Sunday, November 23, 2014

stray cats and comfortable beds

the animal shelter near us is over-capacity with cats. i love cats (except ryan''s a jerk), and so when they started sending out pleas for adoptions, and free of charge at that, i kept presenting the need to ryan, and each time he said we couldn't handle another animal right now with everything going on. whatever. it's a cat.

i still wanted to "rescue" a cat from the shelter. i'm sure it would become best friends with stello, my cat, the awesome cat.

but the husband wasn't budging. i was sulking--how can he not want to save an sweet cat from an animal shelter?! what's wrong with him! and then this:

our neighbor knocked on our door one night, and since it was dark, this cat looked grey and white--like ryan's cat (the one that's a jerk). we were baffled at how it got out (i don't like it, but i would never let it out on purpose....). ryan knelt down and called it to him, and it came, like they were old friends. except it wouldn't let ryan carry it to our house. something seemed amiss. ryan ran inside and found his jerk cat who was this smokey look-alke? it was skinny, hungry, tiny, and it was freezing outside. we couldn't let this cat stay in the cold. (except it wouldn't come inside. so, we sat a food dish and water outside and a basket with a towel in it (cats love to snuggle in baskets!)). i didn't shout "nooooo!" it's not from the shelter! i won't help it!" 

the next day, when it was daylight, we saw it, and silly us, it looked nothing like smokey. it wasn't even grey. 
nevertheless, it still meowed at us and came to us, and ate it's fill on our front step. we've since sat a cat carrier outside with a towel in it--to help it feel more secure at night when it goes in to sleep. nobody in our neighborhood has claimed it, so, i've named her calico purress. 

bit of a rabbit trail to come************************************************************

all too often, we feel as if we HAVE to adopt to make a change for the orphaned
or we HAVE to intentionally live in a self-imposed poverty to make a difference 
or we HAVE to do 3 mission trips a year to an impoverished country
or if we go on a mission trip and don't lose weight on it because we ate (and didn't deprive ourselves of food the entire time to be like the ones we came to serve), we are ashamed and feel like we could have done more 
or if we come back parasite free, we had it too easy

let us stop measuring our care for the world by spiritually masochistic signs. 
now, we are called to NOT be lovers of this world:
james 4:4 says 
"you adulterous people! do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God! therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes an enemy of God" 
but there is a difference between living modestly and living lavishly, and only dressing in sackcloth and ashes. 
the notion that we must sleep on straw mats, eat one meal a week, and cloth ourself in sackcloth to be lovers of God and servants of people holds us back from the beautiful service we can be living out immediately around us! 

sweet mother teresa once wrote: 
"love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do"
she also tells the story of a young woman who came to live at her commune, and once this young woman received the Spirit, and came to be filled with His love, she came to mother teresa, full of excitement regarding her new life, and mother teresa instructed her to return home and love her family and neighbors. she happily did it--and with excitement! she didn't sulk and demand to stay in the slums of india, no, she went back home and loved those there! 

our neighbors, those in line behind us in the drive-thru, the drivers that cut us off on the road, the woman struggling to pay for her basic milk and bread, the stressed out single mother with the child throwing a fit in the middle of the aisle---they are as in need of our love, smile, grace, and gentleness as those living in poverty in lands far away. there is no shame in serving where you are. 

we are bringing our daughter home, but there is also great love needed here. love that only we can provide, the special love that is unique to what God has done in my heart and the hub's heart. 

let us spread our love whoever we are and not believe the lie that any love and service given locally is somehow less than love given far away. 
we are many parts of Christ's body, as spoken of in 1 corinthians 12:14-26:

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

the only thing focusing on how we are not staring our own 501c3 organization, or adopting 10 special needs orphans, or giving away $35,000 a year does is take off our focus of what we can do where we are. don't let the enemy shame you out of the service and love you can give. maybe the grandchild of a person you love toward Christ will do something you never could yourself, there are far infinite ways to His plans that we can see, let's trust where we are, and love where we are. 

also, on a side note: we "should" be LOA next week! wooooo-hoooooo (this is the big thing from china that we've been waiting on....."the wait!" all the next waits are merely 1-2 weeks each, and center around her visa! now would be an awesome time if you wanted to help be a part of bringing our sweet girl home! you can give through our tax-deductible reece's rainbow account (link on right side of page) or here where our story video is: a place called home site with video

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