Hello again friends and welcome to my table! I hope you all had a fabulous week. Do any of you have a dog? I have a fifty pound Retriever mix who loves to play with anything that’s full of air. Balloons, bubble wrap, packing pillows… literally anything filled with air. If we get any sort of package delivered to the house, she is right there, paws on counter, just waiting to see how many packing pillows or bubble wrap bubbles she gets to “kill.”
Our loveable Winnie is most definitely a member of the family. She is loyal, faithful, loving, honest about her feelings… Hmm… she has the very qualities I long to possess! Well, let me examine this a little more closely.
When I come home from somewhere, Winnie doesn’t ask me questions like “what are you doing here” or “why are you wearing that” or “how much money did you earn today”. No, she simply wiggles her way up to me, excited that I’m present to spend time with her. She flops over onto her side, belly exposed, ready for a good scratchin’. She doesn’t ask me to wash my hands first, she doesn’t ask me to change my clothes, she doesn’t even ask me to show her my pay check to see if I’m worthy to pet her.
I sit on the floor cooing at her while rubbing her chubby belly. She gazes lovingly at me with an expression that says “I love you and I’m so glad your home.” We spend a few moments like this, appreciating one another, and I think of all the people who can’t seem to accept me for the way I am… blindness and all. Those who would rather not work with me because I “probably wouldn’t be able to do ‘such and such’ anyway.” People who find MY “affliction” their biggest burden. People who can’t see past my disability to see my capability.
But Winnie, she just loves me and doesn’t care about any of that. She teaches me to love unconditionally. She teaches me to look past all my imperfections and see who God created me to be. Even when others seem to look past me because I can’t look at them, I am still Gods child. In Jerimiah 1:5, God says “I knew you before I formed you in your mothers womb, before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my profit to the nations.” Before I was ever born, God knew me and He is the very one that formed me!
As I ponder this scripture and the thoughts of my value to spite my blindness, I’ve heard God whisper to me “I see you. You are MY daughter.” Sometimes learning to love and accept unconditionally means loving and accepting ourselves unconditionally. Even if no one sees us, God does see us, and we are His children. I don’t have to seek approval or strive to be seen because God already sees me… and friends, He sees YOU too! Love yourself with the unconditional love that your best furry four legged friend does. No need to measure up to expectations. God is just waiting to have us come to Him and He is waiting there with arms open wide and saying “I love you and I’m so glad your home.”
Well our unconditionally loving buddies need goodies to eat too, so here is something a little different. This is something your pooch will love and devour…
Liver Snaps dog treats
1 carton (1.25 lbs.) raw chicken livers (found in meat department)
1 cup rolled oats (or steel cut, which ever you prefer or have on hand)
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp. dried parsley
Empty carton of livers into a blender. Add the egg. Snap down the lid and chop until livers are liquified. In separate medium size bowl, place flour, oatmeal, and parsley. Sift together with hands. Pour in liquified livers and mix well. It will be similar to cake batter. Grease 9 x 13 cake pan. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pour batter into pan and gently shimmy pan back and forth to level out the batter. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool, then cut into approximately 1-1 ½ inch squares. You can keep some in the fridge for up to a week. Place remaining livers in freezer for up to 3 months.
My dog is completely hooked on these so they most assuredly don’t last 3 months. This is a great alternative natural treat for your best bud. Oh, BTW… Winnie eats them frozen as well! Crazy dog!