My pitiful dogs at bath time

They’re giving me their sad eyes. But babies, you need to be clean!

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The time my dog ate my dinner

PiperThere I was, relaxing and looking forward to a night in. Maybe turn on Netflix? Maybe check out some YouTube videos? It was shaping up to be a good night, that much was certain.

There it was, my dinner fresh out of the oven. This particular meal was veggie burgers, one of my favorites right now. I had set the baking sheet with the burgers on top of the stove, thinking, “This seems out of the dogs’ reach.” I stepped away for a second and lo and behold, Piper surprised me.

There she was, eating something off the kitchen floor. Had she managed to paw the veggie burgers off the stove? I knew she was food driven but this was quite a feat. I was resigned to the fact that my much-anticipated dinner was down the tubes. Or was it?

There they were, two beautiful 4-ounce Sweet Earth veggie patties still waiting to be arranged atop a ketchup-layered bun. But then what was Piper eating? This is where things went in a direction I did not see coming. It took a second for my mind to process that a treat I gave Piper earlier made her stomach upset which caused her to make them reappear on the kitchen floor, along with the doggy-doo she had just eaten from outside.

There it is, the full truth and nothing but the truth– and I’ve said it before— my dog eats her own poop. But now she’s taken it to a whole new level. Not only will she eat her own poo, she’ll also vomit it back up, and eat it again.

Here I am, writing about it because well, this is my life as a dog owner. But hey, I’m a dog owner that got to eat is awesome dinner that night, so there’s a silver lining for ya!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

God is able

A phrase that’s been on the front of my mind lately is one you’ll hear in sermons, in songs, or written on posters or in sympathy cards. It comes from Ephesians 3:20.

God is able.

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If you’re like me, though, every once in a while you might ask yourself, “What is He able to do, exactly?” I think the Sunday School answer is everything. But that doesn’t necessarily help me when I’m stuck in traffic and frustrated, or when I make a mistake at work, or when I say something that’s not exactly encouraging to someone. Or for you, maybe you’re losing patience with your kids, or lost out on a big work project, or didn’t do so hot on a recent test. Or maybe you just accomplished something significant, or did get that big work project. There’s still a need for God even in those situations, right? It could almost be anything at all that points us to a need for something more.

What has made the phrase relevant in my life recently is acknowledging that I sometimes get caught in this cycle:

Feeling discouraged <turns into> thinking something will or won’t happen <turns into>  doubt <turns into> unhealthy behavior <turns into> guilt.

So I’ll admit, then, sometimes I wonder about it. “Is God able?” I’ll ask. Is He actually able to help me with what I’m doing today? Using the cycle above, is He able to keep me from diving into discouragement, etc?

Then recently it dawned on me: Yes, He is. Because His ability to “do” isn’t constrained by and doesn’t rely on my belief that He can. He can. He can. That’s it. He can. It’s like wondering if a beagle howls. Or a dolphin jumps. Or if grass is green. The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Whether I believe it or not, the grass is still green. A dolphin will still jump. A beagle will still howl.

And God is able.

So I’m thankful today that even in my wavering ups and downs where for one minute I’m singing How Great Thou Art and the next I’m quoting one of my favorite lines from Rescue Dawn – “God, why don’t You help us when we need You most?” – God is still there, and He is still able.

-Out of the Wilderness

An open letter to the Nashville family who recently lost their home

In my neighborhood a few days ago I came across a relatively new home that had the roof torn off, and everything inside was scattered about. Utterly destroyed, it was. I could tell a lot of effort went in to building this little home. I know what you’re thinking: it was a tornado, right? No, that’s wrong. It wasn’t a tornado. Nashville’s been having pretty great weather.

The victims weren’t anywhere in sight, although just a few minutes before I came across the destruction a female flew by me as if she were being chased by a monster. As it turns out, she was being chased by two monsters! I was right on two assumptions: 1. She was the homeowner as I’d suspected, and 2. Those monsters were my two sweet docile loving cuddly dogs!

OK, they were  not being cuddly at this particular moment. They were being savages, as wild as wolves, howling like sirens. They were in hot pursuit of the female… rabbit! Yes, a rabbit. Despite their best effort, though, they didn’t catch her and once they realized she was out of reach they snooped around and found her home. A rabbit hole. They began to sniff and dig. Dig and sniff. Rabbits make their homes by piling up sticks and leaves and their own fur, and usually do it in plain sight as a way to trick any wild animals that might prey on them.

I entered the story (besides the bunny fly-by) when I caught up to my dogs doing the sniffing and the digging. I saw a bunch of fur an thought, “Did they catch the rabbit??” Then as I got closer, I realized they didn’t, but that they’d found the rabbit’s home.

Fur, debris, and an empty hole. That’s all I saw. I’m going to assume (for my own peace of mind) that the baby bunnies, if any were tucked in there, scurried away safely before the monsters arrived.

Next time, I hope mama bunny doesn’t make her home in the middle of a dog park!

-BW

Why I’d suck at war

In the cold days of fall and winter, I typically keep my A/C low. Think 65° as a high indoors. It gets quite chilly. I have ways to combat the frigid temperatures; a space heater, blankets, dogs. They all work together to make it more bearable. Here’s one of my dogs with our space heater.
Piper and I love being warm by that little heater.

But then the time comes to take a shower. In the 30 seconds the water is warming up (before I set foot in it), I wonder what a soldier would do right now? I think of myself as weak because I’m waiting for the freezing cold water to warm up to hot tub temp. I ask myself,

If I were in the military and didn’t have a choice, like I’m in a war zone or something, where there wasn’t any hot water, could I wake up and take a cold shower?

I usually don’t come up with an answer before the water is steamy and I hop in for a relaxing shower. I’m so weak.

-Out of the Wilderness

Off the beaten path

I took the dogs out to a beautiful Nashville greenway and they loved it, of course. One of our favorite things is to venture off the course. Take a look at our adventure below. wpid-img_20150803_164851185.jpgI do wear a fanny pack full of dog treats and water. Hey, judge me if you want, or better yet… buy me one of these!
wpid-img_20150803_164826532.jpgWe ventured into a nearby creek.
wpid-img_20150803_165031200.jpg wpid-img_20150803_165220655.jpg wpid-img_20150803_165705711.jpg wpid-img_20150803_164757368.jpg
wpid-img_20150803_165252067.jpg wpid-img_20150803_170004473.jpg wpid-img_20150803_165702901.jpg wpid-img_20150803_165225325.jpg-Out of the Wilderness