My Last Night of Dog-Sitting

I periodically get the privilege of dog-sitting. It’s one of my most favorite things to take care of other peoples’ puppies and kittens. I’d almost do it for free. Almost.

This time, I looked after three dogs, two beagle mixes and a Jack Russell mix. Two are rescues that were leery of me at first but have since warmed up to me in a big way. The other is a lovable goofball who is always fun to be around.

Tonight’s the last night. 

Basically, it’s been a low-key night of Netflix and couching it with the Three Pup-eteers. Not a whole lot of excitement or high energy, but a good night nonetheless.

While, I’ll be glad to get back to Peanut, my little Torti kitten, I’ll miss hanging out with these guys (well technically, two gals and one guy). They’re all super affectionate and cuddly.

I’m hoping I get more opportunities in the future to dog-sit for these (and maybe other) pups. Maybe even a cat or two.

Check me out on Facebook under Critter Sitter if you want more details and live in the Nashville area.

T-I-R-E-D

I’m tired. As in I’m worn out, kaput, done for the day, finished. But it’s a good kind of tired.

I think of it this way. The bad kind of tired for me happened a lot when I was out of work. If I felt like I wasted my day doing nothing, I could still go to bed feeling tired, but it was the kind where I didn’t feel like I accomplished anything. The tiredness felt more like a lethargy, almost like a heaviness to my limbs.

The good kind of tired happened today after a full day’s work. I can look back and see accomplishments and progress. This tiredness feels more like the satisfaction after a good meal or the sense of joy after a good hike.

I’m thankful for a job that challenges me physically and mentally. I’m thankful for health that allows me to exert energy and be active throughout the day. I’m thankful for rest that comes to those who are weary.

I generally tend to sleep better when I’m the good kind of tired. The good news is that tomorrow is National Sleep-In Day, also known as Saturday. 

I haven’t decided if dogs and cats have good and bad kinds of tired. I think whenever they get tired, wherever they are, is the best place for a nap. That’s not at all a bad philosophy.

Back in the ‘Vue

It hasn’t really been all that long, but in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago since I last dog-sat for my friends in Bellevue.

It was not quite two months ago. My late lamented Lucy was still alive and kicking (well, more like snoring). When I left to take care of the three pups, I had no earthly idea that she wouldn’t be around much longer at all.

Here I am again, a little older and hopefully a little wiser.  Maybe a little more thankful and a little less prone to take anything for granted. Especially felines.

I made my usual pilgrimmage to Loveless Cafe this evening, and it was every bit as good as advertised. At least my Southwestern omelet was.

The dogs are as happy to see me as ever, though not as energetic in their displays of affection. They’re all a little older, too.

I’m remembering a quote that said that if all the prayers I ever prayed consisted of “Help,” “Thanks,” and “Wow,” I’d be doing alright.

I think my prayer for tonight is definitely going to be “Thanks!”

Amen.

More Wisdom from Mr. Bonhoeffer

“Do not worry! Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry. But in truth, they are what cause anxiety. The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries. We desire to secure our lives with earthly goods; we want our worrying to make us worry-free, but the truth is the opposite. The chains which bind us to earthly goods, the clutches which hold the goods tight, are themselves worries.

Abuse of earthly goods consists of using them as a security for the next day. Worry is always directed toward tomorrow. But the goods are intended only for today in the strictest sense. It is our securing things for tomorrow which makes us so insecure today. It is enough that each day should have its own troubles. Only those who put tomorrow completely into God’s hand and receive fully today what they need for their lives are really secure. Receiving daily liberates me from tomorrow” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

Give us this day our daily bread. That means that God gives us just what we need for each moment and for each day, not for next month or next week or even tomorrow, but for today.

I also believe we are to live each day our daily bread. That is, live each day being present to each moment and not dwelling on past might-have-beens or future could-yet-happens.

That said, I confess that I am an expert worrier. I suck at living out the principle of daily bread. I feel like I’m much too anxious about if I’ll have enough or do enough or be enough for tomorrow that I can’t fully appreciate and engage today.

Give us this day our daily bread. Give me enough of You for today that I can be all that You created me to be today. Amen.

PS That post on the sermon from Kairos will hopefully come tomorrow. I haven’t forgotten. At least not completely.

Fall Sneak Preview Part 2

Just when I thought that summer had returned in full and brutal strength, today happened. It was another one of those cooler, almost fall-ish days that make me long even more for the real thing.

It also happened to be Kairos tonight. I had the privilege of greeting the good folks as they meandered in from the parking lot. My goal is to be a smiling friendly face on a day when many people may not have seen a lot of smiles or experienced much happiness.

I confess I smile a little easier when the weather’s not unbearably hot and oppressively humid. It’s easier to be friendly when you’re not melting into a puddle in the middle of the sidewalk like the Wicked Witch of the West.

The drive home was even better. I was able to roll the windows down and let the night air in, even if it did ruffle up my hair a bit. I don’t think my kitten will mind my messed-up hair too much.

Again, I’m reminded that gratitude for the smallest blessings makes the bigger blessings come. Being thankful gives you eyes of faith to see the bigger blessings.

Another sneak preview– tomorrow I will hopefully write about the sermon by guest speaker Kelly Minter on being obedient to the fullest. In the meantime, don’t forget to count your blessings one by one . . . all of them.

 

A Word from Mr. Bonhoeffer

“Thankfulness works in the Christian community as it usually does in the
Christian life. Only those who give thanks for the little things receive the
great things as well. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts
prepared for us because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think that
we should not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge,
experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be
seeking the great gifts. Then we complain that we lack the deep certainty, the
strong faith, and the rich experiences that God has given to other Christians,
and we consider these complaints to be pious. We pray for the big things and
forget to give thanks for the small (and yet really not so small!) gifts we
receive daily. How can God entrust great things to those who will not
gratefully receive the little things from God’s hand?” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

To receive the greater gifts and blessings, it’s important for us to give thanks for the seemingly smaller gifts (which in hindsight turn out to be not quite so small after all).

Above all, I think it’s important to give thanks for each day God wakes us up and not take for granted another 24 hours that we got to see and touch and taste and smell and live.

No matter what happened today, good or bad or ugly, the fact that you survived is an indication that God’s not done with you and that He still has a purpose for you being here.

I believe those who are the happiest and most joyful are the ones who are grateful for everything, not just the obvious blessings. I know those are the people I want to get to know and to be like. May we all be those kinds of thankful people.

 

 

Prayer and the Weekend

“Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

First of all, I am lamenting that one all-too-brief sneak preview of fall. I honestly thought it would last a few more days, but the hot stinky sweatiness has returned. Boo.

I’m still churning over Matthew Page’s sermon from The Church at Avenue South in my head. It was about prayer, not as a means to treat God as a celestial vending machine, but as a way to get to know the heart of the God who is both Father and the Infinite Almighty.

I confess I’ve fallen into the trap of making prayer a sort of laundry list of wants and needs. It’s gotten less and less about remembering who God is and what He’s already done for me and more and more about me and my needs.

I keep thinking about the Better Together celebration at Hadley Park where two churches of different backgrounds came together as one. Mt. Zion Baptist Church, a historically black congregation, and Brentwood Baptist Church, made up of mostly whites, both joined in this event to show that the Gospel trumps racism and inequality, and that the hope of Jesus is for everyone from every kind of background.

That in itself was the answer to the prayers of a lot of people. I have a feeling that the closer we as believers get to the heart of God (what God desires and longs for from us), the closer we get to those outside of our normal comfort zones and routines. The more we understand that Heaven will be comprised of people from every tongue and tribe and race.

One last thought on prayer before I go. This is essential to understanding prayer and how it works:

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work” (Oswald Chambers).