Saturday, December 18, 2010

But as for me, afflicted and in pain— may your salvation, God, protect me.-Psalm 69:29

We are having a rough weekend here in our household. Friday morning our dog, Haddie, was acting very lethargic and so we decided to take her to the vet thinking that is probably just a minor illness that could be easily fixed. To our dismay, we found out Haddie had Chronic Renal Failure and was in really bad shape. The vet told us that we could follow through with some treatments that would help prolong her quality of life but only for a few weeks. She also told us that we could choose to euthanize her. We took her home to spend the weekend with her knowing full well that we could not afford the various treatments the vet was suggesting but yet hanging on to some hope of a miracle to heal her. Tonight as she lay here beside me burdened to breathe and no sign of her sweet, hyper, joyful personality to be see I realize we are in a very hard place.

I've spent some time today reading online about renal failure, the symptoms and euthanization. My heart is overflowing with grief. How do we do this to her? We don't euthanize humans, why animals? I have always just accepted it as the norm, what you do to help a suffering animal. But why is it the norm? When did euthanization begin and why do we commonly do it for animals but not for humans? If you were in your dying hours, so sick and lifeless would you want to be "put to sleep?" Or would you rather hang on to those last moments of life to be with your loved ones even if that meant suffering? I don't know. I can't decide for myself, how can I decide for this precious puppy? Why does it feel SO wrong? Why does it feel like I am the one that is going to kill her? How do I call the vet to make an appointment to end my dog's life? It seems cold and callous!

On the other hand, how could I let her suffer? Is it only society that has told us that this is the humane thing to do or is it truly humane? I don't know.  Everything that she has enjoyed in her short life she can no longer take part in. I am sure she is sad and scared but is putting her to sleep ok? Furthermore, how does God feel about this? Is it ok for us to take her life into our own hands? It hurts and I just don't know what to do for my little baby.

Sweet Haddie, short for Haddassah (Esther) who saved the Jews from certain annihilation. Haddassah was strong and so was our dear sweet girl. Always looking out for us. Strong to protect us but tenderhearted and loving, especially toward children. We love her dearly. We pray that God will give us guidance in such a hard situation.

Until next time, may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.

Monday, December 13, 2010

God's time is not our time.

One of my deepest longings is to have another child. I think about it a lot, dwell on it and sometimes even let it consume me. There was a time that I let it sink me into depression but God's great hand was able to pull me out and let me see that I needed to move on. For a while I did. For a while I carried on normally, I was able to push the desire away and be happy. In the past few weeks or month the desire has resurfaced again accompanied by mixed emotions including a multitude of sadness.

      Tonight as I was driving to the grocery store (on a whim, in search of fruit) the preacher on the radio was talking about God's timing. He was saying that we see time in a matter of seconds, hours, weeks, years. God sees time in a matter of eons. We need our answers or our demands met immediately but God knows what we need at any given moment and when exactly we need those things.

Do you ever have those times when you just *know* that God is speaking directly to you? That was my moment tonight. I knew what God was saying, "Just wait, be patient, in due time." I heard His answer to me tonight, His message.  What will I do with it? Will I hold on to it, accept it and put my focus elsewhere? Or will I brush Him off and continue to desire something that is not currently within reach? If I do the latter I am certainly subjecting myself to hopelessness. If I choose to embrace His message to me, continue to pray earnestly and set my sights on His will for my life, I know that I will assuredly be filled with His peace. And so I choose peace. I choose patience and longsuffering. My God is THE GREAT GOD and I know His plan for me is so much better than my own.

I encourage you to remember God's time is not our time. God does not see or live in seconds, minutes, hours, He lives in eternity.

Until next time may Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Celebration

It's December and this absolutely, positively my favorite time of year. I love the cold (or rather cool) weather here in South Texas. An escape from the humidity and steaming hot temperatures. I love the cozy feeling of having the Christmas decorations up. Something more important that I love is the time of renewal. The time to re-evaluate your traditions or even your life. This year we are doing Christmas in a whole new way. In the past, although in the back of our minds we never really took time to appreciate "the reason for the season." Christmas morning we have always taken the time to read the account of Jesus' birth but aside from that there was no true examination of what we were celebrating. **note: I know that this is not technically Jesus' birthday HOWEVER I do think it is important to take time to celebrate the day that our Heavenly Father came down to earth in human form to make the ultimate sacrifice and this is the time of year we choose to celebrate.**
So, this year I really started to ponder what traditions, values, and ideas I wanted to instill in our dear son during this season. For starters, I desperately wanted to get away from the materialism of the holiday. Unfortunately, I was not as successful as I wished to have been but I did manage to get my shopping just about finished before this month so that my focus can be on actually celebrating (rather than rushing frantically around trying to fulfill wish lists). The second thing that we are doing is a Jesse Tree. In case you are not familiar with this (I had never heard of this until a few weeks ago, thanks to my SIL) a Jesse Tree is meant to be an Advent celebration. Each day of Advent you place an "ornament" on the "tree." Each ornament is a symbol representing some aspect of Christ's lineage. Along with the tree we are doing a daily devotional that relates to that days symbol. We started these studies yesterday and all of us had such a great time doing it I am excited for the rest of them.

--As the Christmas season progresses I hope to come up with more ideas to emphasize the aspects of the holidays that I want to embrace, while I work to minimize the aspects that society has pushed us to embrace.

May Christ's love and blessings be upon you and yours.