Sunday, July 23, 2017

My Dog

This morning while I was out on my run I got to talking with the Lord.  Let me start there. Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows how much I love to run, for those who are new to this, it's kind of another thing I do.  Any how, since my injury...self-medicating...stubbornness...final relenting to go to doctors...and surgery later...phew that is a mouthful, I'm back at it.  Slowly, of course.  Ever so painstakingly slow.  You may be wondering how any of this has to do with my dog.  No, she is not a runner.  LOL.

Anyhow, during that time of talk, I started thinking of Miss Clarabelle.  Look at her face.  Just look!  Isn't she beyond precious?  She is the most loving, loyal, fluffy, funny, energetic, and adorable dog in all the world.  (Yes, this is tinted with a slight hue of bias.)

During this talk, it was brought to light the similarities between pet ownership/relationship and that of a person's walk with the Lord.  No, really.

In the beginning, this precious little fluff ball, who fit into my hands, was simply too much.  By that, I couldn't put her down.  I wanted to hold her and cuddle her and make sure she had everything she needed.  I think that is the way when we first get to know the Lord.  We are so gung-ho.  I know I was.  I couldn't read enough, get to church enough, study enough, fellowship enough - you get the picture.  It was simply too much (in a good way, of course).

Then as Miss Clarabelle started to grow a little more, and I didn't have to worry so much about her being safe, I spent a little less time doting on her and more time going about life. Now, I never ignored her.  First of all, one doesn't simply have a Maltese and NOT pamper, spoil, dote...it is somewhat part and parcel. However, the consistency and intensity of the doting was simply not necessary.  Work with me here when I say, in our walk with the Lord, there are times when we think the consistency and intensity aren't necessary. However, we couldn't be more wrong.  In fact, when we get to that point, it is when it is all the more important.

Which leads me to the next thought.  After the painstaking toilet training process, Miss Clarabelle is still a subtle tell. We never got to the bell on the door trick, the bark at the door command, or any other audible notices.  No, this precious little girl will come up to you, sit, look, get up, walk in a circle, and sit.  It is all so cute.  In fact, if you are new to knowing her you will think all she wants is picked up and held, petted, talked too, played with, etc.  However, that is not the case.  Sadly it took, and ashamedly still takes, the trained art of listening/watching intently.

I think this is the same with the Lord.  He doesn't always sound a gong, yell out a command, or provide any other audible notice. No, he uses the still small voice.  And if we aren't in tune with that voice we are going to step into a little piddle or poo.  Sometimes it is fresh and sometimes it is a little older (meaning it catches up to us).

I know there have been times when Miss Clarabelle has been telling me she needs let out and I have been so caught up in what I am doing I have missed it or even flat out ignored it (naively thinking if she can only wait a few more minutes...).  Later, after I find it (shes not so good at hiding her duty) and she is punished I often wonder who is to blame.  After all, I was the busy one. Then I thought about all of the times I've stepped into some really big life messes, some while fresh, and some not so fresh, all because I was so wrapped up in doing it my way I missed hearing (or even worse flat out ignored) the voice of the Lord telling me the way to prevent it.

Such a simple analogy this morning. It amazes me the ways the Lord uses the non-complex things in life to teach me things. I guess there is a reason why DOG can be and has been used as an acronym for - Depend On God.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sometimes You Have to Swim Into the Seaweed

You know, I really have to admire a guy like Job.  I mean here was a man who lost everything...EVERYTHING and still didn't blame it on the Lord and still maintained his strength of faith and rebuked those who told him to admonish the Lord. No, I'm not reading in Job right now, I'm in Numbers. So, why am I going down this path of thought?   Well, here's the thing.  Sometimes being an adult isn't all it is cracked up to be.  In fact, there are days when it is the worst thing.  Honestly to be able to go back to having someone else take care of everything would be super awesome.  BUT....

That isn't the way of life.  In fact, life is all about moving forward even in the face of adversity and Job-like moments.  I've been MIA lately due to some things that have occurred in our life that have resulted in the Mr. and I having to buck up and become the responsible parties for someone elses' poor decisions and life skills.  Let me tell you, I enjoy this about as much as I enjoy getting a a bone reset.  It is painful and cumbesome and time dependent.  However, despite the physical aspect of the thing we are taking care of, there is the emotional and spiritual aspect that has had me in the most turmoil.

Emotoinally I have been a wreck.  This thing has felt like a weight I cannot get out from under.  When I was about 8 or 9 we lived on a lake.  I remember my brother and friends and some adults on one of those large square foam rafts - I think this one was blue.  I had been playing too and we were all taking turns jumping off of it and climbing back on.  This particular day the wind and waves were a little stronger than normal and once I had jumped off the raft drifted over top of me.  Every time I tried to swim out from under it, it was still on top of me. What seemed like an eternity, may have only been 20 or 30 seconds but it was enough to freak me out.  I thought I was going to drown.  Then I prayed and it dawned on me that I would be safe if I swam toward the seaweed, so I did.  Even though I had to swim into the slime and gook, I got to safety and promptly pulled myself up on the dock and walked to shore.  (To this day I do not care much for swimming, lakes, bodies of water, anything.)

I shared that to say this - this thing we have to take care of - I feel like I am drowning.  I feel like I can see the top of the water, I can see the fresh air I so desperately need, but I am trapped under the raft. Remembering the fear and the anxiety being trapped under the raft caused me, is the same fear and anxiety I feel now because of this thing.  I know we are doing the right thing.  I know we have done what the Lord would ask us to do, and I know through this procecess he is building character and teaching us something.  Sadly, I am not dealing well with this.  I want to yell and scream and fight.  I want to FIGHT!  I want to stand face-to-face with the cause of this and give it my two cents on how I feel completely violated by its complete lack of responsibility and care for others.

Instead, what I have done is yell and scream and fight with those who have no baring on this issue. Those, who like us, are a victim of the circumstance yet they have no clue they are.  Because, as an adult, it is best to keep some things from those who are incapable of making a difference.  So, there are these people, who I love, who have had to see the fear and anxiety from this "raft" that is weighing me down.  Why?  Because unlike Job who looked to the Lord always and maintained a lasting and loving relationship with not only himself and others through all it all - I have succumbed to the anger I have towards this thing.  I have let it boil over and become the elephant in our home.

I can tell, even though I still read my Bible and do my devotionals, that this thing is prohibiting the work of the Lord in my life at this time.  Instead of swimming towards him I am leaning on my own strength.  I am letting the raft stay on top of me.  I am preventing Him from leading me to safety and freah air. I know that this too shall pass.  That we are taking the right steps to correct this wrong.  In fact, we have a timeline for this and in the grand scheme of life it isn't even that long of a fix.  One could say it is only like 20 or 30 seconds on the timeline of life.  And God will protect us and keep us safe as we look to him while he sees us through.

I just need to trust Him.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June

I'm going to try to make this short, more because I only have about 20 minutes before I have to leave for work than because I don't have much to say.  I hate this time of year.  I try really hard not to hate it, really I do.  In fact, today is a very special day for someone I love.  Today is my Mr.'s birthday.  I truly hope he likes his gift and that today is filled with blessings for him.  However, outside of that one thing, there isn't much I care for in this month.

Why is this month so horrible?  Well, for the days leading up to my own birthday they serve as an anticipation for a day that has never been special for me, and for the days that follow it, they serve as a transition back to life as normal.  Why do I hate my birthday so much?  It has nothing to do with aging, after all, none of us can change the course of that.  I hate my birthday so much because it is nothing more than a reminder of the day I was born to someone who hates me.

I have no fond birthday memories growing up.  I didn't have birthday parties and celebrations, my brother and sister did but they aren't the ones who ruined our mom's life - I was.  She's told me that.  When I was younger.  I ruined her life.  I didn't ask to, but I did and it is a weight I have carried my entire life (well, since she told me) and who likes to think their existence is a reason for someone else's pain? Mine is.

It is hard growing up knowing the only people who wanted you were your grandparents, yet those people are no longer here, so I am left with the nothingness of love that parents should give their children. I think this is why I try so hard to give my Littles the best birthdays ever.  Birthdays should be a celebration of the gift of life the Lord gives us, not the reminder of how much of a mistake you were.

I was a mistake.  I have been told this time and again, my brother, 20 months younger than me, was not.  He is a boy.  He has always been more special because of that.  Then my baby sister, 10 years younger than me, well, isn't it the way of things the baby of the family gets more attention.  I know, you are reading this and thinking why is a woman, nearing the last year of her third decade of life writing like a sullen teen?  No matter how old you get, you are still someone's child. For some of us, that is a cause of great joy, for other's it is a cause of great sadness.

I can never do anything right.  My life is nothing to my family, most especially my mom. I wish she could love me like my siblings, but perhaps the pain of the way I ruined her life, all those years ago, is too much. I am sorry for that.  I truly didn't mean to.  So, with that I say this - I cannot change where I came from.  I cannot even change who I came from, but I will love those who the Lord gave me with all of my heart - because He loved me enough to bless me with them.

Should I bump into you in the next few days, please don't take my withdrawn nature personally.  I will snap out of it.  I will be ok.  It has nothing to do with how I feel about you, it has everything to do with how I feel about myself and the reminder of the date that is the biggest reminder of what I am.

Happy June.
- M