Dear Younger Me Part 6: Embrace Your Who

Well, we have reached part 6 and the last day of my guest blogging at My Journey of Faith. Thank you so much for joining me these last several days.

What are your life’s cornerstones–those foundations that are crucial in a strong faith? If you haven’t listed them on paper, I urge you to do so. You will receive many blessings as you recall what God has been, and is, doing in your life.

Click HERE to go to Part 6 of Dear Younger Me: Embrace Your Who.

  • Cornerstone 1: Connect with God
  • Cornerstone 2: Be Thankful in all Things
  • Cornerstone 3: Trust the Master
  • Cornerstone 4: Pursue Forgiveness
  • Cornerstone 5: Embrace Your Who

If you have enjoyed reading my posts on Yesterday to Forever–Telling Yesterday’s Stories That Change Our Lives Forever, would you take a second to click on the red follow button and sign up with your email address. It will bring my posts directly to your inbox. As always, I love to read your comments and stories.

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Dear Younger Me Part 5: Pursue Forgiveness

As you may already know, I have been guest blogging at My Journey of Faith. Have you been enjoying the blog posts in this series? I’d love to hear your comments and stories.

So, let’s get to it. Click HERE for Cornerstone 4: Pursue Forgiveness

  • Cornerstone 1: Connect with God
  • Cornerstone 2: Be Thankful in all Things
  • Cornerstone 3: Trust the Master
  • Cornerstone 4: Pursue Forgiveness

Dear Younger Me

This week I’m guest blogging at My Journey of Faith. I’ve written a six-part series called Dear Younger Me. Would you jump over to My Journey of Faith to read today’s post? Each day I will unpack the cornerstones of my life, shared below.

  1. Connect with God.
  2. Be thankful in all things.
  3. Trust the Master.
  4. Pursue forgiveness.
  5. Embrace your who.

I invite you back tomorrow to My Journey of Faith or this blog page to read part 2, Connect with God.

 

Do You Experience Fence Aggression?

Gracie  Gracie, our three-year-old Border Collie/Labrador, loves her back yard. She lies on the patio and looks over the yard as if surveying all she owns.

Fence Aggression picWhen she was a puppy, she dug holes in the flowerbeds and torn up the landscape fabric from under the mulch. Being a type-A personality, I guess she thought that was her job. It was a relief when her focus turned from the flowerbeds to a new game.

There is a paved walking trail on the other side of our back yard privacy fence. Many people use it to walk their dogs, run, or bike. As they go by, neighborhood dogs bark. Alerted, Gracie sights the people between the fence slats. Game on! She runs along the fence, around the pool, behind holly bushes, around the shed, springs off of the side fence, spins in several circles, and repeats the dance again.

The Problem

As long as she’s having fun… That was our reasoning until three months ago when she started holding up her back leg. The vet indicted rest for several weeks should heal the probable hairline fracture.

Fearing another injury, we tried to slow her speedy laps. As she ran toward us, we tried to capture her, but she darted around us. We called her, but she ignored us. To get her attention, we splashed water on her. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked at us as if to say, “What do you need?” It was then we realized she becomes laser focused—almost as if in a trance.

The following month, Gracie began to limp again. This time she had completely torn her toenail off with the flesh exposed. Ugh!!! After a 4-week recovery, a new nail appeared and she was back to routine. Yes… well… it was short-lived.

Gracie is currently recovering from a broken toe. Four to six weeks of weekly splint changes by the vet. No walks, no swimming, no dog-friend play dates—just chilling on a leash. She’s really bummed out.

After three injuries and lots of vet bills, something needed to change. Research revealed she is not actually playing a game. She is stressed. Fence aggression is the term for her behavior. She defies the limits of the fence to try to get to the stimuli on the other side.

Lessons Learned

I also said to myself, as for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. (Ecclesiastes 3:18 NIV)

As if awakened from my own daze, I began to draw correlations between Gracie and me. I want something on the greener side of the fence, but God has limited me for my own good. I don’t understand. Feeling constricted, I stress and mentally ram into the fence. Many times I get hurt because my trust in the Master is weak.

When the Master calls, the day’s distractions drown out His voice. Calamity strikes. My trance is broken. I fall on my knees and seek His help.

The Solution

Yahweh your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy. (Zephaniah 3:17 HCSB)

They say in research that to break fence aggression, an owner needs to practice recalls with the dog:

  1. Tie a leash or rope to the dog’s collar. Call them and gently pull them toward you.
  2. Give praise with a happy and excited voice when they get to your side. Pet them and demonstrate your great love for them. This will quiet their stress.
  3. Offer a high-value treat like chicken or cheese.

Of course, we are not dogs, but if you will indulge me, here is the correlation:

  1. God gives us enough rope, but only to go so far. When we have hit the end, He gently tugs and says come to Me.
  2. God rejoices over us, brings quietness with His love, and delights in us with shouts of joy. Our stress melts away.
  3. He offers us a high-value reward—peace and joy through trust in the Master.