‘Tis more blessed…

If “‘Tis more blessed to give than to receive” is true–and I believe it is–then on Saturday night I was doubly blessed.

It seemed unfair to use the Christmas gift I gave him before he had a chance to even try it out…

But I did.

Up early and gone all day for one child’s wrestling meet, driving to and from the girls’ soccer practice in the late afternoon, I lost daylight time for my run with the dog.

So I strapped on the headlamp I’d given Dave so he could run in the early-morning dark…

and drove myself and Chai to the dog park so I could try it out in the late.

Snow glittered before me. I ran on fairy dust. In the light of the headlamp, the dog’s eyes glowed weirdly–orange from the side, green head-on, and red when she was close. Pleased with her first off-leash run since before Christmas day, Chai sprinted past me. For a moment, as snow fell in front of me, spotlit in the lamp’s circle, I thought the forecaster’s prediction of next-day flurries had come early and sudden. But when it stopped just as quickly and then happened again when Chai did another fly by, I realized she was kicking it up with her paws.

A siren wailed in the distance, and deep in the woods, the coyotes echoed. Ahead of me, Chai paused to listen. Then–they must have been too far away to awaken either concern or longing–she bent her head and chomped up some packed snow, the canine version of shaved ice, flavored with who-knows-what.

The trees’ tops were lost to the night, but in my peripheral vision, their trunks floated like gray stripes on a dark suit. Hit with the direct light of the headlamp, though, they appeared almost white, bleached of color.

I felt no fear, except that my rule-keeping mind expected a policeman any moment to remind me that the dog park closed at dusk, and it was well past.

When Dave got home from cleaning up after the wrestling meet, I told him I tried out his present. “Thank you,” I said.

“How did it work?” he asked.

“Great!” I told him how beautiful the run had been. “It worked wonderfully. You’ll love using it.”

“Well, then, thank you,” he told me.

‘Tis better to give than to receive.


But perhaps giving and receiving, when done wholeheartedly, are more connected than I’d realized.


Little woman with a Great Big God

More than 20 years ago, in our pre-kid days, Dave and I had a boxer dog named Barkley. Barkley was my running partner. At a park one day, stretching before I started my run, a woman walking by stopped to talk with me. “I’ve seen you before here,” she said. “I’ve always called you ‘the little woman with the big dog’ and thought I would finally learn your name.”

The little woman with the big dog. He was a good big dog. He made me feel safe and secure, even when we ran deserted trails at dusk. He was always looking out for me, and I knew he could sense danger that was completely unseen by me.

As he and I walked together on a sidewalk one day, a group of teenage boys came slouching toward us on the sidewalk. I didn’t sense any ill will on their part, but Barkley, generally a sweetheart of a dog, tensed up his back, pricked up his ears, and swelled his broad chest.

Still a few yards in front of us, the teenage boys stopped, eyed him cautiously, and then crossed to the other side of the street! As soon as they were past, Barkley visibly relaxed.

Needless to say, I never had any doubts that he would protect me. There was confidence in being a little woman with a big dog.

But even better is the truth that I am a “little woman with a great big GOD!”

Great Big!

But Loving and Tender!

Vast and Limitless!

But Personal and Intimate.

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.

For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 57:9-10

I may be small, just one little person in a huge, overwhelming world…

but I’ve got a GREAT BIG GOD!