A blessing from a blog

I have recently had the honor of meeting a lovely young woman, Sundi Jo, through LinkedIn.  I've only just begun exploring her blog, but every post I've read so far has been a divine blessing.  I'm new to LinkedIn too, and already it's obvious that the majority of people are using it to establish professional relationships, which is fine, but I thank God that there are also many who are using this tremendous tool to share the Good News of His love, grace, and mercy.

If you want to see first-hand how God is moving in the lives of young people today, visit her blog.  I will be - often.

An important lesson I learned from my weeds

I'd planned write bills first thing this morning.  Fortunately, I went outside to get the paper first.  Even though I walk past my overgrown flower bed several times a day, I knew that this morning was the time to spend a few minutes clearing the weeds.  The morning was so beautiful that I just couldn't resist spending a few minutes enjoying the weather and doing something that needed to be done.

Before I started, the flower bed looked like this:

Although it's not obvious from the picture, some of the weeds had dainty little flowers on them.  To be honest, if they'd been in a flower pot, I wouldn't have known they were weeds.  The more I thought about that, the more disturbing the thought became.  That's because I began to wonder what other things in my life look pretty, and harmless, on the surface, but really aren't?  

According to Wikipedia, a weed is generic term used to describe a plant that is deemed to be a nuisance because it grows in places where it is unwanted, such as gardens or lawns.  Widipedia goes on to say that
"Weeds may be unwanted for a number of reasons: they might be unsightly, or crowd out or restrict light to more desirable plants or use limited nutrients from the soil. They can harbor and spread plant pathogens that infect and degrade the quality of crop or horticultural plants. Some weeds are a nuisance because they have thorns or prickles, some have chemicals that cause skin irritation or are hazardous if eaten, or have parts that come off and attach to fur or clothes."


After about 20 minutes, my flowerbed looked like this:

Yes, it still needs a lot of work, and yes, I'd really like to replace the ugly shredded bark that my Dad likes to use for mulch.  But the point is that now that I understand the consequences of weeds, I'm glad I removed them.  More importantly, now I need to start looking for the other types of weeds in my life and root them out as well.

Volunteer Opportunities

AARP has introduced a new online tool, CreatetheGood, which you can use to find volunteer opportunities in your area.  Whether you've got 5 minutes, an entire day, or you're looking for an ongoing commitment, this web site probably has something for you.  Just enter your zip code and find something that suits you.  You'll be glad you did.

My therapy dog

I knew shortly after I brought Bailey home in February that I wanted to train him to be a therapy dog when he gets older.  What I didn't know was that six weeks later I'd be having emergency eye surgery that would really take it's toll on me.  Despite all the abrupt changes in our schedule, and the sudden addition of "grandma" who stayed with us for two weeks to take care of me, Bailey has been remarkably resilient. 

While our play time isn't as vigorous now as it was during the weeks before surgery, our snuggle time continues to be a high point of our days.  Nothing relaxes me like having Bailey lay quietly with me, watching tv and/or thinking about whatever it is that puppies think about.  Having him fall asleep in my lap is equally adorable, even though he snores like a tiny freight train.

It's interesting how God brings us what we need, even before we know we need it.  I never thought that I'd be Bailey's first "patient".  When it comes to therapy dogs, he's a natural.
"A true friend sees the first tear... catches the second... and stops the third."  - Author unknown

What a beautiful sentiment.  I thank God for my true friends.