Monthly Archives: June 2010

Farm Animals

I love animals… except spiders and snakes..  I understand their purpose and respect their place on this earth..  The pets I have had over the many years of my life have brought such joy.  I can’t imagine not having a pet.  I enjoy the farm animals more than the rides at the State Fair.  I stand in awe at the sight of the cattle and the beauty of a horse.

Volunteering at the Humane Society has enlightened me in so many ways.   I have witnessed the splendor of a family adopting a new family member.  I delight in the sight of kids playing and cuddling with the kittens.  It warms my heart to see toddlers pet a puppy for the first time.  I find each adoption a blessing.

I have seen countless accounts of abuse.  The sight of the rescued dogs from a puppy mill will break your heart and question why or how people can be so cruel to God’s living creatures.  I witnessed recently the effects of a hoarder.  Dogs and cats were rescued from the hoarder’s home (dozens of them).  They were infected, ill and filthy.   The misery makes you sick to your stomach.  I have held sick dogs and prayed that God’s will to be done.  Some have survived and others… well, they are in a better place.

Just a month ago, I helped with a group of roosters that were rescued from a cock-fighting operation.  The sheriff’s department had rounded up over 35 roosters, hens and chicks.  Myself along with other animal rescuers and animal control officers were to take care of the animals.  At first, I felt honored until I found out that the roosters were going to be put down because once they fight, they view any animal a challenger and can not be reformed.  The hens and chicks would be given to folks to locally raise.

These roosters were absolutely beautiful.  They were big, bold, and their colors were a work of art.  Once they were given “the shot” they were laid in cages to slowly “go to sleep.”  They seemed so peaceful compared to the struggle to be removed from a crate.  They were in a fighting mode and were going to defend themselves.  Some were so mean I was afraid to go near them.  Once they were almost “gone”, they were taken out of their cage to be photographed for court.  I stroked each one and quietly said a prayer over them.  They are God’s creatures and the senseless cruelty they had to endure felt so dark and wrong.  Their purpose was not to be violent nor was it to line the pockets of people who view the fighting as a gambling sport.  Tears would well up (still do) as I stroked the birds while they took their last breath in peace.

The officers and officials tried their best to make the process easier for me.  They tried to explain that rehabilitation is virtually impossible and putting the birds down was best.  No matter, it was hard for me to witness the account.  It was hard and it affected me in more ways you will never know.  For days I tried to wrap my mind around it..man’s cruelty and the senselessness of it all… above all and the bottom lie, we (mankind) was given the responsibility of caring for God’s creatures.

Back in January, I watched a segment on the Today Show about the book, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Sanfran Foer.  Intrigued by the segment I requested the book from my local library.  I began to read the book and was haunted by the idea of eating my pet..the author discussed the difference in a pet and a farm animal… our love for one over the other.  Anyway, I wasn’t able to finish the book before it was due and since there was a request for the book I was unable to recheck it.  So, I put my name on the list and finally last week, I got the chance to finish the book.

The way in which we get our meat products shocked me.  I have been raised with farmers and hunters.  So the idea of farming animals becoming a part of the dinner table has always been accepted by me.  Until, now…  After reading the horrible conditions and the inhumane way animals are reproduced, raised, slaughtered and processed, the same sick feeling I had with the roosters made it’s home in my gut.  I don’t think I will ever be able to look at a piece of meat again.  The vision I have in my mind of how the farming industry (not your family farms that are small and humane) houses the animals…it is much like the puppy mills.  I shutter at the thought because I know first hand the product of a puppy mill…the disease, the filth, the bugs, the look of pain behind those puppy dog eyes..

Have we, Americans, gotten that far detached to our food?  Does the price of putting food on the table have to forsake the respect and care of God’s creatures?  I don’t see how my love for burgers can outweigh my love for animals.  I realize the vast difference in cockfighting and putting food on our table but my nourishment doesn’t have to be inhumane.

God bless…

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List Making

I just finished making my daughter a list of items to pack for her mission trip.  Each item neatly written along the edge of the read line of the notebook paper.  Quantities were added and notes to her as to which items I was specifically wanting her to take.  ((sigh)) As I listed her items, my heart grew heavy.  It has been growing heavier each day this week.  I had come to the realization that my baby girl is growing up and well… I’m not needed as much.

She wants to spend her days with friends and doing things with them instead of me.  Every evening this week she has been gone from our fold:  two nights spent a friend’s house, one evening volunteering, and one in a Bible study.  Last night, I was walking by her room and I noticed her light was still on.  I felt like I hadn’t seen her in a decade and decided even though it was late, I was going to visit with her.  She was curled up reading a book and looked surprised when I opened the door.  I slipped into her bed with her like I did when she was three and I was reading the book to her.  She looked at me like I was crazy.. then she said, “Are you going to cry?”

UGH!!  She noticed that I was tearing up before I could even say a word.  Quickly, I responded, “No, I was just thinking about you and realized how much I miss you.”  She quietly smiled and I knew she felt my heart tug.   We just sat there quietly for a few then I began to ask about her Bible study.  She shared with me what she had done all week and even in Sunday School.  I felt connected and the missing feeling had finally subsided.  Feeling like it was the perfect time to kiss her goodnight, I left her to her book.

After handing her the list and she bounced off gathering the items, I quickly started a list of my own:

Memories of My Baby Girl

1.  In diapers, she sat with her bears and read a story to them.

2.  Singing 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed on the way to daycare every morning.

3.  Her napping with our Yorkie.. she had her little arms around his neck and they snuggled.  It was the only way she would fall asleep for a nap as a toddler.   I think this is where she found the love for dogs.

4.  Her Blue’s Clues costume I made for her.. she would help her daddy dressed as Steve hand out candy to the trick or treaters.

5.   Her love of Oreos and Coke… Thanks to Aunt Vicki and Uncle Jeff!

6.  The day her brother  was born and she held him saying, “He’s so cute.”

7.  The way she could make her brother laugh.  No matter how upset he was as a baby or tot, she could make him crack up for hours just by jumping around and being silly.

8.  Her hugs and kisses.

9.  The hours she spent coloring at the little desk her daddy made.

10.  Hearing her say, “I love you, mommy.”  Thank God she still does that!

Wiping the tears from my eyes, I realized how special she was, is and will always be to me.  My little girl is growing up and no matter how big she gets she will always be my “baby girl.”  Her spirit so kind and so authentic will carry her far in this world.  Her love for service especially for the 4 legged has given her a servant’s heart.  The passion she has for music brings a sweet melody to life.  She’s God’s creation, beautiful, tender-hearted, and compassionate…((sigh)) I can’t wait to add to my list of memories.

God Bless…

I have decided to take a little vacation next week…..I’ll be back to blogging on June 21st!  See you then!!

Lazy Daze of Summer

Don’t you just love the description of summer… Lazy Daze!  I believe the original term used was “days,” but if I was a betting woman, a mother with a houseful of children changed it to “daze.”  She was completely worn out doing all the kids stuff that the day had left her in a daze!

I didn’t realize how much entertaining, teaching and learning I would be doing this summer with my kids.  (and we haven’t even had a full week of summer yet!)  We’ve been swimming, shopping, and spending a lot of time together.  I thought my shuttling hours were over when school drop off and pick up was done.  Oh, but no, “Mom can you take me to…” has been the most asked question thus far.

To say the least our summer hasn’t been lazy and there have been times both the kids and I are left in a coma like daze state after having so much fun.

I have been doing well with my Bible reading and reflections.  God is still nudging and I was more than happy to talk to Him this morning at 3.  The house was completely still and I had a lot on my mind to discuss.  Praying over my thoughts and waiting for his response was enlightening this morning.  I went back to bed feeling so much better and relaxed.  And the best part, when I went to bed, I didn’t mull over the thoughts like I would normally do… I just fell asleep so peacefully knowing I had left my worry in His most capable hands.

Something funny though… as I was reading Proverbs 11 this morning, I guess I dosed off a little while reading.. my eyes were going through the reading motion but I believe my mind fell right to sleep as I passed over verse 22.

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman” is what I comprehended.  As I made my way down the page well past verse 22, I realized what was read.  Puzzled, I was trying to piece together what I read. “pig’s snout”, “gold ring,” and “beautiful woman.”  Was God comparing beautiful women to pig snouts with golden rings??  I thought, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not a beauty queen.”  Thinking the Proverb verse would be good to blog about, I went back up the page to find it so I could refer to it.

Then I read the whole verse…

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”   I got to laughing at my mistake…then I had to agree with the Proverbs.  I was kinda relieved though for those beauty queens out there!!

Enjoy your Lazy Daze!  And God bless…

Perfectly Balanced

I failed miserably this morning.  I vaguely recall being nudged before 5am but obviously I didn’t wake up fully to read and reflect.  So at 6:30, hoping that I would be quiet enough to do my thing without being noticed, I snuck to the living room to retrieve my Bible.  I managed to sneak back to the bedroom and to open my Bible, when I was discovered.  Both my son and hubby found me awake and the morning routine began and I ignored my thing. ((sigh))…I have been trying all morning to find a moment to steal away..((sigh)) and every time I do…((sigh))

I went to my Bible study feeling down and  so guilty for not waking up before everyone else.  My perfect record is now tarnished and I can not recover from it.  I sat in my car stunned with shame.  I just wanted to cry.  I want to be so well balanced and to do what I am supposed to do…find peace and contentment in all areas of my life as well as being totally centered on God.  UGH!!

Already the insecurities and the doubt for my quest was beginning to creep into my thoughts.  How will I ever be able to teach the world about finding balance IF I can’t do it.  Frustrated I stomped up the stairs of the church and plopped pouty self down in the front row.  I didn’t want anyone to see my frustration, so I kept my back to everyone.  Then I realized I left my papers at home.  UGH!!  ((sigh)) Now, I have to ask to see someone else’s so I can fill in the information needed for today’s lesson.  Swallowing hard and faking the best “today’s a great day” smile, I turned around and asked the lady behind me for hers, copied the notes, and politely handed them back.  Let the sulking continue….

Beth Moore’s image appeared on the screen.  She began her speech.  I immediately felt drawn into her message.  She began by introducing a formula for the brain change I need to conquer if I truly want to succeed in balance.  I need to realize that through God’s love, I am blessed, chosen, accepted, adopted, redeemed and forgiven, and in that I am believing God.  She had us repeat that statement several times and then explained the significance to memorize it.  Funny, how the UGH’s and the sighs quickly diminished.  She’s was right.  I mean I already knew that but it was made clear to me that I needed to hear it….again.

Feeling somewhat better after reaffirming what I believe is true about God (blessing, choosing, accepting, adopting redeeming and forgiving me), the fact of the matter still remains that I did not do my thing this morning.  It was bothering me that I allowed life to interfere once again.  I could feel the UGH! coming on…sighing to keep from ughing, I settled my mind down to hear Beth once more.

She continued her speech with the most wonderful definition of “blameless.”  We are called to lead “blameless” lives.  Not perfect lives mind you but blameless lives.  Blameless living means without premeditated and willful sinning.  Living without thinking of ways to sin..  Huh!  Then it hit me…I am trying to find the perfect formula for living a perfect Christian life with results in contentment.  Perfection will never be achieved here on Earth.  Perfection isn’t what I need to strive for.. but rather, blamelessness.

Now, I really need to find some reflection time for this one.. excuse me, the kids are occupied and well, I need to meet with God…

God Bless..

Quiet Time

This quest that I am on is going to take some real effort..  I want a balanced life and balance is going to take a lot of work.  Most importantly, I want to be like the “good” Christians and have ample Quiet time with God to study His Word and to reflect how to apply it to my life as well as listening to Him when He quietly whispers into my thoughts.

Well, I began to pray to God for me to “want to want the quiet time.”  I told Him to wake me when the house is still so I can spend the quality time without any interruptions.  My plan was to read a chapter (I’m reading the Book of Proverbs) before I go to bed then when God wakes me I will re-read it with Him.  My hope is to gain a better understanding and to build a much more intimate relationship with God.  It is my desire to find solitude and a peace beyond what I have experienced on a short term in the past when I am being obedient.

I have been very diligent in my reading and getting up.  God has nudged me awake between 5-5:30 am.  I climb out of bed and do my thing without complaint.  Well, last Friday morning, I was nudged at 3:18am.  I begged God to let me sleep until 5.  I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to convince myself to stay.  Well, have you know guilt swept over me like I was a little naughty kid.. ahem.. guess I was being one, huh?  Apologizing like crazy, I got up and read.  Really, once I got awake, I enjoyed the time.

Hope your quiet time is going well… God Bless…