February Seventh; Thoughts on Devotion

We actually got some snow. Well, a dusting if you want to call it that. It wasn’t even enough to cover the leaves in my yard. It is also melting fairly quickly. Sitting here in my chair, in my warm, dry house is the closest I want to come to that. There might be some time worthy photograph opportunities out there somewhere but I guess I’ll pass this time. Even the cats only took just enough time to ease their hunger and disappeared back under the house. I’m watching as the sun is trying very hard to break through the cloud cover.

Mom called and was wondering if I was going out this morning and I told her no. I doubt the roads are bad, more than likely they are only wet, but people tend to pay so little attention to their driving that I feel safer right here for now.

All that said, lets discuss devotion.

A quick google search brought up these definitions; love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. Religious worship or observance. The noun devotion refers to profound dedication or earnest attachment to a cause, person, or deity.

One of my very first thoughts of devotion, was of those devoted to their football teams. The times I’ve passed through a room while dad was watching a game and seeing snow pounding down at a stadium somewhere but those stands were filled. Seeing folks in that cold, half dressed with chests painted up with team colors. Now, I do realize that most of those folks probably live in areas that get a lot colder than it does here so they are acclimated to the cold, but still to me, that takes devotion.

A life time ago when I was a teenager, I participated in fundraising walks. These were around ten mile walks. In the heat. At one of those walks a van picked us up as it was getting closer to time to end and gave us a ride to the next check point. During the ride I took a serious, extremely painful cramp in my leg. When we got to the check point, I got a drink of water, I stretched a bit, then continued the walk, making it to the end.

A few years back, my favorite country band was doing a show just up the road from here in a mountain town. It was not designated seating, in fact, there were no seats. First come, closest to the stage. We got a motel room and went up the night before the show. That morning we were up, dressed and waiting in line to get inside the building. It was very early spring, in the mountains and it was cold. I was shaking so badly it wasn’t funny. The jacket I was wearing was for show, not warmth. I’m still not sure if that was devotion to the band, or stupidity.

My son was bullied in school because he wouldn’t fight back. He’s not and was not weak, he simply has no use for drama and tried to deal with it in his way. Though he really suffered for that stance. We had many conversations on the topic. He had to learn to deal with it in his way. Of course studying a martial art and earning a black belt helped. Through it all, I stood by him. I was determined that he get through what was happening and get through it stronger, smarter and more empathic with those around him. It wasn’t easy, but I’d do it all again. Looking back and looking at him now, I think he turned out rather well. 

We adopted a puppy a life time ago. Buddy never was a really big dog, but he was smart. Not smart enough to stay in the yard no matter what we tried though. That dog could find a way over, under, around or even at times through the fence that enclosing our yard. Our yard is not small, but its boring for a dog whose heart seeks adventure.

But our dogs are part of our family. They are living, feeling beings worthy of care and protection. No matter how frustrated we get at them or how many times they have us doing something dangerous. Before Buddy left us at fifteen years of age, I had lost track of how many times he had escaped the yard and I would end up standing in the middle of the main road trying to catch him mentally begging the passing cars not to him him or me. Most of the time the people passing us were laughing, thankfully.

Before Buddy left us, he was losing the use of his back hip. There were times when he simply could not stand up and he would start howling and crying loudly for help. It didn’t matter what time of day or night. There were times at two in the morning when we would be awakened by his cries. He wanted to move from here to there, but couldn’t. We would get up, help him stand up and move, and once he was content, we would return to bed.

Back when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was determined to not miss any more work than I had to miss. I had a lumpectomy and only missed two days. The day of the surgery and the day after because I was still sick from the anesthesia. I had to undergo radiation treatments. I would go in to work early so I could leave early and not have points against my record. Six weeks of this. During that time I was also coming home and trying to help my husband find a driving job by spending hours doing online applications. I would also take a short hike every day. I was determined and devoted  to my work, to my walks and to help my husband. 

My husband struggled. His health wasn’t the best and he ended up in the hospital several times. When he was out driving that truck he often called asking us to help him find where he was going. We didn’t have smart phones and a GPS is limited in its helpfulness. But we were here, we would do what we could with what we had. Almost always managing to get him what he needed.

 I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ll admit they were my fault. I jumped when I should have sat down. I took action before thinking things through. I hurt people I wish I had not. Over the course of all those mistakes, God never left me. Even when I stepped away from my faith. Not losing my belief, just not living that belief. I was acting under my own power and my own power wasn’t power at all. I was like a beached sea creature, stranded and struggling, yet getting nowhere. Struggling and failing  to the point of giving up. Even in the worst of my battles and storms, God was with me. He kept those battles from becoming an unbeatable foe. I did not come out unscathed, but those scars are reminders of where I was, and how far from that God has brought me. There in, lies my devotion.

 Devotion, more than love. Being fully determined to stay strong and hold on. Determined to do everything possible to help, to encourage, to love others. To remain strong in faith and hope.

Sweet, stubborn Buddy

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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