Animals

Losing Your Soul

Blog_Wolf

a ravenous wolf
devouring the weak
in a bloody race
to survive and to surpass
seeking for glory
whatever the cost

is this what you call success?

you’ve gained the whole world
while losing your soul

Source: Buried Alive

Photo Credit: Red wolf watching deer at Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountai… | Flickr

The Bear Lives

As a little girl I lived in full expectation my stuffed animals would one day come to life. My sister and I would tuck ourselves in our bedroom closet, close our eyes tight, and cover our heads in belief our little friends would drop from the trees of the play land we’d imagined in our heads. And almost every night, I’d pray God would do some miracle and I’d wake up to a room full of furry, friendly animals.

My favored candidate for transformation was a bear named Happy. I’d gotten the buff-colored, pointy-eared bear at a garage sale and loved it’s furry hair right off. It wasn’t the most beautiful sight by the time I was done with it. The orange-rimmed brown eyes were literally hanging by a thread. But the bear was clearly well-loved.

Many years passed, and most of my childhood toys, if they hadn’t suffered the fate of the dump truck, went the way of the neighborhood garage sale. My sentimental sister kept a few of our favorite bears, who survived long enough to meet our own children. But none of them came to life. Until one day.

She was THAT puppy who stood out from the rest. While the others clamored and clawed for food and attention, she sat quietly in the corner, shifting on her paws and pleading with her big brown eyes. I didn’t recognize her at first. Her ears were floppy and her topcoat was a greyish black. When we took her home and cleaned her up, I was met with a vague sense of familiarity. We trimmed off that topcoat to reveal a gloriously fluffy buff-colored coat of hair. And eventually, those floppy ears tipped upward.

I’m not saying my puppy Jazzie is my teddy bear incarnate. Her brown eyes aren’t rimmed with orange or hanging by a thread (thankfully). But I do find it funny that whenever I take her for a walk, people comment that she looks like a walking teddy bear. And when asked what breed Jazzie is, my daughter proudly replies, “She’s a puppy-bear!”

I believe my God has a keen sense of humor and an infinitely great memory. He remembered that prayer prayed in pure, childlike faith so many years ago, and he delights to show his love in the little things. This small answered prayer is a picture of the far more significant ways God has remembered me.

Take a look back at your own life, and you’ll see it, too. Little things no one could have known. The simplest, most pure desires of your heart. Things that say…you are remembered.

“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)

Source: The Bear Lives

Embracing Change

Beyond_InItsTime

The dog wasn’t happy when the baby came home. For weeks she sulked on the armchair looking lost. I’d never seen her so sad.

Prior to that, she’d happily occupied her place on my lap, assured of her purpose in our family. She was a lap dog, devoted in her mission to comfort and cuddle. Now, it seemed, the baby had taken that role. My sweet puppy lingered in her saddened state for much of the baby’s first year, despite our consistent reassurance of love.

As the baby grew, things started to change…again. The dog seemed to sense it. Suddenly, her little rival was transforming into a friend—someone new to cuddle and play with. Soon they were inseparable. And when the second baby came along, the dog was unfazed. She knew the little lap-thief was a future companion. Unhappy as she was when things first changed, she’s now reaping the benefits of two pint-sized best friends.

Change is never comfortable when it comes. We lose our bearings and struggle to find our footing. But if we can look beyond the moment of change to the ultimate outcome, we may more readily embrace it. Faith enables us to see change as a seed, piercing the ground and transforming the soil. Our response is to patiently wait, knowing the seed will transform into something beautiful in its time.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The Bear Lives

MyPuppyBear As a little girl I lived in full expectation my stuffed animals would one day come to life. My sister and I would tuck ourselves in our bedroom closet, close our eyes tight, and cover our heads in belief our little friends would drop from the trees of the play land we’d imagined in our heads. And almost every night, I’d pray God would do some miracle and I’d wake up to a room full of furry, friendly animals.

My favored candidate for transformation was a bear named Happy. I’d gotten the buff-colored, pointy-eared bear at a garage sale and loved it’s furry hair right off. It wasn’t the most beautiful sight by the time I was done with it. The orange-rimmed brown eyes were literally hanging by a thread. But the bear was clearly well-loved.

Many years passed, and most of my childhood toys, if they hadn’t suffered the fate of the dump truck, went the way of the neighborhood garage sale. My sentimental sister kept a few of our favorite bears, who survived long enough to meet our own children. But none of them came to life. Until one day.

She was THAT puppy who stood out from the rest. While the others clamored and clawed for food and attention, she sat quietly in the corner, shifting on her paws and pleading with her big brown eyes. I didn’t recognize her at first. Her ears were floppy and her topcoat was a greyish black. When we took her home and cleaned her up, I was met with a vague sense of familiarity. We trimmed off that topcoat to reveal a gloriously fluffy buff-colored coat of hair. And eventually, those floppy ears tipped upward.

I’m not saying my puppy Jazzie is my teddy bear incarnate. Her brown eyes aren’t rimmed with orange or hanging by a thread (thankfully). But I do find it funny that whenever I take her for a walk, people comment that she looks like a walking teddy bear. And when asked what breed Jazzie is, my daughter proudly replies, “She’s a puppy-bear!”

I believe my God has a keen sense of humor and an infinitely great memory. He remembered that prayer prayed in pure, childlike faith so many years ago, and he delights to show his love in the little things. This small answered prayer is a picture of the far more significant ways God has remembered me.

Take a look back at your own life, and you’ll see it, too. Little things no one could have known. The simplest, most pure desires of your heart. Things that say…you are remembered.

“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)

True Love…REMEMBERS (Day 23, #50ShadesOfTrueLove)

My Feline Alarm Clock

Cat at Door from Bing Images It’s five in the morning, and something is scratching at the wood under my bed. Forcing my eyes open and my body to motion, I place my feet in my slippers and take one step forward, only to trip. Over my cat. Who’s darting out from under my bed with a look of smug satisfaction on her face. Phase one of her morning mission, accomplished. As she heads confidently to her food cabinet, she doesn’t know I’ve closed the door and crawled back in bed.

At 5:02, phase two of her mission is under way. She’s scratching at the door while I’m thinking how much I love my dog. Come 5:05, the scratching persists. I open the door and put on my best grouchy face, which isn’t so hard about now. Maybe she’ll get the hint. Instead, she tilts her head as her pupils triple in size. “Meow?” It sounds like she’s saying “now.” I shut the door gently as possible and crawl back in bed.

At 5:30, she’s on phase 12 of her morning mission: running down the hall and pouncing off the door. I’m wondering why we invested in an alarm clock when we have such a persistent cat. And thinking—if only I were this persistent, I might get more accomplished.

Annoyed as I am by my cat, I want to be like her. She’s persistent, even when she doesn’t get the results she wants when she wants them. When it comes to writing, it can be hard to persevere when we pour all our efforts into an article, blog, or book but don’t see immediate results. As for my cat, she knows eventually I’ll wake up and feed her. When it comes to writing, I need to know eventually I’ll see results—even if it’s the life of one person changed by something I’ve written.

It’s the same with love. There are times when it’s hard to love. There are times when we give love, but don’t receive it in return. There are times when we love someone through a difficult stage in life, yet don’t see the change we long to see. But true love requires persistence. If we stop loving when things get tough, it was never true love to begin with. True love persists in spite of obstacles. It “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” True love never fails.

True Love…is PERSISTENT (Day 16, #50ShadesOfTrueLove)