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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Always a blessing, always blessing

Always a blessing, always blessing

God brought you into my life, Wiggles, for many reasons, all of them good and kind and miraculous, not all yet known, but all so much appreciated.

So often, people will call me or Good Boy "lucky." They'll praise me for saving Good Boy, as though I had anything to do with it! At those times, I'm quick to explain to them that God and you are the ones deserving of credit, and that it's all about blessings.

When you and I met, Wiggles, and traded hearts, I learned about love, trust, faith, and hope in ways heretofore unknown. You were a joyful, yet quiet, soul, your eyes filled with love for me through both the first six years of normal eyesight, and the second six years, when you saw with your heart. You brought home to me the knowledge that love is so much more powerful and all-encompassing than I'd ever known. There is so much that I miss about your physical presence, but also so much that you gave me to celebrate, including the blessing of Good Boy.

This lil pup -- he's a senior cattle dog / blue heeler of unknown vintage, but shedding years of dread and trading it for trust and the surety of having a real home -- is alive and thriving thanks to you and God. That blessing is one I share; you knew it wasn't my time to grieve to death. You found just the right furry soul to pair me with, though I was not able to give Good Boy much at first but the roof over his head, food and water and much-needed veterinary care. You know that neither he nor I realized the breadth and depth of our blessings for the first six months; it was more than a year before we really got to a place where we were able to feel the happiness coming through where before there had been ... unsurety. We've both been so tired, so filled with a riot of feelings ranging from dread to hope and from sadness to happiness.

When we go for walks, we walk in the same places where you and I walked, and even though the seasons and years pass, your presence is still strong and steadying, letting me know that it's all right to smile, to hug and pat and love Good Boy. The love we have for each other is safe, secure, and stronger than ever. Good Boy has joined us, sharing a place that you and God helped make for him, blessing us.

So, whenever someone that doesn't know, mentions 'luck' or focuses their gratitude for Good Boy's saving, on me, I tell them about how you and God love me so much that that love reached out and took Good Boy in, too!

Thank you for all you've done and continue to do, sweet Wiggles! You are always the child of my soul, still teaching me about love and faithfulness. You and God are a perfect pair!

So much love,

Your mommy-me, Julie

Friday, August 17, 2012

Neighbors, no matter what

Neighbors, no matter what



August 17, 2012





Thanks to the blessing of Facebook, a dear Oregon friend shared one of Stephanie Falck's photos of the 500-ton, 17-semi truck hay donation.



Here in Ohio, thirty years ago, a dear Amish friend -- himself a farmer with Limousin beef cattle -- had a bumper crop of top-notch alfalfa hay. That same summer, farmers in the Carolinas experienced a terrible drought. Jonas shipped a railcar load of hay to those farmers, with the stipulation that the recipients only know it came from "a friend."



This is how neighbors are. It does not matter the distance from their driveway to yours. It might be a half-hour from your kitchen table to theirs, or it could take two or three days' travel to put your feet under their table -- you're still neighbors.



During this summer of drought, wildfires and other trials & tribulations, please know that people all over our great country (and beyond) hold you close in prayer. We are grateful beyond words for the kindness that is inherent in good people to simply do good things. Recognition is not sought. Heroes don't view themselves thusly. Anyone would do it, they say.



God is alive and well in the hearts of such people -- the donors, transporters and recipients of such kindnesses. Let's let that take center stage in our lives and push the 'gristle' to the back of our plates. Good still prevails in the face of adversity!






Julie Kay Smithson is a property rights / natural resources researcher in west-central Ohio's Amish and Mennonite farming country. She lives with Good Boy, a blue heeler who depends on her to be his 'seeing eye person' -- and the sweetest memories of Wiggles Blue Heeler, who was at her side for more than a dozen years of rural living.