Friday, October 11, 2013

I'd Like To Be As Good A Friend As My Dog...

As I type this, my sweet dog, Ranger is laying on my feet on the sofa.  

He has already followed me around the house, walked with me to the bus stop, patrolled our backyard against strangers (or strange birds... or just regular birds), dissected his Kong of treats, and wandered around the house glancing out the windows in search of the evil chipmunks who taunt him through the glass.

God really knew what He was doing when he made "Man's Best Friend" - I think this chapter missed it's spot in Genesis:

If you have a furry companion, you are blessed.  They may have their infuriating moments, but dogs show this amazing loyalty and friendship to their people.  I was thinking this morning, that I hope I'm as good of a friend to others as my dog is to me.

I'd like to think that I'm ready to play or hang out at any moment... that I'm quick to forgive and forget... that I'm loyal, and a good listener, and happy, and outgoing, and adaptable.  I'm sure I fail all the time, but hopefully I succeed more than not.

The Bible has some great verses on friendship... One of my favorites is when Jesus is speaking:

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

How amazing is it that Jesus wants to call me, you, all of us, his friend?!

And if my dog can get it right, can't we all?
Your friend,
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

For My Husband... And My Sons... And ALL the Men in My World...

Yesterday was for my girls - today is for you, Dudes.  Because the guys in my life are special, and unique, and AWESOME as well... 

God created you for an amazing purpose... have you found it yet?  Are you living up to the MASTERPIECE that you are?

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; 
      you formed me in my mother's womb. 
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! 
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made! 
      I worship in adoration—what a creation! 
   You know me inside and out, 
      you know every bone in my body; 
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, 
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; 
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you, 
   The days of my life all prepared 
      before I'd even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13-16, The Msg

Thank you for being you,
♥ Mags
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Attention Women! This Is For YOU!!!

I've mentioned before, that when I meet a new kid - especially one of my kids' friends, I usually introduce myself as Maggie-is-Awesome.  I tell them that I will answer to "Mrs. Buckley," but that I honestly prefer either "Maggie-Is-Awesome," "Darth Magius," or "Magius Malfoy" (if you don't get the last two references, you need to stop reading this, and go out an BUY and WATCH "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter" ..... like, NOW).   

The need to continually remind others that I'm not a dork (which in turn probably gives just opposite message) likely stems from my elementary school years as being... well... a dork.  (Who needs psychotherapy?  See how easy that was to figure out?!)  But I've got a message for all my gals today... just in case you aren't feeling it, YOU are AWESOME.  But don't just take MY word for it...


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:14 NIV

Embrace it.
♥ Mags
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Friendship in UNusual places

Love finding God in unusual places... how about a BEER commercial?!!  If you want to see a true definition of friendship, take a look at this commercial.  Be sure you watch it all the way through (or it won't make sense!):  

"And as you wish that others would do to you,
do so unto them."
Luke 6:31

What have you done for a friend lately?  
Today, I am thankful for my friends - who make me laugh... who offer support, guidance, fashion advice (*wink*), and more.... who love my kids... who love my quirks.  
Thank you, my friends.

:) Mags
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

There's A New Dog In Town...

I've been quite remiss in my blogging!  Summer hit, and I was knee-deep in baseball tournaments, games, and practices... then vacation... then back-to-school meetings, shopping, and routines.  I hope you all have had a wonderful summer - and have had a chance to glimpse God in one of your everyday places. :)

I also want to show off our new (ish) dog.  I confess, I did NOT wait 4 months to get a new furry friend... I was on Petfinder within 24 hours of losing Mick.  I started with our the closest, Columbus Cocker Rescue, but at the time, all of the dogs they had were older (we were hoping for a 1-2 year old dog so he still had some "life" in him to play).  So we widened our search... and widened it some more... and then found the perfect pooch... in Texas.  Yeah... Texas... Have I mentioned that I live in Ohio?!  But it's interesting how God eases the way for some things.  The adoption fee was lower than other local rescues, the airfare was low - and together, the total cost was just about a $100 more than adopting locally.  The wonderful people at Houston Cocker Spaniel Rescue worked with us and Columbus Cocker Rescue (who graciously provided references since they had done such extensive screening already), and THIS little guy was on a plane headed our way.  Meet Ranger!

This little guy is hilarious - We think he's part cat the way he hops up on the edges of furniture and perches there.  As I type, he is dozing right next to me.  He's definitely a bird-dog.  Did you see Doug in the movie, "Up?"  Well, instead of "SQUIRREL!," imagine our dog doing the same thing at "BIRD!!!!"

This blog post isn't one of my "deeper ones."   Just the simple idea that even when you have crummy things happen to you, better days are always ahead.  And you have to be willing to think outside the box.  At first, adopting a dog nearly 900 miles away seemed like crazy talk.  But with persistence, and commitment, and God easing the way, we have our new dog.  And it was worth it.

Luke 11:9-10 ESV
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

:) Mags

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

All Dogs Go To Heaven :)

Our 5-year old, sweet Cocker Spaniel named Mick died yesterday.  It was completely unexpected.  He started having seizures on Sunday and got progressively worse.  We saw two different vets - but blood work was clear, he hadn't been injured, he hadn't eaten anything weird - there was no outward cause.  By Tuesday, we got to a Veterinarian Neurologist who suspected either (best case) epilepsy or (fixable) encephalitis or (worst case) a brain tumor.  They admitted him for 24 hours to give him anti-convulsives and stabilize him.  But within 5 hours of being admitted, he died.

To say we were shocked was an understatement.  No one expects an otherwise healthy, 5-year old dog to suddenly expire.  As we talked with the neurologist when we checked him in - we were looking at some tough decisions ahead.  The only way to completely determine what was going on was a $2200.00 canine MRI (that would actually be done at the downtown Children's Hospital - how crazy is that?!).  This could show if it was a tumor, encephalitis, or nothing (leaving the last diagnosis as epilepsy).  But the hospital only did these on Thursdays.  There was also the enormous cost to consider.  We had already spent nearly $1000 in just the last few days on tests and care for him - was an MRI the right choice?  And if it was a tumor - what was our next plan?  Brain surgery on a dog?  I have first hand experience with this - I had a benign cystic glioma removed in 2002.  Recovering from brain surgery is grueling!  Could we actually ask that of our sweet Mick just so WE could feel better and keep him around longer?

We left the pet hospital with our heads spinning - but were sure that in 24-hours, the doctors would be able to at least stabilize him so we could work on the next steps.

This was my prayer yesterday:
Dear God - 
Please take care of our sweet dog, Mick.  
Ease his pain and show us a clear direction in which to take his care.  

God tells us to be specific in our prayers.  He knows what we want, but He also wants us to ask:
 Ask, and it will be given to you;  seek, and you will find; 
knock, and it will be opened to you
Matthew 7:7 

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
Matthew 21:22 

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24  

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it
John 14:13-14 

Well... You can get much clearer than our answer.  God took Mick to heaven - to play with Clifton (our previous dog of 12 years), and Julia (our niece), and all of the other past pets and family.  Either he knew that no amount of testing would fix Mick on earth... or decided that an MRI wasn't the best use of our fiscal gifts... or just really wanted to have our sweet dog hanging out with him in Heaven, God answered our prayer.  It might not be the answer I wanted, but it's the answer I asked for, and how can I argue with the answer that involves my beloved pet being healthy, whole, and happy running around in God's big playground?!!

On a side note... Not sure if our pets go to Heaven?  Consider this response by Christian author, Rick Warren:
People miss Heaven because of their rebellion against God's offer of love, by rejecting Jesus.  But dogs, which have no ability to sin nor moral conscious, do not have an ability to reject Jesus.  It is the same principle as a baby, young child, or mentally challenged individual.  The Bible calls then "safe," not "saved."  In Proverbs, we read that "The Lord preserves the simple" which includes persons without the ability, capacity, or moral conscious to reject Jesus.

Our dogs (and cats, pigs, ferrets, bunnies, whatever) are totally going to Heaven. :)

Mick was a rescue dog.  We got him through a wonderful organization called Columbus Cocker Rescue. At first I was beating myself up over the fact that WE were supposed to be his rescue - yet we only had him 3 years before he died. But this morning, I realized that even the three short years of rescue were important.  God calls us to be His hands and feet to all his creations by reaching out in prayer, help, comfort, service, or with our financial gifts.  While God is the ULTIMATE Rescuer, He EXPECTS us to do some earthly rescuing too!!

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 82:3-4

When we first got Mick at age 2, he had terrible ear infections.  The previous owners had not taken care of his ears at all-- to the extent that vets were talking full ear ablations.  And ablation is a grisly ear surgery where all of the inner and middle ear is removed and outer ear flap is sewn shut.  
Obviously, all hearing is lost in the ablated ear; an ablation is saved as a very last resort for a chronically ear-infected pet.  We were steadfast (especially my awesome husband!) in getting all of the medicines deep into Mick's ears to heal the infection-- for over 6 months we worked to avoid ablation - and had to regularly make sure we were keeping his ears clean.  One thing the vet mentioned was that even through had significant damage deep in his ears from the older infections, the canal (that we could reach and clean) looked good.  So I'm feeling more confident this morning that we did our part with Mick.  

My friend, Amy, told me that "If God knew Mick wouldn't have a long life, sending Mick to the House of Buckley was a pretty good deal, I think!"    David has often said that if he could be reincarnated, he's only want to come back as a dog in our house - because those dogs have one sweet life!  I have to remind David that HE is part of the "good life" that dogs in our house receive... ahhhh...details. ;)

Just because yesterday was completely craptastic, and my eyes are puffy today from all the tears, I am solid in the knowledge that one sad day is small in comparison to the love, and joy, and companionship Mick gave to us.  And since I know God isn't finished with US yet, I am resolute that God expects us to continue to do our part in helping others - whether that be people or pets.

If you are looking to adopt a furry friend and changing a life, consider taking a look at CCR's list of dogs looking for a home.  Just look at some of these faces - and these are just a handful of the dogs wishing for a forever home!  (Images are linked to dog's description.)






Not local to SW Ohio?  Use Petfinder to locate a pet-in-need in your area.

And, give your pet a hug from me today.  I miss mine.

When God had made the earth and sky, the flowers and the trees.
He then made all the animals, the fish, the birds, and bees.

And when at last He'd finished, not one was quite the same.
God said, "I'll walk this earth of mine, and give each one a name."

And so He traveled far and wide.  And everywhere He went,
A little creature followed Him, until it's strength was spent.

When all were named upon the earth, and in the sky, and sea,
The little creature said, "Dear Lord!  There's not one left for me!"

Kindly the Father said to him, "I've left you to the end.
I've turned my own name back to front, and call you DOG, my friend."
-Author Unknown

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I See You

You can find little life lessons everywhere... this one is brought to you by Dove, :)

What a difference between how each lady viewed herself... vs. how each were viewed by complete strangers!

We spend so much time worrying over and obsessing about and looking at and dissecting the things we find NOT QUITE right about ourselves, when in actually, we should be reveling in the awesomeness that is each of us.

In fact, I think we each need to find ourselves a THEME SONG.

Back in the 1990's I loved the TV show, Ally McBeal, and one of the episodes, called "Theme of Life," involved Ally coming up with a theme song to make her feel empowered (she chose "Tell Him" which was covered by Vonda Shepard on the show).  I like that idea of having your own theme song - or a bunch of them!!  

It's a running joke among my kids' friends (and my friends), that when I introduce myself, I tell them my name is "Maggie Is Awesome," "Darth Magius," or "Magius Malfoy."  The Star Wars and Harry Potter junkies crack up - and the littler kids just sit there pondering if "Is Awesome" is my true last name.  But it is pretty darn awesome when I show up to volunteer in my sons' classrooms, and a bunch of kids wave and say "HI, MAGGIE-IS-AWESOME!!"  What a feeling!

I have a playlist on iTunes called "AWESOME, I AM" (not specifically Yoda-speak, but I wanted it to be at the top of the list so I needed something that started with "A.").  These are the songs on the list:

  • Titanium - David Guetta
  • Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars
  • I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred
  • SexyBack - Justin Timberlake
  • Sexy And I Know It - LMFAO
  • I Know You Want Me - Calle Ocho
  • The Fighter - feat Ryan Tedder
  • Survivor/I Will Survive - Glee Cast
  • Because I'm Awesome - The Dollyrots (yes, that's an actual song!)
  • This Is Your Life - Switchfoot
  • U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
  • Good Life - OneRepublic
  • The Champ - Nelly
My sixth grader would also tell me that no "Awesome Rock" mix would be complete without "Remember The Name" by The Rising Tied.  :)

Some songs are silly - some are serious - but all of them give me a little lift in my step and remind me that I AM awesome... just like you.

And if that doesn't help boost your self-esteem, consider that GOD looks at you and sees not your flaws, but an amazing masterpiece that He created:
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; 
      you formed me in my mother's womb. 
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! 
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made! 
      I worship in adoration—what a creation! 
   You know me inside and out, 
      you know every bone in my body; 
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, 
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; 
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you, 
   The days of my life all prepared 
      before I'd even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13-16, The Msg

Like the video states at the end:  you are more beautiful than you think.
And, as GOD reminds us through His Word:  You are fearfully and WONDERFULLY made.  

Own it.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Nice To Meet You... Oh... We've Met Before?

Between our two sons, we've seen a LOT of sports and teams.  We started with Tumblebees (toddler tumbling), to T-ball, then baseball, followed by basketball, flag football, tackle football, karate, and tennis lessons.  I'm probably missing something too!  And that means we meet a LOT of kids and a LOT of parents that go with them.  And, that doesn't even count all of the different classes and teams of classes we've had so far.  It's too hard to keep everybody straight!

So, I had to create a policy when it comes to learning everyone's names.  It may not be the best policy, but it was to preserve my own sanity.  Don't judge... but here it is:

Until we have TWO points of connection, I don't have to learn your name.
Our kids do not have to play.  You do not have to invite us to your kids' birthday parties; we won't be inviting you to ours.  Until we have two points of connection, I'm going to assume that quite possibly, after this sports season, we may never cross paths again.  And to learn everyone's name, kids & parents, across all of these sports and classrooms and teams is just more than my brain can handle.

It sounds harsh, I know.  But it works for me... most of the time, anyway.  There was the football season... where I was sure that Jack would only play one year.  I mean we lost EVERY game... by a lot.  There were practices 5 days a week for leading up to a two-hour game in the rain, cold, and sleet where we would lose... every time.  Surely Jack would realize that this was an awful lot of work for very little payout?  So I didn't learn any parents' names.  I knew a few before football - so I had people to sit with.  I laughed and talked and joked with everyone, I just address anyone by name.

And Jack decided to play the next year.

D'OH!  Second season rolls around and I have to pretend I know everyone while secretly learning all the names I didn't learn the year before!  Oops.

But overall, this has been a good policy.  When my kids want to have a birthday party, they must adhere by the 2 POINTS Rule.  The kid they want to invite must have two connections:  school & church, school & sports, sports & another sport/season, church & neighbor... Two of anything will work.  And if they want to a kid's party, we need to have two points of connection with them.  We've had very few exceptions, and this had made our life much easier.

But while this works for my social life and that of my kids, imagine how sad if it would be if God adhered to this policy?  What if God said, "Until you find two points of connection with Me, I don't have to learn your name... or help you... or know you?"  How lonely and frustrating that would be!  Fortunately God knew us before we were even born:

“Before I shaped you in the womb,
    I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
    I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
    that’s what I had in mind for you.”

Jeremiah 1:5 (Msg)

God knitted us stitch by stitch, cell by cell, molecule by molecule before we even saw our first day of light.  He doesn't wait until we find Him (twice!); He has met us and loves us - despite all of our flaws, shortcomings, and sin.

I'm thankful that my God is bigger than anything I can imagine.  And thankful that with Him, I don't have to pretend.

As for you, obscure parent I've seen before, somewhere... have we met?  My name is Maggie.

:) Mags

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meeting God... A Story.

Stumbled upon this story on Facebook - thought it was too good not to share...!

A little boy wanted to meet God.

He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with cookies and six cans of lemonade and he started 
his journey. When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman.

She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his lemonade when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her a cookie.

She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a lemonade. Again, she smiled at him.

The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug.

She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him “What did you do today that made you so happy?”

He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home.

Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?” She replied, “I ate cookies in the park with God.”

However, before her son responded, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

One of my favorite songs is Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath:

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Each of us has the potential to BE an agent of God in our everyday, ordinary life.  We can allow God to work through our hands, our hearts, and our minds, BUT that means pushing aside our own wants for the needs of others.  When was the last time you allowed God to work through you?  And what can you do tomorrow to reach out to another?

:) Mags
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