It’s Yellow Ball Monday, and the Farmer’s Wife has the ball!
Work-from-home moms tend to use rather unconventional methods of keeping their children quiet while making business calls. I’m not proud of it, but I used a frog and a bathtub with my three year old. 
My daughter has always liked squirmy things, so when she brought me a rather dazed looking frog in her grubby, sweaty little hands, I was not at all surprised.  She wanted to take him in the bathtub to watch him swim, which I saw as a delightful opportunity: she would get clean, the frog would have fun (okay, that’s a stretch) and I could make a call while watching her from down the hall.  Perfect!
 
I released the frog into four inches of tepid water, got her undressed and situated, then backed out of the door to make my call. While I got details on the preliminary budget, I watched her loving the frog, chattering to him, and holding him…
Then suddenly, I heard a wail of true sadness. The frog must have escaped.  I made my “I-work-from-home-and-something-has-just-come-up” speech as I went down the hall, thinking I’d catch the frog for her and all would be well. 
 
It was not that simple.
 
When I got to the tub, it was a sad scene. The beloved frog was floating in the water, tongue sticking out (I promise you, it WAS), with what looked to be the remnants of his last meal floating beside him.  Maggie said, “He’s SICK, Mommy!”
 
At this point, the phone call was as unsalvagable as the amphibian who so bravely gave his life for it. The gentleman said I could call back later, and I turned my full attention to comforting my daughter. I learned through her sobs that she had tried to hug him in her hands….meaning to show him love, she’d squeezed him too hard.
 
Like Maggie, I tend to hold my blessings a little too hard, fearing that they’ll get away.  I put pressure on my loved ones with my worry, and I hold onto situations too tightly. In other words, God lets me splash in the tub of life with my frog-blessings and in love, I squeeze them too hard. 
I used to read Matthew 6:34a with skepticism: “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow…”.  How am I supposed to do THAT?  I’m a natural born worrier!  A professional, if you want to get right down to it.  It seemed impossible.  
 
But now I understand; it’s really God telling me not to squeeze the frogs too tightly.
I haven’t actually met Mary Pluhar, the Farmer’s Wife, but I feel like I have! She reached out into the big blogosphere to me when I was just a little blogging fledgling–offering encouragement, humor, and wit in a way that only Mary can. She said, “Want to be friends?” and I feel that we truly have. 

Mary’s life is as different from mine as can be–she lives in Montana on a cattle ranch, takes pictures of the cutest baby cows in her yard, and calls people who live twenty five miles away her neighbors. I hope someday we’ll get to meet, but since she’s my sister in Christ, we’ll be crossing paths for eternity! 

Mary and her husband (the Farmer) have two darling kidlets. Check out her blog here
If you’re interested in contributing a story for Yellow Ball Mondays, read the details here

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