sits atop a hill surrounded by fields and forest. Each winter we prepare the trailer for its winter sleep, ensuring things are cleaned up, hoses dried out and everything secured. We dutifully lay out Bounce sheets to keep critters out, vacuum and scrub so there’s no trace of food or food scent. However, despite our best efforts, this year, our third winter out at the same storage site, we had some unwanted visitors – a critter invasion! And, let me tell you, they made themselves at home. They used our countertops, sofa cushions, bathtub, bathroom sink and floor as their personal toilet. They chewed up an oven mitt to use as bedding. They even decided it would be a good idea to chew through the cold water hose for our kitchen sink. Now, we are well aware that our trailer is a welcoming place, but this was taking it a bit far! Let’s just say it took us an entire Saturday to clean up the mess that was left behind from this critter invasion. The puzzling part is that we don’t even know how they got in! My husband, who is quite the handyman, practically had the walls and floor of the trailer taken apart trying to see where they came in, and nowhere was their entry obvious. But, as we looked around inside, their presence sure was.

See where I’m going with this??? What kind of critters have invaded your heart or mind? Did they get in unnoticed? Have you been wracking your brain trying to figure out where they got in? You know they’re in there, no doubt about that, their presence is obvious …

In Proverbs 4:23 it says ‘above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Isn’t it the truth that our hearts and our minds are in need of tender care and protection? Things can sneak in there unnoticed and really cause a lot of damage and mess. Maybe it’s a past hurt, or a current one. A disappointment, a bitterness, a negative attitude towards someone. Perhaps it’s a sinful behavior that is so hard to let go of. Our hearts are so easily wounded, and our minds filled with garbage, and many times we don’t even see it happening. Once it does happen though, actions and words spring forth based on what we’ve got going on on the inside.

Maybe you’ve allowed anxiety and worry to overtake you? In Philippians 4:6, we read ‘do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A negative attitude or bitterness can easily invade and cause us to say and do things that we shouldn’t. If this is you, be encouraged by Ephesians 4:29, ‘Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Don’t allow critters to invade your heart or mind … you’ve made attempts to keep them out, but they still get in? Allow yourself time in prayer and reflection on how you can move forward and clean up the mess. Allow God to permeate into the corners of your heart and ‘disinfect’ it … ‘create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.’ (Psalm 51:10)

And please, if you have tips on how to keep squirrels from squatting in my trailer, please pass them along!