hound of heaven

The phrase hound of heaven is not original with me. The Hound of Heaven is a poem written by Francis Thompson. It refers to God as being a hound in the sense He is resolutely seeking a relationship with us…you and me.

He wants you. He REALLY wants you!

The events of this weekend sprung this doggy imagery to mind. If you’ve ever owned any type of hound dog, this imagery resonates with you. The hound’s heightened sense of smell and his resolve and talent in persuing prey is unparalleled.

The hound sniffed out my grandmother, Lucy. I keep this certificate of her baptism on my desk. It reminds me of her reliance on faith during the darkest days of World War II when her son, my dad, was serving in the Pacific. The date reads February of 1945. The war was over within the year and my dad was discharged from the Army. He came back in body, at least; not so much in spirit. Lucy was a rock during my chaotic childhood years.

Maybe just an old piece of paper, but precious to me.

When I was 11 in Del City, Oklahoma, someone knocked on our door from the local Southern Baptist Church. Those were the days when you let people in, and that’s just what I did. This lovely lady told me of the One who was seeking me. Someone was seeking me?…really?! Went to the local church and got baptized. No sprinkling for me….the preacher submerged me and I came up a new person. The hound has continued tracking me, even during days when I wandered far from the safety of his doghouse.

The Texan and I baptized all of our Sprouts when they were infants. The children were a gift to us, and we wanted to be sure we gave them back to the One who entrusted them to us. That determined hound has kept their scent and they are finding their own ways.

Sprout #3’s baptism day. He’s getting married in September!

The hounding never stops and guess who is seeking the grandbaby?

Baby G with his dad

Our family gathered at a local church to witness G’s baptism. The minister claimed G ‘packed the pews’!

Darn teeth! When are they going to come in? He chomped his fingers the entire time.

G isn’t aware of the hound of heaven yet, but he’ll figure it out someday. We’ll be sure to tell him of this day and of the One who is doggedly seeking him.
The minister walked G the entire length of the middle aisle to let everyone get a good look at him. The congregants promised to help him grow in faith and to surround him with love.

What a weekend! Sprout #3 was here with his bride-to-be, Jenn. When we weren’t baptizing, we were talking of and planning for their big day. Rest assured the hound has his nose on them, as well.

I feel blessed. Hope you feel that way too, because of the One who will not let you go….nor rest from His seeking of you. How are you being sniffed out?

Hound-y love to all.

christmas props

Some of you will remember MY BLOG POST about the Christmas Party at Mom’s retirement home last Christmas. It was my 3rd or 4th year to help lead the festivities for the residents. They are nice to ask and I’m normally happy to do it, but when the invitation came to please do it again this year…I was hesitant.

I didn’t wanna.

How could I go back out there where Mom lived and where we spent so much time?

How could I be a cheery Christmas elf when the very act of being in the retirement home would fill me with sadness?

That’s it….I’d say I couldn’t do it! They would understand my grief. I didn’t want to face the way being there would make me feel. Nope. Nada. No thank you.

But then I heard her voice…..dammit….“Kath….some of those people don’t have anybody. Nobody. It would mean the world to them for you to come lead the party” 

Really, Mom….speaking to me beyond the grave? What’s up with that? O—K, I’ll do it. Now, be quiet!

I stewed. I delayed. I hemmed and hawed. I tried to come to a certain peace about being out there and how all of this was gonna work.

Then….I came up with the perfect solution. The shiniest, most perfectest, most baby Jesus-y Christmas prop EV-ER!! I’m totally, absolutely without shame!

You guessed it precious Chicken Wing reader……Baby G!!

People in retirement/nursing homes rarely get to see a baby.

One of my favorite residents. She’s always beautiful, happy and slightly ornery. Love her!

They NEVER get to see a cute baby wearing reindeer antlers!

The Christmas party for the residents today was a slam dunk. They loved seeing baby G.

Santa made a special appearance

Of course, I closed the party with retirement home bichon FREE-SAY extraordinaire….the fabulous waving Sophie. She wished everyone a Merry Christmas with her furiously waving paws.

Sophie and Santa in 2010

I’d say it went pretty well. It’s a milestone, for sure. Many of the residents spoke to me of their love for my mother, of her fabulous bridge playing and of her black humor. At times, I teared up….but it was OK, cuz usually the friend telling me the story was teary as well. I needed to hear the stories….needed to give and receive lots of hugs.

Overflowing gratitude to the Sprout for going to all the trouble of dressing up a newborn, a bichon and a golden doodle in Christmas outfits for their moment in the sun at the ‘home’ Christmas party. You are an outstanding daughter. Hopefully, you will not hear my voice beyond the grave. Love you, Sprout.

The Texan and I have not lost the necessary skill of eating while a baby sleeps on one shoulder. The Texan said G’s pajamas might contain a stray pinto bean

The Texan says he hopes Baby G doesn’t catch a bad case of the gout from being at the home today.

Hope your Christmas is filled with joy!

Shameless Christmas prop love to all.

baby rogaine

Got to spend some time with the grandson today. I was shocked to find he had grown a thick, lustrous mane of dark hair. He’s only 6 weeks old! He’ll have a full beard at 4 months at this rate!

Is Mom slipping you some Rogaine??

Naw….I’m pullin’ your leg…..that’s the Sprout’s lovely long hair cascading down his forehead as she holds baby G. He looks handsome with dark hair….yes?

I got to hold him and talk to him and ‘mobilize him’ (got him a musical mobile) and kiss him and change him. It was loads of fun. I had forgotten how quirky the infant ‘mood’ can be.

uh-oh…somethin’ doesn’t feel right

                                Baby G can go from happy to sad to happy again in a snap

                      Are you wet/dirty or do you just depise cowhide?? This is TEXAS, baby!

Does this mean you’re going to be a vegan? Allright, sweetie….I’ll save you from the awful cowhide pillow.

I love spending time with baby G. He’s ‘seeing’ things now and he likes to babble at me.

Baby G smiling at his GrandBob

Babies are amazing and exhausting. The Sprout is doing great and she has the energy of a million women!  God knew what he was doing when he gave babies to the young.

I’m relearning some skills, but one thing I know for certain. I’d jump through flaming hoops for one of those baby smiles.

I’m grateful.

Hope this week leaves you grinning.

Lustrous locks love to all.