Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I was at my computer today when my husband brought in the mail after walking our Beagle,Madison.I laughed out loud at the one measly piece of mail we had received.It was an offer for"Parents"magazine.Not one,not two,but three full years of this magazine for only$12.00.Though I thought the price was great I laughingly declined when my husband Steve asked me if I was going to order it.He's got a unique sense of humor.I laughed at him because of the absurdity of it all.I am 44 and he is 53.We have been married since 11-21-92.For all of our married life I have dealt with infertility that was unexplained.In June of 2004 I had to have a complete hysterectomy due to endometrial cancer.This forever sealed my fate as a woman who never had children of her own.But I have still been allowed to parent.My husband has 2 adult kids from a prior marriage.And one granddaughter.More recently though I have been able to do a different kind of parenting.The puppy kind.In a previous post I mentioned we now had a dog in our home.Madison,a beautiful Beagle puppy,who came to live with us in December of 2005.She is almost a year old now.What none of us knew was that when Justin,my step-son purchased her,she was already pregnant.Had any of us known this she would not now be a part of our lives.We live in an apartment.Not on a farm which is a much better space for dogs.Especially pregnant ones.But Madison became a part of our lives.And on February 10th she delivered 8(yes,I said 8)very healthy puppies.Madison,a baby herself still,had 8 babies.We do not know who tha Father was.What breed,etc.We just know he was black for Madison has not a bit of black on her.But her puppies are each mostly black with bits of their mama's"fair"coloring scattered about their chubby little bodies.Life really changed here when they were born.I had not had a dog in nearly 30 years.We always had males growing up.Neutered males.This was a huge change for me at 44.Much like the change atage 40 when my step-kids came to live with us back in 2002.It had been just husband and I for a really long time.And now we had 8 little furry babies here.As they've grown we've lost sleep at night.Babies are on their own schedules when it comes to being hungry,etc.The same with puppies.Babies often leave messes of various kinds.So do puppies.Our recently purchased rug cleaner and our vacuums have really been getting a work out.So have I with the never ending laundry.Babies get stinky sometimes and need bathed.So do these puppies.Oh boy do they get stinky.Smile.They are officially weaned now.And we have managed to sell 4 of them to a local pet store.My SIL has taken another one so we are down to three little fur covered bundles plus Mama Madison.We are hoping the pet store will take the last 3 tomorrow.It has been heallatious here at times.But when one of those freshly bathed little chubby,furry bundles falls asleep in your arms it makes all the work worth it.Or when they see you walk into a room and they come running to you,tails wagging in unison as if to say"welcome back,we've missed you!"It's easy to forget the loss of sleep the night before because you are filled with joy over their excitement.Though we may be completely puppy free by this time tomorrow I will still have memories,Mama dog Madison and one little puppy living 20 minutes away in Salem to remind me of this time of puppy parenting.This chaotic,tiring,wonderful time of being a surrogate parent of sorts to 8 little fur covered bundles of joy!God is so good.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Right Focus Regained

Finally, brothers,whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.~Phillippians 4:8 NIV~
I've been pondering this scripture verse for a few days now.My thoughts had been less than lovely.Times of intense testing in our lives has gone on far longer than I ever thought they would and I was just feeling down.Looking for light and seeing only darkness.The gray skies overhead did not help.I was longing for spring but still facing winter.Longing for freedom but still feeling burdened.And then God helped me to regain my focus.And it came from a most unexpected source.I was at our local hospital receiving treatment for the cellulitis on my right leg.The infection is gone but I am now facing wound care.It was a rare and strong strain of cellulitis.Because of this they brought in a wound care specialist to look at it.Her name was Beverly.She pulled out a digital camera and took a picture of my wound.I commented and on how neat her little camera was(I don't own a digital camera so find their diminuitive size charming somehow).She then proceeded to tell me that there were also pictures of India and Florida on the camera.And how that she had just returned from a medical mission trip to India that was 2 weeks in length as I recall.She had gone with an evangelist whose name escapes me at the moment.We continued to discuss treatment of my wound.As we finished up she began to show us the other pictures in her camera.We saw India first and she began to tell us about each one.There are rich people in India but most are very poor.Many do not even have running water.Many live in what amounts to nothing more than a shack.As I viewed her pictures and listened to her tell us about India my mind was replaying some of my negative comments and thoughts of recent days.And my perspective began to change.I began to silently,internally ask God for forgiveness and thank Him for what I do have.A nice apartment with hot and cold running water and indoor plumbing.A nice bed to sleep and rest in.A van to get us where we need to go.I was also reminded that He has always come through for us when we have placed all our burdens on Him.That He will provide for all our needs as we trust Him and His love.At this point we left as my appointment was over.As we walked out to our van under sunny skies I realized I had recieved more than cellulitis care at the hospital.I had been given the gift of right focus regained by our loving Heavenly Father.What are you thankful for today?