Goldendoodle Wisdom

Goldendoodle


“This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10

“But as for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”
– Malachi 4:2


I want to emulate my Goldendoodle, Chewie (short for Chewbacca). Heart heart heart!

He has unconditional love always. He greets us EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. the same way. First, he barks because he is kind of a ding dong and is trying to protect his beloved family. But once our ditzy Goldendoodle realizes it’s us, even though we have abandoned him all day long and might have yelled at him as we were leaving, all is forgotten as he runs to the door and begins jumping for joy, kissing us repeatedly.

He is affectionate always! While we are watching TV, he will come up behind us and literally give us a hug with his big ole lanky front legs and rest his head on our shoulders. Or squeeze up next to us on the couch, lay his head on our laps and hold our hands with his furry paw.

He is fun always! He is never too tired to play. He never turns down a chance to go for a walk or run with one of us. Every object is a toy. And going outside never gets old! Like it’s his first outdoor experience. Each and every time, he is full of wonder and bounces around like a calf put out to pasture.

He is happy always! He adds life to the space he is in. I’ve never seen him mope, or act sad and dejected. He walks with a skip in his step, excited about life and in love with his people.

We’ve neglected him, disciplined him too harshly, rejected his love…

He’s pooped in the house, eaten Tucker’s sandwich, chewed up earbuds…

And yet he holds no grudges, has no regrets and has no shame.

Lord, help me to be like that! I want to be fun and love people well. Forgive quickly. Get over my stupid mistakes. And see the joy in every moment.

Thanking Jesus For Tiny Hands

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Motherhood is quite different than I imagined. It’s tiring and fulfilling. It’s snuggles and screams. It’s sleepless nights and long days. It’s lonely and beautiful. And it’s everything you hoped and more. Truth is, motherhood has taught me that life is meant to be lived raw. To give of yourself and sacrifice when you just want to do something other than nurse and be at home. To take the beautiful things and thank Jesus for them and embrace the hard and thank Jesus for them.

These little lives are gifts given to us for only a short time. And right now I’m just thankful for these tiny hands that hold my whole heart and that have brought joy to our whole family. Because I know – though the days are long…the years are short. And I don’t want to miss a thing in either of the sweet gifts in my life.

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

Newborn

“I will lead them down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah‬ ‭42:16‬

I will be the first mom to say that mommin’ ain’t easy. I have been blessed to be able to be a step mom for almost three years and now have the privilege of raising one of my own as well. Both roles are difficult in different ways but both are beautiful as well. They don’t tell you about the difficult times and the sleepless nights. Maybe they do but in your mind you imagine different. They don’t tell you about being so worried about either of them or praying for their future. They don’t tell you how deeply and completely your heart will belong to them.

If there is one thing I’ve learned these last three years and these last two weeks, it’s that being a mom should be hard because being a mom means sacrifice. It means giving when you are empty. Loving when you are hurt. Praying when you don’t know what to say. And hoping that through it all you can be a light in the darkness and a refuge from the storms in this world. God has reminded me that it is a blessing to be walked out with Him. Time with Him is crucial to not lose your sanity and patience. Prayer is our biggest weapon against the enemy and love covers all.

So while there are many days I have cried over these last few years, there are many prayers that have been answered. God continues to guide and show me how to walk along this mom path. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s just really hard. But at all times, He is God and He is with us. He gives us the strength we need for each day if we let Him.

Not Fitting the Mold

BrokenPencilI’ve blogged off and on for years now. I’ve written commercially about fitness, how to grow your gym, and how to motivate your clients. Somehow when it came time to write this blog (my first for #ThisIsLiving) I lacked the ability to motivate myself to do it. I’d write a few sentences here and there that I’d quickly go back and delete. I’d stare at my computer screen with the cursor flashing, daring me to write something. I even got a whole paragraph in comparing the spiritual pursuit to running- something that has way more parallels than you can imagine. Yet, I still found every excuse under the sun not to write a blog entry – something I had volunteered to do. Why?

After staring at the blank page for the better part of two months, I came to realize the reason I couldn’t write this is that I feel inadequate to impart any type of spiritual wisdom. I am in no stretch of the imagination what you’d expect a Christian to be. I am tatted up with a half sleeve, live in yoga pants, I curse more than I’d like to, I’ve been divorced, and I loathe the societal stigma that has somehow attached itself to being an Christian. So, who am I to write to you about anything to do with holiness?

…I came to realize the reason I couldn’t write this is that I feel inadequate to impart any type of spiritual wisdom.

On Sunday, the message at church was on Jonah. During which it became abundantly clear that like Jonah, I had been running from doing something that I feel God has called me to do. Don’t you hate that? When people say stuff like that? “God told me.” I used to hate that, too. It sounds totally cliché, but I assure you it is also totally legit. When I say that God called me to write this, I don’t mean I audibly heard him say it. It is more like something on my mind and in my heart that I can’t quite put into words. Obviously, it wasn’t something of my own creating. I’ve fought hard against it. Where is all this leading you’re wondering? Don’t worry I’m finally getting to the main idea.

Like Jonah, I was afraid and I had taken hold of a pagan idea and pretended it was true. I was afraid to put myself out there by writing and being vulnerable. I had taken hold of the pagan idea that Christians are supposed to be perfect. Since I don’t fit that mold, I felt I had no business in writing this. Then I recalled how Hebrew literature depicted some of the best of the best: David, Abraham, Jacob. None of these men were painted to be holier-than-thou and perfect. God used them in their imperfectness, and with their many sinful blemishes, to do amazing things. They knew what I’ve come to realize in writing this and through the message I heard…what I hope you’ll explore as well: “We can keep trying our plan, or we can yield to God” and “Sometimes, the thing you feel uncomfortable doing is the thing God’s called you to do.”