My very sweet friend, Carol, gave me these adorable towels that she had personalized for Holly.
You may remember me sharing about our family adding its newest member, Holly, a West Highland Terrier. Those of you who know me well know that me writing a blog post about a dog is a miracle in and of itself!! I was not a dog person. Didn't want a dog for many reasons. I did the very ugly cry when I knew we were adding a dog to our family. I groaned and I sobbed. It was a death to self. I was mourning a death to self. Obedience to God often requires death to self. But I'd much rather die to self than be walking in disobedience and out of His will. "He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30
My heart, though grieving, was anchored in Him knowing that I was obeying God, honoring my husband and delighting my children. Any lingered heartache of my own was kept quiet between me and the Lord as I did not want to overshadow their joy.
We adopted our dog, Holly, from a single mom at our church who could no longer care for Holly. After my husband asked me to pray about bringing a dog into our family and I surrendered, God efficiently and clearly led us to Holly. God was gracious and faithful. So, one Friday afternoon in March, I loaded up into my car a dog, her crate, a forty pound bag of dog food and various other dog accessories. It was like holding my nose and jumping into a cold pool of water. I couldn't think about it too much; I just had to do it. And so, we brought Holly home.
Fast forward six months to current day. This woman who grieved death to self, who didn't want a dog, who didn't want to clean up dog waste, who didn't want her morning quiet time interrupted by a doggy needing her, who didn't want the smell of a dog in her house, who wasn't looking forward to increased laundry room floor scrubbings on my hands and knees because that is Holly's dining area, who didn't want to coordinate doggy care if we were going to be away for a day or on vacation, who didn't want life interrupted by a dog....
A woman who couldn't possibly imagine the love she'd have for this precious little doggy, who didn't realize how Holly would truly complete our family, who couldn't fathom how our cherubs would beautifully love and care for Holly, who didn't know the joy Holly would bring her entire family, who hadn't thought about how a little white fluffy creature could get to excited when daddy came home, who cried and cried the first night of a family vacation out of the country because she missed her so much while Holly was home being cared for...this transformed-heart woman who now:
--Has given Holly her favorite purple blanket as her own to put on the floor for naps and sleeping at night time
--Rushes home to see Holly after being away from the house for a few hours
--Moistens her dry dog food with juice from a roasted chicken the family is having for dinner so Holly gets to enjoy a special treat
--Who looks forward to taking Holly for early morning walks while the neighborhood is still and quiet
--Who loves having Holly at her feet while she has her morning quiet time with the Lord
--Who finds herself talking to others about Holly
--Who takes Holly on car rides whenever possible so she has a change of scenery
--Who makes sure Holly is eating, drinking, "plumbing" and exercising enough
--Who delights in seeing other children pet and play with Holly
--Who shares continually about how God brought the family a wonderful dog
--Who could go on and on here, but is realizing she may be becoming one of those dog owners who are a little nutty about their dog...
Obedience School. Not for our sweet (but strong-willed) Holly. I am the student. God is the gracious Master. He spoke. Jim asked me to pray. I surrendered and obeyed in reverence. God blessed beyond measure and changed my heart in miraculous ways. He is in the heart-changing business. We just have to yield.
So we sing "HOLLY-LOO-YA" and give God the glory for His faithfulness even in the adoption of a dog!! Amen, Holly-loo-ya!
"Yield your hearts to the LORD."