Monday, April 16, 2012

Hank, the Incompetent Dog Walker, and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.

To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.  oh! and we now have a mission statement -- check out the SDG page!
He looks pretty pitiful, yes?  All four paws bandaged up because he got out of his new collar, which I fastened incorrectly, and headed through the woods after a deer as we walked to pick up the kids from school.  He bounded through quite a few cacti and through the Texas underbrush which tore up his paws pretty badly.  And, even though it was only 82 degrees, somehow he got heat stroke, too. I guess running full throttle for 10-15 minutes will do that to a dog, or at least, this dog.

Through the whole experience, I had to rely on a lot of neighbors -- some of whom I didn't know.  3 people helped to chase after him. One lady gave me her car, which when Hank finally ran out of gas, I put him in, not knowing yet that he was bleeding all over the place.  Another friend held onto Hank and gave me a bottle of water so I could clean the blood off the seats and floorboards (using the beach towel I found in her front seat, of course).  Did I mention I didn't even know the car owner's name?  And that this was a BMW?  Paul (the one holding Hank) also called Jason (Craig's best friend and our vet who just happened to be off work that day) because I didn't have my phone with me.  Meanwhile, my other friend had to go get my kids and when she got back, helped me scrub down the car with some baby wipes she had tucked in her car.  As we cleaned, we had to reassure all the small children that hovered over Hank that he would indeed be okay.  And then my children started crying.  It was an ordeal.

I felt terrible because Jason had already spent the morning helping Craig fix a dead battery in his car, which still had to be towed to a mechanic.  This was also the second (yes, second) time that Hank had gotten away from me due to my inability to improperly secure and/or hold a leash.  (I mean really, how hard is walking a dog??)

I felt like the biggest idiot on the planet.

Unable to control my tears, I broke down in the car (Craig came and got us after Jason hauled Hank off to the animal hospital).  Over and over and over again, I called myself and idiot in front of my kids (which I never do).  I heaped the blame of an accident onto myself.  I thought about how everyone must think that I am the most incompetent person in the neighborhood.  I called myself a burden and I sunk under the weight of how much everyone had to do for me.

All in all, I kinda went left, ya know?

And the whole experience really shed light on quite a few things:

1.  God provided in amazing ways.  I am just astounded at how He totally handed to me what I needed at the exact moment I needed it.  And all because of a dog.

2.  I care much more about what people think of me than I was (am?) willing to admit.  I mean, as many of you know, I can get obsessed with numbers and scales and competition, but this shed light on how deep my need is for people to think that I am capable.

3.  After I accepted all the help, my next instinct was to figure out how I could repay all these people.  What could I buy them?  What could I say?  A simple "thank you" couldn't be good enough...could it?  I felt so indebted...and I realized just how uncomfortable this made me.

These last two things -- all about PRIDE.  It's another layer uncovered.  Which is hard because I feel like I am always dealing with pride.  But, on the other hand, hooray that there is now space for light to come in and reveal.  Hooray that I am another step closer to being free.  Who really wants to walk around feeling scared that someone else might think they are stupid?  Who really wants to walk around with a mental tally sheet, trying to figure out who owes who and by what deadline?

It's all chains and He is the bondage breaker, the One who ushers in freedom.  And I want to be free.  Don't you?
"Rise up from the dust, O Jerusalem.
Sit in a place of honor.
Remove the chains of slavery from your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion."  Isaiah 52:2
SDG Community Builder:  1)  In effort to make sure everyone feels loved here, will you please visit the 2 people ahead of you and leave a comment for them?  (If you are numero uno or dos, come back and visit the last person in the link up).  2) If you are new, type in "I'm New!" as your caption so that we might give you some extra linky love.  3)  Exciting new development in the SDG world -- we are going to be creating small groups so that our community can retain its intimate feel and so that we can grow deeply with each other.  More info to come next week.

(oh!  And guess who I got to have lunch with last Thursday?  The amazingly beautiful and wonderful Courtney from AWIP!!  She's so genuine and fun and all around awesome!)

42 comments :

  1. Oh--I'm so sorry!

    I was just talking with my friend Ethel today about how hard it is to receive from others. Each of us has been at a point where we felt guilty about allowing others to give and to do for us. Each of us has had older, wiser friends remind us that sometimes, it is a gift to allow others to give. Think of what a blessing it is in those times when you are able to step back and know that God gave used you to be a genuine blessing to another. That's the gift He gave to all those who came around you and helped you. And Hank. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes I can be so surprised what life's little mishaps can reveal about what I really believe. Glad Hank is okay, you have kind neighbors and you are learning about yourself. Hard lesson to learn from a dog, for sure. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh dear! Poor Hank and poor you and your family! So glad he is okay... and I am sure for moments he enjoyed that freedom. You know I keep thinking about him running and not realizing he was hurt.... sometimes that is what freedom means to us... to continue going even though we have wounds. Something for me to ponder :)

    Oh pride. It gets in my way often because of some of the things you mentioned. I adore how He teaches us lessons in unexpected ways.

    <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh my. what an ordeal. and i would have had the exact. same. reaction.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My heart aches for you, Jen. I would have felt all those things too, and more. Pride sneaks up on us in so many different ways.

    But the beautiful thing is that when we recognize it, we can accept grace to replace it. I want to be free too!

    I hope Hank heals quickly. We can go through a lot of drama for our dogs. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah, yes, I want to be free too! So glad He ushers freedom. Pride rears its ugly head here too. Why is it so hard to kill? Hugs friend!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh my...a rough day...and I was just writing how that old negative self-talk robs us...I am so thankful He comes to set us free...that He doesn't leave us to ourselves. Glad you had God provided in the midst of your time of need. blessings as you continue to receive all His goodness He has for you~

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, wow, what a fiasco. I would have had a difficult time accepting the help, yet so grateful, too! Thank God most cars have leather seats these days! Always great lessons to be learned through trying times.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Poor Hank, and poor Jen! I too would have felt many of those things. Pride certainly has a way of showing up in ways in which we would never imagine. God has been speaking to me about certain areas of my life that I have though of as being ashamed, but in reality, it is pride.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh Jen, the more I know you, the more I love you. Just before I opened this post I walked by a painting of my dog in the hallway and got that sinking feeling of missing him again. Then, there was the photo of your sweet dog. And I was thinking the whole time I was reading your story how God has you surrounded by a group of wonderful people, even if you don't know their names. And how He used so many in such a timely way. Your heart is just lovely. And I got to meet Courtney a few weeks ago, she is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so glad your dog was ok. Mine escapes at times and doesn't want to come home. Neighbors always bring him because he won't come to me. It makes me also feel like a bad dog owner I so get you. Pride is my big issue too and I worry about what people think of me. I have to say it has gotten better as i have gotten old (not older, haha). Yet, God does show us so much grace and patience.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, friend. Thank you for sharing your light with us. Sometimes I think that the best things that happen to me are when I'm incapable or vulnerable and I just have to ask for help. Of course I don't ask for help until I'm at the very end of my rope, but I'm slowly (ever so slowly!) learning that it is better to be weak on my own and strong in Jesus, rather than "Wow, look at Courtney; she's got it all together." That girl is exhausting.

    And in other news - it was great to see you! Total highlight of my trip to Texas :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's amazing how daily interactions/lessons such as this teach us so much! I am standing right..there..with..you regarding pride. It is SO EASY to give the help, without expectations of anything in return...but, at least for me...receiving the blessings in return (even when needed, and not asked for) is SO HARD! I've had to overcome my pride A LOT due to my chronic illness...but, I still have life lessons that teach me to give over my pride and allow God to lead.

    Love this post, Jen. Hope poor Hank begins healing soon. Our little fur babies are like family (at least mine is ;), and we never want them to hurt!!!

    Erin

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh dear, that could have happened to me! I felt your pain as I read about Hank's adventure and your crisis. Isn't it wonderful how God provides just what we need, even in the department of humility? I am amazed by the response of teamwork you received. That is a wonderful story! We need more like it. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, my, he does look pitiful. We have a hound so I recognize the look. I love how you find a God-lesson in every circumstance of your life. I will join this week for the first time in a while!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Jen, that poor baby, look at those bandages? So stinkin' cute he is! And you girl? I think the Lord just showed you how just 'anybody' can be a friend in time of need. This is awesome!

    I'm smilin' big with an "ohhhhhhhhh" kind of response, how could you not love such a naughty boy~ha! It just shows us that it is best to stay CLOSE to our MASTER, right? (smile)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, I'm sorry! I can relate to your #2 struggle.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Poor fella! But look at those eyes -- awwwww. :) Guess you found out how many strangers were your friends that day, huh? What an awesome God we serve to show you so much love from total strangers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh I can so relate to your struggle with what others think of me...and yes, that terrible little five letter word that starts with a P.

    So glad your dog is going to be ok :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am so glad you were able to process your crazy day and see ways God is teaching you even through this. I would have ditched the blog and crawled under the covers. Thanks for sharing. We all have had "leashes" we have failed to hold on to. You are in good company.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Poor Hank! But I get the whole pride thing. Its funny how for most of my life I had a completely different picture of what pride was (not me!) but now I see that so many of my own behaviors have pride behind them. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  22. oh, wonderful write, sweet Jen. thank you for being so honest, friend."another layer of pride uncovered"--love that--love how it goes to the core of me and has me thinking...contemplating...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am looking forward to the day when I stop beating myself up for missing it and not being perfect!This week, I'm learning that people need to help, to give to others hurting or in need - and it is blessing to accept it! Hope your precious dog feels better soon!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh, Jen...feeling for you and Hank...thanks for being so brave and honest and humbly teachable...love your heart!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Girl, that is one crazy story! I am not quite sure I would survive it, so I have nothing but respect for your gumption at this point. -- What a reminder this is that we need to be present for one another! Look at how many angels God sent into your crazy day.... I am not sure I would be giving my car away to a dog chasing mom, so your neighbors are people of faith.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great thoughts, Jen! What a cute puppy dog!

    ReplyDelete
  27. How familiar are these thoughts when I stumble and think I've fallen. It is curious why it can be harder to accept a hand of help up instead of trying to right ourselves. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh Jen, I've been having this struggle - different circumstances, but same concepts - for the past 2 days. God just spoke to me in my time with Him this morning, and then I read your blog. I'm getting the message and I'm on the journey with you, walking a parallel road! Thanks for your honesty, wisdom and for the reminder to see the yuk of my life in the positive light of growth!
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  29. At first I was so overwhelmed by all the dog went through, I thought poor Hank. then realized no one really bandaged YOUR wounds. I love your honesty, Jen. You really hit the nail on the head with the word pride too. Lately I have been so discouraged, ready to quit writing and move away to start a new life someplace else. all pride. I really need to pray about this. Thank you for helping me today with your story.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am always amazed at how He shows us what we need to know when we need it the most. I am praying for you in your struggle to let go of pride. Your little dog is adorable, and I am so glad he is ok.

    Your transparency is such a help to so many, since we all struggle with failure, pride, letting go, paying back, etc. It is refreshing to know that people can be so good to one another, too.

    The good news? Hank won't hold it against you. He will love you boundlessly, still, and will model limitless grace and forgiveness for us all.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jen,
    I so identified with this and glad I found you. Yes, um, pride. Been there done that often. Thank you for your vulnerability! Your vulnerability creates a safe place for us all to grow!

    I've recently had pneumonia and so many people have been reaching out and yes, I inadvertantly try to think about what I can give back instead of just saying thank you. My dear friends have been humbling me by giving with such intense joy and I realized by trying to do it all myself, I've been inhibited our friendship from growing. I've got a lot to learn.

    Glad His grace doesn't run out.
    Summer@ www.athirstforGod.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Praise God for the freedom He gives from sin and pride! Wonderful post reminding us of His mercy and grace.
    Love in Him,
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  33. Jen, as I read it was like I was living it with you.

    I am sorry about your dog. Dog issues, I have too.

    And when those kind of things happen to me, I think the same thoughts and deal with those same pride issues. Different situation here than yours but similar feelings: last week I dropped my daughter off at preschool and left to work for an upcoming art booth. Teacher called me just as I settled in to working and asked if I knew my daughter was "leader" for the day (which meant I was responsible for snacks and being her helper for the day). Immediately I begin shaming myself calling myself a deadbeat mom, stupid, irresponsible. Just near falling apart. Here were other moms, stepping in and helping, and my daughter was just fine. And here I was smacking myself with pride. Light is always good though, isn't it? Shining light into those dark places of where I so want other people to admire and respect and think highly of me.

    You know what though, aren't we all just relieved to know we are not the only one? That these things happen to all of us? Isn't it a relief? And we can grow in intimacy with people when they see us in our struggles...'cause we've all got 'em!

    I love the idea of the small groups also.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What? You met Courtney. Seriously, you have all the fun.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sorry that I'm so late to the party...I had the perfect post about my son turning nineteen today, and then I decided that it was too personal for me to share. He would have killed me for being so publicly mushy and complimentary...anyway I've had days like you had with your dog; days that I had to rely on His grace through others. It makes my flesh crawl...because I have to admit that I can't do things without help from others. I don't like to admit that. I'm glad you were shown God's grace in a big way. You are a kind, generous lady...you've sown kindness and generosity. It seems to be coming back your way! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi, thank you for telling that I was missed here...I actually needed to hear that b/c like you I struggle with #2 at times...I like accolades. Thank you for encouraging me today...it seems you do really understand. Would love to meet you someday...I believe we would get a long great! Blessings to you my sweet friend.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wwhat a lovely gospel testimony! I would have reacted the same way and have, under different circumstances. the Lord really convicted me just last Advent about calling myself derogatory names I would never use to other people, but how quickly I forget. Thank God your dog is okay! May He bless Jason and the stranger who served Him without knowing it by sharing her car with you. He can repay them, and I ask Him to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  38. God sometimes uses the oddest situations to speak to us, doesn't He? Thanks for sharing your learning experience. Here's hoping that cute pup will heal up fast.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh Jen... I can so relate. How many times too have I said to myself "a simple thank you couldn't be enough"! Pride is so sneaky. Thank you for sharing this post, it blesses me. YOU bless me with your honesty.
    (I'm usually a bit late to the linky party...toward the end... I've been posting comments to the first few who enter, or the ones before me).

    ReplyDelete
  40. That pride thing is a toughie for me, too. During my pregnancy and after we received so much from so many people, I had to be okay with the fact that I couldn't personally thank everyone in the way I thought I should(some of these amazing givers were people I don't even know!). I cringe thinking I may have insulted or offended someone, that they may think we are ungrateful. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Awesome post and one I can so easily relate to...the whole crazy story AND the pride and approval bit. Pride truly does keep us from enjoying life and laughing A. Lot. Yes, this story is quite hilarious, yet I know it wasn't at the time because you, like me, were so worried about what everyone was thinking that you failed to just. laugh.

    Love your honesty and your vulnerability.

    P.S. This is my second week to try to link up and I am getting errors with my photos. Don't know what to do! Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  42. oh my. what an ordeal. and i would have had the exact. same. reaction.

    75 gallon aquarium

    ReplyDelete

Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.