New King James Version (NKJV)
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
For those who have read my blog for any length of time, you know I have a Chihuahua named Gracie. Gracie is my baby! She knows it, too. When I pick her up and love on her, she nestles into my neck and always puts her arm around my neck as if to hug me. She gives me kisses and then cuddles into my neck, again.
I love Gracie and I am always talking about some cute thing she has done that day, because Gracie does cute things every day! I watch her and repeatedly I will say to my husband, “Oh, baby look! Isn’t that the cutest thing you have ever seen?? Isn’t she so precious?”
Gracie sleeps with us. I usually go to bed first and read until hubby is ready for the night. Gracie goes with me. She finds her ‘spot’ under all the blankets and snuggles as close to me as she can possibly get. When hubby starts to get in the bed, I hold my hand out so he doesn’t accidentally put any weight on Gracie whereby possibly hurting her. I always say the same thing, “Watch out for the ‘baby’.” You would think we actually had a newborn child in the bed!!
Gracie isn’t fed just any food. I buy special gourmet food for her. It is full of vitamins and minerals, and there are no ‘byproducts’ that can harm her! I research what natural foods are good for her and I know exactly what should be added to her diet to optimize her health! I give her vegetables that are full of antioxidants, and fruits that keep her kidney function at its best and fights cancers as well as benefits her cardiovascular system, eyesight, and keeps her from getting arthritis as she ages. I have researched what is best for Gracie from her head to her paws!
We live in Texas and have experienced an unusually cold winter. I knew it was coming. I bought Gracie sweaters, fleece pajamas, and fleece throws to ensure she was warm! I am not a morning person, but when hubby leaves for work he puts Gracie on the couch and I cannot go back to sleep until I get up and check her fur to be sure she is warm and to be sure she is not shivering.
Now, I have said all of this to make one point…if I love Gracie, a dog, as I do…I love her so much I go out of my way to see to it she eats the best, wears the best, stays in the best health, is happy, and knows she is adored, how much more so does God do this for us, His children??
Why do I do all of this for Gracie? Because I love her with all of my heart!! She is the apple of my eye! She loves me unconditionally and I feel the same about her! For all of her love and loyalty, I protect my sweet puppy with all I have! There isn’t ANYTHING Gracie will ever be without if it is in my power to give it to her!!!! Are you not more than a dog to our Heavenly Father?? He did not even spare the life of His own Son to call YOU and me His children!
Gracie doesn’t sit and worry if she will have food available to her all day, every day. She is not worried about where she will sleep every night; She has the best spot in the house! She doesn’t cower in fear when I approach her, fearful I no longer love her, or that I will punish her for something! She runs to greet me because she knows my arms are ready to gently hold her and love her! Why do we do this with God?
Do we believe for one second God will ever let us go hungry, cold, destitute, and devoid of anything that is necessary to life? If He watches over the birds of the air, will He not all the more take care and bless us?? The birds don’t worry. They fly and seem to know exactly where to light to find food and shelter. Are you not more than they? Will God not also provide for us, super abundantly, above all we could even ask?
How anyone could question the goodness of God or the fact it is His will to bless and give us all good things is truly beyond my comprehension! It literally defies what the Bible says. God not only wills to do good toward us, but fully intends to bless those who are His own!
Have a good rest tonight, dear reader, for your tomorrows are truly taken care of! You are loved and watched over by God, Himself with an everlasting love no person and no thing can separate you from! Know, even though you may not see it all now, God has everything you need on the way. Praise Him and trust Him in the wait.
Two nights ago I told my daughter goodnight for the last time in the house she grew up in. I saw tears as they began to stream down her face as I released her from our nightly hug. I knew what it was. This house is the only ‘home’ she has ever known. She lived at college for 3 years but I found out she cried there, too.
No greater compliment can a child give a parent than to cry because they are leaving ‘home’. This time home was house, a structure. What truly makes a home is the family that dwells in it. I reminded her of that and that we would still be together because she moved with us.
The move is still going on. We are all exhausted! This is our first night in our new place and the first thing to happen was the kitchen faucet broke into pieces. Water sprayed everywhere like an exploding volcano. Water dripped from the cabinets, the ceiling, and it spilled all over the floor. My husband quickly turned the valve off and I can say the place is now spotless!
I could feel the angst building in us all. Even Gracie is tense and seems scared. God reminded me this is when we are to become very sober and vigilant, as it says in 1 Peter. The enemy was doing everything he could to steal our joy and to bring upset and strife among us on a day we should have been celebrating.
After we had cleaned our temporary home, the Lord reminded me of something Reverend Mark Hankins says. He cites the scripture ‘Count it all joy when you fall into various trials and temptations….” He ends it by saying with each trying thing that comes you say, ‘One joy, two joy, three joy!” NEVER let satan rob you of your life giving joy! It is your strength!
There was a book by the title of “If the Devil Can’t Steal Your Joy, He Can’t Keep Your Goods” by Jerry Savelle. That title says it all. When it rains, get under God’s umbrella of protection by staying in the spirit! He says He hides us in the cleft of the rock. We are safe from the storms that come to steal our peace, joy, and confidence in the Lord.
How quickly our situation could have soured if we had chosen wrong attitudes. How we could have prolonged the blessing the Lord has already prepared in advance! Nope…not this time! It feels good to grow up. It is wonderful knowing that the very things you would have fallen for before, God has brought you to a place you see it coming and you know how to avert it!
We are home, though temporarily in this ‘structure’, and this is an enjoyable season of our life! God has blessed us, and even in our exhaustion, we are going to be thankful and relish it! We are together and God is in our midst…what greater home could you have?
This is another camping vacation for hubby and me. It is the same, yet different! I have never cooked on a gas stove or with a gas oven, so today I decided to undertake it. I have lived to tell about it! I let hubby light it because I was a tiny bit scared. I guess you could say he lit my fire and I was cookin’ with gas! HAAA!! Sorry, I couldn’t resist…must be the fresh air.
It is cold! For us, anything in the 20s is blizzard conditions. Hubby went out to look at the lake and the dock was icy. He did get to hear the duck hunters hunting in the distance. I didn’t see anything but my eyelids…sleeping in is half the fun!! I finally felt guilty that hubby was outside in the cold and decided to rouse myself from my beauty sleep.
The morning had begun and I started with yummy bacon! All southerners MUST have their pork in the morning!!
How good does that look?? Thick slices of smoked, yummy goodness!
Gracie waits for her piece of bacon. How sweet is that?? She knows I can’t resist that wagging tail and expecting eyes…I am such a softie!
It took longer than I expected. I thought gas stoves were supposed to cook faster than electric, but we got there.
Have a great day, precious reader!
It is literally flooding in my neck of the woods! It has been raining for almost 24 hours straight and people are stranded! No Fall Festival for us tonight, but Gracie will wear her taco costume anyway!! In celebration of Gracie (my Chihuahua) being the cutest taco you have ever seen, we are having my yummy nachos….see you thought I’d say tacos! Gotcha on that one! I was going to do tacos but my daughter was craving these instead.
If you are in a hurry, don’t want to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, or just love Tex-Mex, this is the dish for you!! This may be served with lettuce, tomatoes, jalepenos (I use the sweet, candied), sour cream, and picante sauce! Throw on it what you love. Have fun with this one.
2 pound block of Velveeta cheese (You may use also decrease the amount to 1 pound)
2 cans of Ro-Tel Tomatoes (I use mild, but it is up to you…If you use a decreased amount of cheese only use 1 can of Ro-Tel)
Cut your cheese up into small squares. Put the cheese in a 2 quart microwave safe dish. Add Ro-Tel, juice and all. Stir well and microwave for four minutes. Take the cheese mixture out and stir well. Put your dish back in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. In the meanwhile, brown your sausage in a skillet and drain all grease off. When you pull your cheese mixture from the oven the second time, stir well until it is smooth and not clumpy. Add sausage and incorporate well. That is it! Serve with refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, candied jalepenos, and picante if you like or just pour the dip over your chips. Anyway you choose, enjoy!!
Variation- You may also add a can of Cream of Celery or Cream of Mushroom Soup…if you use only 1 pound of cheese, you will only use 1 can of soup…if using 2 pounds of Velveeta, you will add 2 cans.
Gracie, my baby Chihuahua, is pictured here wearing her costume for the Fall Festival at church. She is going as a taco. Isn’t she the cutest? Gracie is basically my second “all my own” dog. We have had dogs since 1999, and I loved them, but they were really for my children who are grown now.
I knew they taught responsibility, caring, and gave great joy. I knew children that had pets matured more quickly, were more responsible as a whole, and seemed more secure so I knew getting them a pet was a good idea.
When my kids became adults and moved out, we kept my daughter’s Pomeranian. The reason we did was because in her dorm she could not have pets. There was no choice but to leave Prissy with us.
I loved Prissy and formed a very strong bond with her when the kids left home. I didn’t empty nest well and she was now my “baby”. I led a very busy life at that time. I was on the “Library Board” and volunteered many hours at my local library, and with a “Crime Victims Assistance” program in our county. I did volunteering for a local hospital, as well. I was active in my church (the one we attended at the time) so Prissy was left alone quite a bit.
I began to think about this. Prissy was used to gleeful and boisterous play when Kate came home and hubby and I didn’t “play” the way she did. I began to sense there was a loneliness in Prissy and I began to cut back on being gone so much. Still there were days that pulled me away, even when I didn’t want to be. I determined, at that point, I was going to say no a bit more forcefully to some things and give Prissy the attention she deserved.
As this new-found freedom to be home began to dawn on Prissy, she bonded all the more with me. She followed my every step and would put her nose under my door in the mornings, she was so anxious to be with me. Hubby had a rule back then of no dogs in the bed. That rule has since been changed.
Prissy died suddenly and without warning and I was devastated. Gone was my baby with her sweet ways, her adoring, unconditional love, and the fact she was no longer my inseparable buddy was almost more than I could bear. I cried and grieved! It was as if I could not shake it. I felt so much guilt that I had spent too much time away from her in the beginning of my empty nest transitioning, that I had not fought harder to secure a place in my bed so I could be with her that much more. I felt guilt over things I had no control over. I knew God had given Prissy to us and now my gift was gone forever!
I looked for other puppies, hoping another would help fill the void, but none bonded with me or me to them as Prissy had. Actually, none bonded to me period! I thought this was so strange because I had so much love to give. I began to wonder if this was my punishment for not appreciating Prissy as I should have. A friend told me Prissy was one of a kind and I would never find another like her. I began to believe that myself and it deepened my grief beyond words.
I watched as other dog owners would pick a puppy and the bond was totally natural. What was wrong with me?? That question went through my mind over and over. Finally, one day I began to pray about this. I told God Prissy was a dog, not a human and although she was irreplaceable, He could make another one for me with everything I needed, which was loving and companionable!
It was funny, because it takes me days to name a puppy, but as I prayed that prayer the name “Gracie” came to me. God let me know another puppy that loved me unconditionally was coming and to name her Gracie because that is what she would be…my saving grace from oppressive grief.
One day I took one more look at the classifieds online (I was not familiar with rescues at that time). I saw her and called immediately. The lady wanted to know how I got her number because it takes 24 hours for an ad to post and she had only posted ten minutes before the phone call. I knew God was up to something!
We met in a Wal-Mart parking lot the next day. At first I had misgivings about her. She seemed nervous, uncomfortable, and overly shy. Again, a rejection I thought. My friend told me to watch her as she held her. Every time I would say something, she would turn her head as far as it could go to look at me. There was another puppy that didn’t do that. It had bonded with the breeder. My friend looked at me and said, “This is the one, I can tell it. She wants you!”
Gracie had on a bulky sweater and I stripped it off. She relaxed in my arms. I handed the lady the money for her and gave my keys to my friend. I wanted to hold her all the way home. I stopped off at my husband’s office and he thought she was beautiful!! He isn’t a dog person like we are…or I should say WASN’T….he loves her, now.
Gracie and I went shopping with Kate for Gracie’s Fall Festival costume yesterday. Gracie is two years old now, so her costume from last year doesn’t fit. I drove and Kate held Gracie. She shook and trembled and panted the whole way there. The poor baby thought she was going to the vet! We got to the shop and Kate said Gracie was making her hot. Kate had been fishing and she was still pretty layered up, ready for a blizzard in south Texas…she is my Aggie!
When I took Gracie, immediately the shaking, trembling, panting stopped. I felt her little body totally relax. I don’t need signs anymore to know Gracie and I have bonded, but when I get them they warm my heart and bring me such joy!
I will always miss Prissy. She was one of the best dogs we ever had! But, Gracie is, too. She fills my heart with so much love! The old rule of no dogs in the bed is long gone. She snuggles right next to me at night and greets me with loving wet kisses in the mornings. She lets me dress her, put rhinestone collars on her, and baby her to my heart’s content. Her attitude seems to say, “Whatever makes Momma happy, makes me happy and that is what it is all about!” If you are a dog owner, you will know as crazy as this may sound, it is very normal and true!
The lady in the pet store said to me yesterday, “Ah, a rescue dog….one you rescued and one that rescued you!” I think that describes Gracie and me perfectly!
If you are thinking of a dog, precious reader, please, adopt and don’t hesitate! You won’t regret it!! They are great for your health physically and emotionally and you are great for theirs, too! Check your shelters and organizations such as “Dogs Bound For the Pound”. They will be loyal and loving companions for life and for the fact you saved them from the unthinkable! Somehow, they know you literally saved their lives!
Please, let me hear your story of you and your precious pet! I know it is a beautiful one!! I will see you soon!