“Snuggle Puppy”

Philippians 1:9 (the message)
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well.

Yesterday morning I read this verse. It was a little before five in the morning and I was needy for encouragement.

Before you get any ideas about my early rising, I need to leave my house at six on days I work. And getting up fifteen minutes earlier is not about my spiritual maturity.

It’s about my desperation.

My need.

This journey of returning to nursing has tossed me directly into the deep end. No shallow waters…no wading in slowly. Critical care is the deep end.

But I love it, y’all.

My co-workers are amazing. I mean they are just plain nice.

Nice.

My preceptor is a perfect fit for me. She’s funny and bold and smart and honest. All things I need and respect.

But it’s still the deep end. Sink or swim.

It’s hard.

I’m thinking and studying and learning. I’m surprising myself with what I remember and grasp quickly and then disappointed when I come up empty.

Yet I’m settled in my spirit…

I know I’m meant to be there…

I’m almost half way finished with my twelve week orientation. And as I’m reaching week six I can see the squeeze on my family. The pressure, the adjustment, the change.

Don’t we all know about pressure, adjustment and change?

We want to move forward with dreams and goals and God’s plans for us and yet it often means pressure, adjusting and change.

Well, I hoped I could skip that part! Smile. I prayed from the beginning for a really fast and super-amazingly-quick learning curve. But, God in His wisdom and general way of doing things has seen fit to let me face the fires…the adjustment…the pressures of change.

But I know He will make use of it.

One day I will encourage someone like me. She’ll  dive into the deep waters. Maybe like me…a nurse who hadn’t been working for several years. Maybe she’ll feel insecure and unsure…need encouragement.

And because I’m walking this out now, I believe God will use me to cheer her on. I’ll have a story to share so she knows she’s not alone.

In the mean time, in the midst of the craziness, I’m reminded by Paul in the verse above not to neglect loving well.

Not just much, but well.

Dishes piled up. Laundry staring me down. Toilets waiting.

I have things to do because I need to take care of my family and home. Because I love them a lot.

But sometimes loving well means looking past the to-do’s and reading “Snuggle Puppy” with your almost two-year-old.

I sing:

Ohhhhh, Snuggle Puppy of mine
Everything about you is especially fine
I love who you are
I love what you do
Ohhhh, I love you!

She laughs and laughs. She actually sits still for the whole book! (Amazing if you know Leighton)

Perhaps this is a rambling, random post, but I hope to encourage you today.

Cause I just bet you feel the pressures of change, adjustment and to-do’s even with your good stuff. Blessings and opportunities are still responsibilities, right?

I’m asking God to water the soil of my heart. Help my life-roots to grow deeper in Him so I can not only love much, but well. I can’t do any of this well on my own. Not the nursing, not the marriage, not the parenting.

But He can.

Sometimes we gotta get still and let Creator sing a song of His own to our heart.

Sing laughter into our weary minds.
Sing joy into our deflated efforts.
Sing hope into our hearts.
Sing zest and energy and confidence into our dreams.
Sing truth about who we are into our day.

Much-loved daughters and sons.

Well-loved.

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