A SUMMER OF PSALMS

In 1975 my thinking about suffering in life was challenged in a profound way.  A film depicting the Ten Boom family during WWII called “The Hiding Place” was playing at a local theater.  Once I saw it, Corrie Ten Boom became my favorite person on the planet.  I’m thankful to everyone involved in the film.  Nobody understands why my favorite movie is about such a horrific time in history.  Well, I suppose it’s because this film taught me about adversity in life and how to react when bad things happen.

We don’t like to think about storms, do we?  And yes, I guess this movie could be considered a “downer” to some people, but I walked away with the thought that if Corrie Ten Boom was able to lean so heavily on God and trust Him to see her through something so unbelievably evil, then I can trust Him for any bad situation I find myself in!  I was not depressed after watching it – I felt a peace and a hope that God is sufficient for any circumstance in life.  He is and always will be enough.

One day a psychologist friend asked me how I’m able to function in life.  We had talked a bit about how bumps in the road of life can affect us in negative ways as Christians.  The first thing people notice about me is that I don’t have children.  They become uncomfortable at that point.  Nobody knows what to talk about with me because the “go-to” subject of any conversation is kids.  How old are your kids?  What school do they go to?  It’s the most predictable conversation people have when they meet for the first time.

But when they ask if I have children and I say no, they’re at a loss.  They have no idea what to say next.  Once in a while I hear, “Oh, then you probably have fur babies then, right?”  Well, yes I did – but we lost our fur baby a while back.  Sometimes I just smile or nod yes to save face.  I don’t want two pity pauses in the conversation.

I was chatting with a friend recently and the subject of childlessness came up and I said something to the effect that I felt like a freak.  She said, “It stinks.”  It’s true – it does!  There’s not a thing I can do about it, but it does!  Sometimes you just want someone to acknowledge the fact that something stinks, ya know?  I felt better after she said that – I felt understood.

When I was younger, it was difficult to be around the women my age who were having children.  I kept thinking it would get easier as I got older, but now those same women have grandchildren and no…  it’s no easier to deal with that either.

The Bible says that children are a reward… which makes a childless person wonder if they are being punished Everyone’s quick to tell me that’s not the case, but that’s not how it feels.  One of my friends told me that the Lord may have saved me from worse heartache because perhaps a child of mine could have had serious health issues or something like that.  Well – I guess that could be true too.  I just don’t know – but I have to trust God.  He knows what He’s doing and I need to accept it.

God does surround me with songs of victory.  He helps me cope with all kinds of loss.  I can’t really explain it except to say I know in my soul that God’s helping me.  When it storms and I’m tempted to give up, I hear that sweet song of victory and I know it will be okay.  The Lord is with me.  Oh, and even though Corrie Ten Boom is no longer alive, she’s still my favorite person.  🙂

GENESIS 1:28 ON 1/28

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God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  – Genesis 1:28

Babies are a sign that God has not given up on us.  There’s not a more happy occasion than expecting a child into your family.  God gives His blessing for us to procreate and He gives us a blessing to rule over every living creature that moves on the ground.

As we are to be responsible and good parents, we are also held accountable for the way we rule over animals.  Just because God’s given us dominion, it’s not a license for us to abuse God’s precious creation in any way.angels-for-jack

Is Jack a lucky donkey, or what?  The poem talks about a wet summer day…  but I feel such compassion for the poor fur babies who are kept outdoors in the cold and snow.  Yes, I know they have fur, but…

You’ve seen the ads for the ASPCA I’m sure.  Why are those so much more difficult to watch in the dead of winter?  I literally have to flip the channel, they break my heart so badly.  I guess you could say the ads are a success if they have that effect on me.  I just believe it’s so very sad that the ads have to exist at all.  What’s wrong with people that they would abuse helpless animals?  That kind of rule and dominion was not our Maker’s intention.  Not even close.

Is there a special reservation in a hot place for one who abuses animals?  Well, that’s not for me to say, but I’d say the odds are good there probably is.

In today’s verse, we see that God thinks babies are good in families, and animals are good in families too.  Dominion however, most assuredly does not mean ruling with cruelty.  If your fur babies are cold, please take them in the house.  Be kind to babies – the human variety and fur variety.  🙂

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24Our lives are so enriched by fur babies, aren’t they?  Whether we rescued an animal or purchased a pedigree, a pet or maybe more than one, adds a dimension to our lifestyle.  If you want free entertainment, watch the unique personality of an animal.  I’ve had 1 pony, 2 hamsters, 3 goldfish, 1 bird, 8 dogs and 6 cats in my lifetime (not all at once, thankfully).  No two animals are exactly alike…  but they are all precious in their own way.  Am I right?

I don’t know if our pets will be in Heaven when we get there  – but I can’t imagine eternal life without them.  It won’t matter once I get there, I’m sure.  I mean everything will be different from life here.  If it’s God’s Heaven and Jesus is there…  that’s really good enough for me.  But for my peace of mind here on earth…  I like to think that my pets will be in Heaven.

Let’s say a prayer of thanks for those crazy little fur babies that make us smile:a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.  – Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

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I wish you many years of happiness with your pets – even the snakes and things like that.  I’m not a fan, but some folks are – lol.  I believe God created animals to keep us company, and at times their company is more welcome than another person’s.  They really are welcome in to our solitude where human friends are not.

I’m so glad Ichigo is okay, aren’t you?  Sweet little cat.

Here’s another baby picture I want to share with you.  This is Bo – Kelly’s little dog.

14993416_10207660484571485_5092871983387108609_nIsn’t he the sweetest little fella???  So cute!

As we continue counting blessings, let’s not forget our sweet 4-legged family members.  🙂

NATIONAL PET PARENT’S DAY

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You can tell a lot about the character of a man by the way he treats an animal.   – Unknown

Back home, I had chickens, a rabbit named Bugs, a Shetland Pony named Dolly, a dog named Dusty, a dog named Lady and the odd cricket I managed to catch and put in a wire cage.  I’m more than qualified to be a pet parent.  We had more animals than the North Riverside Park Zoo!

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Dolly

 

Today is NATIONAL PET PARENT’S DAY!!! Obviously, Casey has me wrapped around his little paw, but I think some other folks are pretty entertained by their pets as well.

OK, there’s no way I’d adopt a pet like a lion or tiger or anything really wild…  BUT what about a hedgehog???  Um…  well…

Keep in mind that adopting a pet from a shelter is a lifelong commitment. You have to love and care for that animal for the rest of its life. Yes they are cuddly and cute, but they may have some fairly high vet bills because of sickness or injury at some point. It’s not all just laughter and light, although it’s usually a good day.

If at all possible, adopt from a shelter. Don’t buy animals from pet shops or from breeding farms out in the country. I made a horrible mistake when I was young and stupid. I paid a large sum of money for a sheltie puppy to a breeding farm. When I took the pup in to the vet to be examined, I learned he had heartworms! I didn’t put the pup down, but the treatments nearly killed the poor baby. He survived but it took a long time for him to bounce back from the “lead” treatments. I should have sued the breeder to at least get my money back, but I didn’t.

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Casey

 

In our 27 year marriage we’ve had 4 dogs and a cat. Not all at once. We only have one dog at a time. My husband had a cat when I married him. I can’t imagine not having a pet. There’s a love with animals that you just don’t have with people. They make no demands and don’t hold grudges.