Monday, May 13, 2013

Enough:: Living in the granted Presence (and How I really pray)

Last week placed me in a new awareness of the tie between enough and today.

On Saturday afternoon, I visited a new vet with my eight year old German Shepherd. The dog had spent the day all too quietly, lethargic actually. I recognized the need for help. I was concerned his stomach had flipped. Lethargy and quiet can be signs of bloat in big dogs. Unfortunately within a few minutes of an xray, he was diagnosed with something much worse. A tumor on his spleen, very likely related to an incurable, aggressive cancer. Over the course of a few hours we decided to go along with surgery at midnight, forty miles from our home. Our dear friend, a nationally recognized veterinary specialist, offered to help us. We trust and respect him like no other doctor.

All along the way: the initial diagnosis, seeing the radiograph of the tumor, hearing the potential outcomes, the harsh percentages with a nasty disease, considering the need for immediate action (the tumor could rupture and cause internal bleeding), hearing the exorbitant cost of surgery at our local emergency vet hospital, transporting the big dog, turning him over to the vet, leaving him, making it through surgery, bringing him home, I realized something new. My prayers aren't always running through my head. They emanate from my heart, my soul, my spirit, where I know and trust God the most, the best, the deepest. My heart cries out to the One I trust with every detail of my life. I remain present. Hearing. Considering. Discerning. And I let my heart and soul and mind pray. Without my intellect getting in the way. Oh, occasionally I touch base and ask for mercy. But I realized how much I wasn't accepting human thinking and was just listening for what I have to do next. Walking out the details I'm provided. Asking questions. Consulting with our vet friend, my husband, and the only child participating, my 14 year old.

When we were finally arrived home in the wee hours of the morning, heading for bed, I considered my prayers. "Oh God, we love this doggy so much and he's only eight years old, please have mercy on us. Let him live." Selfish prayers. For good reason.

I was reasoning with a friend on the phone that eight years isn't very long with the dog you love. She quietly asked me, "What's your one word?" Hmmm...enough. She responded, "Today is enough."

I awakened over the next days to the idea that eight dog years is a long time. But more importantly, that living in God's kingdom is a daily awakening. A daily realization. Where all we have is granted, including the life of a pooch. So I began living in the days of frosting on the cake. Counting each day granted with the dog. And my husband, my kiddos, etc. I find myself appreciating each situation afforded me. The breath of my life.

On Thursday my husband called with an "are you sitting down?" moment. The first round of biopsies came back benign. Impossibly possible. Surprising. Wondrous. More breath. More air.  More granting. More appreciation.

Realistically? Things may change. The statistics could come and get us. But, that's not where I'm living. In the "coulds." I'm living with grateful children, a grateful husband and a grateful heart. We're counting days of gratitude for this four-legged life. Gratitude for living in general.

And, more present, more aware, more voicelessly prayerful.

These granted experiences are enough to change the trajectory of our thinking and our lives. I have the choice to live in the present, in His presence.

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