I can vividly remember (often) pleading with my mom to get a puppy. That was all I truly wanted from toddlerhood and beyond. Just a puppy. Why was that such a difficult ask? Well, my mother explained time and time again that she was allergic to pet dander and that she would suffer with a dog around. Now, she had a beloved pup when I was an infant. A toy-poodle named “Tiger.” And, as I was learning to crawl, one day I ate out of the Tiger’s food bowl and he nipped me. So, say goodbye to Tiger. Now that I am reminiscing about this, I am thinking to myself, “Hmm, she was able to have a hypo-allergenic pup at one point, yet she remained steadfast in her decision to not allow me to have a dog?” I was able to have a rabbit outside and a fish, however, they were clearly not dogs and did not fill the gaping hole in my heart for a puppy. I am guessing that because she was sickly and having a difficult time as it were, she perhaps felt as if she would not be able to care for a dog as well as an active child. Given all that, she gifted me at some point with a white fluffy stuffed animal. A puppy, of course. I cherished this stuffed animal to the point that it disintegrated in a shoe box in its later years. The only proof is in the lovely large framed photo that you see me holding above. All this to say, I have had a deep love for dogs ever since childhood. So deep in fact that a few days after my mom passed away, I went to a shelter and adopted my first pup. Her name was Bella Mia. Gidget soon followed. Both American Eskimos, both unique in their personalities, both deeply loved and cherished. Suffice to say I am both a “Jesus Freak” and a “Dog Freak”. Shortly after launching Grace Thru Faith (2 years ago now) I expressed interest in adding a Pet Line of clothing and goods. We are beyond thrilled to begin this new pet line! Thank you for reading this and sharing in our journey. We appreciate you and hope that you like our new pet themed apparel as much as we do!
Below - Bella Mia and Gidget (top photo) and Roscoe and Diva (bottom photo)
Another trip around the sun. A friend gifted me custom pints of ice cream and one of the labels displayed this saying: “Another year sweeter” Super cute, however I don’t know about that. 😉 As I look forward to my birthday each year, this one is hitting me a bit differently than previous years.
As I gazed over at the side table in our kitchen that holds several b-day cards received this week, some touching, some funny, all of them thoughtful, and looked at the material gifts that I had received each day this week as the Lord so graciously ordained. My thoughts turned to my dad (and the fact that he is now gone from this earth as of Jan 6th this year) and the thought that the absolute best gift I could receive (from the Lord) was seeing a bluebird on my birthday. I wept at the thought. As, I have yet to see one since dad’s death.
As I woke up this morning (quite melancholy, knowing that this day will not be unlike most others unfortunately) after a restless night of sleep and continued my day as always, feeding the pups, reading devotionals and praying, making coffee, walking the pups etc.…It does hit me that even though my dad, Lou did not recall that Oct 7th was my b-day for many years preceding his death, which was super hurtful the first year that happened, it hit me that no one loves you quite like your parents. And, when they are gone, nothing will ever be quite the same. There is a deep void in our heart and soul that realizes, no one will love you in the same way your parents did. That is my experience now (in this moment) and I realize that will not be everyone’s experience. I was blessed to have parents that loved me despite my flaws, which were truly my biggest cheerleaders in this temporary life on earth. And, when they are both gone from this earth, it changes things, and that truly did not hit me until this week leading up to my b-day.
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.