Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Princess Leia vs. Cinderella!

I look into her big brown eyes and melt (this is partly true, she is cute). Her unconditional love for me and my family makes up for all her antics (ok…sure!). Her devotion to my husband is obvious. She can hear our vehicle before it reaches our driveway and she stands at the door, whining, waiting to greet him with wet kisses thus proving her devotion. As a matter of fact, she is his dog. In the evening when we settle in on the loveseat to watch a back episode of Monk, she jumps between us and resumes her spot. Her head on his lap…her butt on mine.

Last week I had a talk with his dog. You need to redeem yourself with something big! I mean, big. Like, lead the police to a child who fell in a well, big or drag someone from a burning building, big. Prove your worth to me!

For the past month, all I have been doing is cleaning up hair. We had a warm spell here in Wisconsin. She decided to rid herself of her winter coat. The problem is, she doesn’t pick up after her self. She leaves all her “clothes” lying everywhere! And I thought picking up after the kids was bad! I feel as if the vacuum cleaner has become my new best friend! I had another heart to heart with her. I thought we had an agreement. Apparently, the agreement was one sided.

Night before last, she was off her chain running around the neighborhood. I have learned that (sometimes to my dismay) she always finds her way home. She can be gone for hours and will suddenly turn up excited and running for the pantry door, thinking she deserves a treat for gracing us with her presence. (I suppose giving her a treat each time only reinforces this behavior!) Well, on this particular night, she was off running and only gone for a short time, definitely not normal. Only after I let her in the house and when my son said “Mom…she smells like poop”, did I realize we have a problem. She got into some kind of mess. There I was at midnight, bathing the dog in our bathtub.

Last night as we all cuddled on the love seat as I talked about Craigs list and putting her on it, my husband jokingly told her she would have to pull several people from a burning building to make up for this one. She cuddled up to me (yes, she actually put her head on my lap) and looked at me with those big brown eyes, pleading with me for unconditional love, not redemption based on works.

This morning I was reading in Romans, specifically Romans chapters 4 and 5. As I was reading it dawned on me that God could require some huge act on my part to qualify for His love, you know, “drag someone from a burning building” kind of big. Romans tells us it is not our works that earns His love but rather His love that paid for our justification. In other words, there is nothing we can do to earn His love. He paid for our sin on the cross. Yes, we endear ourselves to Him by the desire to become more and more like Him. David was favored because he had a heart like God. Jesus showed the ultimate love for us, dying for us. We only need to accept His gift.

I am watching our dog play with our son. I know without a doubt, if push came to shove, she would willingly give her life for us. I remember one time when I was choking and she ran and got our teenage daughter and made her check on me. She was very insistent about it, pulling her and turning her head toward me, over and over. Every time I sneeze, she jumps up so she is face to face with me, making sure I am ok. She has never bit or nipped in anger. She is a very good dog. I guess I do love her.

Well, Princess Leia, I guess you are granted another day to reign and rule in the Shortridge castle. As for me, Cinderella, you will have to excuse me. I have a date with the vacuum cleaner!


  1. Darlene, I love your posts! They always make me laugh and have a great theme about our Lord!

  2. Jessica. Thank you! :) I am a weird writer. I have to wait until the right thing comes to me. I have tried to be a disciplined writer (like you!) and post on my blog faithfully on certain days. It just doesn't work for me. So, I will continue as I have been. When it strikes, I write :)