Even our pets can teach us something about the ways of God...

While browsing through a shop in Peddlers Village (Lahaska, PA), I came across this cute little ornament with a puppy (who looked remarkably like my Shih Tzu, Glory) with a little Santa cap on it's head.  The caption read, "Dear Santa, define naughty".

Well, my sister Sue and I had a good laugh over it, because I could just picture Glory saying that (if she could talk, that is...)  


Glory tries to play with the cats.  Hope mostly hides from her, but Grace will allow herself to be chased.  But one day, I guess Grace felt cornered in the living room.  Next to the Christmas tree.  I was sitting on the sofa and all of a sudden, I heard a little rustle and saw the tree sway slightly.  My coworker Chris had mentioned earlier that day how she has to keep her cats away from the Christmas tree, or they'll climb it.  "I'm lucky," I said.  "My cats don't do that..."

But later that evening, my Christmas tree was rustling and swaying!  So I got up and peered inside the tree... and there was Grace, perched on a branch!  She was too far in for me to grab her and I had no choice but to wait it out (and pray that the tree wouldn't topple over).

Well, as I was waiting, I decided I might as well get out my camera!  So I took a few photos, then led Glory out of the room and hoped that Grace would live up to her name as she exited the tree, gracefully...

It was 11pm by then, and I sent the photo to Sue.  "Guess who is inside the Christmas tree?" I wrote.

"Lending a graceful note to the season?" Sue wittily texted back. 

"She nearly gave me a heart attack."

"Did you notice my pun?" Sue asked.

"Not at first," I said.  "I was too busy hyperventilating."

"I get that," Sue wrote sympathetically.  "But not so hyper that you missed taking a picture!"  (Boy, she knows me so well!)

"No, well, first things first," I responded with a "grin" emoticon... 

After it was all over, I realized that Grace was probably more frightened to be stuck in the tree.  She hasn't been near it since.

It seems that Glory still wasn't sure of the definition of naughty, because she decided she likes the taste of Gaspar, the magi who presented the infant Jesus with the gift of frankincense.  I might have kept on laughing at her "cute little antics", but my nativity set is 35 years old.  Irreplaceable.

But, like any parent (and pets are like children), I can't stay mad at her too long.  She gave me that sad and sorrowful look that said, "I'm sorry, Mama, for doing this.  And I'm especially sorry for making you angry and sad."  So after a good scolding, I had to take her in my arms and hug her.

This got me to thinking; it's a lot like our relationship with God, our heavenly Father.  We can't help ourselves, we're naughty little children and we have to face the consequences.  We eat the forbidden fruit.  And yet... He loves us.  We express our remorse, confess our sins, and He forgives us.  No sin is too great that God will ever turn His back on us or reject us.

"Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near... Return to the Lord, and He will have compassion... and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 51:6-7)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion. (Psalm 103:1-4, Praise for the Lord's Mercies)


Peddlers Village at night
Full Moon, Nov 25, 2015