Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 15, 2010

Puppy Love

Today I am participating in Rachel Olsen's Devotion Carnival. The theme for today is LOVE. Though I feel I could write on so many topics associated with love, I have chosen to express one close to our hearts at this very moment with the addition of a new puppy to our life. I am ever aware that God speaks to us sometimes in the big moments but more often in the smaller moments, the more mundane ones, when we take them to Him in our quiet time. May your day be blessed with the presence of His whisper upon your heart.

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God ... Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
~1 John 4:7, 11-12~

This past week found us in the throes of Valentine-topia. Snowed in and school-less, our thoughts turned to the upcoming holiday of loooove and we made valentines. We stuffed little bags for the children's schoolmates. We even made a trip to the pet store to buy a special gift for our newest family member, a honey cockapoo named Maggie.

As our three year old settled in for her nap after her Valentine's party, she clutched in her hot little hand a card. A valentine. From Cooper. A boy. And she told me rather matter-of-factly that she was going to marry him; she just hadn't told him yet. She also called me close to whisper in my ear, "Mommy, I love Maggie, I mean I really love her. She is a fluffy, fuzzy ball of love." This is true.

Our older daughter has desired her very own puppy for years. These sweet children saved their own money, that we might open our home to a furry, fuzzy ball of love. In her words, "Pets love you no matter what, I mean they need you for everything." And it has made me think about the agape love that the Lord pours out on us. It is ours. Our father in Heaven wants us to rely on Him. He wants us to seek Him and to live according to His word. He loves us, no matter what, and we need Him for everything.

Puppies are a lot of work. So are humans. With our wildly wicked hearts desperately needing to be tamed and our judgemental, haughty spirits, it is a blessing and a miracle that the Lord can love us so unconditionally, readily accepting our pleas for forgiveness, our cries for help and our many times less-than-acceptable time that we spend with Him. Our sweet puppy, shreds paper, bites, chews, cannot control her bodily functions yet; and even so, we love her with an almighty love that does not consider we speak different languages and live considerably unparalleled lives. We reprimand her when her actions fall short, not to punish or condemn, but to teach. For this lifelong Christian, that simple statement sheds new light on the process that God takes us through.

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned, forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."~Luke 6:37~

At times, we need to be reprimanded, reminded, restored, not to punish or condemn us, but to teach us. Maggie knows this, but do I? When God calls me back, I find that doubt has a sneaky way of creeping in and corrupting my heart. I am mindful, He wants to teach me. Teach, change, evolve. Not punish. He wants me to grow, to be so confident in His love that I CAN love others the way He intended.

When we open His Holy Word to seek our own hearts and not merely out of an obligatory sense of duty, we are cultivating, nurturing and maturing a relationship that the Lord so divinely desires. He wants us. He wants our hearts. Just as we want the heart of our puppy, he wants our hearts. Tail wagging and joyfully jumping, that is how I want to approach my God. I want to recognize He meets my every need, He loves me when I am unlovable. He feeds me, clothes me, bathes me in His tender mercies. And do I love Him as unconditionally? I would like to think so. But, I am not so certain that is truth.

As I gaze into the endless black pools that are our puppy's eyes, I am aware of how very unconditional she is. Her heart harbors no record of wrongs or judgement. She casts no blame and seemingly forgives her enemies. She hugs and kisses the children regardless of how tight they squeeze her or how many times they pull her tail. Always loving, always forgiving, truly living out the scripture that love is of God.

Ephesians 4:32 reminds us, "And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Do I forgive my enemies? Do I pray for them? Do I truly keep no record of wrongs? As God commanded me to love others as HE loves me, am I living that out every single day? Or when I choose? When our hearts hurt and we are cleaning up the messes of our lives, be they on newspaper on the laundry room floor or in our innermost personal relationships in dire need of repair, there He greets us, encouraging us to be tender hearted and forgive one another. He is not asking us to do more than what He does already.

In my heart, I want puppy love. First love. THE love. Not straying, fleeting love that will not withstand the test of time, but authentic, true, Godly love that pierces our hearts and transforms our lives. Like the spirit of our gentle Maggie, kind and embracing, I want to love others as God has instructed and more importantly lived out in His love for me. I stand amazed in the beauty of His design, all of his creatures, the lessons we can learn in the timeless love of a puppy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Maggie Mae!

I wish that I could actually capture a still shot of her, but I have not mastered that yet! Maggie is a honey colored cockapoo. She is hypoallergenic (for us allergy sufferers, Emily and I, achoo!) Maggie joined our family two weeks ago and we could not be happier. Rob and I have always been dog people and it feels really good to have a puppy running amongst us.

The girls began saving their money months before our German Shepherd and Poodle passed away (Fall 2008). Emily was determined to have a dog "of her own". She wants a doggie to talk with and snuggle with, to sleep next to and love on. It has been her dream for as long as she has been able to speak. Hannah was in on this master plan and so the two of them devotedly saved every penny in the "dog fund". Just after Christmas, we counted the money and discovered we had enough...paired with the right litter of dogs being available, Rob and I felt completely convicted the Lord was opening the gates for our home to be the safe haven for a dog once again.

I won't lie. I liked the clean floors and being able to eat at coffee table level if we wanted to. I was getting used to my ultra tidy laundry room, used only for well, laundry. Swiffer and I were only best of friends once a day as opposed to now, when we interact far more times per day than I care to admit. And freedom, we had so much freedom! BUT, we also have a relatively responsible seven year old with the deep rooted desire to be mommy to her own puppy. And we have a three year old, who despite what we might have predicted absolutely ADORES the new puppy. She surprised us all by her sheer joy over Maggie.

January and February are always really hard months financially for us. We had the jar. Filled. We did not want to dishonor the girls by using that money for anything other than the puppy, so we agreed, if the puppies were healthy and the time was right, we would move ahead. Rob and I planned a date for a Sunday afternoon to "see" the litter of puppies. I don't even need to explain what happened to me when I held Maggie. No words were exchanged. We did not take the puppy right then. We went home and prayed about it. God confirmed for us, this was the puppy, our puppy!

The following Thursday, Rob left work a little early, headed to the farm, picked up Maggie and we surprised Emily. It was an added blessing that Emily was playing that afternoon with her dear friend, Gabrielle. They got to share those special first moments together. Hannah happened upon the scene a few minutes later and it has been love, love, love!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Look out Laura Ingalls...

Emily wants a little house in the big woods too!

There was something completely time period-esque as Em donned her bonnet and pinafore for Colonial Day. Ahhh, second grade...where wonderful teachers in long skirts and with doiles atop their heads transport the little kiddies back to the day of apothecaries and silversmiths.

Emily loves, loves, loves history. I sincerely think she believes they had Colonial Day just for her! Sewing quilt squares, basket weaving, punching tin, playing hoops, she enjoyed each and every special activity. And I was all too tempted to call her Half Pint and go looking for Nellie.

Currently, Emily is reading Little House in the Big Woods and though I do not see myself making my own cheese and maple sugar, I do see the beauty in the simplicity of this era. I have to wonder if Emily would be quite so enamoured with this time period if we removed from her life some of the modern conveniences she has grown to love. Can you say pizza and DVD? For now, we will braid that red hair and she can pretend her own little house in the big woods as much as she would like...Me? I am off to take a nice hot shower in my warm and cozy home and be thankful.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Referral Day!

After naptime today, I asked Hannah if she wanted to take her referral day picture. She knew exactly what I meant. She rifled through her closet, hunting down her purple China dress. She dressed quickly and then took her little hand and ran it down the back of her head. I think she thought she was calming those wild raven locks, but truthfully, that would have taken some time and Hannah had some other things on the agenda for today (more on that later...stay tuned!) She ran and grabbed Kai Lan and plopped down in her favorite chair. I didn't fix her hair perfectly or change her into a dress that fit her better. I resisted the urge to put shoes on those pretty little feet and remove the Kai Lan necklace she insisted on wearing. I wanted to remember her just as she was, as the sun set, bringing us to our third Referral Day.

Three.whole.years. It is so hard for me to believe that three whole years have passed since that wonderful day when my cell phone rang telling us we had another daughter. I have those surreal moments when I gaze at Hannah and become overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that I am her mommy, overwhelmed that the Lord knew she was our daughter and made sure she got to us safely, overwhelmed that Hannah's birthmother bestowed upon us a gift that is indescribable, overwhelmed by the love that supercedes genetics, overwhelmed... and most definitely thankful. Thank you Lord, for sending us two precious children; Each and everyday, they bless our hearts and rock our world.

Recently Hannah played with one of her "China sisters". She carries around a picture of the two of them, telling anyone and everyone, that she and Lyla were in China "TOGETHER"! Congratulations to all of the other families celebrating their Referral Day.

You can visit here , or here to see the last two years posts for referral day.

Hannah, we love you. We loved you long before we knew you or could see you. We are so grateful the Lord brought you to us when He did and we know His timing is perfect. We pray for all of the families awaiting their children. We know now, what others told us, that the wait would become a faded memory once you were known to us, but we grieve for the families that continue to wait and pray for their little ones.

Our family would not be complete without you. At 4:30 PM, I will remember... I will remember with great sentiment that first moment, when my breath left me and I saw for the first time the child chosen for us. I will remember how I looked at your sister and with grand thanksgiving praised God that it felt so different and so similar all at the same time. I will remember another family, far away, for whom I am grateful beyond measure. I need not remember the joy, it is here, it remains...praise God!


© Welcome to Our Little Ladybugs!
CoffeeShop Designs