I am going to call him Charlie the Christmas mouse and tell you how he was a sign from God and a reminder to me that sometimes we just have to let Jesus take the wheel.
FYI — I’m not super religious — spiritual YES! Religious — not so much but I love Jesus and that phrase. The thought of Jesus taking the wheel makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside, and it makes me giggle.
Fall is always sort of slow for ArrowHawk. This fall has been even slower. I’ve been under extreme conditions (some of my own doing) and somehow — by the Grace of God — I have not dropped over dead yet — which is without a doubt proof of miracles.
I am an expert at robbing Peter to pay Paul, and I’m pretty good at handling financial pressure, life, and death pressure, too.
We all get weary, though, don’t we?
We have never been able to get our footing back since our loss with BMW. That experience left us with enormous debt. And then The Great Recession made things even more challenging. It’s another miracle that our business survived.
To the outside world, we probably have it made, and we do. We have two houses and do fun things. We frolic with dolphins and eagles and ride our bikes on the beach. Houses are expensive and the money tied up in those isn’t money sitting in a bank account somewhere that I can just get a withdrawal. We’ve toyed with selling one or both but the market hasn’t rebounded enough at either place that we would come out ahead.
Sometimes, I think we should just let it all go to the banks and buy a little trailer to put on the property that Grandma Allison and Granny Lollis insisted that I have. We could live there without some of the stresses life can bring.
When I get in that mode, the lack becomes the focus instead of the beautiful life God continues to allow me to live. Like a record with a scratch — the negative plays over and over in my mind along with some pretty negative self-talk. My neck and body tighten, and I wonder how much more I can handle which brings me back around to Charlie because that is exactly what was happening when he or she showed up.
I was sitting at my ArrowHawk desk trying to figure out how to stretch the money we have coming in and make it until after the first of the year when business will pick up. I thought I had it all figured out last week and the week before that and the week before that but then one check didn’t arrive and then another client’s order wasn’t as much as we thought and ultimately, that put us in a pickle. We’ve been using our savings to pay the people who work for us and keep our doors open. That is what self-employed people do.
I don’t know a whole lot of time in our lives when we have not been struggling in some form or another. If we aren’t struggling financially, one of us is struggling with a health issue or someone we love is struggling or has died.
I’m not sure how it works before the Creator breathes life into us and sends us off to Earth School. I think I must have been chatting away with another Soul when the details of this life assignment were being explained. Something in the project must have appealed to me, and I can just see myself waving while quietly whispering, pick me, pick me. Woohoo! YAY!!! I got selected.
The Great Teacher must have seen something in me that I don’t always see in myself or maybe that was the reason I needed this assignment and was chosen, to be the human that is Kim Lollis Parrish — because the Great Teacher knew I was missing some things or maybe just needed some remediation. Without a doubt, there was also a promise that I wouldn’t be doing it alone.
My beautiful life has been filled with opportunities to grow and develop empathy, kindness, optimism, and LOVE. You know I love to LOVE. Along with those is a place that even when I think I cannot take one more thing — an ability to press on.
My secret is to be like the hawk and fly above it all always seeing the bigger picture. I used to be an expert at that too but time and life have sort of clipped my wings. Today is a great example.
I was bogged down in the weeds of agony wondering if this were the week we would finally be too short and that would create a negative in our account. I was scrambling, counting everything I could come up with including my mad money stash in my car console when I heard a sound.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
What the hell was that? I looked at Enoree, our shop dog, and she wasn’t wagging her tail and her tail hitting something as I expected, so I listened. The popping kept on coming. Then it hit me. OH GOD! There was a mouse somewhere. I know they are so much smaller than I am but I could feel the eek in my mind coming on. I got chill bumps as I quietly stood up and began to look around while moving towards the sound. I knew when I looked there was going to be a little mouse in my trash can — trapped because he couldn’t jump back out. I was hoping to hold back a scream.
Things got really quiet as I slowed my approach even more. I leaned down and stared into the blackness of the trash can and there he was. Sitting completely still while looking up at the giant thing — me — probably terrified for his life. I gasped and giggled, and then I thanked God for the reminder.
To some Native Americans, mouse means scrutiny. From the Medicine Cards Book by Jamie Sams and David Carson, Mouse says “will touch everything with my whiskers in order to know it. Paradoxically, this is both a great power and a great weakness. It is good medicine to see up close. It is good medicine to pay attention to detail, but it is bad medicine to chew every little thing to pieces”
What I have always gotten from that is we can be too consumed with things. Like finances. Or sadness. Or fear. Or bitterness. Or anything. We have to seek a balance.
Charlie helped me see that I could chew this shortness of business and the financial bump up over and over, but in the end, the only thing I really could do was to trust that everything works itself out in a way that brings something good to me even when it feels bad. I went with the second choice.
My desire is to graduate from Earth School having accomplished everything I promised I would when I took the Kim Lollis Parrish human being and Soul assignment.
What is your Soul assignment? What’s going on in your life that you might need a Charlie or a Kim or could it be that you are a Charlie or a Kim? Are you so strapped financially that you are not sure you will make it? Hang on, and you will. Are you facing some hardship that is helping you grow so you can be a pillar of strength for another? Are you loving someone who doesn’t seem to deserve it while not knowing that there horrible happening in their life that they are too ashamed to share? I was almost too ashamed to share this with you.
Lee and I have been doing this for twenty-five years now. My dark voice says if we were not complete and total failures in business I would be writing this from the coast. It often shouts loudly that successful and financially secure people look at us and wonder how two people could encounter so many life challenges/failures and not find a way to ride easily through the rest of life — that we are just idiots who don’t know what we are doing. My light voice says I wouldn’t be sitting here writing if it were not for our failures and struggles because these are stories that God gives me to share. That is our calling.
I took the trash can out to the field and waited for Charlie to rush out to freedom. Like us humans, he kept running right back into the bottom of the can (the wall) even though his freedom was in the other direction. I thought of how we all do that too. When there is clear space to run free, we often run right back into the old familiar walls and prisons because it feels safer than the big wide open world outside. I tipped the can over just as God often tips our life cans over and Charlie finally took his steps to freedom.
Let me say thank you again to God for Charlie, for you, for life lessons, for financial pressure and for every bad thing that helped make me a better human being. I might not make it out of here with an A+ on this life thing but I will die doing my damn level best to.