In part one of this blog series I focused mostly on the grief side, with the loss of our first dog, Happy Gilmore. While we are still sad and miss him dearly, we've also been able to experience new joys with the new dog we adopted a couple of weeks ago. Meet Copernicus -- or, Copper, for short. We adopted Copernicus from the Humane Society shortly after a visit there to get registered as volunteers. We will soon be helping with special adoption events around town. And, I'll be able to do so all the more enthusiastically now that we have our own new rescue dog!
This past Christmas was a hard one for us. We had to say goodbye to one of our best friends and companions -- our dog, Happy Gilmore. It was all the harder because it was a sudden and unexpected death. Happy was a well trained and good mannered dog. He wasn't a bolter by nature, but he was a hunter. He had a very strong hunt / chase instinct and his prey drive was the one thing we could not train out of him. You can't really train out an instinct. He had made progress, but deer were still his kryptonite. On the 22nd of December, I stood in my sun room in front of the open door doing what any other normal person would be doing -- throwing the rest of my fall gourds into my garden. Happy approached, and as I tried to shoo him back, he must have caught sight of a deer in the field because he suddenly bolted for the backyard. I grabbed for his collar, which he was not wearing, and he slipped right through my arms. I called after him, but he was deaf to the world, going full bore after that deer. That was the last time I saw him alive. By the time I put my boots on, he was already out of sight. He was so fast. I called Tom to come home from his errands and we scoured the woods and the neighborhood looking for him. I finally posted "lost dog" online on a few sites, and it wasn't long before someone cross published a post about a found dog. A dog found dead. On the side of the road. A half mile from where we live. I knew it had to be him. I called Tom sobbing and he went and found him. He had been hit by a car, and from what we could tell likely died very quickly. Tom quietly picked up our lifeless dog and brought him home. It was one of the worst moments of my life.
For the past couple of years, I've started a tradition where I write a post near and around my birthday. It started when I turned 30, with my 30 Life Lessons, then last year I focused on 31 Proverbs, or nuggets of wisdom. This year, I wanted to take some time and focus on 32 things that I'm thankful for now that I've completed 32 years of life.
When you find flavors that mesh, they deserve to be incorporated into multiple dishes. Bruschetta is one of those flavors. One of my favorite things to make with garden fresh tomatoes is bruschetta -- that delicious combination of tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Put it atop a slice of toasted french bread spread with goat cheese and you've got yourself a killer appetizer!
When I was young, I used to wear all the high heels and platform shoes. It was nice to feel tall every now and then. However, since Rheumatoid Disease struck, I've been relegated to flat, "comfortable shoes" -- and the struggle to find such shoes that are also stylish. When I had the opportunity to review Hotter Originals shoes, I jumped at the chance. Hotter is a British brand with a focus on comfort (yes!) -- and their Originals line features classic styles that go well with a variety of outfits. I chose the Jewel style in Navy since I don't have any navy colored shoes, and I thought these would be both cute and comfortable for work -- or any occasion! They are a ballet style with a subtle snakeskin sort of pattern and a bow across the front.
It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Proverbs 19:2)
I stole a pillow. There, you have it. My confession. It wasn't on purpose, mind you, but because I was a bit too hasty...and just downright impatient. You see, I had been planning to redo our master bedroom decor and had gotten to the point where I was tired of looking up ideas and ready to be done with the project. But, that meant I had to commit to a look and purchase my new bedding and other pieces. So, I very quickly went through my list of saved pieces for my bed set and realized too late that I had purchased a pillow off Amazon that was coming from overseas. Not on Prime. Not to arrive until weeks after everything else. And this was not just any pillow. This was the focal point of my new bedroom design. It was a peacock pillow. Fancy Peacock Pillow, it was called. Realizing this mistake, I quickly emailed the seller and asked to cancel my order stating the ship time was too long -- and immediately purchased off another site. Crisis averted. Almost.
The next morning, I had an email from the Amazon seller assuring me that my Fancy Peacock Pillow would be there very quickly, and urging me to keep my order. Fine. If it would be there on time, I would keep that one since it was cheaper and cancel Fancy Peacock Pillow order #2. And so I told her such -- a bit too hastily, as I found out, since when I called to cancel order #2, it had already been processed. After jumping through some hoops, I finally confirmed that I could cancel order #2. Only, it didn't really get canceled. I didn't get charged for it, but they also failed to stop the shipment, and it unexpectedly arrived at my doorstep couple days later. To make matters worse, cheap Amazon Fancy Peacock Pillow arrived as simply a sham without a pillow insert. Duplicate, stolen pillow arrived as a true Fancy Peacock Pillow in all its glory. Ugh.
|I mean, is this not the fanciest peacock pillow you've ever seen??|
After realizing that this was all my fault to begin with, I decided to wait out the hold music until I could talk to someone and actually pay for said pillow. I felt much better after I did and no longer felt the shame as the peacock stared me down while making my bed each morning. As a side note, I kept the sham, too, because I didn't want to bother trying to return it to China. And now I have two Fancy Peacock Pillows. Because everyone needs a spare.
|New bedroom decor is now fully paid for! Hooray for not stealing.|
A silly example perhaps, but I think it still demonstrates how being hasty often causes you to act without thinking and make unwise choices. Wisdom is taking the time to gain knowledge of a situation before acting. It's pausing to think and observe before you move. It's looking ahead to be sure that you're taking the right path and not unwittingly passing it by.
This is a lesson that the Ents know well -- perhaps a little too well. Ents? Yes, you know, tree herders. Shepherds of the forest. In case you're unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings, allow me to enlighten you and share another silly example in the opposite extreme. Meet Treebeard, the Ent.
There's something you should know about Ents. They are most definitely not hasty. Here's a case in point:
In fact, I think Ents tend to take things to the opposite extreme. Whatever the opposite of hasty is, that is the Ents. They think and ponder and take a year to say a sentence, but rarely seem to actually do anything. Only deliberating and never actually doing isn't what we are called to. We are called to love "with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18)." Having zeal and proactively following a course are good things -- so long as they are tempered by knowledge, forethought and wisdom.
In the end, the Ents were finally spurred to make a decision to act. By that point, they knew what had to be done -- and they were instrumental in saving Middle Earth.
The lesson as I see it is this: Don't be hasty lest you end up with superfluous peacocks cluttering your bedroom, and don't be so permanently rooted in indecision that you never branch out toward something better.
So let's have passion. Let's have zeal and enthusiasm. But let us first set forth a solid direction, through wisdom, prayer, knowledge and discernment.
For my 31st birthday, I decided to write down 31 of my favorite proverbs, or wise sayings from the Bible that I had been studying. This year, I am hoping to take a deeper dive into each of them and share some thoughts on them with you here.