Do you guys know Sophie?
Here she is, one ear up and one ear down. That's her. She came to live with us right after we moved to the farm, so she has seen a lot of stuff. 10 years, it's been.
Before you start to worry, this isn't one of those sad, "My dog just died" blogs. Sophie is healthy as a horse.
Anyway, She has been a sweet family pet for a long time.
She has given birth to 3 litters of puppies. Most of which were given to family and friends as "samples", so we still are in close contact with a lot of them. Boy, this was a fun time. This was her last litter, the one that Charlotte came from.
It was Christmas, we had puppies, life was sweeeeet.
We couldn't get enough of them.
...and we were blessed with this quirky little freak with the big donkey ears. Lord have mercy she is precious.
Back to my story.
I've been struggling. Struggle struggle struggle. It seems like all I do lately is battle with myself. Depression, despair, self-loathing, frustration, disorganization, mess, muck. You know the scene in The Princess Bride with the old woman shouting "BOOOOOO...bow to the queen of slime, the queen of filth, the queen of putrescence. Slime, filth, muck..."??? I've played that over in my head. That's me, I'm the Queen of putrescence!!
Then, just when things seem bad, they get worse. I won't bore you with details but the "worse" has to do with farm and finance. I'm one of those people that needs to have security. I don't do well in uncertainty. I don't want to necessarily thrive, but I sure don't want to have to worry about how I'm going to buy groceries.
So I get really serious with God. I want some answers. Not just some kind of clue...no, I want a burning bush, I want a booming voice from the sky, I want a clear cut answer and right now would be good. God teaches me patience A LOT. So, a few mornings ago I was in really deep conversation with God and hoping for a revelation. I decided to go for a walk, leaving my iPod at home so I could just listen. Who knows, maybe I'll stumble upon a burning bush.
I was having a hard time thinking clearly, just feeling stressed and thinking about every little stressful thing. One of my traumatic incidences was with Sophie. I came home from Kyle's soccer game and entered into a house that stank, and I mean really bad. Now, I live on a farm, I deal with stink quite a bit but not in my house. The house may be messy a lot but it always smells nice. We had been spreading chicken litter on the fields for 2 days and, at first, I thought perhaps somebody tracked it in. I started hunting down the smell like a blood-hound and when I found it, I was LIVID. Apparently, Sophie found a little treat out in the pasture and rolled in it, smacked on it, laid in it, played with it, and got real good and stinky then proceeded to regurgitate some of it on my COUCH!!
Why on the couch Sophie? Why?
So, the couch had to be taken all to pieces. Luckily, most of it was on a quilt and only part of it on the upholstery and none had seeped through to the cushion. I washed the cushion covers (and was thankful for zippers) and hung them on the line to dry.
I was thinking about all of this while I was walking, still waiting for an answer. Then it came.
When I walk, all the doggies go with me. Actually, I don't go anywhere on the farm without my own, personal, little entourage of furry people. And, when they walk with me, they dart in and out of the woods smelling and searching for any little excitement. So as I was walking, thinking, waiting, Sophie darted out in front of me from the woods with a big sticker-vine stuck to her legs. This has happened more times than I can count.
Sophie, come here baby. And she comes and sits and waits while I remove her restriction. Then, off she goes.
The answer was vague at first and became clearer and clearer. Here is what I heard in my heart (not from a burning bush...darn!)
You can roll in the muck, you can be in the deepest pit of sin and putrescence and I will still love you. It was your instinct to help that little dog with something minor even after she made you so mad, and I love you TIMES INFINITY more than that. What do you think could possibly keep me from you? I promised to never forsake you, I promised never to leave you. Remember all those times you were worried about money, about your kids, about your marriage and I worked all that out, didn't I? Don't worry. You just keep doing your job, do it well, do it with integrity and honor, and I WILL bless you. It may not come in the form of a healthy paycheck, but you will be blessed. I will remove every thorn from your soul and if I have to squeeze your flesh a little to do it, that is what I will do.
So I said, "alrighty then, I will let you have this."
Then, I guess God decided to just stick with the Sophie Theme and revealed something else today. A storm came through this afternoon. It is still raining glorious rain right now. There was some lightening and thunder and when this happens, Sophie sticks to me like glue. And I heard God speak into my heart..."when you get scared, like you are right now, you need to stick to me like nobody's business. When you start to stray from me, I will bring you back to me, even if I have to use fear as a motivator. Learn to depend on me child! You can't do all of this by yourself, your not super woman. Trust me, I've got this."
So, Sophie has been a little burning bush the past couple of days. I was a little disappointed that she didn't start speaking like Balaam's donkey but I got the message anyway. The future is uncertain but it is always uncertain isn't it? Depending on God to see me through the uncertainty is the lesson and I think I've got it now.