Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dogs are not Children

My puppy Eugene LOVES to play tug of war (:

He also loves to stare at you and shamelessly beg lol

That may seem like a silly title. And it may seem unnecessary to have to clarify that. At least, that's what I would think. However, this past mothers day, I started noticing a new trend that really disturbs me. Several of my friends (who are not married and do not have kids) posted "happy mothers day to me" pictures with their dogs. What? Maybe I'm old fashioned and maybe they were just trying to be cute, but seriously... Owning a dog does not make you a mother!

Motherhood is a special gift from God. It comes through much pain and tears and responsibility and hard work. A human baby is such a gift from God. A dog may be nice, but it is nothing compared to a child. Sometimes it feels like our society is breaking down at the seams. It's illegal to kill some animals, yet we want to kill babies up until birth. And that is legal. We allow guys to marry guys and girls to marry girls, and if we view our dogs as equals to children, what's stopping us from allowing people to marry dogs? 

Oh, it honestly breaks my heart. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. It saddens my soul. And it makes me wonder how much MORE this all must break God's heart. These people that He created and loved SO much that Jesus died to cover their sins are finding every way possible to break His perfect order and desert His flawless plan. Maybe these posts were meant to be cute or funny, but I don't think it's either. It's a sign of how much our society is rejecting God.

The Bible says "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Children, not puppies or dogs. Proverbs 31 talks about a virtuous woman whose children rise up and call her blessed. Children that call her blessed, not a dog that adores her or that she rescued. (Speaking of which, we are so passionate about rescuing dogs from shelters and loving them; but how much better it would be to adopt a child and show God's love to a precious soul that will live in eternity someday! I know not everyone has the resources for that, but there are ministries that do things like this and you can donate however little or much money and time you have.)

Now, I have a dog (see above pictures). He's a great dog, and yes I love him. But having a dog will never satisfy my desire to one day be blessed with children of my own (along with a beautiful, God-centered marriage). Children are so much better than dogs. God treasures children and wants them to come unto Him (Matthew 19:14). Let's not put animals on the same level as children... because dogs are not children. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Hoosier Heart (& God's Mercy Towards It)

Next week I'm planning on switching my license to Iowa...
Something I've been putting off...
And although it may seem insignificant,
Brings dampness to my eyes.
Tears that signify a heart that is still softening
To God's will for my life.
Tears that represent the struggle to accept this new place.
I never wanted to move away from home.
I was always a "proud Hoosier."
And although I may eventually move back,
For the here and now, I'm coming to accept that this is my home.
As I take care of my grandmother,
And grow in ways that I never imagined in my new job,
And try to find a place in a new and different church community.

In many ways, moving away from home
Has strengthened my walk with God.
Because I can't do this on my own,
And I'm desperately aware of my need for Him.
Sure, I kind of moved away for college,
But this is totally and completely different...
Instead of visiting every weekend,
     It's every 6 months.
Instead of knowing it's only temporary,
     This doesn't have a set expiration date.
Instead of having family gatherings regularly,
     I spend "family night" completely alone.
Instead of being able to call up my dad to help me fix something,
     I have to figure it out myself or (more often) wait until the next time he visits.

And slowly, I've been learning that
God's ways are always higher than mine,
The girl who never wanted a Master's degree,
Was matched to an internship where it was required.
The girl who never wanted to live in Iowa,
Now calls it her home (though sometimes still grudgingly).
The girl who considers herself an extreme introvert,
Works in a position that requires her to be very extroverted.
And so the paradoxes continue.
And I think they always will when you're in God's will.
Just like Moses, the stutterer, who God called to lead His people.
Or David, the poet, who God shaped into a mighty warrior.
God will take your weaknesses and turn them into His strengths.

And so, even if I will always cherish the song,
"Back home again in Indiana"
I'll stick it out here in Iowa for however long
God calls me to be here - and glory in His strength,
Which is the only reason I've made it this far.