Adjusting My People Priorities To Give More At Home.

While spending some quiet time reading this morning, these words jumped out at me:

“Don’t give away to others what you have not first given away at home.”
-pg. 147 in A Woman After God’s Own Heart

The author stated this after sharing a story about making a beautiful meal for a person in the hospital but giving hot dogs and mac & cheese to her family at home. She realized she was laboring out of love for others, but not giving her family priority. They were getting the leftovers. She vowed to make the beautiful meals for her family first from now on, and then share them with others. It doesn’t just apply to food — but also time, words, and actions.

I realized I give away to others without giving at home first. I share words and commit acts of love to friends and strangers on a daily basis. I love doing so — it fills my soul. My family members receive love from me, but they don’t receive it nearly as much as the friends and strangers in my life. My husband is on the receiving end of angry words. My family hears all my frustrations. They need love. More love. My husband needs kinder words and hugs. My parents still need me to reach out and create coffee dates with them instead of just filling in whatever time I have left. I need to change this.

Tonight, I’m hanging out with my in-laws as part of a monthly gathering at my husband’s grandmother’s house. In the next couple days, I want to see my parents. They don’t live far, and yet I rarely see them. I don’t want to go a whole month before seeing my parents again.

it’s better to have loved and lost.

You’ve probably lost a pet before. I lost a fish, a couple snails, a baby mouse, and three frogs. Recently, my family’s dog passed away at the age of thirteen, while resting on the floor. I miss her a lot; however, since I had not lived with my parents for a couple years and she was pretty old, it didn’t hit me terribly hard.

Yesterday, one of our beloved rabbits unexpectedly passed away from a sudden back injury. He was fine Monday night, withdrawn Tuesday morning, and gone a few hours later after a visit to the vet. My husband and I have been in mourning for past 24 hours. It’s especially hit him hard because his second family dog was put down a couple weeks ago. (Our life together has been marked with a lot of animal deaths recently, it seems.)

One of the things that is hard about having a pet is the inevitability that it will eventually die and leave you heartbroken. Avoidance of that pain may be a reason that people do not want to become attached to pets. Pets require a lot of care and love; then one day, they’re gone. It’s hard.

The same thing applies to people. Sometimes it’s scary to build up a relationship with someone because they may leave. Yet, our lives are so much fuller when we have these positive relationships with people. Which sounds better to you: a life of avoidance and loneliness, or a life with positive relationships that come and go, yet build your character?

As cliche as it sounds, it really is better to have loved and lost than not at all.

I’d rather have a lifetime of many short, lovely friendships and interactions than years void of meaningful connections. And although a small word or action may not mean much to you, it means so much to the person or animal on the reviving end,

Thumper, thank you for reminding me that loving and caring for an animal that needs a home is better than not loving at all. You were a great, happy, adventurous bunny. We all need to live our lives with a spirit of adventure and happiness.

Adopted: February 6, 2010. Goodbye: May 15, 2012.