When You Lose but Love Wins

I presided over an election of sorts. 

Oh, there was nothing presidential about it. 

This election was my 12-year-old nephew’s idea for my sister’s family to cast secret ballots to name their new puppy. 

I was denied a vote {which I thought was rather unfair since I was sure I'd be nominated to babysit him eventually} but my nephew asked me to announce the votes once the polls closed.

This was official. He printed ballots on the computer with the top three choices of names and handed out pens for everyone to make their selection.

As I read them aloud, there was a clear winner.

Three votes for Scooter. One vote for Dash.

The constituents in this election thought the puppy bore a striking resemblance to a stuffed dog of my niece's, named Scooter that was practically a member of the family since she'd dragged him everywhere we went for a number of years. 

Now you might think a three-to-one vote signified a landslide and the puppy would be summarily christened Scooter. 

But that wasn’t the case at all when the lone dissenter was crestfallen and looked close to tears. 

And since this long-promised puppy was really my niece's to train, feed and dog-mother, we all looked over at her wondering if she'd toe the party line.

"But I just don't think Scooter fits him,” Devon protested.

Sometimes when we think we've lost, we find ourselves surrounded by a cloud of love.

It's a little like perks we didn't expect, a rescue of our crumbled hopes that we didn't know was on the way, a bolster for our shaky confidence that we couldn't see was coming.

Curdled dreams gone sour can leave a bitter taste and give us pause among the spoiled mess of our once-so-certain convictions.

But this yielding of ourselves to relinquish what we thought we must have somehow feels right so that in losing, it's as if we’ve received a sweeter and more precious gift.

One wrapped in love.

Love sweeps in just when the impulse to stand our ground rises up. It's inexplicable, a bit mysterious and completely beautiful.

Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. I Cor. 13:4-7 (MSG)

In the moment of silence that hung in the air after the puppy-naming vote was taken, love prevailed. 

My brother-in-law declared the winner. 

“Well, Dash it is then.”

The puppy doesn’t answer to his new name yet. Or any name actually. He just follows whoever sticks a treat under his nose or trots after a particular pair of shoes that look interesting to him.

But he did take his first swim in the pool {which he loved} since he is a Florida dog, after all. 

And just for the record, {had I been given the vote} I would have voted to name the puppy Scooter, too. 

{Fond as I am of the stuffed version.}

With a little training, hopefully Dash will grow into his name.

And if not, we can always hold a run-off election since clearly this contest was settled with some fuzzy math. 

And a whole lot of love.

I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart


  1. Oh, those blues glimmer and shine ... in water, dog eyes and collar, niece's shirt and flip flops and bathing suit, raft ... and the shutters that adorn that stunning salmon pink abode.

    Truly, this is a lovely summertime musing, Valerie!


    1. Hi Linda,
      Glad you enjoyed the poolside visit! (And one or two photos from Italy thrown in for good measure!) Thanks for joining me in this summertime read! xo

  2. Well I have to say I'm glad Dash won since my aunt already has a dog named Scooter haha. Working hard this week to let love cover a lot and grace prevail. Loving the Message version of those verses even if it stings a little... ♥ Devon looks like she will be the best fairy dog mother a pup could have. xo

    1. Hi Heather,
      You already have a dog named Scooter in the family? How fun! And it's true, this pup has been long-awaited so he will certainly be a most-loved dog with sorts of adventures ahead of him! xo

  3. What an ADORABLE puppy!! And how can you say no to your sweet niece? Loved this refreshing story this morning, Valerie.
    P.S. I'm a Florida girl as well! It's been a hot summer for sure!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      It has been hot this summer in Florida, hasn't it? It seems as if the afternoon thunderstorms aren't nearly as prolific as they usually are, leaving us parched all day long! I'm so glad you stopped by to read about our dog tales! :)

  4. How these thoughts touched me this morning! "But this yielding of ourselves to relinquish what we thought we must have somehow feels right so that in losing, it's as if we’ve received a sweeter and more precious gift." This is such a true picture of loving and living with Jesus. I want to hold onto this, and let Him show me where this is true in the center of my heart today! Thank you for bringing truth into the everyday for us! And, I hope you have lots of fun puppy-sitting times ahead! :) --Blessings and Hugs!

    1. Hi Bettie,
      These gifts from God do arrive in different packages, don't they? I'm afraid I'm not nearly as fond of dogs as Devon, but it's more fun to watch what she does with him that makes time spent with her delightful!

  5. Taking the 'love' route feels so much more peaceful. It really is a gift isn't it? I really like this message version from Cor. Thanks for sharing. Looks like such a sweet puppy!

    1. Hi Lynn,
      I love the Message version of that passage too -- it never fails to make me think!

  6. What a sweet puppy and story. I am sure he will love hearing the story of how he almost had a different name when is grown up! :)

    1. Sarah,
      That's a good one -- haha -- Dash hearing how he was almost named Scooter -- LOVE it! xo

  7. Dash looks so cute! Devon looks like she couldn't be happier!

    1. Oh my Brittany, what a gorgeous new photo you have and yes, Devon is thrilled with the new pup! :)

  8. Oh Valerie, what a touching example of a parent's love for his child when your brother-in-law declared what the name would be, in spite of consensus. Just as Christ loves us. Love always wins. Very amusing story of the "election". Dash is too precious!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! It's fun to visit the pup -- I've forgotten how rambunctious they are!

  9. I loved this story...and the emotions that came from it but best of all the lesson learned from love winning.

    1. Hi Betty,
      Thanks so much for stopping by! Puppies can capture our hearts, can't they? And they have such a love for life too! :)

  10. busy this week since I am visiting my parents and unable to join Coffee for your heart but I had to come over and say hi. I love the love of a puppy. My inlaws are dog people and when they got their recent new puppy they had this same discussion. They ended up with Louie for their new German Shepherd puppy. It is such a big deal for them. Their other german shepherd's name was Mordecai Fitzgerald Notestine, Mort for short. All for love lol Hope you are well

    1. Hi Kristina,
      I'm thrilled to have you stop by while on vacation! I love your family's dog names -- names are a big deal, aren't they?! I guess Dash is lucky to have a short name that won't weigh him down -- haha! So happy to hear from you and hopefully I'll see you at Coffee for your Heart next week, friend! xo


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