I'm just sitting here in the quiet at the last end of a Sunday evening trying to put words to what I've experienced this weekend. I had the opportunity to go and visit my friend Shiromi in her new home on Friday night. Shiromi and her family came here from Sri Lanka a little over a year ago, and I have had the pleasure of getting to know her since that time. I have watched as she and her family have struggled to adjust to the culture of this new home of theirs called Canada; I have heard the stories of all they gave up in order to come here; I have shared in the tears as they questioned their decision to move here. Was it really God's voice they heard? And I have prayed and believed with them for a miracle that would allow them to finally be able to have a home of their own, and be able to move on from the tiny apartment that they had reduced their life to over the last year. As she took us from room to room in their new home, telling us of the miraculous ways that so many of the things had been provided, I was overwhelmed at the kindness and faithfulness of God. I felt Him there with us; I felt privileged to be able to take part in something so special, so precious. He steals my words away sometimes, so that I cannot adequately express how I feel inside. That was one of those moments.
And then on Saturday night, one of the girls from our home group invited us over to her house for a BBQ. We decided when our group started at the first of the year, that we were going to choose one thing that we each were believing for in our lives, and agree together to pray every time that we got together, and any time in between when God brought it to our minds, and the answers that we have seen have been amazing. These women are very dear friends of mine, but I can feel the covenant between us, which is something so much more.
She had emailed us at the first of the week, and asked us to pray about a certain situation that had arisen, and we each agreed to do so. There is something that happens when God knits your soul together with someone else; their burdens become your burdens, their pain your pain, and their successes and happiness bring a joy to your heart that couldn't really be exceeded if it were your own. Well, as we each arrived at her house, we saw the miracle that she had been praying for taking place right in front of our eyes. We got to see it for ourselves, and it was incredible! I just kept saying "Thank you God, for letting me see that. Thank you for letting me be there."
We were praying one night in our group, and God spoke to us and said "My divine 'Yes' is upon your life, so ask Me again, ask me for your heart's desire because I am saying 'Yes'." I have seen it happen in our group, and in the lives of many others around me over the last while. God is up to something, and the thing that makes makes it even more incredible is that He lets us share our lives with one another. It's hard sometimes to take that next step to a deeper level called "covenant" with someone. It can be uncomfortable sometimes when you discover the imperfections that live below the surface in someone's life, which can so easily be covered on a Sunday morning in church. It takes genuine effort and time to "be there" for someone, when many times it would be so much easier to just not know. And the anguish that you feel when you share in someone else's soul pain can sometimes be overwhelming. But oh the feeling when you get to take part in the answer, in the breakthrough, in the healing, in the miracle...there are no words to describe it, and it makes you fall in love with God all over again, and realize that the cost of being in covenant is so small compared to what you gain because of it.
So I'm in my kitchen last evening preparing supper, and little Gracie is doing her favorite thing (other than sleeping on my bed) which is sitting in front of the glass door looking outside, and all of a sudden she starts barking, so I go to see who is at my door. Now this is only about the third time I've actually heard Gracie bark, so I figure it must be someone pretty important, but when I look out, no one is there. So I go back to the stove, and she starts barking again; so I go back to the door and look out, but I can't see anybody, and then I notice what it is she is barking at...can you guess what it was...a hummingbird! The crazy dog was barking at a hummingbird that was feeding from my flowers! Cars go by, people come to the door, dogs bark, and she never makes a peep, but when she sees a hummingbird she goes crazy! Go figure....
I introduced the girls to the ocean yesterday. It was one of those sheer perfection kind of days that we seem to get too little of around here, so I knew I couldn't let the opportunity go to waste. This is a picture of Bailey, riding shotgun as usual. Her other favorite position is laying on my lap when she gets tired and wants to take a nap. Just to assure you that I'm not a menace to society, I can still shift gears and use the brake; it gets a little tricky though when Gracie wants to lay on my lap as well. Usually I just give her a bone to chew on in the backseat when we start the trip, and she's good for the duration. She stops every once in a while to poke her head between the seats, have a look around, get a pat on the head, and then it 's back to work again.
They weren't quite sure what to make of the water - Bailey was fascinated by the waves, but would only venture as far as getting her feet wet and that was enough for her. Gracie wouldn't have anything to do with the waves, but had a great time rolling around in the dried up seaweed on the beach. Yuck! I guess she loved the smell or something; or perhaps she needed to exfoliate? We had fun walking up and down the beach, and they enjoyed exploring every new smell they came across. Bailey even tried to collect a few seashells. I told them that they would have to write home to all their little doggie friends in Arkansas and tell them that they had seen the ocean!
I went to my favorite fish & chip place in Hubbards for supper, and the dogs were barking so much when I got out of the car that the man at the takeout gave me some treats to give to them. I went to a little park to eat, and I tried to tie the girls' leashes to the picnic table; I couldn't lift the table to fasten their leashes to the table leg, but there was a cable on it, so I tied them to that. I was enjoying my supper and the beautiful scenery, when all of a sudden, the girls spotted this huge german shepherd dog and made a beeline straight for him. Well, it was the fence post story all over again - I watched them take off across the park, and their leashes were tied together alright, but just not tied to the table! I took off running after them, and thankfully he was a very friendly dog, and enjoyed having a couple little play toys to have fun with for a few minutes. At one point he was laying down and Bailey was making a big commotion over him, and he just took one big paw and put it on the top of her head and smooshed her head onto the ground. It was too funny! I managed to get them back to the table, and this time I hooked the leashes on my arm and proceeded to finish my fish & french fries, which were now getting cold. Next thing I know, I feel a yank on my arm because a group of retired couples had come over to look at "the cute little dogs." Bailey and Gracie were thrilled, and even posed for some pictures that one of the gentlemen wanted to take.
We finally made our way home, and the girls wre knocked out cold for the rest of the evening. I think they were a little overdone from the excitement of their day! I'm pretty sure they enjoyed their outing - I know I did, and as a trainer once said "A tired dog is a good dog." Amen to that one.