Sunday, July 24, 2011

Little DC

Little DC was so sick this month with pancreatitis and we nearly lost him. He had a fever for several days and didn't eat for over a week. Thankfully, Woodcrest Veterinary Clinic took amazing care of him. He spent his days there receiving fluids and antibiotics and then came home to sleep. He ended up having surgery in the middle of his care to look for some underlying cause. All the while, Kelley and I spent our nights with him downstairs (slumber party---I don't think so!) to help him in any way.

Today, he is back home full-time, eating and drinking and being his silly, playful self (as playful as any dog is at ten years of age!). We knew he was on the mend on his first day home when he sat staring at the back door, waiting for his "daddy" (Ken) to get home from work. It is so good to have our baby boy back!

Thank you, Kelley, for all your help with our little man. You were there through every step of his illness and recovery and you propped me up when I needed encouragement. You will make a wonderful nurse one day!

Honestly, who knew you could love a dog so much?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Unconditional Love vs. Works

I've been thinking a lot about unconditional love these days. Joyce Meyer talks about how God loves us unconditionally in spite of our imperfect lives and quotes this verse: "But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us" -Romans 5:8 (amplified version). God doesn't love us because of our works; it doesn't matter how much we do or how much we give. We can't buy God's love. He loves us just because we are His creation! And He sent His Son to die for our sins, while we were yet sinners, BECAUSE He loves us. Now that is unconditional love. If we could learn to receive His love, our lives would be so much better.

So that has me thinking ... and I've come to the conclusion that I have not always shown unconditional love to our girls. Honestly, we have loved our girls more than we ever thought we could love anyone, but I wonder if we haven't always made that clear. Once they started school, good grades became so important. The journey wasn't important, just the final report. I think we set them up to think life is all about works and performance. It doesn't help that Ken and I tend to be perfectionsists and workaholics; we have modeled a "works" mentality. And me, in particular, am a bit of a people-pleaser. So now, I'm wondering how we could have communicated high expectations without twisting the message that somehow our love was based on performance. I TELL them that I love them each and every day but have I SHOWN them with my actions?

I want to remedy this situation, if at all possible. I want to communicate my love for our girls just because they are our children! I am beginning to be more intentional in spending time with them and really listening, showing that I am interested in what they have to say, making plans with them, and of course, giving them hugs and kisses. Our girls will be leaving home in the next year or two, so it's important to do this now, on purpose.