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

Puppy Abandonment

I had a messy-train-wreck-weepy-meltdown a few Saturdays ago.  My husband looked bewildered as we stood in the kitchen during the sob-fest before he gathered me in his arms for a big hug.

Why was I having a nuclear melt-down?

I had just dropped our 9-month-old Lab at the veterinarian to board him for 3 days while we went to the beach.  This emotional avalanche took me by surprise!  Previously I would have identified myself as an animal lover, who takes great care of my pets, but isn’t so attached that I would be boo-hooing over leaving my puppy to be boarded for a couple days.  

I kept thinking about how scared he would be without us. Was he wondering where we were? Did he hate hearing the other dogs barking? Was he being fed enough? Did he get to play enough or was he bored?  

The worst thought?  Did he think we were coming back or did he feel abandoned?

Thinking about how overwhelmed I felt about leaving him, I started thinking about how God never abandons us…even if it feels like it. God’s Word promises that he will not leave us or abandon us.  Ever.  

In Hebrews 13:5 (NASB), we are reminded “…for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”

There it is.  Right in His own words.  “I will never desert you” and “nor will I forsake you.”  What an amazing promise! 


That promise is repeated several times in both the Old Testament and New Testament.  We can look at Deuteronomy or 2 Corinthians for other examples.  

“For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” ~Deuteronomy 4:31 (NASB)

…persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”~2 Corinthians 4:9 (NASB)

There are countless times in one’s life that they could feel that God is not there.  And yet, He is there. We know God keeps his word and we know that He promises to not forsake us, so we can make the leap to know He won’t leave.  

I can’t begin to know if my puppy felt alone and abandoned, even though I was emotional about the thought.  What I can begin to know is that even in my darkest hour of feeling abandoned, my God is there.  

He never left.

~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

Waiting for Something: The Case for a Puppy

My 8-year-old recently asked, “Why don’t we have a dog yet?”

Our family has been talking about getting a puppy for a couple years, but we’ve always had parameters associated with it.

As soon as we buy a house, we’ll get a dog.

As soon as I retire from the military, we’ll get a dog.

As soon as this or that is done, we’ll get a dog.

My son has had enough of the waiting and now just flat out asks why we are still stalling.

I tried to think of a way to explain to an 8-year-old using a Bible story.  Sarah waiting on a baby, offering her maid to her husband? Nope, not a good 3rd grader type of story.  Lazarus raised from the dead? Pretty complicated for the 3rd grader. Woman healed with the blood issue? Not sure I know enough about it to explain it….

It’s so hard to be patient waiting for something we desire! Often it’s difficult to be patient with God too.  What does it mean to “wait on the Lord”?

There are a couple of key components to waiting on God. The first is a complete dependence on God and the second is a willingness to allow Him to dictate the timeline.  Both sound easy. Neither are.

I find myself praying, “Lord, give me patience…like, now.  Yep, now is when I need the patience.”

Practicing patience with God often involves waiting. When we wait on the Lord, we are developing strengthened character in our Christian walk.  That patience showcases our ability to trust the Lord. It strengthens our prayer life. In some instances, it may strengthen our desire to be into the Word more frequently.

The timing of the Lord is always perfect.  We just have to wait patiently.

The timing of the Shade puppy will also be perfect. My son just has to wait patiently.

~Emily

The case for a puppy