Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Unique Word-- Cattywampus


I like words.  As a writer, I try to use simple, ordinary words that everyone can understand.  Sometimes I run across words that are very interesting and fun to use. During the next few blogs I want to share some unique words that may or may not be familiar. Cattywampus describes things that are askew or awry, and can be used for intersections that don’t meet in a straight line. There are a lot of intersections like that in Georgia.  No wonder we have so many streets named “Peachtree.”

Fall Clothes 
Spring has finally arrived in Georgia—warmer temperatures in the 70’s. For weeks, the weather has yo-yoed from warm to freezing making clothing choices a challenge. The weather has been cattywampus and not what we normally expect during April.  Every April and October, I transition my closet to the next season. I am so done with cold weather by April, the dark colored sweaters and corduroy pants beg to be put away for the next six months.  In October, I’m not quite so eager to put up the shorts and sandals.  But as soon as I make the closet transition in spring or fall, the hot or cold weather returns making me dig back through my storage boxes. Someone who knows me well laughs and tells me not to transition my clothes or the weather will rebel once again.

Watching the news is unsettling. Unsettling and cattywampus events dominate the headlines. International turmoil and the threat of war are served up daily.  The political news close to home is even more worrisome. Another election in November will determine the direction of the country for years to come.

Our natural inclination in dealing with turmoil is anxiety, which can be helped by looking at the Scriptures and applying its truth to our lives.  For example, it’s been over two weeks since Easter 2018 when we celebrated the greatest event in Christianity. I often wonder how Jesus’s disciples dealt with their anxiety in the days and weeks following the crucifixion and resurrection. They had responded to the call of Jesus to “follow me” only to discover everything they had signed on for was now cattywampus and upside down. Jesus didn’t overthrow Roman rule and become a Jewish king like David. Instead he instituted the kingdom of God in the hearts and minds of his followers. It would have been much easier for them to make plans for a government takeover than model lives of sacrificial love and forgiveness that Jesus required.  When Jesus appeared to them before ascending into heaven, he told them to wait for further instruction. 

Waiting is very hard for most of us when everything is cattywampus.  We want to fix our problems and change our circumstances. RIGHT NOW.  Waiting for God to work is very difficult if we are action-oriented people. Perhaps that why so many of us are told to wait and watch to see what the Lord is going to do.

Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

It will be worth being patient when God acts and our waiting is over.


  1. Frieda, you got so much into one blog. Saul had a hard time waiting on Samuel to arrive to make the sacrifice to God, so he took it into his own hands... he was precipitated, not patient, anxious, disobedient. These are important lessons for folks my age, too.
    Love you, Carleen

  2. Cattywompus was a word often used by Tom! I so enjoyed your uses for it. The entire blog is inspiring. I think you need to be a regular columnist for a syndicated newspaper!!