My husband and I are in the thick of, probably, the most difficult season we have ever experienced thus far in our lives and have been stretched seemingly beyond our capacity; we feel as if we are no longer elastic. Now, I am fully aware that it could be far worse (cancer, war, house burning down etc...) than what we are going through currently, I get that. I do. You know, we all have our own seasons that differ when we wonder how the heck can we keep going on like this?! Where we get to that place of saying that something's just got to give! Something. Anything. Just one thing. And, for whatever reason the Lord has yet to provide any semblance of relief. All that to say, and above it all, the Lord has been beyond gracious to us during this most difficult season. He has provided for us abundantly! Above and beyond what we could imagine or deserve. We are beyond grateful for the Lord's provision. And, yet, we still feel as if we cannot continue one more day status quo. Hmmm…maybe He is conforming us to look more and more like Jesus Christ? (Romans 8:28-30)
2. Cause or allow (someone or something) to have (something; especially something abstract); provide or supply with.
synonyms: allow, permit, grant, accord
And, when we think that there is no possible way to continue one more day/minute/hour, the Lord provides!! He truly is the Giver of all good gifts (James 1:17).
He grants us rest, peace, energy, strength when we are weary (Is. 40:29), grace, mercy, and above all hope. We still have hope. Thanks be to God.
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.
As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...
What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!