This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is on the word keep.
I can’t help but be a little shocked here and there as I look back over my posts from the last couple of years at how serious everything is. I have to laugh a little because I’m a bit of a tongue in cheek person. I often defuse the tension in a room with deflection. Drawing the attention away from the moment at hand by making it comical.
Funnily enough, that tension is typically self-inflicted and I’m the only one in the room that needs the laughter to feel comfortable.
So I’m taking a little step back to write something slightly more lighthearted regarding “keep.”
“Can we keep it?” she asked me, with excited, hopeful eyes. The puppy licked her chin as we stood in the freezing cold, shivering under a blanket of gray sky and thick moisture in the air.
She desperately wanted a pet. And right now this 8-week old cocker spaniel would’ve done just the trick to satisfy that craving of hers. I’m sure the surveillance crew at Target were highly amused at the two foolish girls…one excited 10 year old and her 37 year old skeptical mama, huddling near a kennel of puppies in the parking lot during one of the coldest days of the winter.
She just wanted to keep something. To raise it up for her very own. Keep it close to her at night, like the best kind of security object…
Complete with vaccines, a kennel and a leash!
Lily just didn’t understand that keeping something meant a whole lot more than just squeezing it with all the love she could give it.
Keeping meant patience in training it up. Guarding over it during illness. Feeding it. …and discipline.
All I could think about that day was how much trouble it would be to keep a dog. With four kiddos to keep, a business to keep…my health to keep… How could we keep an animal?
Goldfish were so much easier to keep. To replace, even. If one of them ended up floating, belly-up, inside the bowl, it was a quick deal to run over to the pet store and grab one of the dime-a-dozen brothers out of the tank before a child in the house was any the wiser.
Pathetic, aren’t I?
And I have to wonder… Does God desire to keep me? Does He ever just want to turn me out into the cold because I’ve cost Him too much, nipped his finger when I’ve been too eager for that gift He dangles down near me, or maybe when I left my mark on His best piece of furniture?
He keeps me better than I can keep myself. And I know He doesn’t lament over the fact that I might keep Him up at night or chew up His best shoes. He embraces every last bit of me because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And you keep those things.
And not only is He keeping me here, in this fallen world of temptation that pulls my loyalty from my spot beside His chair to pant beside another master…another idol. But He is preparing a place for me elsewhere…to live an eternity with Him.
To be kept. Always kept…just as I am.
Sometimes I have to wonder if keeping an animal would teach my children how much love, patience, time, money, and commitment goes into something like that. I wonder if it would offer them perspective to show that, no matter how much of themselves they give, God always gives more. That no one can out-give God in all that He offers us and in every way that He keeps us.
Perhaps the dog is the first lesson.
And then, depending on my mood…perhaps not. 😉
Won’t you join me this week for Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung’s page? We’d love to see you there! Just familiarize yourself with this page first, no editing, and set your watch for five minutes.