Have you ever thought about writing a book and what the title of it would be? I've actually pondered this and have come up with two titles: Never Rinse Your Hand With A Pressure Washer--And Other Things I Learned Being A Mom. I like the title, and I'm sure I could come with lots of stories, and yes, I have rinsed my hand with a pressure washer!
The second book title I've considered is Lessons From A Peekapoo--Things I've Learned From A Silly Pup. Do you see a theme here?! It's all about things I've learned. Isn't that how life is? You're either in the process of learning something or you've just finished a master class! Sometimes the best learning comes from the things right in front of us--like our pets. I think God teaches me a lot about Him and the spiritual life through animals, so I thought I'd share with you some excerpts from the book that's still in my head!
I used to take Reesey on long walks. He'd always run way ahead on the leash but continually look back at me, slowing himself down or getting tangled in his leash. I would say, "Hey buddy, I'm right here. Keep going!" It's hard to move forward when you're always looking back. So often we waste our time looking in the rear view mirror of life, either regretting what we've done or stuck thinking about the past. Move on! Look ahead!
The sweet part of these walks was Reesey's look at me--he wanted to see me, to make sure I was still there. Oh how I need to keep glancing at my Heavenly Father, to remind myself that He's there, holding on to me!
Our pup was a quirky little somebody. He knew the people who were afraid/didn't like dogs, and it was his goal to win them over. Quite frankly, that's what he did to me! I didn't grow up with animals, so when I finally caved in and got the kids a dog in 2004, I told them, "He's your dog. When you're not home, he'll be in his crate." Ha! Last famous words! Reesey was my shadow all day long, following me from room to room. If I was sewing, he'd be on the floor, sitting on my feet. If I was reading a book, he'd curl up next to me on the sofa. Even though he loved the kids, he was constantly devoted to me, a faithful friend, and protective to a fault! It made me praise my Heavenly Father who is perfectly devoted and protects me--He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)
Being a family with 3 younger kids, some details of life got slighted--one of them was the plastic lid to the dog food--it never got completely closed. The result we were unaware of was stale food, but Reesey didn't care! He was so used to the stale food that when it came time for a new bag of dog food, he refused to eat for a week! (Of course, he'd sneak food from the table, so he didn't starve!) It was such a funny phenomenon that we couldn't figure out for the longest time. "Why won't you eat your new dog food? It's the exact same brand!!" Finally it dawned on me--Reesey is so used to stale food that he doesn't want anything else! The thought came to me--"Am I any different?" I'm content with stale food too, spiritually speaking. I would rather dine on the stale food (something I learned in a sermon a few weeks ago) than enjoy rich, fresh food every day (God's Word.) Lord, help me to desire the fresh daily bread that You give me! (Matthew 6:11)
As the kids got older, Reesey knew their routine and somehow knew when the school bus was coming home. I don't know if he had super powers, but ten minutes before the bus would arrive, I'd find him sitting at the front door waiting for them. I remember when Ryan left for college, you could find Reesey just sitting in front of his empty room, as though he was waiting for him to show up. Gosh! That made me cry! And when the kids came home from college and would sleep til all hours of the morning, you'd find him sitting at their door, waiting for them to wake up. I'm not sure of the complete spiritual meaning of this, but it makes me think of my Heavenly Father who is patiently waiting...waiting for that child to come back home, and it gives me peace.
As you can probably tell with this timeline, we went from having kids ages 5, 8, and 10 to kids leaving home for college/getting married, ages 22, 25, and 27, with one little dog. Reesey aged right along with them. His hair turned gray along with mine. He went from having a fun little trot down the sidewalk to being carried around. He had always been the one to love on us when we weren't well. I remember when Annabelle had swine flu in 2009, and he never left her side. Any time we were sick, he knew it and stayed with us. Now it was our turn to do the same for him. He never liked being held, but now he let me hold him and comfort him. It was the least I could do--he trusted us to take care of him. That's how I see it with the Lord. He holds me and comforts me, for which I am so needy and so grateful.
Our sweet old pup passed away on March 18, 2021; he was 16.5 years old. I never thought I would cry over a dog, but it hit me hard. Here's the crazy thing--we brought home a new puppy home two weeks later. Our kids thought we lost our minds! But as a dear friend told me, "It's never too soon to be happy."
I'm learning new things about my Heavenly Father from this puppy, too. What I love most is how the Lord keeps teaching me new things about Him as I sit in His master class of life and learning. Sometimes I just have to slow down, hold my pup, and hear what He has to say.
I know this blog has been long and hasn't been about home decor, but I want to say thanks for letting me share--it's been therapeutic for me.
We're all in this together...growing and learning. I hope you know you're loved by us and the Lord.
Until next time, keep learning,