Author Archives: coradarrah

About coradarrah

Author of Here We Go Joe and Seasons at the Bus Stop. I am currently going into schools and sharing my life as an author.

Give us Today

Vern and Bee just returned from their morning walk. Vern rode in a puppy stroller surrounded by blankets and a bone for chewing, while Bee led the way. Once we got home, Vern was placed in the backyard so he could do his business. He was a little subdued given that he slept through most of his stroll. But as he got orientated to his surroundings, he began to look around the yard at all the green grass, hostas, and the pink azaleas that serve as a border.

For Vern and Bee, the days have not changed except for the inclusion of our presence on a constant basis. Everything else seems normal for them, making them clueless to the fear and uncertainty that has permutated the world. All they see is a beautiful spring day with green leaves sprouting from trees and freshly mowed grass.

Matthew 6:11 states, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Jesus knew that there would be periods of time full of insecurity and anxiety. Times that could cause us to be consumed with dread if we focused on the future. He knew the importance of keeping our eyes on only today.

Matthew 6:34 states, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Vern is lying on his bed fast asleep without a single concern. Since being in our home, he has been fed and given a safe place to sleep. He trusts that we will provide for him. Why shouldn’t he?

In the same manner, we should focus on today and trust that God will abundantly provide for us. I pray that we will take a minute to thank God for specific blessings that he has revealed to us during this time of uncertainty. Blessings that we may never have experienced if life had gone on as it was.

Walking Through Life Without a Word

Since Vern arrived a week ago, he has learned to climb steps, pee outside, and leave Bee alone when she is sleeping. He has spent quite a bit of time in the backyard buried in ivy or hanging out on the back deck. Only once, Vern jumped to the ground from the three foot porch. Thankfully, he landed on all four paws and walked off without any lingering effects.

Vern doesn’t say much. He really has no need to speak. To be honest, we have only heard his squealy voice when placed in his crate or if he is antagonizing Bee. At other times, his voice is silent.

Vern has a lot to teach us, particularly during these difficult times of being home bound with our family members. Instead of being quiet, I know that I have a tendency to want to be heard now more than ever. Since so many restrictions have been placed on my life, I want to have a voice in the few things that I do have control over.

Thankfully, I can find some guidance during these moments, even if it isn’t always what I want to hear. “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”(Proverbs 10:19 NLV)

I do find it interesting that God gave only humans the ability to speak. And with this talent, there is a responsibility. As hard as it is, I do believe if I can keep my mouth closed when I am most tempted to let my feelings known, my closest relationships will flourish and not falter.

Vern and Bee are able to communicate without speaking. They can show their feelings without uttering a word. In this last week, I have learned so much by observing them walk through life without using a single word.  

New Beginnings

Vern came home on Saturday.  With all his cuteness, pee and sharp teeth. Bee didn’t know what to think at first. I am sure she wondered what the black ball of fur was doing running in the backyard. To her dismay, it was another male moving into her territory.

After a few minutes of tossing around in the grass, Bee made it clear to Vern that she was the alpha dog and as long as he understood this, everything would be well. Given that Vern thinks Bee is his mother, the two are working things out.

But Bee is not Vern’s mother and she has nothing to offer, no matter how hard he tries to find it. A couple of times when he has sought a nipple, Bee pushed the little puppy off. But this doesn’t seem to cause Vern to get too upset. He seems to be enjoying life and all its adventures.

What a wonderful example to follow at this time when frustrations are high and anxiety of the unknown is prevalent everywhere you turn. We have never experienced an event like we are living through and truthfully no one can give us the answers we so desperately desire.

My only option for peace of mind is to look to the truth, the Word of God. Only here can I find hope. John 1: 1-5 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

These verses speak of Jesus as the Word and the light. No matter how horrendous things seem, it states in verse five that the darkness has not overcome the light. And I believe it! As dark as the world seems right now, the light of Jesus is brighter.

Vern and Bee are working it out. They have been able to get in a pattern where they are enjoying one another’s company. In the same manner, Jay and I have also moved into a rhythm of being confined to home with constant puppy entertainment at our disposal.

A Present Distraction

Since returning from our cruise, Bee has been watching us like a hawk. She can’t trust the fact that we are back safe and sound. Just like our little dog, many of my closest friends have been monitoring my arrival back into the United States.

As we sailed around the Eastern Caribbean on a Royal Caribbean ship, the world made a huge shift. Physically it looks the same as it did when we left Port Canaveral. The sky is the same rich blue and the ground that we stepped on isn’t any different. But there is a stark transformation that can’t be denied by anyone who has walked on the earth for any length of time.

The verse that keeps flowing through my mind is short and to the point. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

My husband and I will be hunkering down in our home for the next couple of weeks. We will stay away from large crowds and strive to put in place all the recommendations to keep us healthy. And as we spend time in our home, we will add Vern to our family.

In no way do I want to down play the seriousness of the life we are in the midst of, but in the same vein, I believe God gives us gifts that He wants us to share in all seasons. And Vern happens to be one of those gifts.

Bee still has no way of knowing what is getting ready to happen. And neither do we. But hopefully, Vern will add a positive light to this fearful picture that is being painted all around us.

(Vern comes home on Saturday, March 21st. I will post a short blog as soon as he arrives.)

Today’s Decision Become Tomorrow’s Life

Bee has no idea what is getting ready to happen. Life as she knows it, will forever change.  She has no way to prepare for the little puppy that will be joining our family unit. Maybe that is for the best.

Often, I wonder how the future will unfold before me. Will the days ahead reflect my past or will they take on an entirely different hue? Will the decisions that are looming in front of me create a detour in my life that I will welcome or regret?

Will the decisions that I need to make today impact tomorrow? How do I know the choices will turn out well? I don’t. But there was a man that can assist me when I am unsure.

Jesus states in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

So today, before Vern (our new puppy) comes home, I will focus only on what God has given me in the present, not the future. And my present includes a little Frenchie that is lying in front of the fire dreaming of how great she has it. For now.

Stepping Stones of Regrets

Bee has no regrets. If she does, she hasn’t told me about them. As she lies in front of the fire and sleeps peacefully, there are no signs of guilt. Only peace.

On the other hand, I have stepping stones made up of regrets that reach back into my past. A path that I avoid going down at all costs. But one that draws me to take when I am least expecting it.

I wonder about the rich young ruler who happened to meet Jesus on the road. I have to speculate, when confronted by Jesus, that he regretted his decision, and had wished he had changed his decision for the eternal life he hungered for.

“As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:17-23)

Wishing we could have changed our actions is common to man. For this man, he wanted the treasures of heaven but he wasn’t willing to let go of the treasures of this earth. Feelings of guilt consumed him.

How often do we retrace our steps to see the regrets of life flash in front of us? We will never know if this wealthy man changed his mind and gave up what he was clinging to for a relationship with Jesus. But for no other reason, this passage gives me hope. Not because the man walked away, but because Jesus gave him an invitation to come back.

Bee has no regrets to erase but I do. Guilt that lingers as long as I walk down my own pathway. But there is hope. And his name is Jesus. Waiting alongside the road offering me to take on my burdens and transforming my regrets to peace.

Competing for Devotion

Months have passed and we are all trying to come to terms with our new normal since Carl left. Of the three of us, little Bee has adjusted quite well. Instead of Carl getting to go on walks with my husband, Bee has slipped into this special position of strolling companion. Each morning, she knows that her walking collar will be placed around her neck and off they will go into the wild of the neighborhood.

It is funny but Bee seems happier and even healthier being an only dog. She no longer has to compete for the devotion that everyone poured out onto her brother. Now when someone enters, Bee briefly greets them and then goes about her business.

Unlike Bee, there was a woman from Canaan that knew she had to fight for Jesus’ devotion to her cause. This woman had a child that was possessed with a demon that tormented her day and night. As the years passed, and the child grew stronger, the mother knew she would soon be unable to care for her beloved daughter.

In Matthew 15:21-28, it is recorded that Jesus left Jewish territory and went to the land that was occupied by pagans. He and his disciples walked over fifty miles into Canaan. If Jesus came primarily for the Jews, why would he walk so far into terrain possessed by the Gentiles?

At first glance, I am sure his disciples asked the same question. Once Jesus entered the area of Tyre and Sidon, nothing worthy of such a walk could be identified. The disciples only noted the obnoxious screams from a woman that called out to Jesus.  Finally, Jesus allowed the woman to be brought to him and she knelt down. “Lord, help me!”

Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” (Matthew 15:25-28)

There is no other recordings of any other life shaking event that took place on this one hundred mile journey. So why would Jesus walk so far for the sake of a Gentile that he refers to as a dog? For only one reason. Her faith.

Because of the woman’s devotion to her daughter and her unwavering faith, Jesus walked a hundred miles. And if he would give this woman so much of his time and effort, why do you think he won’t give you the same?

Bee is now the center of attention. She no longer has to fight for it. It is just hers. As I watch Bee bask in her life as a single dog, I can’t help but think about how this woman must have spent the rest of her days. Grateful with a large dose of peace.