Puppy Love

“My son, don’t think the Lord’s discipline of you is worth nothing. And don’t stop trying when the Lord corrects you. The Lord corrects those he loves. (Hebrews 12:5-6)

Last Friday, my husband Chris and I welcomed an 11-week-old Corgi puppy into our home. Along with moving to the land of palm trees, getting a Corgi puppy has been on the top of our bucket list. God must have decided that it was time for our dream to become a reality, because in the course of 24 hours, when we least expected it, this bundle of cuteness became ours. To say that Winston has brought a new level of love, joy and laughter into our lives is an understatement! I won’t lie, it’s been A LOT of work and a major change to our comfortable empty-nest-and-pandemic way of life. But I wouldn’t trade the cuddles, kisses, and moments when Winston looks up at his father or me with those beautiful hazel eyes. When the ears go back and his stubby little tale wags, my heart just melts. Those of you who have had puppies in your life know all about this precious companionship and the love between a dog and their owner.

Training Winston will take energy, time, and patience, even when we don’t have it to give. There will be days when we might not even feel like loving him. Thankfully he has already proven to be a fast learner with a heart to please. He’ll certainly have his fair share of mistakes along the way, but we will never give up on him just because he makes a mistake. Just like any good parent, we want Winston to learn and to become the best version of himself.

We make mistakes too. None of us are perfect. How fortunate are we that we have a forgiving God who loves us unconditionally? God never gives up on us, ever. Never will God abandon us when we mess up. God will continue to teach and discipline us because we are precious children in both God’s earthly and heavenly Kingdom. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).”

I have no idea what our puppy Winston is thinking when he is being disciplined. But perhaps in those moments when we know God is teaching us, we can ask, “what is God wanting to do in me through this? How can God get the glory in this?”

Prayer Focus: New Parents

Prayer: Giver of Life, remind us to pause and enter into your presence many times a day. As we offer our gratitude, may we trust your leading, and receive the rest and peace you promise. Amen.

Children’s Activity:

Celebrate St. Francis of Assisi Day! Make a Zoo. Among other things, St. Francis is the patron saint of zoos and animals. Using paint, play dough, pipe cleaners, or simply a box of recyclable odds and ends – have children create their own animals. Then, recite the Prayer of St. Francis for Animals and Pets:

Good St. Francis, you loved all of God’s creatures.
To you they were your brothers and sisters.
Help us to follow your example
of treating every living thing with kindness. Amen