Furbaby Friday: Sampson

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Sampson is a very interesting dog. My dad adopted Sampson from a shelter, and right away noticed that Sampson was eager to be taught. So, being a minister, my dad first taught Sampson to bless his food. When my dad feeds Sampson, Dad will say “Sampson, bless”. Sampson will fold one paw over the other and bow his head as if in prayer.

Now, yes, we all know that Sampson is not likely thanking the Lord for his food.

Do your furbabies know any unusual tricks?

 

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Finally able to Dance

I can’t precisely pinpoint at what time the dream began. But it was there all the same. The dream of raising a daughter.

Perhaps some of it stemmed from the fact that my relationship with my own mom has been hard. Or maybe it stemmed from my own childhood of being a tomboy who did know how to wear heals, if necessary. 

In 1999, when I learned I was expecting my heart leaped with thoughts that it would happen. I was magnificently blessed with a tiny brown eyed baby boy in early 2000.

2003 rolled around. Ah, I thought. This time it will happen. The 1st ultrasound came, and the technician was unsure. My amazing blue eyed son was the result.

Mind you, I was very happy. And I love my sons beyond forever. 

Then, the miracle of all miracles came. January 2009, I found out I was expecting again. I was cautious to get my hopes up, and decided just to be content with the result.

Early March 2008, I was scheduled for a first ultrasound. The words came. She is a tiny one, but there she is. 

She? Did the doctor really just say that? I was elated.  I called my family that night to let them know I was pregnant, holding in my heart the amazing secret. 

1 week later, I began feeling unwell and asked the ob doctor if they could see me. Having delivered both of my son’s premature, I knew any symptom was important.

I’ve never forgotten that day. I laid on the table as they prepared me for a 2nd ultrasound. The doctor looked concerned, but I focused more on the screen.

There she was. Tiny hands folded, as if in prayer. And I watched as her heart beat for the last time.

The next day, I would undergo a surgery to remove her from my womb. 

Why, I thought. Why did this happen?

There was so much grief that filled my heart, and a sense of being completely lost overwhelmed me.

In Cosmo or other magazines, they don’t tell you how much your relationship will suffer in the loss of a child. I felt entirely abandoned.

People can say some really mean and cold things during grief. 

You never held her at least. Really?

At least you lost her early. Ugh.

The grief and anger crippled me. March would appear on my calendar,  and I would replay it all over again.

2 years turned into 5. And I began to learn that not only did I lose a baby that rainy March day, but I lost my ability to safely bare a child again.


 A simple brick, and a few appointment cards are all remain 8 years later.

January of this year, I was sitting in yet another Sunday morning church service. And the Pastor began to preach on Ecclesiastes. 

A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to Dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4, NASB)

I had wept long enough. I had mourned long enough. I was never going to be able to get back the little girl I lost. I was never going to have the dream of raising a daughter of my own.

So, I began to Dance. I began to think on how much sweeter Heaven is because of that little one. I began to think of how tremendously blessed I am to have my incredible sons. I began to think of her loss differently.

I will never forget her. I will never forget that I did carry her in my womb. I will never forget that she was and is real. 

My El Roi

I am in week 2 of the book Praying the Names of GOd by Ann Spangler (2004). My study this past week was on El Roi.

El Roi

The term El ROI is only used one time in the Bible, Genesis 16:13. However, there are many references to GOD seeing or looking upon the people of the earth.

Feeling Unseen

Since I was in 5th grade, I have struggled with a sense of not being seen. I wasn’t the pretty girl or the smart girl, only the girl with the never quirky sarcastic sense of humor.

Following the falls of life, I even began to struggle with the fact that I didn’t think people could look at me without seeing my physical scars.

It was so bad at one point, that I went 2 years where I would weep every time I looked in a mirror.

What did it matter, though, I thought. I’m nothing of significance. Why should anyone see me?

I began to pull farther and farther away from others and isolated myself from most anyone I could.

HE found me in my desert

December of 2014, I found myself laying face down in the carpet of my new apartment crying.

I was ready to give up. I’ll be honest. I had just come through a divorce, and was struggling with trying to learn a new town and a new job. It was overwhelming. Add to that the fact that I was not on speaking terms with my family and only had my sons on the weekends. Depression was smack in my face.

I got up the next morning, which was a Sunday. I was attending a large local church, where I thought I could simply exist and just be invisible.

I sat in the large sanctuary, filled with people, feeling the most alone that I ever had.

Then.. GOD. During the sermon that morning, the Pastor spoke on 1 Samuel 16:7b

..GOD sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Growing up in church, I know I had to have heard that verse many times before. The HOLY SPIRIT used it that particular December Sunday morning to make me realize that I wasn’t invisible.. that GOD sees me. HE doesn’t just look at my scars or lack of worldly beauty and turn His Holy head. He looks upon my heart, and sees me for me.

Let us see Others

We may not want to admit it, but we do tend to show preference for people based on their appearances. The well dressed woman will get greeted first. The handsome guy will get picked first.

Can we stop today & just try to see others as GOD does? Can we take the time to treat people with the value that GOD does- to see them for more than their outer appearance?

 

Rambling towards 40

Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows. ~Michael Landon

40. In just a bit over 6 months, I will resign from my 30s and turn the big 40.

More than the lists of things that I could have or should have done up to this point, I think of those along the way who will never embrace 40. Friends and family whose casket I watch be planted into the ground.

Many people waltzing towards 40 will make a to-do list of things they have always wanted to do. A 40 things by 40 kind of thing.

But what if 40 doesn’t come?

We forget sometimes the fragility of life until we look at another persons life..but rarely look at our own.

I don’t want my life to be a constant procrastination of things that I will do someday. One day, tomorrow will not come for me. Could be tomorrow in fact..we don’t know.

Lord, help me to redeem each day..to remember that adventure and joy and blessings can be found in the gift of each new day You grant me. 

Furbaby Friday: 13th Edition

Friday the 13th

Why does this day terrify people so? In fact, why do we still believe in superstitions.. even in a world filled with Siri and Google?

Joel The Brave is a black cat. Yes, I know what people say about that.

But this little black cat…has been a tremendous blessing to me. I often kid that I should certify him as a therapy animal…but I’m only partly kidding when I say it. Joel the Brave us a therapy animal to me, often trying to calm me when I have major anxiety episodes or even loving on me after a night terror.

Big love to all the black cat furbabies out there today. May we love them all. 

When Life takes the foreground 

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. 

My Real non-blogging life consists of working for a government contractor. Our busiest time is the last 2 months of the year. 

Add to that some health concerns and just day to day stress…I have had to focus for just a few days on taking care of me & Joel the Brave (my cat). 

Lend yourself some grace sometimes to put aside all of the non essentials and just be still.

Be still and know that HE is God.

Be still and know that HE is God and that He is good. 

My Elohim

I am currently doing a Bible Study on the names of God, in which each week focuses on a different name. At the end of the study, I intend to do a comprehensive book review of the study. Each Saturday until then, I want to share a little with you my journey of the study each week and what it has taught me.

The book is Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler (2004). My week one study has been on Elohim.

Elohim: Creator

Elohim is simple, Creator. We can read the account in Genesis on how God created all that we can see (and even that which we cannot..such as the microorganisms that live on the human skin.)

Perhaps you are not a Genesis Chapter One Christian, and believe in a partial evolutionist creation, evolution, or some other theory of how we got all of this galaxy. I am not here to argue with that; I will merely state that I believe firmly that GOD created. That is good enough for me.

Digging into Creation

The book Praying the Names of GOD does not have a study on the weekends, which has its perks and faults. I used my time this morning to mull over the Word of GOD and look into how creation is mentioned in the Bible.

Having used an NASB translation Bible, my search numbers are based on the NASB translation:

  • create: 5 times
  • created: 44 times
  • creation: 14 times
  • the words ‘GOD’ & ‘made’: 161 times (not all reference creation)

The Word in Genesis 1:1 for created is bara, (Strongs, H1254), which can mean

“to cut, to carve out, to form by cutting” (Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon)

HIS handiwork

Nature is a great part of how GOD wired me. I love being in the mountains, and seeing the shapes of the rocks and hills. My grandmother even told me once that there was even an old tale in the Appalachian mountains that the ridges were actually created by God Himself taking HIS hands and cupping them a certain way.

All of it, HE created.

And HE created me.

I struggle with self-worth, a byproduct of having been in some very difficult relationships. I look at the freckly girl in the mirror, and cringe a bit. But you know what? That feisty green eyed girl I see in the mirror is also formed and fashioned by GOD’s own hands.

My Lesson of the week

I have never taken a close look at the meaning behind the word for create in Genesis 1:1 until this week. To carve- those words snagged me, causing me to stop and reflect.

The great ELOHIM, HE carved me out for a purpose. HE is a mighty, powerful GOD- HE could have made many other things, and we all know HE has certainly made much prettier ones. But HE carved me- HE created me.. for this place, for this time, and for HIMSELF.

As I shared earlier in the week, GOD did not create me to be my mom or my sister, or even one of coworkers. HE carved me out of saucy handworking people, with deep grains of prayer warrior running within.

Carving takes great care, and attention to detail. Did GOD look down years ago, and say “just a bit more dimples…there, perfect”? I do not know. I only know that I am HIS creation, and through the study this week, I have begun to see myself more in the light of being HIS creation.

 

The humbling reality of Creation

Stars fascinate me. They always have. I was about 9 when Daddy began to teach me the constellations: Orion, cassiopeia. Still today, I look up into the night sky to see if I can find these old familiar things.

Did you know it is estimated that there are between 200-400 BILLION stars just in our galaxy. That is a lot of stars. (source: Facts about Stars)

Think about this

Genesis chapter one states that GOD spoke the stars into being (Genesis 1:14-18). HE spoke them. I wonder- did HE call them each by name? Did HE say “Orion, go over here”?

GOD the creator, Elohiym, spoke those billion of stars into being. HE commanded them to be, and they were.

And the same ELOHIYM created me.

Before my parents even realized, HE was beginning to put me together in my mom’s womb (Psalm 139:13). My green eyes, HE chose them. Most of my biological family has blue eyes, but that isn’t what GOD chose for me. My reddish brown hair, HE chose that too. And yes, even my feistiness was part of how HE created me.

What a humbling thought. That ELOHIYM created me, just as I am. HE didn’t create me to be my mom or my sister. HE created me to be me. And by HIS grace and mercy day by day, I strive to be more like HIM.

I don’t always understand why GOD made me like I am. I struggle so greatly with anxiety, and there are many a times that it nearly cripples me from being able to compose a coherent thought. But who am I to question how GOD has made me (Romans 9:20)? Maybe it is to make me humble, fully aware of my need for GOD. And maybe it is for GOD and His glory.

Think on it.