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How a Tiny Mouse Taught Me About Holy Detachment - Abby Sasscer

How a Tiny Mouse Taught Me About Holy Detachment


Abby Sasscer shares her struggle with holy detachment and a lesson from a mouse that taught her to let go of what is good in order to embrace what is best.

Stories of Discernment – Part 3

One of the aspects of simple living our family tries to embrace is to use only what we need and not to live excessively. So we sold our old home in the city and built a little home in the hills in order to practice voluntary simplicity.

Our new home was nestled on a mountain range that would require us to drive on a steep hairpin turn. It was evident that we needed a vehicle that would safely transport our family, especially during the winter season.

We purchased a blue SUV which my children lovingly called “Dory.” For a good solid four years, Dory did a beautiful job safely transporting our small family up and down the mountain.

Not My SUV!!!

One fateful day, my husband told me that the children were getting older so we might need to get a larger vehicle. And so I gladly suggested for him to trade in his little vehicle. I was not ready to let go of Dory just yet.

I then proceeded to give him a list of reasons why we should keep our SUV. I reminded him how important it is to have a reliable vehicle considering he is part of his company’s Disaster Relief Team. I even reminded him how much he would need it to make the steep hairpin turn, especially during tough winter storms.

How a Tiny Mouse Taught Me About Holy Detachment - Abby Sasscer

I also didn’t think we needed a larger vehicle because we only had two children. Yes, they were growing taller, but they could still be seated comfortably in the vehicle.

“Remember to use only what we need,” I reminded him.

But deep inside, there were other reasons why I wasn’t ready to let go. Considering we moved to the countryside to practice voluntary simplicity, I wasn’t ready to “live excessively.” I also wasn’t ready because most of the young families in our neighborhood owned an SUV.

Keeping it was just the responsible thing to do. Most of all, I wasn’t ready to trust that Our Lord could see something in the future that I simply could not.

An Unexpected Guest

I was quite adamant about keeping our family vehicle and refused to trade it in. Our Lord knew I needed a lesson in holy detachment and so He gladly intervened.

One day, our family was driving down the road for a much-anticipated field trip. At the stop light, I heard a noise behind my steering wheel. It sounded like electrical wires shorting and crackling.

Then I saw sparks flying and small streams of smoke rising from my dashboard!!!

My husband checked it out and discovered that a little mouse had built a nest under my SUV’s hood (I should have charged it rent). It found its way inside the dashboard, got hungry, and started nibbling on some electrical wires, almost causing a fire.

How a Tiny Mouse Taught Me About Holy Detachment - Abby Sasscer


If that wasn’t bad enough, it found its way into the back of the vehicle where my children would normally sit and decided it would perish underneath the carpet. Needless to say, not only did the vehicle feel unsafe, its smell left something to be desired.

The SUV that I once loved was now something I loathed with my entire being. So even if I wasn’t ready to let go, I felt like the events were stacked up against me.

David had overcome Goliath.

Mouse had conquered mammoth.

I had lost the battle.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

So there we were at the dealership that weekend, trading in our SUV for a “new” used van. My daughter saw the sadness on my face as we said good-bye to our beloved Dory.

But on our way home, she said something most profound.

She said that the reason Heaven gave us a larger vehicle was that Our Lord was going to send us a new baby.

I chuckled.

But just to make sure, I decided to take a pregnancy test.

It was positive.

How a Tiny Mouse Taught Me About Holy Detachment - Abby Sasscer

Let It Go

Funny thing is, we tend to keep holding onto what is good because it is familiar and comfortable. As human beings, we don’t enjoy change because change hurts.

But there are times when we simply have to trust God in the present because He sees something beyond the horizon we just don’t have the power to see.

Sometimes, we just need to let go of the good in order to embrace what is best.

And sometimes, He has to send a little mouse to help us know the difference.

Header photo CC Ziga Camernik| adobestock.com

About Abby Sasscer

Born in the Philippines, Abby came to the United States in 1986. She is a wife, homeschooling mother of three, author, and speaker. In 2008, she founded Project Nazareth and continues to advocate simple living through books and speaking. www.projectnazareth.info | Meet Abby
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