This Could Be Your Shell of Protection

Well, it finally happened.  I found an eastern box turtle!  She was crossing the street, and after observing her in our backyard, we delivered her to her original habitat.  She was headed for the wooded yard of a neighbor (who just installed a lovely garden pond and lots of landscaping perfect for a turtle), so we brought her there.  

We watched her for a long time.

Eastern Box Turtle © Live with Flair 2011

The eye color and shape of the shell tells us that this turtle is female.  I can’t stop looking at her shell because it reminds me of something.

It looks like tiny children were finger-painting and made hand prints on her shell!

Eastern Box Turtle © Live with Flair 2011

As my own children romp and jump about me, I consider that I too have a home covered in hand prints (dirty walls, the sticky refrigerator door, the smudged table, and as art projects in frames).  I, too, am an aging woman with bumpy thighs (have you seen me in my bathing suit?).

And like the designs on her shell, I’ll carry the marks of motherhood–in its broadest sense–forever.  Hard and all consuming, you wear it like a shell you cannot shed.  On the worst days, it feels like a prison. 

But that’s what it means to choose adulthood, to choose to care for the next generation, to choose to nurture everyone in your path.  It’s not a prison.  It’s protection.  

She’ll keep these markings forever.  When I look at this turtle, I see impenetrable strength and resolve.   We let her go into the neighbor’s yard.  I’m not worried about her.  She has places to go, and even if it takes her a lifetime, she’ll get there.  She has the protection, now, to do so. 
Journal:  When I see myself imprisoned by my circumstances, can I instead see them as my shell of protection?  


This Question Might Help You Rejoice Today

During breakfast, my husband announces: “The tire man really helped me rejoice today!” 

I know that some flair is coming.

“What do you mean?” 

“Well, when I dropped off the car at the tire shop, I told the man how thankful I was that this flat tire happened in a parking lot and not out on the road in traffic.  I could change it safely in that lot and not on the side of the road.  But then guess what he asked me?”


“‘Was it raining?’ And I said, ‘No it wasn’t!  It was the only hour all week that it wasn’t raining!’  I was so thankful when I remembered that.”

My husband remarks that the tire man simply asked the right question to help my husband rejoice in the midst of something inconvenient. 

Living with flair means I ask the right questions to realize all the ways God is indeed protecting and providing even in the midst of trouble. 

Journal:  Was there a time in my life that God protected and provided for me even during trouble?