Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sydney Reminds Us It's Simple

Our rescue dog Sydney celebrated her 4th birthday last week. What joy our rescue dog has brought us (and a few other things...) Observing her has taught me some things to apply to my relationship with God. See if any of her “tips” resonate with you:

Stay close. Sydney always lays right by my feet when I’m sitting on the couch or at our kitchen farm table so she's ready for my next move. If you’ve been to our house you know it can be tricky to stand up without stepping on her! I too need to spend time “at the feet” of my Jesus.

Be on alert. Sydney is always on the lookout for anything that might bring harm to me. As we walk she’s looking all around as if something dangerous could suddenly appear.  I also need to be on alert to avoid temptations and recognize potential situations that are totally opposite of what God would desire for me.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1Peter 5:8 NLT

Stick to a routine. Every day, despite the weather, Sydney wants expects a walk. “No excuses Mom.” I need to read my devotionals, pray and keep up with my daily bible study despite all the hundreds of things that try to interrupt my routine. No excuses.

Be patient and don’t give up. I don’t know the entire story of Sydney’s life before we adopted her at age two, but I do know she had a story. Her former owner became ill and so she gave up Sadie (Sydney’s former name~read more about that here.) and her brother-dog Baxter to be adopted. Baxter was adopted first and Sadie waited and waited at the Wags to Riches dog rescue for a family (us!) to fall in love with her.  I’m so glad she never gave up hope. I’m so glad we found her! I’m also glad God doesn’t give up on me (or you) and His plan might take patience but is always what is best for us.

Watch for signals. Sydney’s very good at determining that a walk might be imminent. If she sees my yoga or sweat pants... if I tie on my athletic sneakers... if she hears the sound of plastic poop grocery bags being grabbed to tie onto her leash... She’s very observant. I need to be conscious of signals that I get from the Holy Spirit. When I see something or hear something that nudges my heart or mind, I need to ask God what I can do in response.

Always be ready. Even if it was the middle of the night and it was a blizzard, Sydney would be ready; to go for a walk, to cuddle with me, or to cheerfully accept a command. There would be no hesitation. I need to be ready and flexible for whatever circumstances come my way. 

“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Luke 12:40

Trust and Forgive. Our puppy doesn’t hold grudges. She’s forgiven us for staying out late, not taking her on walks when we’re lazy and she even forgave her Daddy when he  drew blood trimming her nails. Our latest transgression was thinking her constant itching was due to allergies. We’d taken her to the Vet several weeks ago and she’d finished her meds. We gave her a bath and wondered why she still scratched and bit at herself nonstop. You know where this is going, right? 

Yep. Our dog has fleas! NOT cool. NOT fun. Poor girl! Boo hiss...We are busy trying to rid our new home and dog of the nasty little buggers (time and $$$) and hope our life group that's coming over for dinner tonight won't freak out if or when they read this blog post! Sorry friends...

Several lessons learned from the flea nightmare: You might think you’re protected, but the enemy is sneaky!...How do we react and what can we do more effectively in the future? Have Pets?... Use your Frontline or Advantage, do NOT busy generic. Sydney is now on a once-a- month flea pill called Nexgard. Worth every penny. 

What about People?... We need to trust, arm ourselves with God's word, and acknowledge that people make mistakes and deserve grace and forgiveness.

Love always. If you have a dog, you understand the unconditional love they give to their family. Sydney is SUCH a sweet, loving pet. No matter how I treat her or talk to her, she responds in love. Real love. I need to remember that love IS the only thing that really matters and it’s how I should treat everyone I encounter.

Simple? Perhaps it can be. Our sweet four-legged family member truly lives a contented life because she focusses on L O V E.

In His Grip, 
Jane                  Thanks for stopping by See Jane Learn!

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