Set the Traps

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Set the Traps

By Ashley Randleman

My five-year-old named him Garmadon. That was a few days after I discovered his droppings all over my daughter’s bed and noticed nibbled-on snacks throughout the cupboards. There was a mouse in the house- or, in this case, our camper!

Sharing the 21’ space with a rodent wasn't on the list of things I planned for our family vacation.

Before we moved to plant our church, we found ourselves (as many of you have) in a season of transition. We moved in with my father-in-law for five months and put all but our clothes, shoes, and toiletries into storage. And by “storage,” I mean stacking boxes and totes in the garage and shed on his acreage.

When it came time to move to Clinton, much didn’t make the move as mice had found their way into nearly everything. Among some of the damage was our couch and childhood books that were completely destroyed.

Garmadon was bringing back unpleasant memories. I wasn’t going to allow this rodent to destroy our camper and vacation.

I drove to the nearest Walmart, found aisle 23, and grabbed a package of mouse traps. I purchased the kind with the metal bar that you probably grew up with as well. They’re cheap and efficient and come with an unpackaged adrenaline-rush as it’s a gamble if your fingers will remain intact while setting the trap.

“Choosy moms choose JIF.” Garmadon chose it as well and much to my dismay escaped the trap that went off in the night. He made the rounds and licked off all of the peanut butter from the four traps I had set out for him instead.

He was devious and sneaky, and after a couple of days and a few more failed attempts of catching him, I returned to Walmart for reinforcements. I wasn’t playing games anymore. This was war! I was so determined on catching that stupid mouse that I purchased every single type of trap Walmart had to offer.

I diligently set and checked the traps — morning, noon, and night. My husband lovingly teased me and questioned my trap-setting capabilities. I even prayed using the Name of Jesus that I would catch him! I wanted him gone so badly.

Meanwhile, Garmadon was becoming very well fed after indulging in our peanut butter pretzels, bread, bagels, graham crackers, marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate, and sweet potatoes. He also helped himself to the bait that the traps were set with. He was ruthless.

Eight days and ten traps later, I screamed when I found him inside a drawer, stuck to a sticky trap. The war was finally over, and I had won.

In our roles as wives, mothers, and church leaders, we need to be unrelenting about setting the traps in our hearts to catch the mice nibbling holes in our homes. We need to declare war and be diligent to exterminate “the sin that so easily entangles” using the word of God.

When pride creeps in, keep yourself in check.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3 (NLT)

When selfishness budges to the front of the line, escort it to the back.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3 (NLT)

When tempted to compare, remind yourself that God gave “each according to his ability”. Be found faithful with yours.

To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Matthew 25:29 (NLT)

When jealousy gets the better of you, train yourself to rejoice with those who rejoice.

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 (NLT)

When greed salivates, thank the Lord for what you already have.

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NLT)

David said it best in Psalm 139:23,24:

“Search me, God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Let’s set the traps in our hearts, check them daily, and capture those Garmadons!


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Ashley Randleman is a pastor’s wife of ten years and a mother of four (Nathan, Josiah, Lydia, and Titus). She and her husband, Jeremiah, planted River Church in February 2014. Ashley has a heart for the mothers and women in her life and church. She pours into them on a weekly basis from the comfort of her living room carpet over strong coffee and meaningful conversation.