Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Sophie Story

Today marks the anniversary of the day our little pup came home to live with us. Little Sophie has quite a story...

It all began a couple of years ago at Taco Temple when we met Jaime and Jacob's dog, Murphy. I assure you, it is next to impossible not to fall for the little Murph, a chihuahua/terrier mix with the disposition of a well-trained "big" dog and a good companion for adults and children alike. I think he has ardent admirers all over the country, and at least 2 abroad. Eventually, we decided to look for a Murphy of our own, scouring ads, checking at shelters, and searching on

One beautiful Sunday morning, a stray cat walked into the gym where my church family meets. How does a cat play into this story? I'm so glad you asked, because my friend Deb and her son Ezra had been praying for a cat, and apparently God provided this one, right off the street and into their hearts. Friends on the playground were elated with Ezra's new pet and suggested Sophie as the perfect name for her. After consideration, he named her Gracie and welcomed her home.

Patrick loved the idea of letting God decide and provide which pet would be the best for us and wanted to give Josh the opportunity to see how the Lord works when we trust in Him and pray for His best. Unfortunately, I must admit that I was completely skeptical! How was God going to accomplish this? Was a pup just going to stroll into chuch one morning or would I find it sitting on the doorstep?

Nightly, we began praying that the Lord would bring the "best dog for us," and I would silently ask for a chihuahua/terrier. This went on for a couple months, and one day I simply couldn't stand it anymore, so I broke out the computer and started searching again. I found an adorable chihuahua/terrier in Santa Barbara and emailed the photo to Patrick... he immediately phoned saying, "It's really cute. Let's go and get it." The feelings of guilt that subsequently enveloped me were too much to bear. I said something like, "I am such a cheater!! I have no faith!! No, I can't do it." And that's when the trust began for me... I finally trusted that God could and would absolutely accomplish this small task, and that I just needed to believe.

Shortly after our conversation, Patrick's boss, stopped by his office and noticed the photo of the dog. She insisted that Patrick should take the afternoon off and go get the dog before someone did. He explained the situation and she eventually returned to her office. Ok, here's where it gets pretty wild, so hold on and be sure to pay attention!! The boss' officemate got a "random" email from her husband. The husband said that their neighbor had a puppy that another neighbor wasn't able to properly care for, and did he know anyone who would like a puppy, because he would be taking her to the shelter the next day if he couldn't find a good home. The boss says, "Patrick's looking for a puppy... email the photos to him."

Meanwhile, on the homefront... "Check your email... you won't believe this," Patrick relayed over the phone, "I think this is our dog." Woah! God is emailing us a dog within the hour??? I asked Patrick to call this neighbor and get more details... What kind of dog?? chihuahua/cairn terrier!!! ...Woah!! What's her name? Sophie!!! ...Woah!! How old? a couple months!! ...Woah!!! That's when we started praying for her!! This is amazing. So to make a long story somewhat short, Patrick brought her home that evening "on trial" one year ago today, and the adorable little ball of fur has been with us ever since.

Everywhere we go, we are asked where we got this little dog and we are happy to relate the "Sophie Story." It is a story of God's faithfulness to His sometimes doubtful and impatient children, who long to trust Him with every detail. There was no need to strive and accomplish everything in our timing, by our own wisdom. He is indeed more than able to do beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. We are thankful that He gave us a good and perfect gift, so that His name can be proclaimed as the Giver. We are thankful that He has increased our faith. We are thankful that He showed our little boy, in such a tangible way, how much He cares for him. We are thankful for Sophie.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Looking Through the Eyes of Love

I was recently on my Pastor Bryan's blog commenting on how I actually like "The Wiggles," have been to one of their concerts and have a picture of Josh and I with the yellow one (Greg). If only I knew where it was, I'd post it. I also admitted to liking figure skating which is of real concern to our friend James. So I'd like to dedicate this entry to James (and his lovely wife Wendy, too).

Above is an artistic rendering of Patrick and I after we skated our Rodin program, in '94, to the music of Vocalise by Rachmaninoff. It was an amazing piece, choreographed by Marina Zueva. It was the perfect blend of romance, artistry, and athleticism. We executed it flawlessly. Oh wait, I'm sorry... that was actually Gordeeva and Grinkov. In my humble opinion, they were the best pairs skaters who ever graced the ice. I actually cry when I watch this program... they were that good.

Here's that which I speak of... to me it's like a beautiful interpretation of the heart of Genesis 2 and the Song on Solomon... the mystery of two people becoming one through marriage, edifying one another, and glorifying their Creator. Breathtaking.

Sigh... Sigh...

What more can I say??!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Come Away with Me...

A couple of weeks ago... ok, Easter Sunday to be exact, I had a Mommie Meltdown. Now this meltdown was inevitable, as it had been building to an ugly head for quite some time. I had felt the Lord prompting me to get away and spend some "up on the mountain" kind of time with Him. "I'm fine. I'll be fine," I kept saying. Why is it that Jesus went off to isolated places to be with His Father, and I, on the other hand, think I can power on through. Hmm.... could it be pride???

Then came that meltdown Sunday morning. Apparently, Josh had some expectations for the morning that we didn't quite meet. After many "talks," we all went to church in a foul mood. "Are you guys alright?" a friend asked. "No. Please pray for us!" Next, we did our best to sing praises to the Lord and adjust our attitudes, and things were looking better... until Jason decided to fidget and start talking in pretty high decibels, so we made our escape and I watched him run around the lounge for the next 40 minutes.

On the way home, my emotions peaked and I cried. "I've got to get out of here," I whimpered. "Yah, go, babe. Take as much time as you need. I got it covered," Patrick replied. So I donned a pair of jeans, and took my Bible and a notebook and headed toward a park in Shell Beach.

First, I took a "prayer walk" (as my friend Stephanie likes to call them), and then I settled down on an ocean front bench perched on a beautiful, rugged cliff. I prayed and I prayed. I sang into the salty breeze. He began to absorb all my cares in His majesty as I looked upon the expanse of His creation. In my stillness, I pondered His greatness, and ascribed to Him the honor that He is due. I attempted to write out my thoughts...

I am overwhelmed by your great beauty, O Lord
The breadth of your creation astounds me.
I feel your peace and calm in the soft breeze, the gentle waves,
The sun shining down on my tanned arms.
Your glory radiates in the shimmering blue waters.
You are immutable and strong, a steadfast rock.
I am small, enveloped in your tender embrace.
You dry my tears and heal my weary soul.
I am at rest and comforted by your touch.

In response, He blessed me with an incredible verse. Although I've read Isaiah 40 numerous times, I had never seen verse 11 in this light...

He tends his flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in his arms
And carries them close to his heart;
He gently leads those that have young.

Oh, how my Savior carries me close to His heart. How gently He leads this sometimes weary mother to His arms of rest. The next time He calls me, wooing me to come away with Him...
I hope I will hear His voice and run to His side.
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