Tag Archives: dog

Our Deepest Desire

It was clear what Carl wanted. We were sitting at the breakfast table when Carl placed his paws in my lap.  Looking at me with those soulful brown eyes, if he could speak, he would be asking for some of the sausage dish that could be seen on our plates.

I pushed his paws off me and firmly told him that he would not be getting any food off my plate. With a sad demeanor, Carl turned from me and slowly walked back to the couch and curled up in his familiar spot.56605741629__FFAC95CB-502E-4A67-BCDA-3817A1CED79C

Carl is not the only one that wants.  We all do.  And the want list only seems to increase during the holiday season. Children are conditioned from birth that Christmas means getting what you want. Presents are stacked under the tree by parents with the hope that their loved ones will find enjoyment from the gifts that are given.

But if you think about it, will the presents fill the desire of what we really want?  As the gifts are unwrapped, a sense of anticipation rises up in our hearts. But no matter what is inside, it just can’t give us the long lasting satisfaction that we all yearn for.

So where can we find this satisfaction that our hearts so desperately desires? Will it be in the things that take up the space in our homes? Or in the accomplishment of a lifetime goal? Could it come through a relationship that has been sought after?

What if our greatest want or desire could be satisfied by the baby in the manger? The newborn cuddled up in the hay.

Take a long look at the babe.  The one that the angel told the shepherds to come worship.  The one that the star directed the wise men to. God’s only son. Christ the king.

So often we lose sight of the gift that God has given us. The only gift that will fill the void that He actually created within us.  So in this season, let us not forget the reason to celebrate. If this means opening up your Bible and reading the story as it is actually written, do it. Or if music can resonate in your heart, play music that is intended for worship of our savior’s birth.

Carl will surely return to the table and try to persuade me to give him what he wants. And as he places his paws on my lap and looks at me with his soulful brown eyes, I will use this as a reminder of what is truly desired.IMG_4656

“Thank you Lord for sending your only begotten Son to earth as a baby. I want to particularly thank you for allowing this baby to grow into a man, one that understands my frailty and temptations. Thank you for allowing Him to die on the cross so that I can live life to the fullest.”

Fighting off Anxiety

Anxiety swept over me like a wave splashing across my entire body.  I knew in my soul that something was terribly wrong and I didn’t know what to do. Carl could not be found and I truly believed that he might be gone forever.

Early each morning before the heat sets in, I have gone outside to water my garden.  Carl loves to follow me around and find something to smell or dig up. Typically, he stays close by and seems to know if he wonders off, he may lose his privilege of being free to roam.IMG_4042

This morning was different.  Before watering the yard, I placed my bag inside the car for an overnight trip with some friends. Carl knew something was up and started acting strangely. Instead of staying close by, he ran next door, sniffed around and then came back over to me.

This happened a couple of times until the little dog disappeared altogether.  To make matters worse, this was the busiest time of day for the commuters that speed by on the roads that frame our property.

As I realized that Carl was not to be found, my anxiety level increased and I began to pace up and down the road, calling his name. My greatest fear was that I would hear the screeching of brakes and find my little dog injured or killed in the road in front of my yard.

Initially I thought he must have made his way inside my neighbor’s house but when I looked inside the window, all looked quiet.  Afraid to wake them up, I made my way down the road to another house that Carl had entered a while back.

But there was no sign of Carl anywhere. At this time, my emotions were all over the place. I was fighting off the feelings that something horrible was happening.  My thoughts went from thinking the worst to believing that Carl would just appear.

How often, when we are faced with tragic circumstances, do we allow our thoughts to dictate our feelings?  Anxiety can come upon us in an instant and stay around way too long. David was no stranger to the feelings of anxiety. He had every reason to feel anxious as he was being pursued by Saul in his younger years and his own son Absalom in his older years.

How did this man overcome the anxiety that came with the threat of death?

Psalm 91:1-4 clearly demonstrates David’s conviction about how God will protect us.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

David focused on a God that is much larger than any problem that we may experience. Instead of spending his time dwelling in self-pity, he set his thoughts on the Lord.

After pacing up and down the road, I made my way into my backyard.  It was then that I saw the little dog run around the corner of the garage and make his way towards me. A sense of relief consumed me. I could have been angry towards Carl but I just couldn’t muster up negative feelings towards him.

As I opened the gate that led to the backyard, Carl pranced in and started chasing Bee like nothing had happened. Just knowing that he was okay was enough to send up a thank you up to God and to realize how grateful we all need to be for the little blessings of this life.IMG_4046

Are You Just Ordinary?

The fearless squirrel scampered across the yard without a care in the world. As the gray furry animal pranced over to the bird feeder, Carl lay in a stupor on the couch. It was clear that he was in a deep state of sleep. IMG_2345

This is when I had to confront the sleeping dog that loved the opportunity to chase any squirrel that dared to graze in the back yard.  With one eye open and the other closed, he didn’t seem interested in what I had to say.

But when I said the word “squirrel”, Carl jumped up and headed for the door where he spotted the furry figure munching on the bird seed that had been pushed out of the feeder.

It was now clear that Carl had his sights on his prey but by the time he was able to signal the doggy door to open and slip through the small space, the squirrel had climbed the fence and made his way into the brush.

Carl had missed the furry rat with a tail by seconds. And this wasn’t the first time either.  Never in all of Carl’s attempts had he actually caught an animal. He had missed every one of them.

How often do we miss the most important things in life?  We could be sleeping like Carl, or just too preoccupied with less important issues that consume our day. It could also be that we just don’t understand what the important things in life are.

Have you often wondered why Jesus spoke in parables and didn’t speak clearly about the kingdom of God?  Why didn’t the people of his time understand who He really was?  And even today, most people don’t comprehend the magnitude of who this man is.

Jesus explained to his disciples why He spoke in parables. Matthew 13:11 states, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.”

These men were not highly educated.  Most of them worked with their hands and struggled to keep food on the table. So why were they able to understand the parables that Jesus spoke but the high priests and the Roman officials could not?

Because God chooses the ordinary, which I am one. An ordinary woman that was the youngest of five in a household where the men were honored and the girls shunned. I lived an ordinary life as a special educator for over three decades that was never recognized for my talents.

Ordinary but through the grace of God, extraordinary. I have been chosen to understand the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. How about you? Do you struggle with being ordinary? If so, then you are a great candidate for God to use.

As for Carl, he could be perceived as ordinary by some. But in my eyes he is far from an average dog. Even though he can’t catch a squirrel, he has been able to catch the attention of some readers that will hopefully have their eyes opened to the secrets of the kingdom of heaven.

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