Faithfulness, loyalty, companionship, unconditional love … I think it’s interesting that all of these traits are used to describe both God and dogs.
Over the past year we have raised our black lab Samson, the handsome one, from puppy to adult and added our second dog Ben, the crazy one, to the mix. I never thought I would learn so much about confidence, patience and anger all from a couple of dogs. But prior to this I had never really owned a dog of my own. I had grown up with pets, but I was never the one responsible for taking care of them. So when it came time to train, exercise and clean up after them it felt a bit overwhelming.
Between my wife and I it would be fair to say that I enjoy the mornings a lot more. My wife is definitely the night owl. Not me. Maybe it’s the four years that the military made me work 12 hour shifts and wake up at 4 am to exercise? Or maybe it’s the fact that I have a dog who thinks it’s fun to wake me up by stretching his fronts paws right in my face and then rolling all over me until I get up to let him out. But I like to think that the time I have in the morning is worth getting up for. I see it as a new leaf turning over, another chance to right the wrongs and to start fresh.
The following activities help me on a day-to-day basis. I hope they help you too.
This doesn’t necessarily mean spending an hour on your knees in a solemn state of mind. Maybe you pray in the shower, or before you eat breakfast. I don’t know, that’s between you and God. But from personal experiences I’ve found it’s impossible to have a heart-to-heart with God when feeling obligated to pray. My best advice is just be real with God and allow your heart to be open.
Some of the most intimate moments I’ve had in prayer have been when I laid bare all my doubts and fears and allowed The Lord to wash over me with His Word. If you have never prayed out loud, or at all for that matter, I highly recommend you give it a try. Once you start a journey for the Truth, God will find you.
There is a great book called “The Artists Way“. It’s marketed as a spiritual path to higher creativy. Maybe, like me, you are a creative person and think why do I need a book to help me be creative? From my own experience the book is not meant to teach you how to be creative but to assist you in letting your creativity flow freely.
Writing is something I enjoy, but not something that comes all that easy to me. And keeping a journal is a perfect way to throw out all the rules and express your desires, your opinions or your next great idea for a project. If writing is not your style why not keep a sketchbook or collage book? There are plenty of great resources online and in bookstore that show you how to make your own journals.
Think of it as a way to clear out all the clutter that might be clogging up what you need to be focusing on.