The simpler we make our lives, the more abundant they become.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The other day we were driving home from vacation and saw this billboard on a church:
Eat the Bread of Life
or you will be toast
Admittedly, my first response was to laugh. I mean, really, did a church just put that on their sign? Is that the way to get someone to stop in and say, "Hey! I don't wanna be toast! Help me out here!" I was shocked. Now don't get me wrong, I do believe you gotta have Jesus, and Jesus alone. And saying that is not an inclusive thing...Jesus truly is the most exclusive God out there! There is no god to compare!! But I think churches should be a little careful about what they put out there for the world to see.
I judge churches on their billboard signs and there have been a couple in town I refuse to go to because of the signs they have displayed. Maybe I'm being the judgmental one, but I think a church sign should say something more like, "We are sinners. We need Jesus. Jesus loves us. He loves us too much to leave us unchanged. Come on in if you want to be eternally changed."
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
ok...let me preface this...I AM NOT PREGNANT!
but last night i was finishing up getting ready for bed, glanced over at the mirror and looked at my belly and actually rubbed it like i was pregnant. my immediate thought was, "brandy, what are you doin! you are not pregnant!" but then i thought about how it's actually nice (yes, i said nice) to have a little leftover baby bump. i know, i know...there's p90x, pilates, marathons to get rid of all that bump. but really, i'd like to keep it. what a sweet reminder of the amazing miracle that our body is a part of. i mean, really! our body (with God's help) creates another human being. is that not INCREDIBLE?!
this past weekend, i went to a friend's baby shower and found myself rubbing my belly like the mama to be! i guess i love being pregnant. after 2 miscarriages, i feel so thankful to experience it. i know so many women would do anything to carry a child.
so instead of doing hours of pilates to remove that pooch, i'm embracing my belly so i can enjoy more moments with the reasons for that pooch!
Monday, July 4, 2011
As we get back to our daily routine without Lucy in our lives, we realize how much she was part of our family. Whether it's waiting to hear her come around the corner after we dropped some food or finding one of her balls under the bed, our hearts ache for her to be back with us. I've been organizing videos and have found so many with her in them. I realize that Lucy KNEW how to live life and live it abundantly. I thought I'd record some life lessons from our sweet Lucy Lou.
1. Love everybody. She adored people (almost to a fault.) She drove Jason crazy because whenever someone would come over, she would practically assault them with love.
2. Jump in the puddles. Lucy would never miss a chance to go jump in the water. She knew what it was to be refreshed, albeit sometimes a little stinky though.
3. Never miss a chance to play. Lucy could play with bubbles until she was literally falling over from exhaustion. Even that didn't keep her from trying to jump for more.
4. Take every opportunity to snuggle. This is probably one of the things I miss the most. She would jump in bed and curl up right next to you.
On Friday, we put our sweet Lucy Lou to sleep. It was the most beautiful and most difficult day. I had prayed that the Lord either heal her or allow her to die easily. And I feel He chose the latter. We had noticed on Wednesday that she was really slowing down. We took her on as many walks as we could, though she hadn't run with us since before we found out she had lymphoma. But she loved her walks. On Wednesday, we actually discussed Lucy's future. On Thursday, when she was not excited to eat, Jason called the vet. On Friday, it was apparent it was the perfect day, if you can call it that. My heart broke that day and previous night because we had actually scheduled an appointment. It felt like the death penalty was coming to fruition. I knew this was the best, but it feels strange to decide one's death. Probably the reason I'm not big on the death penalty.
Anyways, that Friday, I tried to spoil her as much as I could. We went for one last walk, albeit a slow one. I gave her every yummy kind of food I could find. I was an emotional wreck. It feels silly to have so much love for an animal. But we all did. We loaded up and made our way to Jason's parents' house. We were blessed to have a vet agree to come to their lake to send her to heaven. Lucy hates going to the vet, so I did not want her last memories of life to be bad ones. We arrived to their house, and were in a rush to let her play at the lake one more time before the vet arrived. Jason's mom had made Lucy some yummy treats...steak, chicken, and bologna. Lucy was thrilled. Then we headed to the lake. We decided to have Bella there so she went with me. Lucy was so ready to get to the lake. It made my heart happy. She had the energy to walk all the way. She jumped in the lake and just enjoyed it. I fed her yummy food and it all felt perfect. Until we turned around and saw Jason walking down to the lake with the vet. I finished feeding her and the vet asked if we were ready. Of course, we weren't.
I held Lucy while the vet gave her the first (of 3) shot. It completely relaxed her and it felt like she was getting the best sleep she's had in months. She had a 2nd shot...and then the third one was the one that would stop her heart. Again, the vet asked if I was ready. How do you answer that? Really? I answered out of duty. And I put my hand on her beating heart and felt it slow down and just stop. It was heart wrenching to know our Lucy was gone and also comforting to know she would suffer no more. Selfishly, I wanted her back. But I knew she would never be the same Lucy Lou we knew. I pet her for a little longer then made the walk back to Jason's car. I looked over my shoulder and saw her laying there by the lake resting. I'm so grateful she got to enjoy a wonderful dog's life. I hope she knew how much we loved her. I look forward to seeing her again someday.
Jason's dad bought a tree to plant over her by the lake. It's a nice memory of her. I also love that the tree he picked is the same kind we have next to our back deck. The Lord comforts in so many ways, and I just dig that about God. I truly believe animals go to heaven. The love that is in our hearts for them, I believe comes from the Lord. We are created in His image and we love His creation. Until then, I'll look to the sky and know that Lucy is taking the best walks of her life, jumping in crystal lakes, chasing squirrels, and playing bubbles....without any pain of a crippling disease.
Lucy, you are the best dog ever. Thanks for loving us the way you did.