Lovebugs

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The lovebugs have arrived.

They seem unusually interested in the window next to my writing desk. This isn’t necessarily good for my windowsills. Or my deadlines.

The little bend in the window screen draws them in to somewhat of a dry aquarium between the window and the mesh. I have hundreds of visitors each day.

I can’t stop watching them. I even Googled them. Everyone knows that lovebugs mate in the air. But did you know that the males die shortly thereafter, still stuck to their mate, and their dead bodies are dragged around by the females until she lays her eggs and dies herself?

So here I am, in the midst of a 1200-word article on the benefits of cardio drumming, trying to figure out if one-half of the conjoined couple I’m looking at is no longer of this world. Unfortunately, this is no passing glance. I’m peering at each set of crawling legs like an entomologist, trying to see if they are working in tandem or if one of is merely being dragged along for the ride.

I ponder the stories of the lone flying creatures. Is she looking for her mate, a prized catch no one has claimed? Talk about pressure to settle down. We worry when we haven’t met “the one” by 30. She only has five days at the most to meet someone and create offspring before she dies.

Chances are, though, that those flying solo are males. You definitely have to be an alpha bug to catch your mate. Other male lovebugs are fighting for the same female like they are on the newest season of The Bachelorette.  But if they can hold on for just four minutes, no one can come between them. If only humans could cement a relationship after four minutes.

I am sad for these mothers who will never see their babies. I know it’s completely irrational; bugs don’t have any bones, much less a maternal one. But these bugs have become part of my landscape and have captured a tiny place in my heart.

They provide a welcome distraction when words elude me. They blend in with the nature of this beautiful country home God has blessed me with. They are a sign of a new season, one with promises of bonfires and changing leaves.

They are my sweethearts, my lovebugs.

 

 

 

 

Gear Up: Forgiveness

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on FORGIVENESS!

This is going to be a tough one so we will have one task this week. Find one person in your life that you need to forgive. It could be something that’s affected your entire life or something as simple as the neighbor who refuses to keep his dog out of your yard.

Pray EVERY SINGLE DAY this week for that person. Pray for them to see God’s goodness. Pray for their salvation if they are lost. Then pray that the Lord will release you from the pain and hurt caused by this person. (You must be willing to let it go.)

THE BIG 5-0!

I can’t believe I’m 50.

On this day in 1969, a little hazel-eyed blonde baby was born to APD officer John Ritchie and his teacher wife, Gloria.

I had the quintessential Southern suburban upbringing. School, church, neighborhood parties. Summer vacations, club tennis and swimming. Grandparent visits, piano lessons, community theater.

Sometimes I’m not sure if I look back with rose-colored glasses or I just didn’t appreciate it like I should’ve back then.

Probably a little of both.

My teenage years were tumultuous. Even then, I was stereotypical. Preacher’s kids and cop’s kids, right?

I was a rebel.

But a very naive one, a fact I would later realize in my early 40’s. One whose pragmatism was ironically cloaked in idealism. Still is, to a certain degree. It’s strange when you have two brains simultaneously competing for thought time.

But after 4 decades of life, I have come to appreciate these quirks. I like that I’m a little weird. I think we all are.

If only we could realize that when we’re younger.

I’ve also learned to embrace my past. It’s not delusional to stow away the more unpleasant memories and focus on the good ones. I know they are there; I’m not trying to erase history. But their place is the basement of my mind. The good memories get the window seats.

I like being able to look in the mirror and really like the person I see. Sure, she can lose a few pounds, but she’s no longer lost HERSELF.

I like her because I see the Lord in her.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

Now for my next 50 years…