The past few weeks have been so much fun. We’ve been exploring gardening (just a little bit in our temporary residence), and now we’ve added a puppy to our small family.
It’s been overwhelming, if we’re honest, but it’s also been a amazing experience. There’s something unexplainably intimate that happens when you are taking care of creatures that rely on you. I would go as far as to say that this new relationship with our pet and plants are actually a little bit spiritual. Before you think that I’ve been in Asheville to long and disregard everything I just said, let me explain.
Let me start off by saying that taking care of Joy is a amazing experience, currently my favorite experience. But Joy is like us- she’s human, her needs (although very immature in form) are very much similar to ours. She looks like us, she responds like us. Having her has challenged my way of thinking and encouraged my walk with Jesus more then anything else has.
Once you throw in different creatures, however, things change.
First it was the plants. So intricate, so detailed, so peculiar. I started off with a orchid (which was awe-inspiring enough) and was taken aback with the attention this plant required. Soon after, I added a mint-plant to my growing collection, which has its very own sets of needs. Then we expanded again, with different plants which all look so different and need to be watered and cared for just so.
Do you see? Each of these plants- and even more specific, each leaf and branch- is designed uniquely by our creator. When I surround myself with his creation that is so different from myself and other man-made things, I fall in love all over again with his creativity and that he chose to share it with us.
Now, it’s our sweet puppy. Pongo is just past two months old and is really such a good dog. Training has been a exhausting experience for us- it’s almost like a infant again! Night-time potty breaks, mid-day pee-pee accidents, accidental nibbles and attention-seeking. But, he’s still not human, and thinks and reasons differently then us. He sheds, he nibbles and gnaws, and takes almost more constant watch and attention. He is unique compared to our old, normal routines and is forcing us (once again!) to be more flexible. He is beautiful and totally dependent on us and our care, and there is something so amazing about the fact that an animal, once born and bred to living independently in the wild, should be so reliant on us and our care. It’s humbling taking care of a creature so different then us, yet with the same basic needs.
Every time I look at him and I see a piece of God’s love- pure and unchallenged.
Plants, animals, humans- we are all designed so uniquely and creatively by our Father who loves all of us. Surrounding myself with his beautiful creation inspires me to branch out my creativity, to live simply, and to love fully even if I receive nothing in return.
This experience has been oddly and unexpectedly intimate, but definitely life changing. Maybe spirituality has nothing to do with it, but in a weird way has drawn me closer to God, made me more aware and in awe of him in a way I never expected.
What has challenged you recently? Is there something in your life that inspires you, no matter how small? I want to hear from you!