Monday, January 30, 2017

A Much Loved Bunny ~

Hello my friends!
Your visits always bring joy to my day.
Thank you, for the sweet comments you so graciously bless my heart with.
The photos in this post are not in order of what I am sharing with you,
just random from the day we brought Lakota home to his passing.
God bless you!

On Tuesday January 24th the life of our precious rabbit, Lakota,
came to an end peacefully as he rested  in the loving arms of my husband. 
Lakota reached his 8th birthday two days prior to his passing,
a birthday we didn't expect him to see after a health issue
that began on December 5th over one year ago. 
A parasite (which is common in rabbits) went to Lakota's brain,
he had an inner ear bacterial infection that brought his immune system down.
Lakota then got what they call "Head tilt" a balance disease. 
Head tilt in rabbits is difficult to cure. Treatment often takes weeks
or even months of medication and supportive care.
The key is commitment,  perseverance and a lot of love.
In most cases your bunny can be back on their feet and doing binkys,
 but unfortunately that was not the case with Lakota.
You can Google or U Tube Head tilt in rabbits, but let me forewarn you, it's a sad sight. 
With the help of our veterinary and her assistant, 
we chose to care for Lakota rather than put him down. 
In many cases people will put their precious pets down
believing they will not return to normal, we were willing to go the distance
and take the chance that Lakota would be well again. 
We're thankful we made that choice, because this past year
through heartache and tears yes, but oh such enjoyment and love we experienced
as we cared for him and looked after his many needs
hopeful day after day that he just might pull out of it.
A couple of months after he was diagnosed it was looking promising 
until the parasite returned and made another attack, 
this time with no hope of coming out normal. 
But what is normal? 
No, he wasn't able to walk or even stand at times,
but he fought to be a rabbit and we owed it to him to go the distance
as long as he was willing to fight and survive. 
Lakota was willing to be a rabbit, even if it meant lying on his side
 where he found comfort with his balance.
Lakota was a brave and valiant fighter unwilling
to let go of life without a battle.
God graced our lives with over a year of precious unforgettable time spent
with our Lakota, and all the while we believed we were doing the right thing.

In the beginning stages Lakota was on critical care, 
between my husband and myself we spent many hours
feeding Lakota by syringe, which was our only hope of keeping him alive. 
Was it time consuming? Oh yes. Would we do it all over again? Oh yes.
I was no longer working with hospice due to my own balance disorder 
which freed me up to care for Lakota and his needs.
Jokingly,  I said that my role had changed from caring for people
to now beginning "Hospice for Hares."
Lakota certainly required a lot of one-on-one care and I was more than happy to give it.

Over the coarse of this past year my husband and I have learned a great deal
in the way of how to care for your Head tilt rabbit.
This may sound like a clinical post and maybe it is,
but our hopes are that we can encourage others who may find themselves in this same situation that we found ourselves in and take comfort in knowing
there are ways of helping and keeping your rabbit (or any other animal) alive
until you believe it's time to put them down.
We told ourselves that his eating or lack of would be our deciding factor
as to when the time was right in putting him down.
Lakota ate and loved to eat right up until he took his last breath. 
My husband was sensitive to the cries of Lakota in the night hours
and was blessed to hear his last cry.
He gently placed Lakota in his arms, tenderly loved on him,
until Lakota took his last breath.
We believe it was a stroke that took Lakota's life.
If you have never heard a rabbit cry you are not missing anything,
their cry is more of a scream, it's horrible!

We soon discovered ways in which to administer Lakota's food and medication
so that he was sure to consume it. 
We experimented with different amounts of high protein pellets
trying to put weight on him. We gave him Pedialite (baby electrolytes)
believing it would help replenish his body.
Towards the end of Lakota's life he wouldn't drink water
so we were forced to syringe his water. He was like a camel,
and would often times take nothing at all 
and other times drink in ten syringes at a time. 
With a lack of water he would get dehydrated causing his muscles to cramp, 
so we learned to massage him out of a cramping episode. 
We learned to do therapy (as taught from my vestibular therapist) 
for his balance in hopes it would help. 
 We believe these things made life more comfortable
for him, so to us, it was worth it all.
A rabbit needs their hay so we had to experiment with different
types trying to find what was easiest for him to grab a hold of and chew. 
The GI track of a rabbit needs to be constantly moving 
so daily we would give one tablespoon of pumpkin by syringe to Lakota.
That was one of the delights he looked forward to,
not to mention it was good for him.
Lakota went from using his own litter box to wee wee pads that we would
place him on, and believe it or not, he knew what he was supposed to do; and
even though he lost vision in his left eye and partially his right eye,
he knew to stay perfectly on that little pad circling until he found the right spot. 
At one point our daughter made a cloth eye patch that we would 
place over Lakota's right eye so as to keep it from wandering.
You see, because of his balance being off on the left side
his right eye would roll up and his balance would go with it
causing him to either fall over or do somersaults.

*I'm  going to take you down a rabbit trail for a second*
When I was seeing the vestibular therapist for my own balance problem
my therapist told me of a gentleman who's balance was so off
that he felt more comfortable standing on his head rather than his feet. Amazing!
Because I had gone through and still continue to deal with balance issues
(not vertigo by the way) our veterinarian said that Lakota
couldn't be in a better home or under better care
because I could relate to him and his balance issues,
boy was she ever right!
Many times I would catch my husband trying to place Lakota
on his right side and Lakota would scramble trying to roll over.
Till this day I cannot sleep, lay or look to my left side with out feeling off balance
which is my effected side. Lakota was the same.

Once Lakota could no longer come and go
from his home (rabbit hutch) on his own my husband made a carpeted ramp
that made it easier for him, but that didn't last long.
Soon after we tried using the ramp to assist Lakota we found that he was too
unstable falling and doing somersaults down the ramp,
we knew then that Lakota would soon became house bound, 
sort of like bed bound.  :(
Though he could pull himself up and move slowly around his cage ,
a greater part of his time was spent lying on his left side leaving him in a position where
he would be laying in his urine, not good.
We discovered that fleece (made from plastic by the way) is not absorbent, 
so we then placed the wee wee pad underneath a piece of fleece material
allowing his urine to go through the fleece and on to the pad keeping him dry.
One of the issues we dealt with on a regular basis was the thrashing that took place
with Lakota in his home.
Remember, it's all about balance, and he did all that he could to stabilize himself.
We created bumpers around his home, sort of like bumper pads in a babies crib
to prevent him from catching his feet in the bars of his home,
plus, he could use those bumpers to support himself on his effected side,
or rest his head upon  for comfort.
We were amazed at watching Lakota make adjustments
that would help him to do what was needed so he could manage as a rabbit. 
But many times my husband and I would have to make changes 
and come up with new ideas for making life easier and more comfortable for Lakota.
We created a safe haven for Lakota to live in.
Lakota would spend many hours of the day in our laps
or wrapped up in a blanket and snuggled into a covered cat bed 
belonging to our cat Toby.
Toby was kind in sharing his bed with Lakota,
just as Lakota was willing to share his home and water with Toby.

Toby and Lakota were buddies especially in Lakota's early years of life,
they would chase one another through the house,
of course Toby in the lead as I believe he was the instigator. 
Toby used his fluffy Persian tail to antagonize Lakota to run after him. 
Toby's behavior caused me to think on some verses in Proverbs ~
"It is sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding has wisdom."
*Proverbs 10:23*
"My son, if sinners entice thee,consent thou not."
*Proverbs 1:10*
During Children's Church I used Toby and Lakota as character illustrations 
pointing out the Scriptures and what they tell us about following after fools. 
My husband took pictures of the two getting into mischief
and I used those photos as my props. 
Lakota was used for the Lord in sharing the Truths of His Word.
In Psalm 148 the psalmist called everything to praise the Lord.
He included in his call sea dragons (v.7 )
beasts, cattle, creeping things and flying fowl ( v.10)
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Even though animals do not praise the Lord with words,
animals bring glory and praise to God by their very existence.
They show forth God as the Creator, the Creator who loves life so much that
He creates in seeming endless variety.
With God as the Designer and Artist, I see animals to be a 
living display of the natural beauty God has built into creation,
and we have the joy and blessing of His wonderful goodness.
The psalmist was lighthearted when he described the joy animals feel ~
"There go the ships: there is that leviathan (sea creature)
whom thou hast made to play therin."
*Psalm 104:26*

"Surely the mountains bring him forth food, 
where all the beasts of the field play. "
*Job 40:20*

All things were created by God and for His good pleasure.
He gave us the pleasure and joy of caring for one of His created animals.
"For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the fowls of the mountains,
and the wild beasts of the field are mine."
*Psalm 50:10&11*

In this life we will in counter the good the bad the ugly
some wonderful moments sad moments hurt and pain tears and joy
and those sweet and precious moments that make life what it is.
Every day is a blessed day in which the Lord gives us,
a day for which we are to be thankful for.
We had 8 years of pure enjoyment with Lakota, our pet,
and now he's no longer with us.
But, how about life in general? 
Do we take and make every day the best that we can
with what God has graciously given us?
Are we grateful for our own lives, the lives of our loved ones
and those with whom God brings across our paths,
even if some aren't so lovely?
In this life there are seasons that come and go.
Are you graciously receiving what God places in your life with a thankful heart
and making the best of your days with those whom 
you have been blessed to share life with?
Many times it's our losses that cause us to reflect on life in a deeper way.

We received the most beautiful pet sympathy card from a dear friend and I just had to share the words with you.

A pet is a special part of your family
who will always have a special place in your heart.
They are gone from our sight...
but never our memory.
Gone from our hearing...
but never our hearts.
Gone from our touch...
But their presence is felt,
and the love that they gave us never departs.

God's Blessings

~ Debbie ~

Forever loved♡

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sweet Fellowship ~

  It's a New Year ~ new beginnings ~ a newness in life ~ why is that?
Why does the New Year create in us a desire for newness? 
I'm not quite sure, but it certainly feels good
and it sure does give one hope ~
and it sure does cause one to ponder on life
and God and our relationship with Jesus. 
That's me this year. 
Since my Balance Disorder, the work of mom and dad's
Estate sale, dad's going on to glory, looking after the needs of my dear mother, 
I have missed my walk and precious relationship with God.
Life became...
Oh, I still walk closely with my Heavenly Father, 
and I love Him with my whole heart, but I was so involved 
with the many things that needed my attention,
I was missing that closeness and endearing walk and
personal relationship with the Lord of my life, Jesus. 
Do you struggle with this?
I believe as much as we love God and want that close relationship with Him,
life has a way of robbing us from that sweet fellowship
if we're not careful.
It's easy to allow our service unto God
to take precedence over what's more important, 
a close relationship with Him.

"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple."
*Psalms 27:4*
This New Year, my desire is to live and walk in the presence of the Lord, 
to have sweet and deep fellowship with Jesus, the Lord of my life,
like I have never experienced before. 
As I plan on putting Psalm 27:4 into practice, I will look on God's splendor and glory
in every aspect of my life no matter what God has for me in the days ahead
and learn the heart and ways of the Almighty. 
I know and believe that my God is never going to fail me,
His Word tells me so.
"That he would grant you, according to the riches off his glory, 
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit  in the inner man. 
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask our think according
to the power that worketh in us. "
*Ephesians 4:16&20*

God's riches are inexhaustible, He will supply my every need
according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
He will meet me right where I am, He will walk with me
and talk with me, as I seek after Him.
Oh the wonderful love of  my Jesus!

As I look back on these past three years,
 beginning with the episode of my Inner Ear Balance/Disorder
 I can't help but praise God. 
God commands us in Colossians chapter 3 verse 17 ~
" And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him. "

Without offering gratitude through our circumstances in life
we can become disappointed and miss out on the joy of the Lord.
Gratitude, as we know, can play a huge part in our hearts,
it can cause us to go through the daily struggles of life
discouraged and down trodden, 
or, we can choose to sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord.

Do you desire to walk close or even closer to God?
He longs to have that close walk 
and sweet, sweet fellowship with us.
May this be a New Year ~ with new beginnings ~
and a newness in your heart for Jesus too. 

"These things write we unto you, 
that your joy may be full. "
Heavenly Father ~Your Word tells us that our joy will be full
when we maintain fellowship with You. 
May that be our hearts desire.  

~ Debbie ~

☆ My journal in the photo is from my dear Stephanie's etsy shoppe
Her hand crafted items show forth her loving heart. ♡

Monday, January 16, 2017

Love the Lord your God ♡

"And thou shalt love the Lord  thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: 
this is the first commandment. "
* Mark 12:30 *

33 years ago on January 21 at the age of  25,
 I trusted in Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.
On that day, He became the Lord of my life. 
I knew I was a sinner and came short of the glory of God.  *Romans 3:23*
I acknowledged that the wages of sin was death, 
but the gift of God was eternal life through Jesus Christ.  *Romans 6:23 *
I acknowledged that while I was a sinner Christ died for me.  *Romans 5:8*
I confessed with my mouth,  believed in my heart and called upon
the name of the Lord,  and was saved by God's grace. *Romans 10:9&13*
It was a day I shall never forget, a day when the burden of my sin was lifted. 
The love of God was the leading grace in my renewed soul. 


As I began to grow in my relationship with Lord,
I longed to have a deeper knowledge and understanding
of  who God was.
I can remember wanting to read and read the Scriptures,
and as I read I had question after question,
oh there was so much I wanted to learn in a big hurry.
I wanted to know Him through His Word, so I followed the instructions
found in Joshua, a verse I came across early in my walk of faith.
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth:
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night."  *Joshua 1:8a*
To meditate involves thinking and living.
"I have chosen the way of the truth;
thy judgments have I laid before me."  *Psalms 119:30*
I knew that as I took the time to meditate on God's Word
it would increase my understanding.
There were times I would challenge myself to memorize chapters at a time.
That was one of the best things I did for myself,
in fact, I have picked it back up, because as I age
I'm finding my memory needs it.
I began to realize that the more I saw the Lord in His Word,
the more I loved Him.
The Pharisees studied the Word, but they failed to see the Lord in it.
My desire was to be like Paul~ "That I may know Him."  *Philippians 3:10*

 After a couple of years into my walk with the Lord 
I came across verse 30 of chapter 12 in the book of Mark ,
which became my life verse.
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, 
and with all thy mind, 
and with all thy strength, 
this is the first commandment. "
When I found this verse I fell in love with it!
I said to myself, "that is your whole being, Debbie."
Verse 29 tells us that " The Lord our God is one Lord."
If I was going to believe that truth, then it was sure to follow
that I was going to love Him with all of my heart.
He is my God, therefore, I ought to love Him,
to set my affections on Him, and delight in Him.
He is one Lord, therefore, my desire is to love Him whole heatedly. 

In the years I have known and walked with my Jesus,
He has proven that He is for me by His unfailing love
and personal involvement in my life.
His grace and presence has been enough for my every need,
every trial, in any circumstance. 
He is my all-sufficient, all-powerful, all-loving, all-sovereign God.
As a child of God, my life is blessed.
I know that I will continually receive His limitless love, 
His immeasurable grace and His boundless power.
May the joy in my heart be the sign that God is everything to me!
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord
so walk ye in Him.
Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith,
as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Colossians 2:6-7 *
 What a glorious promise. 
My spiritual birthday wish is that I will so walk in Him,
and become more like Him, until the day I meet God face to face. 

Precious Heavenly Father~
I praise You for my salvation, and thank You, that You were willing
to give up Your Son for my redemption.
Guard my heart, increase my faith
and mold me into the image of Christ.

To God be the Glory!
~ Debbie ~

Monday, January 9, 2017

Growth Through Faith ~ Stretching Situations

Hello to you my dear friends!
I appreciate your visits and those kind words left in your comments.
  Thank you for gracing my life with your friendship. ♡
The New Year is well on it's way and many of you have shared
on your Blogs already of your WORD for the year. 
I have so enjoyed reading your posts as to why you chose the word you did. 
Some of you have already shared testimonies of how
the Lord is working in your lives with and through your word.
One of you dear ladies has a terrific word for this year
and I have quietly claimed it as a second word for my own life
and have put it into practice in a BIG way over this past weekend.
I'm  looking to ACCOMPLISH a lot in the way of purging 
in both my home and our outside buildings this year.
My husband had better keep an eye on his garages. 😉

As Christians we all want to experience the fullness of the Christian life. 
There is so much more to having a relationship with God 
than simply having our sins forgiven.
But in this life we will all encounter faith ~ stretching situations
in order for us to grow in our walk of faith;
that is, if we are willing for the Father to speak to our heart
and direct us through those difficult situations
that are most certainly going to come into our lives at one time or another.
The beautiful thing is that whatever the Lord allows
into our lives it is for the purpose of increasing our intimacy with Him.

Proverbs chapter 5 speaks to us on the security in wisdom
and it is full of instruction. 
"Keep my commandments and live."Verse 4

"Get wisdom!Get understanding!" Verse 5

"When you walk your steps will not be hindered,
and when you run you will not stumble." Verse 12

"Take firm hold of instruction and do not let go." Verse13

" But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day." Verse 18

"Keep your heart with all diligence,
for out of it spring the issues of life." Verse 23

Those are just a few of the excellent verses on getting wisdom
found in chapter 5.

So when we face trials 《and we will》 or must make decisions 《and we must》
that require strength and wisdom far beyond our own,
that is when God wants us to seek Him through His Word
and in prayer.
Likewise, He asks us to pay attention to the promptings 
of His Holy Spirit, to listen to that still small voice
and be confident He'll work through our obedience
to Him in an amazing way.
As we seek to serve God obediently and trust Him to lead 
us in our Christian life we can trust Him in everything,
even those faith ~ stretching situations.

Heavenly Father~thank You for Your unfailing love.
Help us always to trust Your will and Your ways.

Be Blessed!
~ Debbie ~

Monday, January 2, 2017

My Word ~

Hello to you my dear and faithful friends ~
I trust that you had a most beautiful Christmas and New Year's Eve
filled with all the joy that the Lord so graciously and abundantly showered you with.
I know that as we sat around our Christmas tree
there was joy and laughter through out our home
with the sweet fellowship of our precious family.
Grandchildren certainly have a way of putting a smile in your heart.

For many of us the New Year brings with it change;
changes that we desire to make in our own lives
after all, it's a New Year and new beginnings
seem to touch us all in different ways.
When I became a Blogger in this wonderful blogging community
I would visit many of you and see that you had a "word" for the year.
I had never heard of such a thing, but found it to be quite intriguing;
before I knew it, I was hearing about these "words" people had for the year
as I would daily go about my life.
This year I am going to come aboard with some of you
and claim my word for the New Year.
Actually, the Lord has placed a word upon my heart 
and it keeps coming into my mind and tugging at my heart strings.
In fact,  I have been putting my word into practice long before the New Year arrived. 
My "word" for this year is Uplifting.
Two of the definitions in the dictionary are:
"influences intended to uplift and inspire"

 I find myself talking with others that tend to be "Negative Nellie's" 
and at times it can be easy to go along with them
or just agree when that's not at all how I feel.
I have found that by speaking in an uplifting manner 
it causes the other person to do the same
and actually makes the conversation sweeter and more pleasant. 
I desperately want them to see the brighter side and find the joy of the Lord.
I want to encourage them along the way, and isn't that what God would have us to do?
And then there are those who may be discouraged
and need more of a positive uplifting word of encouragement.
I want to be sensitive to the needs of others when I have a conversation with them
and speak in an uplifting, God honoring manner. 
I think you get the idea of where I'm going with this.
God's Word tells us in Colossians chapter 4 verse 6 to ~
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt,
that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
I desire to speak what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive,
purposeful, complimentary, gentle, truthful, loving and thoughtful.
Seasoned with salt  ~ just as salt not only flavors, it also prevents corruption.
I want my speech to be a blessing to others no matter what type
of conversation I may come into contact with.

"Hear: for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening
of my lips shall be right things.
For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness 
is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness,
there is nothing froward or perverse in them."
(Proverbs 8:6-8)
I want  my speech be all that God wants it to be.
I desire to be encouraging, inspiring and uplifting 
to all who may cross my path. 
 Will you be having a word for the year that will draw you closer to the Lord?

Heavenly Father ~
Draw us ever so close to Your side
and help us to be the people You desire for us to be
as we walk, talk and live for Your glory.

Be Glorious!
~ Debbie ~ 
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