Breaking Dawn

 

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What is it with these furry creatures that inhabit my household? They always seem to be teaching me valuable life lessons. Last week our blind black pug, Penny, handed me yet shutterstock_118566679another one when she disappeared for over an hour in the wee dark hours of the morning. (Hence the title ~ maybe I’ll pick up a few “Twilight” followers?

Our adventure began on an uneventful morning. Like every morning, my husband let Penny out to take care of her morning ritual. As she headed off into the darkness of the woods on the side of our house, he briefly left to grab a sweat shirt and when he returned… no dog in sight … or sound.

Even though you cannot see a blind black pug in the darkness, you can usually hear walking through the leaves. But he heard nothing. She had disappeared. He called out to her and looked around for over an hour. (He mentioned later that he couldn’t find our flashlight. Someone hadn’t put the it back where it was supposed to be. Sound familiar?)

Plan B, wake-up Christy. She finds everything. Upon alert, I jumped up, threw on my sweats and boots, grabbed my flashlight and was outside in mere moments. I called and called while I slowly paced our street and circled our property… but no Penny.

shutterstock_553635145Now the sun was coming up – usually my favorite time of day. I was starting to get frantic which always makes my brain wander and give way to fears…Was she eaten by a coyote? Did a fox mistake her for a chunky black squirrel? Did she feel it was her time and decide to wander out into the woods to die alone under a bush?

As the sun started to light up the horizon, I wearily asked myself… “Why is this my favorite time of day anyway, I’m exhausted?” I looked around and it became clear to me. It’s because this is when all is calm. It’s when God shows me His first light. And it’s when I pray about the day ahead. This day though, I went straight from waking in panic mode and skipping my prayer time completely.

So I took a moment; centered myself and prayed… “Dear Lord, please lead me to Penny. Please let her be ok. Forgive me for not turning directly to you. “
shutterstock_315518993Thirty seconds later I caught a glimpse of what looked like a blackened tree stump. It was Penny. (That was fast God!) She was just sitting there. My guess is that she realized that she was getting herself into deeper and deeper trouble the more she blindly navigated her unknown surroundings. The more she wandered on her own, without sight, the further she was from being home and safe.

As I most gratefully scooped her up into my arms, her gray, cloudy eyes looked up at me as if saying “Geez, what took you so long, I’m freezin’ out here!” I quipped right back at her… “Why the heck didn’t you bark to let me know where you were? You had to have heard me calling!” As I held her, her shaking gave way to a deep, sweet sigh of relief. “I’m safe.”

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Penny’s lesson: “When you are lost and alone; stay put, your master loves you and will find you… always. Trust.

My lesson: If you feel lost, cry out to Jesus in prayer. He hears you, loves you and will rescue you from a cold, dark world. In the dark your fears fester. In the light, they dissipate.

This week, Meditate on Psalm 46:5. “God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.”

 

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” Helen Keller

 

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:4-5 

 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Monday Must see Video: “Lighthouse” by Anthem Lights

A Clean Slate

shutterstock_517648921The champagne bottles have been popping; the New York ball had its annual dropping and now is the time to figure out how to prevent our New Year’s resolutions from stopping.

Been there, done that? Had it with resolutions? It’s an understatement to say that mixed feelings abound on this subject. Some see it as a growth opportunity and a brand new start, while others see it as an overhyped, over-eager way to disappoint themselves with short lived make-overs.

shutterstock_356167211Those of us who find second-chances (or twenty-fifth ones)  appealing; see it as a clean slate! A big beautiful black shiny chalk board dying to be written on with a long slender unscathed piece of white chalk. A new start with a fresh opportunity to notch up certain personal aspirations. Perhaps to re-invent the person who continuously fell short of perfection the year prior.

Uh oh, here lies the problem, at least for me. I’ve done it again…the old “looking to per-fect all aspects of life” resolution. And how did my list get so long that it starts to overwhelm me just thinking about it?!

New Year’s resolutions can be like tetherball. You get all riled up…give the ball your greatest smash and smack! It comes around to hit you dead center in the face, knocking you flat on your back, sending you reeling into a reality that life may just get the best of you. Hmm, maybe next year. Sigh.

 

Then there are those “Oz” moments kicking off your new year. Sporting your best attire and sparkly red ruby slippers – you skip onto the yellow brick road, leading to the wizard who knows all with your besties and your adorable dog in tow.

shutterstock_438949933But there is always something lurking around the corner. Sorry, you know there just is. So where does our power to overcome those surprising, unexpected lions and tigers and bears come from?

Dorothy’s power was hidden within her red shoes. But the shoes could not be activated if their power remained unknown to her. Once Glenda the good witch revealed this power it was up to Dorothy to get in touch with the deepest desires of her heart. She wanted to go home where she was safe and loved. Even if the circumstances weren’t perfect there, she would face them.

 

I can picture Jesus giving me a hand up from the embarrassing tetherball incident saying, “Get up Christy, I love you, you silly girl. You never need to worry about conquering the world. Just be you and draw closer to me. You are perfect in my eyes and that is all that matters.”

shutterstock_355827521“I died on the cross to save you from your sins that will always lurk within you. That cross is why the Father has given you a clean slate! I want to write all over your heart and show you the hope of eternity. You can talk to me, the author and perfector of life, about anything and everything. I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me. You can’t truly know me if you don’t activate my power in you. Draw your power from me and no other sources and I will make you whole.”

When I go to God, seven hundred pounds lift off my shoulders. Are you weighted down with life’s circumstances year after year? Go ahead and set some dynamic and awesome goals but make sure to put God in the center. Then…watch your year, and watch your life actually change.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5 – 6

 

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans fo welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” Erol Ozan

 

“On the path to greatness, life teaches you to walk with stones in your shoes.” Matshona Dhliwayo

 

Must watch Video of the week: Jeremy Camp; “Walk by Faith”