Friday, October 27, 2017

The Extent of Love


This summer I purchased my very first dog. It was a momentous occasion to say the least. I cannot quite put into words the feeling of stepping out the front door and seeing Brooks—who drove a four hour round trip to fetch my dog—standing on the patio with a four-legged 10 lb. pointy-eared fluff ball standing next to him. There is an ingrained instinctive reaction in every human’s brain to love puppies. I have never known this because while I have seen puppies before, I have never loved one that belongs to me. I never owned a dog growing up and I always presumed pet-sitting other peoples’ dogs was sort of like owning a dog of my own—been there done that, you know? Well, I was wrong.

Something opened up in my heart when I saw my puppy for the first time. Like I said, I cannot quite describe it, and if you think I am just being over-the-top ridiculous (like all those fanatic dog owners!) well then you have simply never owned a puppy of your own. All I remember was the puppy was dirty. She was really dirty and smelly. And covered in fleas. But I picked her up. I couldn’t help but pick her up.

The next few weeks were a messy adjustment to owning a puppy. Brooks had to deal with most of the mess since Dierdre lives with him and his Siberian husky. I got to deal with some of the mess though when Brooks was gone for a week at a work conference and I volunteered to check in on the dogs a couple times a day to feed them, walk them, etc. Well as it turns out Dierdre had worms, not surprising considering I got her off of a farm and she probably had not received any worm-prevention treatment. Needless to say, things were very messy and the dogs were very unhappy that week.


It was a good inauguration into pet-owning for me. Owning pets, owning a puppy especially, is incredibly inconvenient. Puppies pee and poo everywhere. Puppies are expensive. They need a lot of shots, kennels, collars, leashes, food bowls, food, water, baths, flea treatment, and most of them eventually need surgeries. I learned something really important the week I missed two days’ worth of classes and a day of work in order to take care of a sick puppy and take her to the vet.

I learned that it is one thing to hold a cute puppy and an entirely different thing to really love a puppy. One of my friends recently shared this quote, “We love to the extent we are willing to be inconvenienced.” For some reason that quote has been resonating in my mind ever since I saw it because when it comes down to it, love is not convenient.
The people who probably understand this more than anyone else are mothers. Think of all the love and care mothers give their children. Think of all the many ways mothers have let children inconvenience their lives, schedules, careers, goals, and everything else.

Yet for all of the ways I know I have inconvenienced my parents, I have never once felt like an inconvenience upon them. I have never felt like a nuisance, something they are eager to be rid of or something they resent. We all know the difference. We all know what it feels like to have someone begrudgingly accommodate your existence in their lives…and then the people who welcome you into their world, move around the furniture, make space in their life for you, and don’t think twice about it because nothing could make them happier than your happiness and your comfort.

The world seems so deprived of love right now, especially where it should be the strongest—the family, the church. The more I see of it, the more aware I become of how much love has been bestowed upon me even when I feel like there is so little love in my heart.

To be completely honest, I was afraid for a while to let anyone or anything disrupt my existence. I was afraid to be inconvenienced, afraid to have my carefully crafted plans derailed, but let me tell you…if you open up your heart, if you let yourself be inconvenienced, if you can meet other people where they are, if you can learn how to willingly accommodate the existence of someone else (or even something else like a puppy!) you might just find the boundaries of your heart expanding and growing. You might find that the inconvenience, mess, and disruption are completely worth it.

Hey thanks for reading this blog post! 
You also might be interested in:

6 comments :

  1. Your newest family member is simply precious, Danielle! I so enjoyed your post and your photos brought a smile to my face :)

    Wishing you a joyous weekend. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Stephanie! I really love her. She is a handful but definitely worth it. :)

      I hope you are having a great week!

      Dani xoxo

      Delete
  2. Isn't it interesting how caring for a sweet dog gives us just a tiny glimpse into the way our parents care for us? I'm glad you've been able to have this experience. Thanks for your exhortation to open our lives to loving others. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't say caring for a pet dog is the equivalent to parenting, but it has given me a little glimpse of what it is like and it's been a trying but rewarding experience!

      It's always good to hear from you Paige! thanks for stopping by the blog. :)

      Dani xoxo

      Delete
  3. I really enjoyed this one, have been thinking very similar thoughts myself lately. I think God sees us the same too. We inconvenience Him all the time as flawed humans, yet His overwhelming love for us stays the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an excellent observation Roxanne! Our Heavenly Father loves us best. :)

      Dani xoxo

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...