Tuesday, February 25, 2014

All dogs go to heaven...

So yesterday my mom put our old dog Foster down to rest. He was so old and seemed to be getting worse every time I saw him, I started saying my goodbyes early- like 4 years ago! And yet he still managed to live on every year!
"This is your last Christmas Foster" became sort of a joke in our family. He just wouldn't die. It was a shock that Foster outlived anyone in this life!

And not that we wanted Foster to die, but he just wasn't lookin' too great. He was blind, and eventually he couldn't even hear anymore. Within the last 6 months or so he lost almost half his body weight and was just getting worse and worse.

However, Foster was ol' faithful to my dad. They were buddies, and I think Foster became really sad when my dad wasn't around anymore. When my mom took him to the vet, the vet took one look at him and gave a sort of sympathetic grunt saying "He either has diabetes or cancer." I think that helped my mom feel more at peace putting him down.
He lived a loooooong 16 years of doggie life and enjoyed half of that with our family when we rescued him. I'm sure Foster is just bounding around heaven, tail wagging, meeting up with our other dog Rowdy, and possibly Pockets too. I imagine them running with my dad in heaven, licking him and smiling at him.

Foster, you were well loved. Gonna miss you sweet boy!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Overwhelmed... in the best way possible.

Ok y'all. Can I just share how GOOD and PURPOSEFUL and AWESOME God is?!?

It's only been about a month and a half since my dad went to be with the Lord, but wow. God is so good and doesn't waste anything. Conversations I would have never had with people are happening, being more intentional to pray for others and my family, and just how God constantly reminds me of His abundant lovingkindness towards me and His grace and peace.

The other night I was sitting in bed and I picked up my journal. As I started writing, I was curious to see if I had written anything the year before. Exactly a year ago I had written a prayer for both of my parents, that they would grow more in love with each other and more in love with the Lord and that Christ would just be in every part of their marriage.

I noticed more joy and love in my parents' marriage in the last year of my dad's life and that there was true enjoyment and lots of laughter, all the while my dad's tumor was probably growing inside him.

I turned even further to see if I had written anything 2 years before, but my journal had started on April 2012. That day was filled with prayers of thanksgiving and praise because the tumor that was found in my dad's brain was benign and not cancerous.

That whole story just gives me chills now because as I look back, I can see an even bigger thing happening.

When my dad had his brain tumor and there were many uncertainties. God answered my prayer in a way that I couldn't really understand until now.  You can read about that story here. (and his response below that post is just so great) Yes, God healed him of that tumor and was faithful to answer my prayer in that moment, but our God is not a God who is confined to our timeframe or any time for that matter. Our God sees the whole picture, not just one piece. Because my dad had that tumor, I began to see the frailty of life here on earth. I began to think about what it would be like to lose someone very close to me. I began to be more intentional with my dad in conversations and being more patient with him. I didn't want to take my dad for granted.

Those 2 years were a blessing from God. Who would have known that just two years later he would be diagnosed with cancer. I praise God for giving us that time, for those 2 years that God helped me love my dad with more intentionality and allowed me to experience more of his love in return. I am so thankful that God doesn't waste any of our sorrow, any of our pain, any of our suffering. He is purposeful in every way. He truly does work all things for our good and HIS GLORY!

And He is worthy of all the glory friends! I'm just overwhelmed by His sovereignty and goodness. No, my prayer wasn't answered in the exact way I expected, but I have a hope and peace that I can trust my Lord and my God with everything.

And THAT is what God has so graciously revealed to me in the last couple of days.

overwhelmed by the goodness and mercies of our Lord,