With hours left before my best boyfriend, TheOldMan heads for his winter home I was a sad mess.
As I brushed him he was skittish about the exceptionally noisy dogs. Then he didn’t like the loose, new gravel or the sound of power tools from what used to be his old stable next door. He reared up coming up the drive, and as I calmed him he told me he isn’t happy with all these changes. As we walked I reminded him that he’s the most wonderful boy. Soon the most delightful peace settled upon us and God’s Spirit calmed us both,
“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Isaiah 42:9 (NIV)
Hero wanted some love too.
SchauzerOne hoping for a wayward carrot.
Muddy Roo heads in for the day job.
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons;” *
It appears the scant week of triple digits proved too much for my WiFi repeater several times this week. And yet life goes on. In fact, pushing cyber chores to evening hours makes time for a quick flat football game while the sprinklers run – work will always be there.
The daily chores in the lots, yards, working the gardens and tending the livestock keep us all busy. The heat drains our energies faster than usual so we find indoor chores earlier than we typically would. In fact, days into the heat wave I noticed by late morning even GoodGirl practicing new ways of holding the rugs down on the concrete.
It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it.
Have a happy weekend!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
About six months ago our ranch family began to grow exponentially.
First Cole rescued GoodGirl to ease the pain of Scoutpassing away. Weeks later SchnauzerOne and ChiuyTwo found their new home here as well. I’m no hater, but I’ve never been a huge fan of “yappy dogs.” Familiar with both breeds I was reluctant to take them on. Still, their person suddenly passed away. I couldn’t refuse the older dogs any more than Cole could. Who knew they’d win me over – and so quickly?
So months later, the dogs and I spent the first weekend alone together in months. It had been over a week since all three dogs accompanied me through outdoor chores. As usual, I kicked a toy around for them as I moved hoses, checked sprinklers and topped the water tanks.
After the second fracas over the toy I crated the dogs to calm them. Once calm, I released them one by one and then ran them hard around the grassy yards. Having them “take a lap” worked well to help my adolescent boys sharpen their perspectives (and attitudes) – some things just don’t change.
I also added another (very flat) ball to the arsenal, allowing each dog a favored toy. Soon I noticed ChiuyTwo isn’t as interested in chasing the ball as she likes being drug from it (how I wish I could have captured that shot). SchnauzerOne doesn’t care as much about the ball as he loves the chase, and GoodGirl is passionate about playing Keep Away.
Soon we had a Football-Futbol game.
Before long endorphins rocketed through all three dogs till none actually cared who had which ball – if there was a ball in play at all! I added a gentle sprinkler and the excitement was off the charts.
Later while listening to reports about the immigration situation I reflected upon the Football Fireworks. All three of these dogs were in dire situations when they came to the ranch. They all needed a safe place to get their heads around what had happened in their individual lives, recuperate, and then make the best of it all. All three are confused about who they are now, what they want, and yet we all want to enjoy our home.
Sure, many other tasks awaited my full attention that day and I could have simply crated the dogs and ignored them. But these dogs are usually great companions and they sometimes help with the chores.
It wasn’t easy. It often isn’t. And yet we found a way to not only make the morning nice, but enjoy each other’s company the rest of the weekend.
I may be simple and unsophisticated, but I wonder if we could all learn some new tricks from flat footballs.
Happy Birthday America!
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17, 18 (NLT)
So, there it was, enough of a pause in the rain and the horrendous winds to allow the sunshine to dry the grass. It finally felt like a northwestern spring day.
All I wanted was to throw some weeds to the hens, a flake of alfalfa to the steer, mow the lawns, add the clippings on the compost pile and toss it, feed and water Izzy’s newly potted plants and then put my feet up to enjoy the sunshine and a late morning latte.
Was that really so much to ask?
Evidently it was.
A distant neighbor’s peacock insisted upon announcing his presence from what sounded like our yard.
Every. Five. Minutes.
Peacock’s can be ornery in the spring, so dogs and I searched.
Even from high in the nearest neighbor’s tree a scant quarter-mile away, for miles around he sounded like he was in our yard.
Once we solved the mystery of the clandestine peacock, ChiuyTwo understood the need for some peace and quiet.
GoodGirl and SchnauzerOne however had other ideas:
Finally after cleaning their paws on my freshly washed jeans, they decided they needed to rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29, 39 (NIV)
Before I was fully awake I stumbled over a toy that my most recent house guests had left behind.
Moving forward regardless, even before I prepared the trace amount of caffeine I allow myself, I was fussing and fuming over something else – it doesn’t take much. I’m often amazed how, at my age and with my wealth of experience, even now I can go from quiet tranquility to untamable shrew in 4.0 seconds*.
As happens sometimes, something reminded me of a fragment of the dark, sad past. Today, instead of reminding myself that was then and this is now, and without the little dogs to remind me Someone is always listening, I soon forgot I’m not actually alone here.
Heartbeats later I gave voice to the thoughts blowing through my mind like the gale force winds that uprooted the tallest tree from the yard, and tore away half the roof on the hen house.
Yep, suddenly angry words busted outta me like a runaway train.
Annnd once again I soon came to appreciate another of the advantages of life here in Our Place: as I worked up to a full-blown rage over ancient history Jesus’ warning from Matthew came to mind – hitting me like a board across the face:
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”**
Like a muzzle check on a firing range, that advice shut my mouth and reset my reality in a heartbeat.
I no sooner confessed the open sewer line of thoughts I’d spewed into the air, asked forgiveness and then begged God to reverse any evil I caused, than the cottage radiated peace again.
With that, my latte and I found today’s place in Jesus Calling*.
Even now I am astounded by how, from the beginning of infinity God knew this morning was coming. Not only so, He also had His plan in place to comfort and help me – today and forever:
“When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. … You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is “fixed.”
When you approach Me [Jesus] with thanksgiving, the Light of My Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through…*” (Genesis 3:2-6; 1 John 1:7 ) Sarah Young
Thank God we can stop run-away brains – restarting from right here and now. Oh, and can we keep early today and the rest of our pasts between Jesus, us and these walls?
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
With all our advancements, as much as things change, some things haven’t.
Why can’t people identify people in lite conversation as people, like, “this guy,” or “a girl I know”… Must we start a conversation with wedges such as specifying skin color, ethnicity, gender inclination, political orientation, etc?
What are your thoughts?
If you don’t vote, quit yer bellyachin’. If you did, trust God.
“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.” (Carl Sagan); “Nothing ever dies on the Internet.” (anon.); “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” (Madison Ave. [m]adman). My posts amalgamate these three philosophical elements into one novel experience; they champion critical thinking, human dignity / equality, levelheaded / even-handed / liberty-based governance and solid environmental stewardship. C’mon in!