Wednesday, 14 November 2012


This is my dog.

Correction: This is my husband and sister-in-law’s dog. I am merely her (the dog’s) keeper. *sigh*

She’s considered champagne and silver in colour. Bless her. She really is quite sweet in colour – when she’s been groomed. Sometimes she has expressions, like a human. I know all dog-lovers and owners say the same thing – but its truth. Dogs have expressions.

Her name is Lupa. She will also respond to Boobie, Sausage, and Darling.

Sometimes she looks at me and I know that she thinks me a fool for not responding faster to her telepathic demands.

Lupa telepathically communicates to let her lie in her nest of blankets

Mostly, she loves to have her head squished onto the carpet floor for a double face rub. I can’t explain this. I think it has to do with the way James and Natalie played with her as a puppy.

She is a picky eater, though I only feed her (much researched upon) dog food. She is also moody. Her ears point up like that of a bat. She smacks her lips when she’s hungry and curls her entire body up like a snail when she’s cold. She refuses to lie on the floor. Yes, she is a dog. No, you will not convince her of it. She will lie on ANYTHING but the floor. A towel, some clothing, a cushion, her bed, her blankie, her crate, she even once climbed onto a mountain overflowing from my sister-in-law’s handbag and settled, quite uncomfortably on top of it all.

As I said, anything but the floor...

She is, in short, a gorgeous little nightmare. And I love her. Even though she’s taken to eating second dinners in true hobbit-fashion. (doesn't she know we’re on a budget?!) And even though she adores everyone but me. I understand, I am the boss and we have boundaries, sweet Lupa and I.

Oh! I should say that I am so thankful to have her in this big quiet house. 

To annoy me and make demands with her eyes. 

To eat too much, and sleep too much and whine (in a way not dissimilar to a ghostly cow) if I look like I’m contemplating moving to another room. 

And to oblige me when I’m feeling lonely and need some affection. It’s amazing what this little champagne and silver creature can do for a lonely heart. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Learning to do without

I say "learning" to do without, not "doing" without, because after almost 2 months, I'm still pouting like a petulant child.

James and I have always regarded ourselves as a couple that enjoyed the simpler things. Spending time at home, with family and friends or without. Cooking together, playing solitaire on the computer, watching movies on tv on a Saturday evening with a slice of cake (yes, I know, most people eat popcorn, we prefer cake with icing, or custard, or if you're James - both). In fact, our friends (and some family) find us quite boring because we don't really enjoy getting dressed up for a night in town. I like a good dance and a martini as much as the next gal, but it just wasn't our lifestyle. We were quite content to have Nando's for dinner, then return home at around 7pm for a night of Guitar Hero or Lego Star Wars on Xbox.

This may sound awful to some of our generation, but it suits us just fine. So when we moved into our first home, we were in for quite a shock. And since James is away during the week, he's had a soft introduction into doing without. Doing without a tv, doing without internet, doing without a home phone. Yup, this means, no phone chats, no movies, no sports, no sport updates online, no streaming, no Skype and most assuredly, no Xbox gaming.

(We hit a few road blocks in getting INTO the housing market.)

Needless to say, I am on a daily journey of learning to do without. A house that isn't finished, rooms that have no drapes, bare walls and books that have no bookshelf to call home. The house is quiet, and its unfinished and it feels like a house, not a home. You may not find this depressing, but day in and day out, it is. I've started a running commentary of all my actions to our dog. "I'm just doing the dishes Lupa, oh I'm going to just pop this load into the washing machine in the basement for a minute! I think I'll turn the lights on upstairs Lupa, what do you think?" Just to create noise to fill the space.

We usually spend James' first night at home just enjoying each other's company and playing cards. By lunch time on Saturday we're generally chomping at the bit. If you can't afford a home telephone, you certainly can't afford to go out for the day. So we pack up our things and our dog's things (why should she suffer in silence) and schlepp over to my mum's place for some tv viewing and internet usage. I can see the value in this lesson, but to be perfectly honest, I think there is more to this than entertaining yourself in silence.

How did we become so reliant? Why do we constantly need to have background noise and activity? How did we come about an attitude of entitlement to these luxuries? And why on earth are they viewed as "simpler things" and not luxuries?!? And when you've done without, believe me, they are luxuries. Being able to watch the news, check the weather forecast, pop on a film on a quiet night or communicate easily with family and friends via email. My word! You don't know what you're  missing!

Some days I laugh at our materialism and the situation we find ourselves in.

Some days I think its a mercy to have to focus on one another without distraction.

But most days (generally Sunday evening through to Friday afternoon) I grind my teeth, feel sorry for myself and wish it was different.

We will never, EVER, again take these things for granted. Though I can't promise, I sincerely hope that we will never turn to our children and say "you have no idea how lucky you are," before going on a tirade of what it is like to do without. Its so unoriginal!

Thank God for small mercies - a mother with an open door policy, a dog to fill the space and free WiFi at Starbucks.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Lessons Don't End

I've had a crazy year of learning. That's a lie. We are always learning. But I feel like I've had 4 years of  intense, heart wrenching, wrinkle-inducing, grow-up-girl learning since leaving Canada and fleeing to the UK, the most literal application of escapism. I've had lessons on the cost of escaping, on the value of friendship and family, the growing up that comes from being alone and lonely - which are not incidentally the same thing.

I've learnt on forgiving, moving forward, covering scars, forgiving again, and again.
I've learnt to take chances, to plan what can be planned and pray and hope on the rest.
I've learnt that I'm so very often wrong, and that being wrong isn't bad. It just is.
I've learnt that I need to forge out my own individual relationship with God. One that is mine, authentic and not based on looking the same as others relationships with God.
I've learnt that God loves me, every moment of every day, despite my scars, poor attitude, fearful heart, and ever-ever failing faith.

This may seem like a simple thing, but reaching a point of knowing in your heart that you are truly and wholly loved, is quite something.

I've learnt about boundaries in relationships (which are far more important than I thought previously). I've learnt to love when I'm not loved, to accept help, to ask for help, to seek forgiveness and reconciliation and that saying sorry, doesn't make everything alright. In the adult world, there are consequences and sometimes when we make mistakes, our consequences can follow us for years.

And I really thought, silly me, that we were coming into a time of love and laughter and a bit of rest. But the rain falls on the righteous and the wicked, and we are just two people in a fallen world, figuring life out, one day at a time. So we have love and laughter, but I do not have rest. A blessing, to be sure, if I go to God for my rest and peace. Which I do not.

I've been thinking on this blog for a week now. I don't rightly remember how I stumbled upon it, but her raw confessions and unbalanced, seeking balance approach to life has just, embedded itself on my heart. I feel that I am just on the brink of some really tough spiritual lessons, another bout of "grow-up-girl" learning. My life as a follower of God, not just a person. My role as a daughter, sister (& in-law), wife and a future mother, my priorities, and my selfish selfish heart are about to be tested. My views are about to change. My lessons are going to increase. The first seems to be centred on fear. It's something that has always been a struggle for me, and something that I need to keep in check on a daily basis to prevent it from overwhelming me. The other will be on hope, where I place it and why it should be solely placed in God.

What now? Spend more time reading Scripture. Spend more time in daily conversation with God. Spend more time learning about what His love looks like, so that I can love others more fully. And then pray for peace and hope and faith. To let go. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...