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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Don't Work Too Hard

What's the line between diligence and sloth?  Balance.

This Labor day weekend, don't forget to celebrate the joy that can be work, given the proper perspective.  The Lord gave Adam the gift of working in the garden - a good occupation that provided structure and meaning to his waking hours.  Yet a planned day of rest was also a gift.

Don't forget - be thankful for your work, whatever it is, and be thankful for rest.  And don't forget to get some play time in too!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rest Up

It's the weekend.  As most people experience the end of Summer blues and the increased pace of back-to-school, things at the kennel are slowing down.

And even though this means less income, it means much needed rest.  The blog may be quiet for a week or so, but that's okay - I know you're busy! 

Don't forget to rest - God gave us a day off - make sure you take it!  If the God of the universe can rest without the world falling apart - so can you.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Grounded

Some dogs have special situations when they come to the kennel.  Bugs is one of them.
Due to some very delicate surgery on his hip, he needs to be kept very still.  Considering he's used to being very active, this is difficult.  He also lives with another very active dog, so it's hard for both of them not to run and play.

Sometimes life sidelines us from what we truly want to do.  Often, it is God's own hand that sets us to the side.  While we can only understand our limitations, God understands the deep wounds that need healing.

Today when you are feeling the burden of your grounding, remember that there is a reason for those boundaries.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Caring about the Sparrows

I'm still sad about it.

There was a family of wrens who made an unfortunate choice to nest on my front porch.

They survived the constant attention of cats.  For the last two weeks, they've been feeding their young.  Then the windows guys showed up.  They made a LOT of noise.

The wrens haven't been back. 

"God cares about the sparrow."  This is my only solace.  I didn't want those darn birds there in the first place and look what happened - heart break.  But God cares.  It's hard to care when you know there will be a bad ending.  It's hard to care when there's a good one.  But we are supposed to care because God cares.

Lord, help me to keep caring when I don't want to have my heart break.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Car Full of Crazy

While my dear friend attempts to sell one home and buy another, I've had her dogs for an extended amount of time.  They are faring well, but I don't want them to get too bored.  Every now and then, our daily walks end up being car destinations to exotic locations ten minutes away.  However, it is really quite an ordeal.
In fact, it's a bit of a scene.  Three dogs in a car.  Three dogs out of the car.  Me wrangling them to some order to move forward for two plus miles.

It's worth it.  Another reminder that we need each other - for conversation or presence.  Either way, it can't be done alone.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Behaving Under Stress

When dogs come to the kennel, I don't expect them to be on their best behavior.  Perhaps at home they are expected to sit, stay, come, don't jump, etc., but at dog camp, they pretty much may act a bit wild. 

Which is fine.  Remembering obedience when in a different environment is difficult.
As people, we often experience stress that tempts us to stray from behavior we know is correct.  We want to snap at people who are rude.  When the faucet handle breaks, we want to swear (which happened this morning).  It's not easy to walk the talk when we are challenged.

What is in our hearts - to love and be kind to others - is a lot more difficult when push comes to shove, particularly if we are getting shoved a LOT.

We can't do it under our own power.  We need to ask for God's strength, patience, and perspective.  That's about the only way we have any hope.  And when we inevitably make mistakes - snapping, swearing - the Lord is only one who can forgive us completely.

Keep trying - keep praying - keep loving.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dog Friends

Years of observing dog behavior help me know which dogs are likely to get along and who will not.  Yet after fifteen years, there is no definitive rules that are one hundred percent true.
Here, Kobe (left) lives with Kody (back).  Kobe likes to play with other dogs but he takes serious issues with others, and it all seems rather random who he likes and does not like.  When Roxie the Bulldog came to visit, I expected Kobe to not like her.  Instead, they became fast friends.  Maybe it was because he couldn't figure out that she actually was a dog after all, and not some sort of moveable footstool.

Daily we meet people who confuse, challenge and delight us (sometimes all that in one person!).  Sometimes we are nothing but nice to a person and they still choose to reject us, slander us, and are generally sneaky and unpleasant.

Instead of taking it personally, we must recognize that it that person's issue, and not ours.  When I find I am starting to really dislike a person, I try to remember to ask God to give me eyes to see that person the way He does.  Sometimes that prayer is answered in ways that allow me to see that person's brokenness, which heals the anger I may feel toward them.  Other times, not much changes except the intensity of my emotion.

People and dogs - just when you think you've got them figured out, you don't.  But that's not all bad.  Life's mysteries make every day living interesting.  God created a diverse and wondrous variety of beings.  And we are one of them.