Friday, July 29, 2011

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The curls of steam floating in the crisp morning air escaped from my freshly brewed cup of coffee. Standing on the patio overlooking our backyard a twinge of loneliness enveloped me. I soon forgot about the coffee and wondered why I was feeling this way. Walking back into the house I tried to lose myself in the housework that was before me.

Making breakfast for my mother and I, I cleared the table. Washing and folding clothes was next and it was done before I knew it. Next vacuuming which didn't take long either. I had more on my mind than I thought and I had a bad habit of cleaning the house like a tornado with a blouse on when I was in this frame of mind!

My mother kept asking me what was wrong and I kept answering I wasn't sure. Never tell your mother that something has been bothering you! For the rest of the day the feeling just wouldn't go away and the more I tried to bury it under whatever I was doing the worse it got.

That night while I was trying to go to sleep I could hear the neighborhood dogs bark every once in
awhile. Trying to picture each one of them, my mind wandered to all the dogs I had had in the past. Tears filled my eyes as the memories of my last dog Pepper entered my mind. She came into our family at the right time. Newly divorced, I had just lost my job and was in a tailspin I couldn't afford to be in with two small children to take care of. We went to live with my mother and step-father who had an array of animals. Horses, rabbits, dogs, cats, and pigeons. I was used to all these animals and my kids just thought every day at the zoo was wonderful.

The next day I woke up and felt a deep satisfaction of love. Taking care of something. Something. Taking care of something...that's it! I immediately felt as if a burden was lifted when I finally figured out what was bothering me. I waited until my mother woke up then carefully told her what I felt had been gnawing at me. My mother isn't an animal lover by nature. She just fell into it when her children and grandchildren brought strays home. At first, my mother was totally against the idea saying she didn't want any animals anymore. When I told her I felt this is what I needed and maybe I should move out now that my kids were grown and out on their own. This way I could take care of my animal in my own place.

Two days later my mother made an announcement and informed me that if I felt this strongly about having an animal she didn't think it was such a bad idea after all. I called my little sister in Texas to ask if she had any puppies because she and her husband are breeders of Mini Schnauzers. My sister told me she had one female left that was the runt of the litter. If I wanted she would ship her out to me. But the airport had different ideas. Days of arguing and trying to understand that the puppy couldn't be flown if the heat index was 85 degrees and above and no relief in sight under the scorching summer sun.

Calling out to God to help me get through all this red tape and get my puppy home to me left me utterly exhausted. Then one morning the phone rang and my brother-in-law told me he had made a phone call to an airport that was three hours from their house that agree to fly the puppy earlier, like at 
6:00 o'clock in the morning and she would land two hours later. My brother-in-law made arrangements to have the puppy flown two days later to an airport that was an hour away from where I lived. I didn't mind and my brother-in-law just wanted me to stop crying!

When I picked the puppy up I fell in love with her as I lifted her out of the crate she was shipped in. I knew instantly that I wanted to name her Grace. It was the grace of God Himself that made a way when there seemed only impossibilities. Like when He parted the Red Sea. Like when David slew Goliath. When everything from the time I became aware of Him to the time I decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior began to all make sense in this one moment. Every moment my Father has His hand in making the impossible become possible. I have finally learned that God is bigger than all my problems and bigger than all my fears with a front row seat to what it feels like to be a part of what His love is all about. Gracie has become the song in my heart that I needed so badly, for so long.