the

PAIGE turner
May 2012, volume 3

reflections from the heart of Paige Terry Hamilton

White rats and garden slugs are certainly not on my list of favorite animals. And yet, this spring God’s been showing me that I have a lot to learn from these lowly creatures. In fact, God has indicated to me that I should strive to be more like rats and slugs in particular ways. As you read on, my prayer is that you’ll be encouraged in your walk with Christ. And if you are, then please share this devotion with a friend, your Sunday School class or women’s group, a co-worker or family member.

Paige Terry Hamilton lives in the heart of Cajun country in Louisiana with her husband Jon, their five children (ages 8-13), one lazy beagle and a plain betta fish named Sushi. When not climbing the endless mountain of dirty laundry, Paige enjoys encouraging women in their faith through writing and speaking. You can find more of her writings on her personal blog, Paige’s Pages. You can contact Paige by email at: paigikins17@yahoo.com

The White Rat’s Tale
Large, white body. Pointy pink nose with long whiskers. Small, beady, black eyes. Long, furless, pink tail

It was a rat alright. A rather large, white rat. So what was it doing sitting on the sidewalk outside the Dollar General store? And why was it so oddly calm in the presence of humans? When I first spotted it, the rat was scaling up the side of a cart. It met my eyes and paused. We looked at each other for several long moments, no more than two feet separating us. Normally, I am not a rodent person. The presence of a mouse or rat anywhere within my line of vision is generally enough to make me bolt for safer places. Yet somehow I got the distinct impression that this was not your normal run-of-the-mill rat.

Once I was inside the store, I overheard one of the clerks mention to another customer that the rat had been inspecting the Dollar General shopping carts for over an hour. In fact, according to her, the rodent, which was easily the size of the palm of my hand, had spent the morning investigated several other store fronts along the mostly empty strip mall. "Why," I wondered aloud, "has this rat chosen to hang out by the one door where humans made a steady stream in and out?" I pondered this strange white rat for the rest of the afternoon, wondering how he came to be outside the Dollar General. Was this someone's pet? Perhaps it was an escapee from a local pet store ... and oddly enough, the more I thought about the rat's unlikely situation, the more it occurred to me that I should be like that rat. I should resemble one who is out of place. You see, I don't particularly notice the pigeons outside the Dollar General. I suppose those grey birds are such a common thing to see in city parking lots, blending into the scenery so that while I see them I find nothing odd or striking about their presence. Therefore, I do not pause to wonder why they are in that particular environment.. The rat, on the other hand, was strangely out of place. Not only did I notice it, but I was fascinated by its behavior. I couldn't seem to help myself from thinking further about it, as it consumed much a larger portion of my afternoon than I truly care to admit. Other shoppers and the store employees found the white rat to be an oddity as well. Even a few days later, long after the rat had disappeared, I overheard the store clerk retelling the tale of the white rat to another customer. I'm sure I'll never know why that unafraid white rat was hanging out by the Dollar General earlier this week or fully know the tale of how it got to be in such an out-ofplace state, but I was reminded of a Biblical truth as I thought about the oddity the rodent’s situation. So often, I feel like a stranger in this world just longing to go to the place I truly belong. Sometimes I am discouraged because it seems as if I am trying to fit myself into a place where I don’t belong, much like the proverbial square peg being forced into a round hole. And yet, because of my faith in Christ, this is exactly as it should be. I'm suppose to be different, not blending into world. Christ calls us to be in the world but not of the world, telling us that this world is not our home. Let my life be one that causes other to stop and take notice because the light of Christ lives in me.

Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. ~James 4:4

Just Slug Off!
The invasion lasted for over a month. Most mornings we awoke to find a silvery trail glittering on the black footstools in the living room. Often, we would find the slug itself, inching along the floor or sliding up a piece of furniture. I have no idea of why the slugs decided to invade our home, what they hoped to find inside, or what they might have been escaping. All I know is I was finding evidence of the disgusting little creatures on a daily basis. Cleaning up slug slime quickly became the family’s most unwanted chore. I’m happy to say that our family did win the battle of the slugs, and in the process I learned a thing or two about these lowly critters. For example, did you know the slime of the slug is part of its protection? The thick layer of slime prevents the slug from being hurt by twigs, rocks and other sharp objects in its path. In fact,
(cont. on next page)

Big, Exciting News!
June is going to be a busy month for my family and for my writing pursuits. My first big news is that my family should be moving into a new home here in Lafayette around the middle of June. It’s bigger and we are thrilled at the Lord’s blessing. And yet we know even though we are just moving just 6 minutes across town, we will still have to pack and unpack an entire house. Secondly, I’m happy to announce that I’ve been given the honor of a scholarship to attend the Speak Up Conference (for Christian speakers and writers) in Grand Rapids, Michigan in late June. I’ll have the opportunity to learn from some of the best Christian writers around, as well as network with other aspiring authors. It’s definitely going to be a highlight of my summer! Therefore, I may not get around to writing another edition of The Paige Turner until July. I’m sure the Lord will lay many ideas for future writings on my heart during June though!

SLUGS
The biggest slug in the US is the Banana Slug which can grow to be over 1 foot!

(Just Slug Off cont.)

Slugs can stretch to over 20 times their length!
Most of the slug’s body is a giant muscle that acts as a foot.

yucky dried up slug slime. “What if, “ I a slug can slide heard the Holy right over a sharp Spirit speak into my razor blade without heart, “Christians receiving any injury You might be left a sparkling trail whatsoever! The wondering what sort of evidence slimy trails also of Biblical principles everywhere they serve as a guide of can be learned went? A trail that sorts, helping the from slugs ... would lead others to slug return home actually, I wondered their Creator ...” after foraging the same thing during the night when I heard the Now the Bible is and aiding other Lord whisper to my pretty clear that slugs in locating soul to learn from God doesn’t want sources of food. the lowly slug. But me to be a sluggard, in His quiet, gentle but I think the As it turns out, way, my Heavenly current lesson for slugs are actually Father opened my me is to intenpretty fascinating tionally live my life creatures. But what eyes so I could see the shiny trail so that there is is most amazing to glittering evidence me is how God uses indicating the presence of this of Christ in my life all of His creation mollusk instead of for all to see.

to teach me more about how He would have me to live my life.

BOLDLY LIVING OUR FAITH
There has never been any doubt in my mind that orphans hold a special place in the heart of our Heavenly Father, but this became even more clear to me after my brother and his wife adopted my nephew Eli from Taiwan. Not everyone can adopt an orphan, but we all can do something to care for the orphan. Here are a few ideas of ways you can help care for the orphans of the world:

Caring for the Orphan

Give of your money
to an adoptive family to help offset their expenses to an orphanage to help with child care to a particular orphan as a grant or scholarship toward their future adoption

Give of your time
offer your physical presence to help out at local children’s homes go on a missions trip to help at an orphanage in another part of the world

Give of your prayers
pray for God’s protection and love over the orphans of the world pray for adoptive families you might know pray for more adoptive families to come forward pray that God will show you other ways to care for the orphan

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