Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Spike": Our family dog

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture on Facebook of our new dog, "Hannah".  

We loved her.  She came to us at 5 months old already crate & potty trained.  She was a "rescue" pup with few details about her past.  She allowed my kids to lay on her, walk her on her leash, & to give her commands.  She was the best puppy that anyone could ask for.  That is, until another kid stepped foot on our property.  

After having her for a week, she began to show a territorial behavior that turned vicious when children were around.  After a couple of incidents of her biting children, we had to make a tough decision to find her a new home.  

Our kids understood that we could not keep a dog that bites our friends, but they were still devastated.  I held all four, crying kids in the driveway as my husband took her to her new owner.  

She now lives in a home with no children & an owner who can properly train her in ways that I could not.  

It was one of the hardest decisions we had to make as parents.  I felt like I had failed our kids.  

One of our children deals with a behavior issue that became nonexistent when we brought Hannah home.  But, when she left, our child regressed terribly.  

After much research & many discussions, Sergio & I decided it best to get another dog.  We chose a full-blooded Beagle whom our kids have named, "Spike".  

It's not easy having a 6 week old puppy in our home.  It's full-time work.  

However, when I see my kids with him, I am reminded that they are worth it.  They love having a dog.  The memories they will have with "Spike" will last a lifetime.  

I overheard our son say to Spike today, "You're my very, best friend. And I will love you forever." 

Our other son cried alligator tears as we left Spike's mom & dad.  His precious heart felt sad that he would not see them again.  However, Spike quickly cheered him up by getting his head stuck in the box.  

Goodnight, Spike.  Welcome home.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chapstick & God

I walked from the upstairs to the downstairs noticing what looked to be clear slime on every object that stood about "hip high". I began interrogating the kids as if they were felons. "It's only 7:45am...what is going on?! Who did this?" And then, I notice one of my suspects. He began to whimper with lips turned inside out & dark eyes dropping big tears, "I'm so, so, so sorry, Mommy. I wanted to leave my mark so that you can find me when I'm lost." 

His words became ice gently placed on my hot head. And my frustrated heart melted at his familiar words.

“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me." Jeremiah 29:12-14 (The Message)

God has left his mark all over creation. In His people. In His Spirit.

"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29

And silly enough, it took chapstick markings from my 4yr old to remind me of God's faithful presence.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Showered in His Goodness

He turned the desert into pools of water 
and the parched ground into flowing springs. 
Psalm 107:35

It is hot out today.  

I can barely stand to be outside.  It seems that I long for Summer when Winter is around and long for the Fall when Summer comes close to an end.  

But, this summer has been drier than I would have expected.  Because not only is it hot outside, but there has been a drought sweltering within my soul.

For two years we have labored hard.  We have wiped each other's tears, bandaged up hearts, and carried each other's burdens.  And yet, the land seems overwhelmingly dry. 

It cracks with every hurt. 

As our mouths open wide to catch a drop of His goodness, we keep our eyes focused on above. 

For we know He is here.

Two months ago, we were led to purchase a 1969 Shasta camper for Operation Sleep Tight.  At that same time, a couple from a town just 45 miles away decided to sell their van. 

We had no vehicle to pull the Shasta camper.  We prayed often.  "Lord, we need a vehicle that can seat our entire family, pull the Shasta camper, and it needs to be free."  I don't mean to sound greedy with this prayer.  It is just what our family needed.  So, for two months, we prayed. 


That is, until Friday night.

You see, I have this little problem of picking up trash on the side of the road and putting it into our car.  A couple of nights ago, I found a couch on the side of the road and decided to pick it up and put it on the homeschool listserv.  My friend, Jessica, was interested and we were communicating back and forth via email.  During that time, another email came through on her end from a family wanting to give their van away to a homeschool family.  She immediately thought of us and told me to call.  Without hesitation, I did.

This couple is truly one of the most beautiful families in Tennessee.  Around the same time that we purchased the camper, they had decided to sell their van.  However, the sale never happened because they were unable to locate their keys. The van sat for two months.  On Friday night, after a brief discussion, they decided to give it away.  (Thank you, Mike & Stephanie!)

It is exactly what we prayed for.  It seats our entire family, has the capability of pulling the Shasta camper, and it was given to us for free.

We picked it up the very next day.  

As we drove away, I began to cry.

"Thank you, Lord, for sending your sweet rain.  My heart is overflowing.  This is Your vehicle, not ours.  May it do Your work for the glory of Your name."

And it began to rain outside.  Not just a little sprinkle, but a massive downpour.  The winds were strong and we were almost hit by a trampoline.

"I see you, Lord.  You are the Spring of Life.  I am showering in Your goodness."

And I held tightly to the steering wheel.

For it felt like I was driving gold.