Let the Messes in Life Build Character

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” Richard Branson

Life is not fair.  The quicker our children learn and accept that, the better their lives will be. Parents have a huge responsibility in the care of a child.  We must meet their needs: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Our job is to instruct them, so when children become adults, they won’t need us anymore.  Every child has a specific will that God has ordained for their lives. When we micromanage or control every aspect of their life, we stunt their growth into becoming what God’s intends for them.

I overheard part of a conversation between a young husband and wife.  The wife said, “I was not allowed to watch television, ever.” Her husband nodded and explained the subject at hand. I believe her parents tried to protect her from harmful things influencing her, but life is messy and unfair. Unfortunately, children will see and find out things that are dangerous and scary.  It is better for them to know what to do than be overwhelmed by the evil in the world.

My daughter is at the age, where she can be responsible for the proper care of a dog.  We recently adopted a rescue puppy. However, I know my daughter well enough, that she will forget things and relax on some of the responsibilities.  Potty training is the messiest (literally) part of this process. However, every accident this puppy has made in the house; my daughter has had to clean up.   It only took a couple of puppy bathroom accidents for her to realize, I better take this dog out regularly. She is learning this dog needs to be taken care of for the dog to be healthy.

Parents are not doing their children any favors by sheltering or guarding their lives against the difficult things in life.  God allows us to experience pain and suffering to either help others or for us to make a change. God is not a helicopter parent and neither should any of us.

Lesson Learned: Life is not fair and the sooner we and our children accept that the better off we will be.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for trying to control my child(ren).  Help me to let go of the control and learn to mold and shape their lives as you intended.  I will trust in you for the will you have for their lives. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Spike-What My Dog Taught Me About Regret

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

 

Spike was the name of our dog.  We were blessed to have Spike for 15 years.  Spike taught me how to care for a living creature and at the end of his life, to not have regret.

 

We saw Spike at a pet store, and I thought he was cute for a Chihuahua.  But he was expensive so, we do not get him. A few weeks later, we went back to that same pet store to see if he was still there.  Spike was still there, but he looked unwell. He was sneezing, had a runny nose, and was lethargic.

 

I looked at my husband, and he knew I wanted to save this dog.  He said, “this may be good practice for you before having a baby, and since your birthday is coming up, we can get the dog.”  Thankfully, Spike went to the vet the next day and given some medicine which helped him get better (it was Giardia-an intestinal parasite found in unsanitary conditions).  

 

Anyone who saw Spike wanted to pet or snuggle him.  However, Spike did not like anyone under the age of 12 or if you wore a uniform.  He would pretend to go potty to get a treat; everything was about his stomach. He knew my mother would give him chicken anytime he saw her.  Spike would act cute to get out of any trouble. He was a peacemaker when members of my family were arguing. He would do something to get their attention and make everyone laugh.  

 

Several months before we put down Spike, the Vet diagnosed with a heart murmur.  His heart murmur was a stage 5 out of 6. There were drugs to help him be comfortable.  I knew I would have to make that decision to put him down in the next few months. I used that time to prepare myself and the family that he would be gone.

 

In those last eight months, I did not look at walking him as an annoying chore anymore.  We gave him lots of love and comfort. I made sure he played with his other friend dogs in the neighborhood.  We told him how much we loved him every day and thanked him for all the joyful memories.

 

Spike began to struggle.  He would have temporary paralysis, struggle to breathe and drink water. I knew it was time to put him down.  My husband, daughter and I went to the veterinarian office to say goodbye. I decided to stay in the room and hold him when the vet put him down.  At first, my daughter wanted to stay with me, but the vet strongly encouraged her not to be there. My husband took her out, and I said goodbye to Spike.

 

A family member texted me to check on me, and I told them I would call in a day or two.  When I reached out to them, they asked the usual questions. They asked if my daughter was there when we put Spike down.  I replied that she was there only to say goodbye. For the next couple of minutes, I received a verbal beat down of how I may have traumatized my child and how that was a bad decision.  I said, “if this situation has taught me anything, it is that I am no longer going to regret my decisions.”

 

The decisions we make in life always teach us something.  We, either, learn a hard lesson or we remember what served us well.  If we ruminate and keep our thoughts on repeat, we create anxiety. When we do make mistakes, we ask for forgiveness, forgive ourselves, and pray to our Heavenly Father to help us get past it.  I hope that my life reflects a life well loved and served.

 

Lesson Learned: Regret is a waste of time and energy.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for any decisions I have made that doesn’t align with your plan and purpose for me.  Thank you for your grace and mercy. Help me to learn from my mistakes. May I become stronger from every trial I face.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”