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September 11, 2015
 The Bagworm Blues- Prevention is Key... Guest Blogger : April Morgan
I’m a “cit-ountry” girl. Please don’t look this term up in Wikipedia. You won’t find it there. I haven’t found a word that describes a woman like me, so I made one up. A cit-ountry girl is a city girl who has moved to the country. I’m from a suburb of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I’ve always had big dreams of moving to New York or traveling around the world. I scratched that itch when I became a military wife. We have lived all across the country as well as in Europe over the past decade and a half. Now that my husband has retired from the Army, we are ready to slow down a bit. Earlier this year, we moved to a small town in Missouri. We now live far enough down a country road that we have to pick up our own pizza on the way home because we are out of the delivery area. Our location leaves most Global Positioning Systems bewildered. We live on 4 acres of land in a little home we love. I had what I like to call a “Father of the Bride” moment when I first saw it. Instead of reminiscing on past memories, like Steve Martin did as his daughter was preparing for her wedding day, I began envisioning what our future memories might look like in this house. This was the one. The place we would hold hands on the porch while the grandkids played on the lawn. We moved into our home in February. The owners told us we would have lots of plants in the Spring. That was an understatement! This place looked like it had been personally sculpted for a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot. My husband and I were both very excited to see the plants popping up everywhere. Worms The only problem with this ideal scenario is that I am a cit-ountry girl. I know nothing about gardening. How hard could it be? Water regularly. Check. Pull weeds. Double check. I had this!
We have lovely cedar bushes on our land. While going for a walk one day, I noticed pretty little pine cone thingys on those cedar bushes. A few weeks later, the bushes began to brown. I took a close look. Those pretty little pine cones weren’t so pretty anymore. In fact, they wiggled! Now, I am no gardening expert, but I’m pretty sure pine cones aren’t supposed to wiggle. Something was coming out of those cones. Worms. My husband 'googled' to find out what those creatures were. Turns out we had Bagworms. These nasty creatures move from bush to bush, killing everything in sight if left unattended. So much for pretty little pine cones! The best time to get rid of these pests would have been in the Spring while they are still in larvae stage. Once they are born they are very difficult to control. Luckily, we were able to hose the bushes down with insecticide to stop the infestation, but not before quite a bit of damage was done to our beautiful bushes. Living in the country has taught this city girl quite a few things in the last few months. Things like always check the dog to make sure she isn’t trying to carry an opossum in the house. Now I take a deep breath and notice. I notice much more than I used to. Moonlit nights with glittering stars that stretch on endlessly fill up most of my days. Sunrises that could not be captured fully by the most talented photographers and artists begin my day. I enjoy the beautiful. I worship God for His creation. Yes, even for the bagworms. The bagworms have taught me a lot about my thoughts. I’m a lot like that cedar bush. Sometimes my thoughts seem great, but left unchecked they can lead me to some not so pretty places. If I am not aware of the damage they can do when they first hit my brain, they can quickly begin to destroy the things that were thriving in my life. I get annoyed with my kids. “They are so…” I look in the mirror.
“I am so…” My husband has a less than perfect day.
“He is so…” My friends seem a little distant today.
“I feel so…” Prevention is Key These and many more thoughts begin in the larvae stage. I brush them off, but they return. Sometimes they bring other negative thoughts with them. Soon my mind is infested with the disease of comparison, ungratefulness, negativity and insecurity. I must act quickly when this happens because what I feel becomes what I do. For so many of us, what we do defines us. It doesn’t have to be this way. This cit-ountry girl may not know a lot, but I can now identify an infestation when I see one. Next year, I will be much more prepared for the bagworms return because I have experienced the effects of leaving them untreated. Prevention is key. The same is true with our minds. I’ve included a few brief tips on how to prevent infestation of the mind. 1) Find positive people.
There are plenty of negative people out there. You won’t have to try hard to find them. Don’t be friends with someone just because they want to be friends with you. Search for friends that will encourage and inspire you. Choose people who will make you want to reach a little higher and dream a little bigger. 2) Think about your thoughts. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? It’s not. You do not have to accept every thought you think. Accepting every thought you have as reality is the real silliness in your life! Thoughts are travelers. You get to decide which ones you invite inside as guests. If you had a guest in your home who was stealing from you or mistreating your house, just how long would you let them stay? 3) Learn truth.
I am a Christian. I believe God created everything. How do you find out if something is real or counterfeit? You compare it to the original. If my thought lines up with what God says, I know I can trust it because I am comparing it to the original. Don’t let negative thinking infest your brain. If you think you can’t do it, you are right.
If you think a relationship will never last, it won’t.
If you think you won’t get well or you won’t lose that weight, you won’t.
Who wants to live life like that? Fill your mind today with the things that will make you thrive. -April
 April Morgan is a loving mother of two and a wife to a United States Veteran. She has traveled as an Army wife and supported other wives in this process. She home schools on both ends of the spectrum and assists in her local community at the church as well as gardening in her wonderful homestead. Watch for more rustic adventures as she journeys through her life as a Christian Rustic For Life Lady! EVENTS
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