Father’s Day Reflections

The internet abounds with Father’s Day posts on Facebook, Instagram, and multiple blogs. I have a wonderful father. I am fortunate to have a great relationship with my father-in-law. And, I have an amazing husband who is an amazing father to our children.

This Father’s Day, I was asked to share the Father’s Day tribute at our church. After a cute little video, I shared the reflections God had laid on my heart.

Our son was adopted from the Philippines in March 2009. He had never had a father figure in his life. Accepting a mother in his life seemed much easier for him than the role of dad. For the first five years of his life, he had been his own little man.

Relationships take time. Trust must be built. Nine years later, they have a great relationship. Some days are rocky but what parent doesn’t have an issue from time to time with a teenager!!

It took our son time to learn to accept the love of an earthly father. How many times have we as Christians struggled with accepting love from our Heavenly Father? We don’t always feel worthy of His love or believe He can love us despite our scars and brokenness.

My son has taught me so many life lessons. He reminds me that God loves us…as little children scared, alone, and just wanting to belong and be loved.

This Father’s day, thank you to all the special men who love not only their own children but open their hearts to love others as well.

Happy Father’s Day.

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Life Lessons from Dogs

If there is one word to describe me in this particular season of my life and the season in general, it is exhausted. 

Between work, the things that come with the Christmas season, fibromyalgia, and just life in general, it’s been hard to find time to catch my breath.

My joy lately has been this dog whom we recently welcomed into our family. He is a rescue dog who participated in a training program at a prison. He is my son’s Christmas gift and my son’s dog. He is pretty well behaved. In fact he is currently riding in his crate in the back of our Jeep, and I haven’t heard a peep from him.

There’s just one issue we are working through…

Quill is not sure if he wants to be friends with our geriatric chocolate lab Sadie. As we work through this with patience, love, and firmness in our expectations for behavior, there are some life lessons I can draw from my dogs.

1. Insecurity is a real thing and needs to be responded to with patience, reassurance, and love. I was on the floor petting Sadie the other night and Quill came up behind me and pulled on the bottom of my pants. You can call it jealousy, but I see it as insecurity. I am working with him to realize that I can pet and love them both…at the same time. We making progress in this area.

2. Dogs are so good for children. For children with ADHD. For adopted children. My son and his dog are learning to trust one another. Their bond continues to grow every day.

3. Dogs like people need consistency. People need to know what the expectations are.

4. Everyone wants to belong. Just as Quill is trying to find his place in our home, Sadie is trying to figure him out. She wanted to play tug with him the other day, but Quill wasn’t interested. Sadie and our little Franklin always played tug of war with their rope toy. Right now, we aim for small steps. My hope is that these two will be the best of friends in time. 

My last three dogs have been rescue dogs. While I don’t have any deep theological message in all this, I believe that God has sent these dogs into our lives for a purpose. In the words of a friend, there isn’t anything better than dog kisses after a long day. In some ways as I watch Quill adjust to his new life, I see flashbacks from our days of our son’s adjustment to his new life.

Just as we welcomed Quill and our son into our lives as they are, God welcomes us and loves us where we are. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we grow into the people He created us to be.

What life lessons have you learned from your own pets?