Thursday, January 20, 2011

Puppies, Play and Perspective

Their names are Cinnamon and Milky Way and they are the cutest pups you've ever seen. They have been scampering about my house for a while now and I can't believe they're not tired of being dogs yet. You know, because they're humans and all.
She leads them by ribbon leashes knotted around elastic headbands {so as to avoid strangulation by grosgrain.} And the boy pups let the bossy girl owner take them on walks and find them when they've hidden under the furniture and feed them mac n' cheese for lunch.
It's January but the pups don't know it. Not like I do. For me, this month and the next tend to be a time of both renewal and regression. My high hopes for the future are often tempered by nagging thoughts that I'm not getting it right and that maybe I've misinterpreted my calling and that I'm failing them as a mother {and as a teacher.} And I do. Daily. We all do.
But the magic and the truth is in the "daily" part. Daily, His mercies are new. Daily, we thank Him for provision. Daily, I find fresh hope and strength. In my fretting over the future and wondering how I'll both survive and enjoy the gift of motherhood, I forget to simply take it one day a time, to just live in today and to entrust the Father with the string of tomorrows that will write the story of my life.
The puppies show me how to do that.
God gives me moments that breathe life and perspective back into my bedraggled and bewildered and worrying mama-self and I feel like I can stand up straight again and face this day with confidence and calm and maybe even some creativity.
This week has swelled with moments of make-believe and games, love and laughter.
The gifts of the everyday have been wonderfully obvious, opening themselves right before my eyes. I'd have to be blind not to seem them and a fool not to appreciate them. I allow these teacher-kid-heroes of mine to inspire instead of aggravate...even though we all know it can sometimes be a little of both. {After all, puppies can be loud and terribly messy and prone to lots of tumbling and aggression. But oh, they sure are fun.}
I've been inspired a lot recently by creative and confident people who have a knack for seeing beauty and a boldness to be who they are. I love to be around those people, to learn from them. Probably because it's always been this great and scary desire of mine to live with wild enthusiasm and unabashed authenticity. I often wonder to myself, What if that crazy, imaginative girl stuck on the inside felt brave enough to come out and play more often? What might I actually do?
But these puppies don't think about it. They never consider why they are innately creative and bold in being who they are...which today just so happens to be puppies and dog-walkers.
It's simply their nature, as it is with every child, to be full of wonder and play and to see a ribbon and imagine it as a seize the inspiration of the moment and to make something wonderful out of it.
They are "those people" I admire and observe and think about and they happen to live right here in my own house. How convenient.
And I've decided...
I want to be just like them when I grow up.


  1. Okay, that last line totally made me bawl my eyes sweet.

    This is such a beautiful perspective. I love it :)

  2. I love how your write with such raw honesty and deep thinking about those moments that could easily be looked past. That childlike richness is what Christ desires, so thanks for the reminder! -Jordan

  3. Do you have any idea what you gained by allowing the puppies to run free. Well, almost free . . . someone has to hold the leash, right?

    May God continue to give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to enjoy the creativity, laughter, and joy of the child . . . in all of us.

    What a magnificent post!


  4. Love this! My kids do the same thing...great perspective too. I love the reminder.

  5. My kids do the puppy thing as well. Thanks for making me smile with this wonderful post.

  6. Just had another thought: Do you have any idea how much you increased their enjoyment and pleasure (as well as keeping the door open for future creativity) by seeing it through the perspective you chose? Flashbacks of Barbie productions into which you "roped" your younger brothers and sister.


  7. What a beautiful way to view your children. I love this. Glad I found your blog tonight.

  8. oh marian....thanks for this. i also want to get down and play more - and am thankful for daily mercies. i so need them! my kids play "puppy" too among other animals. great fun!

  9. I love that you posted the pictures along with your post. You reeled me in thinking there were actual furry puppies in your home. :) I laughed at your elastic headband note too. Too sweet. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself.


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