The Gift of Maddie
by Peggy K. Mack
July 18, 2013
Today I began a journey in faith that started calling me several weeks ago when a seed was first planted.
I call it "The Gift of Maddie". Maddie was a six year old, black and tan dauchshund who succumbed far too early in her young life following a violent reaction to an annual vaccination. She belonged to Tim and Dottie Dawson Short. I saw through her posts on Facebook the grief that had surrounded their hearts and felt compelled to respond with kindness. I had seen a memory cup on a website. I copied a photo of Maddie that Dottie had posted, sent it off to the company and within days it arrived prettier than I even imagined. I added a card with my thoughts and mailed it to Tim and Dottie.
Their gratitude was overwhelming, for it had touched their grieving hearts, and I knew in that moment it was a God given moment.
At the same time, a friend of mine through songwriting, Tim Wheeler, had left a message on one of my posted thoughts and said, " You really should write your thoughts on a blog. They are good." He sent me a link to an easy, free site and I began feeling great about adding several posts within a few weeks time and receiving warm encouragement from friends. I realized that my ten year plus love for songwriting seemed to have come to an end and I was at peace with it.
Several weeks went by and a tiny thought entered my mind no bigger than a mustard seed, but once planted had surely taken root and would not leave me.
The seed was curiosity. It was planted when in Dottie's words to me in a thank you note, she mentioned that Maddie's Cup, I had sent, matched her Bible cover and greeted her and Tim while they shared morning devotions in their sunroom. What a lovely, peaceful feeling came over me! My subconscious began asking the question, "Why aren't I doing that? Why aren't I having devotions? I'm retired and have time. Hmmmm!"
Several more days passed until one day I had this need to inquire of Dottie in a message, "How do I get started?"
I received an amazing reply that was perfect for me with step by step instructions of how to set up my own morning devotions. My new thought was, "I can do that!"
With her help I began today. I seem to be living proof that I am a work in progress. I guess you can teach "an old dog new tricks." I have my tools. They include: two books of devotion that I never finished reading, God Is In the Small Stuff and Prayer:Dare to Ask, one dusty Bible purchased when my friend Nathan helped me to listen for God's call for me as my own Savior and, finally, a journal sitting on my shelf that I started when my life began with Bill. I chose a repurposed, computer bag to store all the books and keep it next to my recliner.
My first devotion was in God is in the Small Stuff and it reminded me of the first suggested step. Accept God as my creator of the universe and all its miracles and majesty and beauty and wonder. Secondly, acknowledge I truly and completely believe that each person is a gift from God that has the potential to do wondrous things. God loves each one of us for who we are and sees who we could be.
Then the author suggested I should also accept:
God is in me...in my heart and mind.
He values me for who I am.
And FAITH involves doing ALL I can and He will take care of the rest.
New International Version (NIV)
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
I truly thank you for the gift of little Maddie. Even in her early passing she brought me a gift through those who loved her most, Dottie and Tim Short. I give thanks for them and all those who inspire me to be the person God sees in me. Thank you for making this journey in study and devotions begin in my heart and mind and spirit. I am amazed at how what seemed to be a task for so many years, now, seems to make good sense. I look forward to waking early each morning to begin my day with reading and prayer and writing.
What a change I see in my life in such a short amount of time! And it all began with a little dog named Maddie.
I am, once again, filled with gratitude.
In Jesus' Name,
Commentary from Dottie Dawson Short:
Peggy, I would like to add to this most special story written by a very
special woman (YOU!): Maddie died in April of this year & although I
know that I am supposed to, as a Christian who believes in 'walking the
talk', 'rejoice in all trials & tribulations'
I could not for the life of me do that...I could not make sense of what
happened to her AT ALL. There was no rejoicing on my part...UNTIL....I
realized what it had done for Peg & the direction she feels led to
go in now...THAT, I was joyful for & so with that 1st joyful moment,
came more moments to be thankful for. Thank you again, Peggy for such a
beautiful tribute to my sweet Maddie.