4:19 a.m.

In my dream, I hear a coach’s whistle.

I open my eyes to the reality.   


Smoke detector low battery indicator.

Why don’t these things ever happen during the daytime?!

I find the offending detector, and even more amazing, a replacement 9V battery.  Without raiding a remote control airplane or the like.

I wake up my teenager (of course, it is one of the detectors on the 9 foot ceiling, beyond this momma’s reach), and he stumbles down to replace it, not grumbling too much.

4:26 a.m.  Done.

Crisis averted.  No alarms will start going off, waking the house and perhaps the neighborhood.  (Been there, done that, don’t want to do that again…but that’s another story).

Some days, I feel like all I ever do is put out fires (no pun intended…well, maybe there was).  Something is breaking, something necessary has run out, someone hurts themselves.  I feel like I should buy stock in Calgon, because those “take me away” moments happen so frequently.

As the frustration mounts, some days I boil over.  I let loose the frustration at all the little things color my world, affecting the big things…like my kids.

It is wrong; it is sin.

Right after Keith died, one of the dear men he worked with came over and changed all my smoke detector batteries.  That was the way he wanted to honor his friend and our family.  It was very sweet.

He told me at the time to mark the day on the calendar so that next year I would know what day to replace the batteries.  I gave him lip service, saying I would…but I did not.

Since then, I have had to replace most of the batteries in the same way as described above…waiting for the chirping, then rushing around finding a battery just in time to avert the entire electrically-tied system going off.

Preventative maintenance.  PM, my Marine husband called it.  Necessary in my house.

And necessary for my soul.

When I get to the explosion point over dirty socks, dirty dishes, dirty dogs, the problem is not with them…it is with me.

Have I read my Bible enough?  Have I spent enough quiet time with the Lord?  Have I counted my blessings?

These troubles are going to come.  My life is still going to be my life, filled with many bumps in the road, many distractions, much to do.

It is my attitude toward it that can…and must…change.

And, with the Lord’s help, and plenty of PM, it will.

[Jesus said,] “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

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