Friday, January 31, 2014

Pray, and be prepared for the unexpected. "Hello, Lewis!"

Hello, Lewis!
You know how people glibly say, "God is all you need"? Well, sometimes we also need a warm body nearby. This time, I'm not just talking about the fine fellow who shares the house with me. Ever prayed and sought God's wisdom to find what's missing (or what to drop)? I did, a few weeks ago. Was I ever surprised by the answer to a dilemma I was facing.

Turns out there are a few things you should wait to do if you say yes to God's call to missions. My advice? Don't part with animals you love - until you have to. In prep for teaching this summer overseas, we left our dogs with a young family. By the time we got back from all the travels and moved into our new space, they were bonded.

Waiting for a walk
Our dogs got me up each morning and out the door, even during the cold and wet days of Seattle. I may not be very self-disciplined but I am a good pet owner: do they need to walk? Then we walk. With the doggies gone, I quit walking. Groan. Of course, I gained 10 lbs. this fall and winter. My appetite increased proportionately - what's that about?

I prayed. "Dear God, what on earth am I supposed to do?" (Walk, of course! But I couldn't get myself out the door.) "How can I get moving again?" And the answer seemed clear, though startling at this point of our transition.

We found Lewis last week, the perfect 8 year old poodle, same age as ours were. He's curled up beside me as I write. His family must have been fabulous: he's house-trained, doesn't mark, likes people and other dogs, and sleeps quietly in his kennel each night. He's not a fussy eater and is undemanding. He doesn't shed or dig holes or shred paper. He doesn't lick (= vital for taking him along; Muslims consider themselves unclean if licked by a dog.) He's delighted by our schedule: 2 walks a day ... AND he adores us, on top of everything.

What's not to like?

I am grateful for his doggie company and God's provision. It's totally unexpected: I didn't think I needed or wanted a dog in this transition time - but God knew exactly who should come into the household.

My energy level is rising, I've shed a few pounds, and my appetite is stabilizing. Plus Lewis has a good home. It works, all around.

How has God surprised you? Got a story to share?

Read more:
*For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all
who call upon you. Psalm 86:5 ESV

*I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. Psalm 119:14-16 NLT

*The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. Psalm 145:9 ESV

*Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Matthew 6:26 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Through the cycles of our lives, you have blessed us with sunshine, clouds, snow, wind, rain, warmth, and cold. For the beauties of the earth that are gifts from you, we thank you. Help us to be good stewards of your gifts. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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