the light that's in the dark

How is it only January 3rd? This might sound like a strange question but the past day and a half have been more trying than they should have been.

going home. with a big incision.
I mentioned on Twitter and Instagram that one of our dogs, Rascal, had to have surgery. He had a large mass that we weren't sure was benign or malignant. It was progressively getting bigger and after his yearly check-up on Monday, the vet said he needed surgery. So I did what no dog lover ever wants to do: I dropped him off at the vet early Wednesday morning and left him confused and alone in a kennel while I cried my way to work. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

My husband found Rascal when he was less than 8 weeks old. He was abandoned on the streets, filthy (and stinky!) and followed my husband and Brandy (our other dog) home. I tried to get someone else to take him because I really didn't think we could handle or afford two dogs, but he was destined to be ours. Why do I tell this story? So you know that he has abandonment issues. And I feel like every time I take him to the vet or leave him elsewhere, he thinks I am abandoning him.

When I picked him up late yesterday, he had a huge line of stitches and I learned the mass was larger than expected. But benign.A hefty vet bill later, we headed home, and he rested. Somehow during the night, between dinner and my returning from a hectic night of being a social worker, he stretched the stitches and was bleeding and hurting and just not himself. So he and I slept (uncomfortably) on the couch. That was the only way I could monitor him.

And I don't think what I did can really count as sleep. There was some resting of the eyes but no real slumber. I was too worried about every noise and move he made.

When I left for work this morning, he was fine. The incision looked good. He ate a good breakfast, drank some water but not too much, and seemed to forget he had an incision to worry about. I'm just hoping and praying that continues until my husband returns home.

This might seem like a small thing. But our dogs mean more to us than I can even put into words. And Rascal? He has a special place in all of our hearts because of how we found him and because of just how much he loves us (we wake up to dog kisses pretty much every day and go to bed with dog kisses as well). Brandy, with all her anxious energy and need for constant attention, also has a special place. We love them equally but differently.

No matter what, I will not let anything steal my joy about the coming year. I feel like that's what the past few days have tried to do. Really, to be honest, I feel like that's what the past month has tried to do. But it won't happen. My God is bigger than any circumstance, and He will carry me through anything and everything.

While others wrote of their words for the year, I mentioned my song for 2013 because I didn't think there was a word that would culminate all aspects of my life. I stand behind that song. But I think I was wrong because there is a word that will and should culminate 2013.
This year, my word is going to be faith. Faith in God. Faith in His timing. Faith in His ways - even when they don't make sense to me. Faith in His callings. Faith.

With weight loss, I have to depend on Him for strength. With finances, I have to depend on Him for blessings and then depend on Him to help us use our resources wisely. With health, I have to depend on Him to walk with me when I find it hard to stand up. With marriage, I have to depend on Him to have grace, love, and respect for my husband at all times.
My faith is not weak. But I have not spent nearly enough time praying, listening, reading or just being still. That changes this year. Yes, I feel I am called to do all the things I do - work for a non-profit, work as a social worker at night, blog, be married, be in community - but God never intended for those things to keep me so busy that I don't rest in Him or look to Him for direction at all times (and not just when I am having a minor or major freak out).

That changes this year. I think that's why this year is going to be such a big year. Because He is going to be an even bigger part of it.

(title from "you are" by colton dixon)

PS: Link up with Jena and Katie for a little of This and That Thursday.



  1. Hey Leslie! Last year my word was faith, although I didn't know it until now. I don't know what this years word is but I'm optimistic. What church do you go to? We go to people's church in Oklahoma City. :) Esther Norine Designs

  2. Ahh I love that. Be still. It's definitely something I plan on working on this new year, as well. One of my very favorite verses, that speaks to my heart and gives me goosebumps every time I read it is "be still and know that I am God." What powerful words!

    Thanks for linking up! :)


  3. Leslie, I found your blog through the This 'n That link up and I love it SO much. You're positivity is so contagious! I'm so looking forward to doing so many of the things you mentioned here. Especially involving my faith, simply putting in that time with God in spite of my busy life. He deserves so much more of my attention. You've encouraged me on today...thanks for that!

    I pray that Rascal heals quickly and is back to his normal self in no time.

    I look forward to reading more, following along and being inspired!
    Take care :)!!!

  4. Oh, my heart broke for you when I read about your sweet pup. It is awful to have to drop them at the vet and look in those confused eyes. I'm glad he is OK though, and I hope he makes a quick recovery!

  5. I totally understand. My doggie is so special, my lil furbaby. He has been with me through thick and thin. I hope Rascal feels well soon.

  6. Awe, poor puppy! I hope he feels better soon!

    Love this word for the year.


  7. I feel you. Went thru the same thing with my dog. Glad your pup's okay.

  8. poor dog!! hope he heals soon!

    love your chevron backgroung,btw :)

  9. I hope he heals up real soon! It's hard dealing with sick pets. I admire your faith.

  10. I have had to leave a dog at the vet, hurting and confused. There is just no way to explain to them that you'll be back and that it's all going to be okay. And they look at you with those big, sad eyes (okay, I'm tearing up). I feel your pain. I hope for a full recovery for your Rascal.



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