A Lesson I've Learned Today from Baxley

You can see our dog Baxley playing with some friends at "Dogs At Play".  Yes, he gets play days to mingle with his doggie friends, get some exercise and just get out of the house.  I know many are saying wow he's just a dog, but I assure you to Donna and I he is much more.  God has chosen not to bless us with children and sometimes I do honestly ask why but I know that there is a reason.  It just gets hard when I hear mothers, grandmothers, etc. go on about the huge family gatherings they have at the holidays. Our family get togethers are getting smaller and smaller. Makes me wonder who will carry on the Strickland name.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for them and truly am glad that they have that happiness.

As I look at our life (Donna and I), the Family get together's are not all that big.  I am an only child that was adopted thankfully.  (For the record, They are as much my Mom and Dad as of they would have bore me themselves and no I don't want to meet my biological parents on Maury). Donna has a great older sister (Teresa) and nephew (Chris) which we love dearly. God took Donna's father (Don) at a young age and Teresa's husband/Chris' Father (Barry) at a young age for reasons I do not know yet but will one day.  I even remember preaching his funeral.  That was tough. God evidently needed them up there worse than we did :) At least we will get to see them sooner probably than later. God also blessed Donna with another Dad (Landrum) when her mother (Gladys) remarried.  Funny thing is, her mother married the preacher that conducted our wedding. That's another story for another time.

But anyways, when I see Bax (Black Dog in Picture) I see something special.  Something that loves me unconditionally and also see that sometimes the best things in life are right in front of our face.It has been a challenging week but in the end, God has chosen to bless us with over 50 children and adults (youth group) which take up a majority of our time.  I can't imagaine our lives without them. I'm off to volunteer at the fire station tonight for training and running Battalion 31 (Command Vehicle) for 23 hrs during my day off from PVBC.  It's amazing the people I work with at the FD and the opportunities it gives me to get out into the community.  It looks like the opportunity to volunteer in New Hanover County is dwindling away, but I'll keep on until I can't.