Poison Ivy...UGG!!

We went camping up in North Carolina with some friends.  As you may know from previous posts, we go camping a couple times a year.  This was the first time we ventured up to NC.  We had a great time seeing friends and sleeping outdoors!  There were two small hiccups with our campsite though.  I chose sites about as far away from the bathroom as possible (oops).  Between our friends and us, we had 6 mini-mortals ages 7 and under.  (In fact, if we had camped prior to my eldest mini-mortal's birthday earlier this month, we would have had ages 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2, but instead we had two 7 years old since we went post-birthday.)  So the long haul to the bathroom got a bit cumbersome.  The second hiccup was that the back side of our site was covered in a lovely green vine with three leaves, aka poison ivy.

Now, you must understand, poison ivy and I don't get along!  It may look innocent enough, but I've had it do all kinds of nasty things to me.  The worst trick it EVER played on me was crawling up on me a few days before I got married and breaking me out all over my legs!  I tried every home remedy known to man, but to no avail.  That was a most unpleasant experience.  I've also gotten it so bad I had to go to the doctor.  She prescribed a medication that knocked me out cold for 24 hours.  I took it at 5:00 p.m. and had to call in sick to work the next day because I simply couldn't keep my eyes open.  I finally woke up about 5:00 p.m.  after the drug worked its way out of my system.  It made a lasting impression, obviously, and I've steered very clear of poison ivy ever since!

Wanting to avoid this rashy (is that a word?) fate for the mini-mortals, I gathered them all, pointed out the poison ivy, and informed them that it would break them out in an itchy rash.  I showed them what it looks like and taught them, "Leaves of three, let it be!"  Pride overwhelmed me as I heard them chanting under their breath, "Leaves of three, let it be.  Leaves of three, let it be!"  I thought I'd actually taught them something that might stick.  However, that delusion shattered quickly as we went for a walk along a path. The path was lined with poison ivy in a few places.  As I said, it looks perfectly innocent.  Nothing but a lovely green vine, right?  The mini-mortals started wandering off the path, sometimes into patches of the poison ivy.  We'd round them back up and get them back on track.  The path was getting a bit long and at one point it opened into a meadow after we had been tromping in the forest a while.  My 7 year old mini-mortal saw the grass and plopped right down.  What she hadn't seen was the patch of poison ivy right beside her!  I promptly got her up and hoped she didn't break out.  Amazingly enough, we all escaped unscathed from the rotten little vine and no one had any rashes.

I've noticed in this path of life that there is a lot of figurative poison ivy along the way, things that look lovely and enticing, but that ultimately lead to unhappiness.  We all end up at least brushing up against it at some points during our lives,  breaking into a rash of unpleasantness.  We are lucky, though, the Lord has given us the ultimate medicine, the atonement.  Through His atonement, we are able to repent and stay on the path rash free.  He doesn't want us to suffer, He wants us to be happy.  Isaiah 52:5 states, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."  He can heal us of all our afflictions if we will but turn to Him.