Good morning.

Why might one sit in bed, eat cheerios and read on a morning like this? Well, if you had just cleaned up a dogs mess for the third morning in a row, you might feel like doing the same.

Hello, my name is Jess and I'm a recovering dog sitter.

 I guess recovering isn't the best word either. Struggling, does that work? No I need a word that means thought-I-could-handle-animals-but-not-sure-I'll-make-it-three-more-weeks-without-losing-some-hair-and-perhaps-a-limb-or-even-some-brain-functioning-from-the-daily-use-of-bleach-to-clean-the-Mississippi-river-that-awaits-me-each-morning. Oh and I forgot the Lincoln log droppings that float down the river.

I guess I shouldn't complain. It is a job, and minus the clean-up, it's fairly easy.

So what's the big deal? Well, the thought came to me this morning that maybe if I didn't clean up the mess, little Millie would be ashamed and HAVE to go outside. But I couldn't stand the thought of leaving that there. It's like how the ocean makes the air salty- except this mess makes the house smell quite foul. Instead, I finished the roll of paper towels, used 5 Swiffer moppers and got on my hands and knees just to get it off the floor. Next was the bleach soak. For extra protection, I still have it soaking...well until I can find something to dry it up with, actually.

It's the same routine. And it will continue. I thought I could say, "I've had enough!" and stop. But that would not be fair to the others dogs, myself, the house (do houses have feelings?), the owners, or any guests. So every morning count on it, that's how it will be spent.

We make messes of our lives, words, thoughts and decisions daily. Do you think God gets frustrated with us? I would imagine so, especially when the child He loves so much continues to fail. I don't love these dogs...in the slightest and it irritates me. But imagine the love that would fuel righteous anger and action.

If only Millie wouldn't be so stubborn and go out with her brother and sister, this wouldn't be a problem. Stubbornness to head to her little doggy clock appropriately leads to a mess. I hope you follow your little human clock-that was a nifty creation for which I'm most thankful, by the way. But what about the Spirit's leading? The will of God?

In honesty, it can be difficult to discern. Separating our own personal thoughts from those not of us is a challenge. But I think it's a challenge to be embraced. God will give a spirit of discernment to those who ask and seek. It may not be immediate, but it will be there.

Now, if I ask again, do we always follow the will of God? No. But we should. There are areas where I'm just like Millie- thinking "I can't wait, I have to do something now" and I'm making a mess. Constantly. But my God doesn't just let me "sit in it". He may not always clean it up for me, but He certainly provides strength, sometimes just enough, to get up and try again...except try to wait. For whatever reason, it almost always revolves around patience. If I had to guess, that's something I struggle with? Perhaps more than putting up with dogs.

Or sometimes, I fail to think things through and discern. There are areas where I know what I need to do. There are others that I don't want to know because I know it means work. So I sinfully, stubbornly choose another option. If our lives were like house flooring, I'm thankful that even when we mess up with big situations on carpet, it can still be cleaned....except with a LOT of work and you run the risk of stains or future consequences. Christ washes away our sins...our stains, if you will. But the fallen world in which we're in now has consequences. Sometimes we slip on the floors as we run past other people's messes. I guess  I'm trying to make too many analogies with my silly floor analogy.

I like analogies...but usually people don't get them.

Thank goodness, the floors are NOT carpet here. Of even more thanks, Thanks be to God for His unconditional love. That isn't an excuse to keep making messes of things, but it's hope for when we tackle the future. We won't be tackling it alone and while we will try to keep running from the messes,  we will fall, will make a mess at times. But we have a Hope that will help us clean up.

I don't know how He can love me or us unconditionally. I can't seem to muster any love, even temporary for these dogs. And yet, we are far worse in our wrongs and He not only helps with the mess, but continues to LOVE. Now isn't that a love worth sharing? Is that not the love that people should know us by?  

Now what?

Go. Live a life chasing after the Example we have before us.


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