April 28, 2009

the secret garden

Penny and I took a walk in the garden yesterday. She enjoyed herself :)

This is what we saw.

April 20, 2009

to an outsider

Christians must seem pretty strange to an outsider. Someone who doesn't fathom, or can't bring themselves to have faith that someone they have never seen before, whose acts can be explained by a seemingly logical science, whose invisibility does not seem like a super-hero power, but more of a smoke screen, really exists. If, by chance, they happen to wander into our God's house on a Sunday, or Wednesday...they might see rows of people, raising their arms, maybe swaying...maybe mouthing words to a song only they can hear...walking around with smiles like they are in love, sharing and serving like no one is supposed to do these days unless they have been assigned community service. Maybe this outsider wonders if these Christians are living in a time warp, don't they know what the world is coming to? Even Sunday school teachers are convicted of hideous crimes, so where is that God that loves all and forgives so much? And speaking of forgiveness, why must we forgive so much, so often? The Christian knows. Because if God forgives us, of all our crimes, then who are we to be so holy and hard as to deem someone else unworthy of OUR forgiveness. And speaking of love. How do you fall in love with invisibility? You have a hard enough time loving the tangible people in your lives, friends, spouses, family...how do you develop an intimacy in the most long distance relationship ever? Can you close your eyes and picture Him, laughing, teasing, embracing? Can you hear His voice if you block out all other thoughts? What if your imagination is not that good? To an outsider, we must seem so bizarre. But I pray, that to that outsider, God shows up more real than ever before, unmistakeable, tangible and tender. To you, too. Because even Christians feel like outsiders sometimes.

April 13, 2009

You want to know where I've been?

Here is where I've been, or rather with whom I have been occupied! Meet Penny. My adorable, sweet, cuddly black lab. I had planned on getting a lab puppy in May, I knew a friend whose mom's dogs were having puppies and they were going to give me one! I am leary of adopting grown dogs because you never know what's going on behind those eyes! But I regularly visit the animal shelter by my house to walk the dogs and let them outside for a bit. So, about a month ago, I went to the shelter and all the dogs were barking when I went to the back. Except Penny. She stood up on the door of her stall and nuzzled my hand. I decided to take her out first since she was behaving herself. I had seen her picture go up the night before and she was listed as 5 years old. I figured she was a surrender, someone had lost their job or their house and couldn't care for her, so I felt badly for her! She was so sweet when I took her outside, walking around, leaning against me for a pet :) I couldn't put her back. So, I took her home. Immediately took her for a bath because she had mud all over her from running around outside all that while! Turns out she was sick, too, so she was taken to the emergency vet, two weeks of antibiotics, was not allowed to hang with the other dogs and had to put on about 7 lbs to be at a healthy weight. Oh my goodness it was a rough first three weeks, and she ran away twice, so I thought for sure I was going to give her away to a nice big farm so she could run to her hearts desire. But look into those sweet penny-brown eyes and I just melted. So. I kept her. She's learning how to play with other dogs, how to behave on the leash, and how NOT to run like hell when the front door opens, car door opens, if there is a splinter of light in the gate she might be able to squeeze through. She loves treats. And car rides. And playing with the ball, although not so much with the giving it back, she'd much rather tease and run away with it. I'm going to train her and get her tested this summer to be a therapy dog so she can go to hospitals and cheer people up and I can take her to the library for little kids to read to her to give them confidence in their skills- wouldn't it be cute to put a patch on her therapy vest that says, "Ask my mom about Jesus" :) She is certainly
exactly what I wished for, definately a gift from God. It's funny, thinking of a dog as a blessing - but I love her and she's all that I wanted! She cuddles, she's CUTE, she's funny, she loves me the best, but is happy when my mom comes home. And, she's huge. She's 67 lbs now, and she stands as tall as my hip at the top of her head. She knew nothing. Not how to sit, not how to stay, nothing. So, we're teaching her. And how can a dog that is 5 years old not know how to sit? Hmm. She's not five years old. We figured between 3 and 4, but then we noticed she's getting a tooth in that dogs don't get until they are between 2 and 3. So that explains a lot, especially if she was bounced around from home to home and a stray for a while - she belonged to a family at one point because she's fixed already.

I'm glad I kept her. I'm glad I was able to get her medicine, she would have died otherwise. I'm glad she cuddles with me before we sleep at night and makes me laugh when I wake up in the morning. I miss her when I'm gone during the day. And I don't mind going straight home instead of shopping or errand running. She helps me with homework, if putting her chin over my typing hand is helping. I think my stress level has improved. My ability to say no to things certainly has. My exercise has improved, she's a much better behaved dog if I take her for a walk.

Thanks for missing me, if you have. And I've missed writing. But it was worth the break, more stories to come!