Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Change of Plans

James 4:13-15 says, "Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain; Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

We had such a fun day, yesterday.

My dad gave us tickets to the OSU basketball game in the afternoon. We drove up with good friends - enjoyed the game (even wore orange - horror of horrors!), came back to town and had a really nice, lovely, kid-less dinner together, before the Coach and I headed home to bathe and tuck in our eight munchkins.

At about 1:30 AM this morning, I realized it was a poor choice, though, to have a Diet Coke with my dinner. After tossing and turning for quite some time, I finally got up and got to work. Writing thank yous, jotting things down on my to do list, adding things to the calendar. I accomplished a lot in the early morning quiet.

And although I knew I'd be tired today, it felt good to get things in order for our first week back at school. It's always a shock to finish up Christmas break. When you've been sleeping in, staying up, playing games, eating junk - then all in one day, it's back to "real" life with early mornings, packing lunches, homework, basketball games and early bedtimes. And I probably should even get on the scale at some point.


But at least I'd gotten organized.

Right about the time I fell into deep sleep, there was a little person at my side. "My tummy hurts." We keep a folded sleeping bag in the corner for just such occasions, so I rolled it out, got her tucked in, and asked if she needed a bowl. Yes. She thought she might.

Turns out she did.

About 5 times. (I realize you don't want to hear about it. But it's my blog, after all.)

It was a long night.

This morning, I woke late to help the Coach fix two other heads of girl hair so he could take some of the kids to church. Only to discover that another boy was sick, as well. And another.

It's been a long day.

My point (and I do have one) is this. Planning is good. Being prepared is good. But you still aren't in control. I thought I was ready for the week. But the week is turning out much different than I planned.

I wouldn't chose it.

But I know God is good. All of the time. And I trust Him.


Sometimes trusting Him means giving up your own plans. Or submitting to your husband's decisions. Or both. Even if it's hard.

Those of you who have been around awhile will remember this. Such a happy day here at our house. I will never forget it. (sniff)

And before I cry (not like I haven't, already), I'm going to tell you that Champ has gone to a new home. No, I didn't send him there with a gun because he wouldn't quit barking. That wouldn't have been right. Not that the thought hasn't crossed my mind. Or the neighbor's.

A couple of weeks ago, while the Coach and I were enjoying a glorious anniversary weekend ALONE (thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks, Sweet Sitters!), we had a heart to heart about our canine family member.

He's a handful.

And unlike a child, which you are stuck with, I mean, have the privilege of rearing for life, a dog can go to a better place.

A farm. With lots of other big dogs and 1,000 acres to roam.

And the investment we've made? Well, the Coach is humble enough to count it as a lesson learned. Which I've sworn him (and this post is proof) to remember if we ever start thinking a dog is a good idea for our family.

Because it's not.

Not for a family of 10 who have six of their troops in school all day most of the year. Not for a family where the leader of the Troops (i.e. the Coach) is gone even more than the six who are in school all day. And not for a very LARGE dog who thinks he is the King of the Troop's yard. And toys. And trampoline. And basketball goal pad. And basketballs. And soccer balls. And pants legs. And jacket tails. And flower pots. (you get the idea)

Let me just say: It's been fun. Well, at first it was fun. He was so cute.

Then there was installing the underground fence.

Then the obedience school. Which he failed. Miserably. (it's a bad sign when the instructor says she's never seen a dog as stubborn as yours)

Then there was the nasty neighbor letter.

Then the bark collar.

And the training system I bought from an infomercial (please, don't judge me, I was desperate).

And now we are just wishing more happiness for Champ. Somewhere else.

So with a fond farewell and hopes for a happier life with a more experienced owner and other dogs to play with and be put in his place by. . .

We sent him off.

Our beautiful German Shepherd.

I know there will be times we will miss him eagerly waiting for us at the back door. Barking for attention and table scraps and leaning into our ear scratching.

But it's all for the best.

And we'll still have the pictures to prove he was part our family. Even if just for a little while.

This wasn't our plan when we bought him. He was going to be our family pet. Our loyal companion. Or at least the Coach's. I already have plenty of loyal companions.

But I admire the Coach for knowing when it's time to move on.


And for today, tonight and most likely tomorrow, I have a feeling the Lord's will is going to include caring for some pitifully sick kids.

I'm tired.

And things haven't turned out like we planned. Or wanted them to.

But as the Coach would say, "I'm all over it".


Anonymous said...

Oh dear friend, praying for you!
What a way to put my petty problems into perspective. I was not looking forward to the vacation time ending, hmmmm I guess a little schooling will be easy! Praying for the changes, the tummies and you!

Jo said...

Oh my. Have I told you - you are nine times the mom I will ever be. Bless your heart again and again. I'm so sorry about the "bowl" issues. Praying that will be quick. And for the other - well, been there and done that. Yes we have. Cats are much less maintenance. I do not love cats - but we've been blessed with a good lazy mouser. Love you today.

Zimms Zoo said...

Boy you guys just can't seem to shale that flu can you? That is terrible. This is the first pregnancy where I didn't get it (knock on wood) or wasn't cleaning up after someone who did. I can so relate.

I have to admit the picture of the dog laying in the dirt was funny. He didn't even have the decency to go hide! We had to get rid of 3 dogs because of fence jumping issues and the last (wonderful one) was stolen. Cats are wonderful and kill mice. Try one you might like it.

I hope we can get together soon!!

Lori said...

Oh dear friend!!! I am SO SORRY about the sickness. Ugh! You all SERIOUSLY need a break! I'll be praying for you. There is nothing I dislike more than throw-up.

And sorry it didn't work out with Champ. I'm sure he is just as happy where he is now. :)

Praying for you today!

Hilary said...

Oh goodness!! I'm so sorry you guys are sick again :-( Perhaps it won't progress beyond the ones it has affected. Praying for quick healing for you guys!

Best Life said...

What a shame you have the sickness AGAIN! Your post reminded me of the movie my husband and I just saw, "Marley and Me". I'm not a dog person, but this one will get to you. Maybe you could take a little break and go see it and have a good old cry. Praying for you all! Lisa~

Jen S said...

Hi Karen. I read your blog while I was sleepless last night and I prayed for your family. First of all, I can't believe you got the stomach bug AGAIN. And secondly, my heart went out to all of you over having to give your dog away. :( I know that must be tough, but at the same time I'm sure you are experiencing a bit of relief. God bless you all!