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The Least of These

Monday, January 29, 2018

Almost exactly six months ago, I wrote about the lesson that can be learned from dog poo.

And although it is incredibly humbling every time you have to pick up dog poo (or anyone's poo), I learned a new level of humbling last night and this morning.



You see, this past Saturday, Jane got her spay stitches out (no cone, go Jane, dignity!), and she also received medication for a tapeworm (not so dignified), and she got her rabies shot as well. She seemed fine on Saturday, but then all hell broke loose on Sunday.

As the day went on, Jane's poo got waterier and waterier (oh yeah, if you are easily grossed out, stop here) until, around 11 last night when we were settling in for bed, I looked over and Jane was going to the bathroom on my bedroom floor. While she has had accidents in the past (she's only lived here for about a month), she's never been that brazen about it. All I could do was just watch as a wave (that's the only way I can think to describe it) of poo came pouring fourth.

I wish I could tell you I was kind. I wish I could tell you I was understanding. But I am ashamed to admit that my first reaction was to raise my voice at her. She immediately hid under the bed because she knew she had messed up.

But had she? Had she really?

The thing is, no she hadn't. Her tummy was upset, and she couldn't help it. I don't know about you, but I can think of some times in the past when my tummy hurt and holding it was pretty much not an option.

I felt so bad, but God gave me the opportunity to redeem myself this morning when, upon waking up and going to Jane's crate to get her for her morning walk, I saw that she had gone to the bathroom in her crate. Not nearly as watery as the night before, thank God, but she has never gone in her crate before.

This time, I told Jane it was okay, it wasn't her fault, and I was sorry her tummy was so upset. I took her for a walk, then got out the paper towels and Lysol to clean her crate before getting ready for school. I called the vet and after my afterschool class today I went down and got her a medication the doctor thinks will help. (The doctor said that it could be her worms medication, the rabies shot, or the combination that is making her feel unwell. It could have just been too much for her.)

As I was driving to the vet to get her medications, it occurred to me that Jesus said, "... whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me."

I've heard this verse a million times, and I always associated it with how we should treat the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the imprisoned, etc. But then I thought -- Jane is one of God's little creatures, and, although she has more defenses than some animals (like Baby Snicks), she is still a little, helpless dog who was also created by God. She can't tell me when her stomach hurts, when she has to go to the bathroom, etc. She relies on me to meet her every need. And I can either raise my voice and get upset about things that don't really matter, or I can give her the best I have to offer, just like I would if she were Jesus's dog.

I've talked before about how I've learned that God doesn't see your ability as much as your availability. And here I am, available, and I have paper towels and Lysol, you know? The dog currently asleep on my lap, preventing the ease with which I can type this, lived in the shelter, on the street, and only God knows where else and also only God knows what has happened to her. I learned today that it takes a lot to get a dog off the street and into a family.



I understand that Jane is not a person, she is a dog, but I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and know that I have served Jane well, as best I can. As Mother Teresa said, “We cannot all do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Our Only Hope

Friday, January 19, 2018

Jane got spayed yesterday, and although she seems to be doing very well, I can also tell that she's very sore, tired, and low-energy. She's shaky as well. I also think she misses Joe and Asha very much.

And maybe I do, too.

So tonight, after I got home from the school dance and Jane and I went on a little walk, we decided that since things were proving rough for us heroines, our only hope was Jane Austen.

The OG Jane.

Jane #2 has never seen any of the movies based on Jane Austen's books, so we decided that was exactly what our souls needed. I told Jane how much Baby Snicks used to love Jane Austen films as well. :)

So tonight, right now, we are both lying on my bed -- a treat for Jane as she is not usually allowed up -- and we are watching Persuasion. We are forgetting that our bodies hurt and our hearts hurt, and we are letting OG Jane Austen work her magic.

It will work. It always does.



I Talked to a Drug Addict Today

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I think I talked to a drug addict today.

I'm not kidding. Nor am I trying to be judgmental.

He was across the alley from my front door, leaned up against a garage door, waiting. Now, I am not trying to assume, but I will say that over Christmas break Joe and I saw two similar looking guys leaning against the same garage door, and we also saw them get picked up by an SUV and then dropped off again around the corner. (We were leaving the house to go downtown, so we basically followed the car.) I also live in a sketchy alley in a city known for its immense drug problem.

Want to know what we talked about?

I was walking Jane Austen in the snow (we got about 4" today I'd say), and we were returning home. He said, "The snow is almost too high for her!" And I laughed and said, "I know, she's just sinking in!" Jane started barking at him, and I said, "I'm sorry, she's new." And he said, "Oh, it's okay." And I smiled at him, and then I took Janie inside.


And the minute I shut the door, I wondered -- what if I was the only nice person he talked to today? Or the last nice person he'd talk to?

Not that I was even that nice. I just chatted. But I am so worried about him now. He seemed so nice. He cared about Jane Austen, and he reached out.

I'm so worried that right now he's alone, or high, or unconscious, or cold.

This post has no point really. No solution. No suggestions.

Just a note that I talked to an addict today. And he was really nice to me and and Jane.

And I hope God takes care of my new friend tonight.

Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Our break was extended a bit, as we were supposed to go back today, but it is very icy outside, so school was cancelled.

Overall, my break was wonderful but also a little bit tiring. Joe spent the week of Christmas here, then I spent the week of New Year with him in Atlanta, and I'm going back to Atlanta this weekend for his birthday. (We have next Monday off of school due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.) I feel like I live in two states right now, and, honestly, it can be pretty trying. It gets harder and harder to be far away from Joe, and it really puts an emotional strain on both of us. We try to make the best of it, though.




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Joe and I did do one thing over break that we've never done together before. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but what's done is done.

We saw a movie together.

I honestly think we may have held the record for longest relationship without ever going to the theatre to see a movie together. We've been dating since September 2016, were engaged in April 2017, and will be married in June 2018, and we just saw our first movie together. (For the record it was The Last Jedi, which was totally awesome.) I guess I'll need to console myself with the knowledge that we still hold the record for longest relationship without being friends on Facebook. :)



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For a long time I've been a fan of Jennifer Fulweiler. Lately she's been focused more on her radio show and hasn't been writing as much, which makes me sad, but I still appreciate her insights and enjoy reading her archives. A few years ago she created a Saint's Name Generator, where you can click and randomly receive the name of a saint to learn more about, be your saint for the year, etc. This year for the first time she also created a word of the year generator. This generator will chose an inspiring word for you at random. Having a word to focus on for the year is something I read about a few years ago and have done in the past. I've focused on words such as "open," "hope," and "extraordinary." These are words that have come to me as I've thought about it, but this year I decided to try Jennifer's generator. The word I got:




Looks like 2018 will be a year pretty much like all the other years of my life. :) But I feel like maybe I should do more with it this year. Keep a list of books I read this year or something like that. I'll think about it. But in the meantime, find me on the Litsy app (annawhoismagic)!

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My gut tells me that this year will fly by, especially the rest of this school year. It seems hard to believe when it's so icy and cold outside, but I know it's true. I think summer break will be here again before we know it, and time will keep moving forward as it always does. I pray that I will take time to enjoy these moments of my life and not wish myself into the future. I pray 2018 is the best year yet for you, too.
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