Don't Be Afraid To Fight Back

I don't mind if creatures and creepy-crawly things stay outside, where they are supposed to be. But when they invade my house, then I am ready to do battle. 

I've been fighting an army of ants. 

I noticed them trailing along my kitchen one night, heading for scones that were in a covered container. I threw out the scones, cleaned up the ants and thought that was the end of it.

But the next day there were more. Ants in my coffeemaker. Ants near the trash. Ants along the baseboards. Ants atop my cabinets. 

I decided to throw away the sugar in my counter canisters in case that was attracting them. But as I poured out the sugar into grocery bags I planned to carry to the trash, I failed to notice that the bags had holes in the bottom.

I looked down to see an army of ants following the call to charge toward the sugar that spilled from one end of my kitchen to the other.

No matter what I did, I couldn't stop the invasion.

As I stood there surveying the mess, I found it hard to believe I was afraid of ants {even though they far outnumbered me}.

I was afraid the ants were taking over my kitchen and I would never get rid of them.

I was afraid I would never get my kitchen back to enjoy a cup of coffee and a scone at the counter again. 

These ants were surprisingly disheartening.

So I retreated to my upstairs bedroom and shut the door on the ants below.

But isn’t that just how discouragement crawls up on us? 

We wake up one morning and find unexpectedly that we’re in a battle with some enemies who want to steal our joy, our peace and our perspective.

I think I’m handling the challenges of my life just fine when a sense of hopelessness suddenly invades my hopes or plans or dreams.

Some days I feel as if I’m in a battle against worry and uncertainty and cynicism. But I’m fighting back.

I’m equipped with all I need to stand against these adversaries. 

It takes firm faith and unflinching perseverance. Along with extraordinary patience and radical courage. 

These dream-fiends can bash and trounce and pummel what I know God has promised, but I refuse to let go of the hand that’s holding onto me.

These God-whispered dream journeys are not for the faint of heart. 

Opposition is to be expected. Risks are part of the itinerary. 

Safely arriving at the destination is not a certainty. There will be sacrifices and tears and exhilaration and rejoicing.

But that’s part of the allure.

Joining God on life’s journey is the true delight.

I know I have a choice. 

There’s a main highway up ahead where I have the option to travel with a lot of the conveniences I love and the comforts I crave. It's where I can cruise along at a moderate pace, not letting much of anything affect my very ordinary lifestyle.

Or I can head down the brambly-covered trail that God seems to be leading me toward. It looks a little precarious and I can't see around the next bend but yet there's a sense of exhilaration drawing me to it.

I think I can even catch a glimpse of something beautiful way off in the distance but I can’t quite figure out the way to get there. 

That way up ahead looks adventurous and I’m not a very daring girl, but I think it just might take me to places I’ve never imagined.

I wonder if I have the stamina to fight off the thorns and thickets that are probably ahead.

I wonder if I have the faith needed to forge ahead.

I wonder if my heart is strong and committed to keep going.

But I'm taking that perilous path because I’ve discovered that God has more plans in mind for me than just what he’s whispered to me right now. 

I have to follow him and trust his heart. I’ve already found him faithful so far. 

And that's what he's promised all of us, isn't it?

So I’m not letting an army of ants steal my peace and take over my kitchen. 

And I can’t allow the foes of discouragement, impossibilities and hopelessness to take over my heart either.

I’m going to turn on my coffeemaker, grab a scone and sit down at my kitchen counter tomorrow.

Because I’m waking up to fight another day and take the journey ahead. 

How about you?

I'm linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for your Heart. Click the image for more encouragement!


  1. I have had this problem too, and it is a real horror story! Hopefully you found a good solution! Reading this makes me want to go and check my counters to make sure that they are gone for good!

    1. Brittany,
      You are the ant expert and pretty close to expert on a few other things too (like Apple and Google). I'm grateful to have your expertise on a daily basis! :)

  2. Valerie, I love your Paris photos! And sometimes something small like ants can seem as big and as frightening as those Parisian gargoyles! thank you for your insight!

    1. Yes, I do think those ants were downright hair-raising crawling around my kitchen and they did remind me of the fiends on Notre Dame! :)

  3. Valerie, how succinctly you have summed up our earthly journey: "Safely arriving at the destination is not a certainty. There will be sacrifices and tears and exhilaration and rejoicing." Life is an adventure and your lovely photos sparkle with joy. You have inspired and encouraged me today. Beth

    1. Beth,
      I cherish our friendship! Thank you for your steadfast encouragement and your ever-ready-to-listen heart!

  4. Oh I have so been there with the ants!! It really is disturbing. I hope you are free of them soon! I just love the thought that risks are a part of the itinerary! I've been dreading some potential risks in my life and this post was just what I needed to read.

    1. Christy,
      Thank you for your constant encouragement! This blog wouldn't even exist if you hadn't believed I could take a risk and told me I could do it!

  5. Not sure if my other comment went or not?! Cinnamon is the key to fight the ants! It worked for us in KS! Lay a trail around the doors and fear not! :) The ants will not cross it for some reason. God gives us all the tools we need! :) Happy day friend!

    1. Jenn,
      Haven't heard of that tip but sounds like it's worth a try!

  6. There will be sacrifices and tears and exhilaration and rejoicing.
    We need to take our kitchen back from ants every year. Hate those little guys!


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