Category Archives: memories

Puppy love

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About 3 months ago I gained a new best friend. ‘Man’s best friend’. A puppy.

His name is Clifford and he is wonderful and weird and so so cute! I did not know I would adore him as much as I do. He distracts me endlessly with snuggles and zoomies and his general cuteness.

In a very short time I have realised that I could not live without him now. I like having him around. I like that he gets excited to see me even if I only went to get the mail. I like that he has to have a paw on me whenever we are sitting together. I like that he looks at me to check he is doing the right thing sometimes. I like that he sits on my foot and stares at me whenever I’m cooking chicken in the kitchen. I like that if you scratch his neck he licks you. I like that he loves playing with bugs. I like so much about him!

I notice little things about him too. That he has a little kink in the end of his tail. That one ear flips back more than the other. That he does a weird walk around the yard when he needs to poop. That he has 2 little cowlicks in the fur on his butt. That he does a funny little run to hide under the table when he knows it’s bed time. That he won’t drink water out of something another dog has drunk out of.

This (healthy) new obsession of mine occupies much of my time, and it got me to thinking about just how much God loves me. He is more than obsessed with me. He notices me and he knows everything about me because he made me!

He knows that when I can’t be bothered to wash my hair I wear bandana. He knows that I like my couch cushions arranged in a certain way. He knows that I don’t like wholemeal bread. He knows that when I am tired I am more likely to kick my toes. He knows that I am a sucker for caramel popcorn.

He sees each little insignificant thing! He loves each hair on my head – just think about the enormity but also the intimacy of that! He loves who I am and He loves who you are!

He sees me when I am at my lowest and at my highest and every moment in between. He loves me WAY more than I could ever love Clifford (which is A LOT!). It is said about dogs that they love you unconditionally and I now know this to be true. But for God it is so much more than puppy love, it is so much deeper and even more unconditional than that of man’s best friend.

There is nothing we have to do to deserve this love and nothing that we have done or ever could do to stop it. When we feel partial or fractured, God’s love completes us, heals us, embraces us. His love is perfect even though we are not.

And like a dog with a bone, He will never give up!

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Scars and all.

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Personally, I am a fan of the Facebook ‘On This Day’ feature. Looking through each days’ memories is normally one of the first things I do in the morning, I really enjoy being reminded of things that happened 2 or 3 or even 9 years ago (side note: I cannot believe I have had Facebook for 9 years!). I just love the nostalgia of seeing a photo of something fun I did with a friend or reading a conversation that has zero context and makes no sense to me years on or re-reading the cringe worthy updates from back then.

The past is important, I’ve said it before – we shouldn’t forget it. A couple of days ago I had a memory pop up on Facebook about attending my graduation ceremony 3 years ago! I remember feeling so accomplished and so excited to be starting (actually having already started) work in a job I had dreamed about.

On that day 3 years ago I didn’t know the skills I would learn, the friends I would make, the hurts I would have or the scars I would gain from that job. 3 years on, life has changed and I spent most of the day working – in a restaurant – getting prune hands from doing dishes, spilling some sort of sauce on my shoe and being at the start of another journey.

Not really where I thought I would be 3 years on from the day of my graduation! A special day where I got to get my hair done, wear a nice dress and doff my cap at some old guy I had never seen before! But, that is something I am slowly coming to terms with, I may not be where I thought I was heading but that doesn’t mean it’s not where I am supposed be going. Who knows where I’ll end up? But I am trying to enjoy the journey that is getting me there!

The adventure of life is like a train trip – bit of a cliche, I know! But as we travel along, we pick up passengers and their baggage. We collect a range of different experiences and we learn different lessons from them all. Some of them leave their bags behind or create some damage to how well we function. There are some that depart without us even really noticing but there are others that cover us in graffiti and really make a mess in our carriages.

I know that I am lucky to not have many scratched up windows from my trip so far. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have scars, they’re just not ones that you can see. It also doesn’t mean that if you don’t have scabby, pussy wounds to show off that you aren’t going through something that hurts! We all need to show empathy and patience because we don’t know what someone else is going through.

A person who looks all put together, always smiling, never seeming to have anything going wrong might be covering up some real pain. Their scars might be much more than skin deep, but heart deep. Their family might be in a crisis, they might be dealing with the loss of a friend or a relationship breakup. They may be sleep deprived from working 3 jobs or scared because they don’t feel safe at home. You just don’t know!

Each one of us has our own scars, inside or the outside, and we all have stuff to deal with. Why not use it to help someone else? We might be able to understand because we have scars from our own similar experiences. We know the way not to handle that situation and we have some strategies that helped us to get through it.

So, on this day in 2017 – look back on all the passengers that have jumped on to your train, leaving a mark and think of how you can embrace them and help others with what you have gone through.