Getting my thoughts recorded for this post has been more difficult than I'd anticipated.
Saturday we got a new puppy. He's one day older than MC. The plan was to visit the puppy and bring him home this Saturday. However, when the breeder learned that I'm a stay at home mom, and therefore would be home most of the time to monitor the dog, she went ahead and sent him home with us.
Let me back track a little. When Cookie died, T and I gave MW the option of getting another kitten or a puppy. I told T an outdoor kitten was fine, but a puppy would have to wait a little while. I knew a new baby and a puppy at the same time would be a bit too much.
But T found some puppies that were just what he was looking for...he was going to go check them out in secret, but that didn't happen...and MW was so excited about them! And they were so cute. And in my head, I knew it would be too much...a newborn and a new puppy...but T promised he and MW would totally take care of the puppy...and they do...when T is home...
Earlier this week, I read the passage in Matthew about the scribes and the pharisees being like whitewashed tombs. They looked really good on the outside, but on the inside they were nasty.
In light of that passage, I looked at these pictures and saw all of us smiling. I saw this precious little puppy and two very happy children and an excited husband...even I was excited. He is cute and the children were enthralled. Based on the photographs alone, which don't quite capture our hearts (at least mine), one could easily be convinced that all is well...that bringing home a new puppy with a newborn baby has been this great adventure and that I am all smiles and have a great attitude about it...but then I'd be an awful lot like those scribes and pharisees...a whitewashed tomb. And if one day my children were to read this post, at least MW would know I had been less than honest, because unfortunately, in my sin, I've let them all know exactly what I think about the situation.
I don't think a blog is the place to air dirty laundry, but I do want to be honest. Is there a balance? I think so. And quite frankly, I cannot post these pictures in good conscience and not tell you the whole truth.
The whole truth is that I have been really mad, no, make that angry, about this dog. I understand that T and MW intended to take full responsibility, but T works, so he isn't home all the time. And little MW is five. She's a very responsible five year old, but she is five and five year olds don't always do a stellar job cleaning up puppy messes, and often they can't get the kennel door open, and they really shouldn't carry a puppy down the steps...and she will be starting school in less than two weeks...
I've been angry because I barely was managing three little ones and fulfilling my responsibilities as a wife and mother...add a puppy to the mix and suddenly the time I was going to spend sitting at the table to eat and talk with my children over breakfast (or in this specific case, use the bathroom) becomes time I'm spending on my hands and knees, with tears streaming down my face, cleaning puppy diarrhea out of the nicest rug (it's woven...sisal) in our house. Suddenly, unloading groceries and three hot, tired, and fussy children, one of whom is hungry and is letting me know about it, from the car takes on a whole new dimension with a puppy clawing at his kennel and whimpering and barking...a puppy who, like most puppies, doesn't hesitate to tee tee wherever he is...I'm not going to go on. You get the idea. This puppy is consuming a TON of my time. And so between a husband and three children, one of whom nurses every 2 hours and 45 minutes, and a new puppy, I'm having to die to self in an entirely new way.
Self doesn't die without a serious battle. The battle's been waging for days now. Bitterness has been harbored and has festered and oozed out, poisoning my precious family and spilling out onto friends. Anger has effected everything from the way I fold our clothes to the tone I take answering the same question for the umpteenth time. It has not been pretty.
So I can smile and whitewash this tomb for all outside to see, but the truth is, the inside is nasty.
The wonderful thing, the great comfort, the beauty in it all, is the Gospel. That in the midst of our sin, in the midst of our depravity, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us...the Righteous for the unrighteous.
I have waged my own war of punishing my husband for pushing for a puppy at this time...I have spoken harshly to my children and been short and snappy, and I've said things I ought not to have said...I've thought wretched things while shoveling poop off the sidewalk, or walking barefoot through puppy tee tee. Yet, in the midst of all that filth, which I'd been justifying, Christ hasn't forsaken me. He has, in fact, been at work in my hard heart, giving me a small glimpse of the inside of this whitewashed tomb and the hope that only He can give.
So now, my head knows the right thing to do...to forgive, just as Christ has forgiven me...but my heart and emotions are on the fence, shifting from moment to moment. And I have to forgive again and again 'cause I keep taking it back. Dying to self is so hard.
The puppy, his name is Warrior, by the way (I pulled for Duke, T wanted Knight, but MW insisted it was "Warrior" and it's her dog...), and he's a Great Dane, and he is here. It's a done deal.
And this crazy time in life is merely a season. It won't last forever. I won't always be walking barefoot through puppy tee tee, while on the phone explaining to the security company that they have my husband's first name as his last and his last as his first, while running to pull T3 out of the potty ('cause he sat with the seat up and fell in and couldn't get out), with a screaming newborn in my arms who just spit up in my hair and down my shoulder, and a five year old asking me to tell her a story from when I was little, while I pretend to be the ticket taker on the pretend train our house has become, while Warrior nips at my heels...this is just a season...a season that won't repeat itself. A season that really is precious and wonderful.
I don't want to miss it 'cause I'm angry about the timing on a dog.
I want to jump in headfirst with a big smile and eat up every second...with a good attitude. I want to be okay with, to even enjoy the chaos and moments of insanity.
But I do the very thing I don't want to do.
The war wages on...
And, there is hope.
"My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!"