Barking My Fool Head Off: Stuck In the Drain Pipe

Today my nearly one-year old lab was in the drainage pipe…in the creek…under our driveway, where he had trapped an unlucky duck.  He was barking his fool head off inside the pipe-tunnel when I arrived on scene.  He was making such a commotion, that for a moment I thought he was possibly stuck in the drainage pipe.

Don’t you know that I tend to make such a commotion during crisis moments that I begin to think I’m stuck?  Just last week, I had a series of overwhelming moments, conversations, and decisions that had me in tears.  After sobbing in the closet so my son didn’t hear me, I realized that my melt-down was an ugly crying ruckus.  Today I realized it was comparable to the puppy panic of being trapped.  The difference between the puppy’s commotion and mine, is that I am often stuck.

God knows we are flawed as humans and that we get stuck.  The best news, we’re already given our escape plan to get unstuck.  We simply need to share the concerns, the complaints, the commotion with Him.  We won’t always get answers immediately.  And we sometimes won’t like the answers.  But there is reassurance in knowing that our God has ears that hear our every prayer…and that there is nothing more that He desires than to guide us through our ‘stuck-ness.’

Psalm 55:22 (ESV) tells us “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

After my sob-fest-pity-party, I turned it over to God.  I poured out the complaints, the injustices, the fears, the griping…and even the anger.  I immediately felt better. Not because the overwhelming stuff was gone…no, it was all still there.  But rather, I felt better because I spoke it out loud to the Lord.  

This next week, I’m praying that you turn it all over to the Lord.  Give him all the ugly truth and watch what He will do with it.

For the record, the puppy wasn’t stuck.  The duck was trapped by the puppy’s excitement, but the duck was fine too.  It was seriously just a loud commotion!

~Emily

COVID-19 Puppy

For months we’ve been preparing to add a puppy to our family.  I thought that we may be getting the puppy by May or June.  When we went into “social distancing” in March (which included me teleworking and our son’s school being canceled), I made the comment that it would be amazing if we could get the puppy while we were all home.

My amazing husband delivered the puppy to our house the 1st week of our quasi self-quarantine and it’s been a wonderful time to bond with our new family member.  There’s been lots of laughs, lots of potty training, and lots of scratches and nip-bites.  Assuming the adults of this house were working 40 hours a week out of the house and the child was still going to public school, this puppy would have been alone much of the day in a crate. Instead, he’s able to play, run, nap, and train with us throughout the day.

This pandemic is causing chaos in our lives on every level.  It’s forcing us into roles we didn’t prepare for and perhaps, never wanted.  Stay-at-home parent.  Teacher. Homemaker. Chef. Teleworker.

Yet, for our family, it’s bringing a small period of “pause” to focus on puppy training.

We need this pause, just like the puppy needs to pause and nap.  Jesus knows that each one of us needs a pause too.  We can get just as crazy, cranky, and barking-rebellious without proper rest in our lives.  All of God’s children need quiet time.

It’s challenging to develop a strong relationship with God if we are constantly on the run.  A pandemic, with all of its horror, is a vehicle for pausing to develop a stronger relationship with God. Like having a new puppy, it’s time to bond with God. It’s time to spend time in His Word. It’s time to find the praise in the storm.

I’d like to encourage you this week, as I have to encourage myself.

– Be a regular worshiper.  According to Scripture, it was the habit of Jesus to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath.  If your church doors are closed during the pandemic, find an online option. Put worship on your calendar, so that you don’t forget what day of the week it is in the midst of crazy schedules. Sing, read, or praise in any way that you can during the day.

– Remember you are a daughter of the one true King.  When feeling overwhelmed with new titles, know that ‘Child of God’ is the only one you absolutely should embrace.  Focus on this throughout your day.

– Build quiet time into your life.  If you hadn’t had a strong prayer life prior to the pandemic, now is a perfect time to create space for prayer. Make time to reflect and converse with the Lord. Pray, journal, or reflect in any way that you can throughout the day.

My question is this…what do you want to do with your “pause” time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

~Emily

Covid-19 Puppy Dog copy