He now sits on my lap. He now sleeps in our bed. We now *fight* over who gets to snuggled with the Lesser Dog.
Toby holds a dear place in my heart and it breaks Caroline's every time I whisk him up from the floor and swoop him away from Jordan at night. Rightfully so of course. She was here first... she makes the will, or at least 51% of the big money.
I like that I like Toby. I like that he was this little rat dog that was here, annoying all get-out at first... pooping and hacking up awkward things at the more inopportune times (though when is a good time to poop in the dining room and hack up small Crayola colored plastic pieces at the in-laws?). And then I started enjoying, as much as I could, picking up his poop and caring for him when he was struggling with his hacking. But it was like serving this little thing that I just really didn't care for in the beginning and then... did. What is that? Or, better yet, what is that a picture of?
I know not in my own strength can I love others, even those I know I love... but how amazing is it to see, to feel, to taste the grace and strength to grow and stretch and learn to be like Him. I mean, that's our mission, right? From that comes so much more... but boil it down and we follow Christ and His example and His example is... well, what Paul was writing in Romans. It's hard and failure is with almost every breath it seems... but we aren't sent out alone and it isn't intended to be in our own strength. Of course Toby isn't my mission... that would be... weird... but regardless, it has been an interesting/enjoyable and less-than-likely duo.
On a less than along-those-same-lines note... I have been listening to this song by one of our friends recently... basically over and over and over again. Isaiah 44. Bekah sang it at the Mountain Affair at Covenant. She's so talented. I wish I could put it on here but I don't know how and I'm sure I should ask her before doing so... but regardless the scripture reference is must more than this, but the climax of the song references these verses:
But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
If you know the song... this part where Bekah is singing is just lovely and music so beautifully depicts what God is saying and doing. Remember... because we forgot. I formed YOU. He formed ME. I will not be forgotten. How easily I feel like I get squeezed into the rush and business of life that God will forget about me. But He won't and His promises are True and Lasting. And my sins... they have been washed clean.
"Return to me... I have redeemed you..."