My Food Chain Gang – Restored!

Posted in God on June 16th, 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have a wonderful tale to tell – a God story, and I love those.

A few weeks ago now, I met a friend for lunch at McD’s.  Later that evening, as my hubby inquired about my day and asked how my lunch was, I talked about how much I enjoyed hearing my friend’s updates on her beloved cat, Mya.  I even lamented, “I wish I could have a kitten.”  I seem to be an animal person you say (I AM) – so why don’t I just get a kitten?  Well, I’m allergic to cats, otherwise I would probably have a cat (or two or three or…).  I actually had one for 10 years and loved her very much, but I was very allergic to her and that was tough for both of us.  But anyway – back to this Friday night a few weeks ago – I’m wanting a cat.  Saturday morning, the early risers in our family were alerted by an “alarming” sound in our backyard.  They found 2 cats fighting on the fence, and across the yard, 3 baby bunnies crying out in alarm.  Sammie was dispatched to alert me (still in bed, allowed to sleep-in, THANK YOU Hubby!), and in the now-calm backyard I found 3 exhausted baby bunnies resting while my kids were comforting one of the stray cats.  The stray was a friendly fellow; he had black and white fur, green eyes, and a few extra toes.  I couldn’t believe the obliging attitude – pleasure even – that this cat was deriving from the attention my kids were doting upon it.

I couldn’t resist petting this friendly kitty, and when I did, something strange happened.  Well, actually,  it was nothing at all that happened.  No sniffles, no itches, no hives – no allergy symptoms.  How could it be that I wasn’t allergic to this cat?  For the record, Hubby is also allergic to cats but didn’t react to this one either.  So anyway, we let the super friendly tuxedo cat in the house.  He walked right in and looked around, and it really did seem as if he had lived here for years – and he’s been here ever since!  Just fit right in with our entire family, and it’s not an easy feat to forge a seamless transition from outdoor feral cat to indoor family cat, especially when the new family =  5 kids (3 girls ages 12, 8, 5 and 2 boys ages 3 and 8 mos.), a dog, a parrot, a rabbit, and 2 rats.   But saying we’ve had a smooth transition would be an understatement!

What a gift he has been.  A gift from God for our family…  to bring us together as we welcome a new member for however long we’re allowed to take care of him.  A gift for us to cherish together while we play with him.  A gift for me to help ease the mounting stress I’ve felt lately.  Have you seen the medical research on how a purring cat relieves stress?  It exists, trust me!

So to acknowledge this gift for us and to honor our God, “Mittens” became “Moses” – and it is cute when the kids rhyme about “Moses with the extra toe-ses”.  Moses seems very adept at using his paws, and he acts very cat-like around the house, which I love – just why I wanted to have a cat around.  For now, we are enjoying Moses and his company.  He gets along with all of our other pets and is wonderfully tolerant of the kids – he fits in our family like the missing piece of a puzzle; not that any of us realized there was a piece missing before Moses came.  So could it be that “my food chain gang” has been restored?

Both an article I read and a devotional I heard recently happened to be about the same subject: knowing and having the faith and satisfaction that God sees you, even if you feel invisible to the world.  God uses many aspects of His creation to bring people closer to having meaningful relationships with Him and to help us receive His messages, even animals.  My family was getting burnt out from a busy schedule, and it really rejuvenated the kids’ spirits to get to have this cat.  And they aren’t the only ones 😉

“…You are the God who sees me…”  from Genesis 16:13

This is a picture of our oldest daughter holding the cat.  No, my 12-year-old does not normally wear make-up; this was “spa night”  🙂

God is so good!!

Sharing My Daily Bread

Posted in church on January 3rd, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve written before about Our Daily Bread –  it’s a little pamphlet of daily devotionals that I find very helpful in remembering to take time to think about God and His many gifts everyday – even when time is short.  Yesterday’s devotional was a good one that I think can help and/or speak to many people.  Enjoy:

Trouble by Dennis J. De Haan

Does it surprise you that trouble is a part of life? Probably not. We all know trouble close-up and personal—bad health, empty bank account, blighted love, grief, loss of job, and the list goes on.

It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, that God permits the added trials of being ridiculed and hated because we follow Christ (1 Peter 4:12). But trouble, whether it is common to man or unique to Christians, can reveal to us the moral fiber of our soul.

I have never seen a golf course without hazards. They are part of the game. Golfers speak of the courses with the most hazards as the most challenging, and they will travel a long way to test their skill against the most demanding 18 holes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn’t pass it around. I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it . . . . Meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and you had better be on speaking terms with it.”

Let’s not think it strange when trouble comes, for God is using it to test the stamina of our souls. The best way to handle trouble is to commit our “souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (v.19).

The troubles that we face each day
Reveal how much we need the Lord;
They test our faith and strength of will
And help us then to trust God’s Word. —D. De Haan

Great triumphs are born out of great troubles.

10 Years, 1 Year

Posted in Everyday Life on December 18th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 18 marks two anniversaries of immense personal loss – 10 years ago today, my father-in-law passed away from ALS.  Though some memories are still painful, a decade of time has numbed the pain of his loss a little, and it’s easier to focus on the good times we shared and the countless wonderful things he did for people during his lifetime.  Albeit selfishly, I sometimes wish that Vince was here to meet his 7 wonderful grandchildren, to realize our family’s growing relationship with God and our spiritual journey, and to see how far his son has come in life.  I think he would be so proud.  More about December 18, 2000 was written here.

December 18, 2009 – Last year, on the day that was 9 years to the day after Vince’s passing, our family dog Charity passed away unexpectedly.  She was almost 12 years old but in seemingly good health.  She was fine in the morning, gone by dinnertime.  Not enough time has passed to heal the pain of her loss since she was like a child to us, but there is no reason to dwell on such melancholy topics here in the blog.

I’m thankful that I have a busy December 18 this year, that it’s on a Saturday and that I don’t have to spend it alone.  I’m writing this ahead of time and scheduling it to post itself on December 18 automatically in hopes of maybe not realizing this day of personal infamy until it’s over.  Will the entire day pass without me thinking about Vince or Charity?  Probably not, they and other loved ones lost hold a special place in my heart, and I think about them most every day, especially  in December.  But December 18 this year will have joy of its own as family comes from far away to celebrate the season.  I look forward to making happy memories for December, especially for the 18th, which just happens to be exactly one week before Christmas, a day I’m really looking forward to celebrating this year more than ever.  Losing Charity last year was an awful thing to happen just before Christmas time, just as it was even more terrible to lose a parent / grandparent in our family just before Christmas 10 years ago.  But when I lost Charity, and I realized that I was more curious about God’s plan for me than I was looking to be angry with Him, I knew that I was on my way to having a wonderful spiritual relationship with Him.

For that, I am very thankful, and it makes me want to celebrate this Christmas season for what it truly is: a celebration of the birth of Jesus and an acknowledgment of the glorious love that God has for us.