The Flattened Hedgehog

Our poodle looking Goldendoodle Miles has a favorite toy, a hedgehog.  I have heard of others whose furry family members also prefer this squeaky stuffed friend.  In fact the local pet store keeps a barrel of hedgehogs for purchase for those of us who can’t believe we are buying toys for our dogs instead of kids.  Really it’s hard to believe

Miles routinely gets a new hedgehog every few months.  It takes him that long to with surgical precision remove the hedgehog’s nose and pull out the squeaker.  I guess this is unusual, dogs taking such gentle care of stuffed animals. Day after day, when I open the door after work he picks up his old hedgehog and circles the living room glancing at me with pride. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Now, in comes Lila, the wild thing Labradoodle.  She arrived in our home in October and within minutes had Miles’ favorite hedgy, now 7 months old, looking like road kill.  There it laid, lifeless, flat, white stuffing and plastic squeaker at its side.  I’m sure Miles didn’t care, but I mourned the loss for him. As far as I could tell, Miles relished his toy, he needed it, it was a place of comfort for him; our daily welcome home routine would never be the same.

Instead of tossing it, the flat hedgy remained in our home.  Miles had little interest in it until one day Lila scarfed it up. If she likes it, Miles must have thought, I better check this out.  The tug of wars began.  Oh joy!  The once fat, dried drool, crusty hedgy only good for one dog at a time now brought two together with twice the drool, added growling, sliding, chasing, jumping, winning, losing, and starting over again.  It was a beautiful site to see, different and yet more fulfilling.

If you notice you can find the flattened hedgehogs in your life.   Maybe you call them blessings in disguise, you know when you think you want one thing, you don’t get it, but end up getting just what you needed, you just didn’t know you needed it?   Flat hedgehogs……we may not have set out to own one, but their often unwelcomed arrival only makes us better, they bring gratitude and if you look for it, more abundance into our lives.

Beginning with the end in mind

Begin with the end in mind.  -Stephen Covey

This week I attended a Celebration of Life.  Looking at the stage there was a beautiful picture of a dad and his family, another wonderful picture of him in a military uniform.  Since he loved basketball and sports in general, there was a basketball, a jersey and a referee uniform placed for all to see. There may have been a few more items I missed, but you get the picture.  It wasn’t what was there that caught my eye, but what wasn’t there. There was no picture of a big beautiful house; no dynamite car parked near by, no jewelry, there was no stuff.  There was meaning. He was represented by what he had loved and what he had given of himself to his family and community.  When family and friends spoke of him, there were stories of audacity, laughter, his love for Christ, and a genuine quest shared by his son to be just like his dad.  Wow. 

At that moment everything in life seemed simple to me.  But could it really be so simple?  I wondered, what might be three items that would represent me as I leave my life here on earth?  What words would echo in the hearts of my family and friends as they spoke of me? What would they say I valued or believed? Who would I have loved? What would I have stood for? 

Answer these for yourself.  This is a great way to determine if at this current moment in time you are living your soul purpose.  Then as life demands your decisions this week, use your answers to these questions to guide you in determining what to say yes to and what to say no to.  You will find you are spending more time doing what you were put here to do.  What an awesome feeling that will be!