On Ants and Diarrhea


We’ve battled ants for at least a month. They arrived when the first rains hit, dashing about on the kitchen counter. They aren’t horribly invasive and seem to mind their own business.  So I’ve patiently tried several remedies to kill them off—cornmeal, Borax, toothpaste, spearmint, bug spray, etc. I’ve even ignored them. But instead of disappearing, they migrate to a different location within the house, yet never giving up the favored kitchen area.

Two days ago I asked my husband to find something that works. He complied by purchasing ant bait which, as I type, sits on the counter above the dishwasher.

ant bait

Last week the dog threw up. This is not highly unusual, but then he threw up again . . . and again. Whatever ailed him worsened. As with the ants, I tried remedy upon remedy, including a trip to the vet.

This morning, as I awoke, my nose detected something was amiss. I won’t go into details; however the title of this post is a clue. Since my dog doesn’t know how to hit the toilet, I went to the kitchen after a bucket and scrub brush. There, scurrying about as if they owned the place, were the ants, oblivious to the cute ant house and the poison within. The fact that my husband is out of town only added to my frustration. Like Sweet Brown in the viral youtube video, I wanted to declare, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

If I compare my predicaments to those suffering from the destruction created by recent tornadoes—homes destroyed, lives turned upside down—they are minor annoyances. Slight interruptions in life. A break, albeit unwelcome, in the normal flow of things.

Yet this is real life. My day does not always proceed the way I’ve planned it. My list is not always accomplished. I need to be flexible and allow for modifications as I progress. In the midst of a well-thought-out day, cars break down, children melt down, rains pour down.

It’s this reality that reminds me my life is not my own, it’s God’s. It’s not my time, it’s God’s. It’s this reality that reminds me I am not in control, God is. These minor irritants, like sand in my shoe, are what the Lord uses to refine me into a more loving, patient, kind-hearted person. When I succumb to the fact that a normal day is one with interruptions and left turns, when I begin my day with the prayer, “Today is Yours, Lord, I release it to You,” these inconveniences aren’t inconvenient at all. My response is loving and gentle. The task at hand appears more like a hiccup than a nuisance.

I am still a work in progress, especially in this area (can you say control freak); but, today, I am thankful for small hassles because they cause me to rely on God as He accomplishes His work in and through me.

What irritants has God used in your life to refine you?

5 thoughts on “On Ants and Diarrhea

  1. Great post! Thank you for sharing it! I’m going through the ant situation myself, right now (again), in addition to finding a few fleas and flea bites. Found the ants in our dishwasher last weekend…that’s a first for me! Just ran a rinse cycle and used lots of vinegar water to wipe down their trail. As far as the fleas…we live in an apartment and don’t even have any pets. Just neighbors with outdoor cats that hang out on our doorstep, literally. We even have to be careful when opening the door, so that they don’t fall into our house! 😀 The funny thing is, cats are the only animal that I’m allergic to. Yesterday, I was asking the Lord what He wants me to learn from all of this because, I’m tired of the bugs and the allergic reaction causing, albeit sweet, kitties! 😉 Okay, so maybe I’m not tired of the kitties themselves so much, since I’m usually okay when we’re outside (unless I touch them in some way), but the fleas they bring…yeah. Today, I can look at all of it as sort of comical in a way, yesterday…not so much. It’s amazing how the Lord helps you through “tough” things like these and your perspective can change from one day to the next! I guess I’m still working on the refinement in that area! One day at a time…


    • Barb, Thanks for your thoughts! We have the dishwasher issue, too. We have yet to find the perfect combination of concoctions to rid the house of them so I just work around them. 😉

      It is amazing how perspectives change based on the day. I’m with you on that. God continues to find ways to bring me to my knees. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2013 + A Bonus | In the Midst . . .

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