They may be humble creatures, but they are my very favorite... honest to the core, forgiving, willing, responsive, joyful, great listeners & companions...
I have trained a licensed therapy dog (TDI) before & will definitely do it again. I find them so therapeutic in my own life that I have a real passion for using them to bless others, like by visiting seniors' homes, hospitals, and even prisons. Plus, the training that is involved is FUN for both me & the right dog (one that is suited to that kind of work)!
I've been very busy taking care of a lot of sweet dogs this Summer & have captured a few pictures.
First, my own two ...my sweet old Jake, a kind & "understated" old guy. He may look asleep at the wheel but he loves to meet people & watch a good soccer game.
...always watchful, tries so hard to be a "good girl" while still dealing with her own fears (past trauma from before we got her),
faithful to me to a fault, sweet Juneau
April Pug is one of Mark's favorite dogs that we take care of. He is hoping to get a Pug of his own one day. She is a snuffly sweet heart.
This is April again, with one of my favorite doggie-clients, "Geppetto". He looks pretty intimidating but is a kissing/snuggle machine.
This pretty German Shepherd Dog is Greta. She is a typical GSD - fabulous! They are our overall favorite breed. How about you?
Luke, with teeny, tiny Leo - he almost looks like a toy but he is a feisty little guy.
There are many more dogs that stay with us, each one special. I'll add more pics soon...
I'm not perfect. Neither are you. It's OK though. It's normal! :)
Just in case you are feeling discouraged, let me tell you about my imperfect life: *My house is a MESS - every inch of it, dust bunnies are becoming elephants etc. I love the look of homes pictured in "Country Living" but seriously, who has that kind of time? money? creativity? It's OK to work on it but it's also OK to not achieve it!
*I take medication every day to stay normal.Very humbling.
*I suffer from migraines, vertigo, allergies & colitis. *I need to lose weight.
*I let my dogs kiss my face with their smelly breath!
*I talk to much & listen too little. (I've been working on that at least 15 years! UGH!)
Anyway...I'm not superwoman (darn!) & I bet you aren't either.
I can actually have peace & joy in the imperfectness of my life though, knowing that I am created by God for a plan & a purpose. He loves me (you too). He likes me (you too). He's still working with me (yup - you too!) :)
I am feeling thankful today...just because. I think "thankfulness" is my favorite state of mind so I've decided to create arandom list . I'll try to refer to it the next time I'm feeling un-thankful! I dare you to create your own list!
Things I'm Thankful For:
kids - I waited nearly 7 years for Mark & then another 7 for Luke & Nathanso even when they are driving me crazy(!!!) I'm still thankful for them John - the best man I know. period. dogs- if you're not a dog-person you won't get this, but my dogs just make me happy! Summer - my favorite Season (flip flops, the pool, shorts & T's, lots of time to play) a new book & 2 new CD's I got for my b.day (Thanks LL!) peanut butter - my favorite staple (& yes, I know you don't like it Holly! :) Jesus - the BEST thing/relationship that's ever happened to me nail polish on my toes - I said this list would be random! AC - in the South, it's essential! adoption - :) friends - how I appreciate you, how I need you!
Mark's list: Juneau (our Rottie) - just because I love her my Mom & Dad- "cause they take care of us the chickens - 'cause they're nice
Nathan's list: Juneau - because she guards us Jake (our Boxer) - because he sleeps a lot & he's cute Juneau's bone - because she can chew on it chickens - because I like them my toy horse - because I can sit on it
Luke's list: My Mom & Dad - because they take care of me my cat - because he's so cute! the computer - because we can type stuff on it & do school on it our car - because it takes us places money - we have lots of money to buy food my bedroom - because it's safe the couch - we can sit down & rest the lights - so we can see Jesus - because He paid a debt for us
This past week has been busy, tiring & FUN! The boys & I teamed up with several other parents & kids to do serviceprojects that the kids could really be a part of. We made cookies for police men & fire men, delivered them to their work places & prayed for them, we made crafts for seniors & visited the senior's home (photo above), we bagged up 300lb of beans & 400 toothbrushes for a food pantry & toured the place, we walked around a neighborhood & prayed for the residents of each home, leaving little crafts behind on the doorsteps. It was great to see our kids excited about serving others.
Here's Nathan praying for the people who live in this home.
The kids made lots of cards & crafts throughout the week. I loved Mark's "Noah's Ark".
Have you ever been approached by a well meaning person who just wanted to make sure you were a Christian? They might ask, "Do you know Jesus?" or "Have you been saved?" I have. I usually feel slightly verbally assaulted, like they are checking to see if I am good enough. Has that ever happened to anyone else or am I just too sensitive? (Definitely possible!:)
Anyway, the funny thing is that I am a Christian & I can answer "yes" to those questions, but I still feel like I am being checked over somehow anyway, Why? I think it's because I get the feeling that if I answered "No" to them, that I would be thought of as less than, or small or like something was wrong with me & maybe I should apologize or correct my wrongness or ...?
I'm not trying to pick on people who care about whether others know God or not, because I care too. A lot. A whole lot. But, I don't think the concern is coming across quite right. I mean, the reason I care about this issue is because Jesus Christ has changed my life. He is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me...freedom from trying to be good enough, peace, joy, hope, a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe - it's amazing stuff. Of course I want those I love to know Him too!
And, yeah, there is something wrong with my friends who don't know God yet, but there's something wrong with me too! That's the point. We ALL need a Savior. We are all a complete mess without Him, at least that's what I've observed in my life so far.
So, I'm thinking about how we, as Christians, are coming across to others we care about. We've got to think of a way to better communicate our love, the amazing God we've met, without acting (or thinking!) that we are in any way "better".
One of the biggest reason I love Jesus is because He makes me good enough. He loved me first. He likes me. No, He doesn't like the crud in my life (otherwise known as sin) but He knows how to work with me & in me to help me turn my back on it, bit by bit. To get free from the crud!
Maybe I'm rambling a bit here, but this is so heavy on my mind...just thought I'd put it out there. Is this resonating with anyone else? What do you think?