Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Change Your Life

This fall I embarked on a journey that I'll never regret.

It started as a whim and quickly (and thankfully!) turned to reality.

I had lived alone a few months after having a roommate for six years and a small nagging picked at my brain. One that I hadn't realized I missed.

I'm talking about dogs.

I grew up with dogs, specifically golden retrievers. Merlin and Lucy were a part of our family. And yet after college, I had placed being a dog parent in the bucket of "things to do when I get married."

I started toying with the idea of getting a dog this summer, but didn't verbalize it for a bit. Then my cousin, Libby, adopted a sweet dog Lola and I started thinking maybe I could do that, too?

My dad was out of town for over a week and I visited my mom. I told her about my thoughts of adopting a small poodle mix dog like Libby (reason being I live in an apartment so wanted something smaller and poodles are the most intelligent dogs and don't shed). She thought it was a great idea. While there I found a picture of what I wanted and the name! I said I'd want an apricot boy and to name him Crosby (short for Bing Crosby who I adore). We talked about the pros/cons of adopting vs. buying a puppy. After some research, I was leaning heavily toward adopting as they are dogs in need of a home and I know people with great success! My parents' precious basset hound Winston, my aunt Liz and uncle Grant's four dogs Diamond, Sydney, Patch, and Felicia, and Libby's puppy girl Lola.

So I started my search when I got back to Dallas after visiting my mom. I quickly learned of a no kill shelter in Dallas called operation kindness.

Then one Thursday morning I looked on their site and saw a poodle mix puppy named Gremlin. He wasn't the color I was wanting, but it said he was a puppy so I thought I'd check him out. The shelter is open late on Thursdays so I decided to run by after work and see what it was like, and visit Gremlin.

Thankfully God had other plans.

I got to OK and they showed me to the dog area. I quickly did a once over for Gremlin, but his kennel said he was out on a walk. PRAISE GOD!

Why? Well as I was waiting, I noticed this sweet little apricot poodle mix boy who's name was Archie.

I decided to request to bring Archie out of his kennel. He was so unbelievably sweet! Kind of dirty as he had just come to the shelter from a rescue group, but so so sweet.

I wanted him.

But I'm a rule follower and felt like I needed my apartment's permission. I also knew I had zero dog things at home!

So I left.

And I called my parents who graciously convinced me to bite the bullet and go back to get "Archie" (he didn't know that name as OK gave it to him when he was taken in).

Friday I got to work and sent a note of prayer to my Mammy and aunt Liz, who are some of the biggest dog lovers I know! They were graciously supportive as well.

At lunch I left for OK and prayed that if it was God's will, he'd still be there.

He wasn't.

But then the employee noted he was just at the groomer! Hallelujah!  I went through the paperwork and waited.

Then he came and he became mine. I renamed him Crosby.

And I've never looked back.

Sweet puppy boy has dramatically changed my life in a great way. God has used his precious, loving spirit to teach me more about His love. Crosby doesn't hold grudges. He doesn't remember when I've left him longer than I should because my workday was nutty and I couldn't swing home over lunch. Or if it was frigidly cold and I didn't take him on a walk.

He forgets.

He loves anyway.

He is so excited to see me.

No, he's not perfect. I mean, he's killed a chicken... And he struggles to learn commands like "sit", but  I still firmly believe God has used him greatly to teach me more about His love (and I'm sure He will continue to).

My mom once told me that she believes God connected Crosby and me to help each other. I agree.

And now I'm learning about worry! He has a sore on his chest and I've been so nervous! He's my furry child! I trust that he'll be okay and my worry is for not.

I thank God for using this fluffy, sweet boy to enrich my life and teach me more about His unfailing love.

I encourage everyone to adopt! So many sweet puppy dogs in need of homes. And I know God will use them to bless you, too.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Exodus

Anyone who has spent time with me studying God's word learns quickly that I absolutely positively LOVE the Old Testament. There are so many reasons why:
- the history!
- Judaism and the nation of Israel
- Jesus was a Jew
- the pace and story telling format
- the prophecy
- the prophecy of Jesus
- studying it richens the New Testament
- I relate to many of the people
- and on and on

And of the Old Testament, one of my most favorite books is Exodus. I know that's probably weird, but I don't care. :) This book has been used to deepen my faith, see the picture of Jesus' sacrifice more clearly, and understand the process of chains of slavery being broken to release freedom in Christ.

I've written devotionals here and there on the book, and have always had a little nagging to write a study - one that specifically focuses on freedom from slavery. I've typically pushed it aside thinking that'd be a waste of time since I'd just be writing it for me. Yesterday, while looking through my resources and running across a devo I wrote on Exodus 14, I realized it doesn't matter if I'm the only one who ever reads it. I learn more about God's word when I'm writing. I dig deeper, look for connections, and cross-compare with other parts of Scripture. So, I'm going to start. Not sure what it'll look like or if it'll go anywhere. I'm considering if I'll share as I go or wait until the end to see if there's anything worth sharing (well of course the bible is worth sharing, more my part in studying it).

And if nothing else, excited to dive even deeper into this fabulous book. I know it'll bless my heart and I pray draw me closer to the Lord. That makes everything worth it.