Saturday, October 22, 2011

Practice on the Dog - Love your children!?!

How is it that extraordinary things happen in such ordinary moments? I was on the porch sorting thru my Sunday paper.  The only treasures I expected to find were my coupons when I spotted Buddy sitting on the lawn.  He's a relative's dog whose been living with us.  I don't like Buddy!  I don't want Buddy!  He's obsessed with me and follows me constantly!

Then it happened, a thought crossed my mind out of nowhere: "Be nice to the dog!  Love the one you don't want to love.  Speak kindly to him when its the last thing you want to do."  As I wrote this moment in my journal, Buddy kept bringing me his ball to play fetch, when I didn't want to play fetch. It's so obvious that God is trying to teach me more than how to love an annoying dog. 

I often struggle with similar situations & emotions in the day to day life with my 6 children whom I dearly love.  The longer I sit on the porch with Buddy, the more similarities between the dog and children I see.  He slobbers on me, he wants to play with me when I'm busy or after the point I'm done.  He follows me like a shadow, and he quickly forgets every wrong with a simple word of kindness. No wonder God wants me to practice on the Dog! 

I've had it written on my goal list  and in my daily prayers, for a couple years now, to be like Michelle Duggar (no yelling, be patient, keep a kind expression on my face).  Is this God's wisdom to teach me how to do what I really want to do but keep missing the mark?  Practice loving whom I don't want to love and maybe I'll be successful with those I do.

3 Months Later... Buddy doesn't live with us anymore, but God helped me do what He asked and I was able to love Buddy and be kind, gentle and accepting of him till he went back home.  During this time, God has done a great work in me to help me reach my "Mrs. Duggar" goal.  My 15 year old daughter says I'm at least 90 percent there.  So Buddy, I don't want you back, but thanks for all your help!

Update: 9 months later... I've continued to learn so much from learning to love Buddy.  I would gladly take him back.  We've even gotten 2 dogs since he left and I'm acting out in love to one of them who is hard to love.  Thank goodness love is a choice and love is an action instead of just an emotion.  My emotions have followed my decision/action to love as I take him on walks and works with him on his doggie issues.  It's also so much easier to choose love for my family members over conflicting emotions I may feel in the moment.  God amazingly uses small things to bring about great things in my life.