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.