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.

The Unusual Hero

scriptureshoes

Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.’  Jeremiah 9:23-24

I toed the line at the annual Toronto Marathon that I had trained many months for. I wrote verses on my shoes, prayed about my upcoming race and goals I had set and gave it all over to the Lord as we made our way to the start line the morning of. Some people don’t understand running, and that is ok. But for me, running is a way that brings me closer to God. I feel His love and heartbeat for me in moments of pain and find His joy and protection in the moments of simplistic beauty that surround me on each run. To me, running is my unique time spent with Jesus. My own special way to worship Him.

On this particular day, I felt complete peace about this race. Usually, I am very nervous and can’t seem to keep food in my system. But this race felt different. I knew I had given the long months of training my all. I had worked hard, struggled with injury and enjoyed every moment. Even if I didn’t meet my goal, I had peace.

Every one of us longs to be a hero. God has engraved this in us. We know that we are made for more and long to accomplish the biggest of feats for Him and for His glory. Sometimes along the way we lose sight of the One who we are serving. It feels good to succeed and to do it all “for His glory.” As we begin to excel, flattery can so easily creep in and seeds of pride can be planted. But what about losing for His glory? What about not accomplishing what you hoped you would, for His glory?

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Life Has Gone to the Dogs

happydog

My daughter has been living back at home for about a year now and brought a dog with her. I’m okay with this because I have a couple of dogs myself. Her dog is a little more “high strung,” than mine but we’re figuring each other out (she’s figuring out I don’t give in like her mother). I have observed something on mornings when I go to let the dog, Franni, out from my daughter’s bedroom. Franni LOVES mornings! I mean this dog throws back the covers, jumps off the bed and is ready for the dawn of a new, exciting, fun-filled day!

The other morning as I watched Franni’s joyful self, I said, “What if we woke up with this kind of zeal for life?”

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Dear Senior…

Things began to change as I grew up a little (physically, mentally and spiritually), went to college, and experienced some trials. I traveled a bit and remember feeling a little out of place.

Ashleigh_DearSenior1

I made many mistakes. I took the road that many traveled and left the one that few take. I decided that I knew best. In the end, it was hard to even see my reflection. God brought me to a place of brokenness. A place that ultimately led me into His arms.

Ashleigh_DearSeniors2

Now, you’re graduating. You’re ending a chapter to begin another. Time moves so quickly. So I want to write you a letter to help you begin this new journey. I hope this reaches your heart and you remember it in moments of indecisiveness, trials and failures.

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