January 23, 2009

Laying It On the Line

When I began blogging one year ago I adopted four rules I promised the Lord I'd keep:
  1. I would always seek to glorify Him.
  2. Blogging would not be a forum to complain.
  3. I'd seek to uplift my sisters in Christ.
  4. The OLM blog would a positive and refreshing place to visit.
I've honored these rules even though sometimes life doesn't always run smoothly. As an example Jimmy has been in between jobs for three months, winter has us cooped up inside our home, the sun is scarce as hens' teeth, we've been battling the creeping crud (head and chest cold), I fell on the front porch after our last snow while taking Cocoa out to pee in the wee hours of the morning, and our lives have been overrun by puppies since Thanksgiving Day. Normal routine has been out the window for months and as one who thrives on structure, it's been difficult to handle at times. Perhaps you can relate.

Our most recent trial began when our puppy, Cocoa Bean, began having trouble after the last pup of the litter left. Though an angel during the day he would howl, whine, and bark in his crate all night long. Experts (the vet and Google) said it would pass after a day or two but after ten sleepless nights desperation propelled us to ear plugs and Tylenol PM. 

A couple of mornings ago I woke so tired and depleted I was in tears. I asked God what this little dog needed to be content at night and if it had been a mistake to keep him. That's when it dawned on me. Keeping him had not been a mistake. Cocoa has known our scent and touch since the day he was born and with everyone else gone, we are his greatest comfort. He simply needed us at night. 

With this in mind we decided to break the cardinal rule of dog care and let him sleep with us. Lo and behold we are all sleeping like babies once again. When Jimmy and Cocoa come to bed later in the evening, Cocoa races to my neck, cuddles up, and falls fast asleep. About 3 am he rustles around enough to let us know he needs to potty and then heads back to bed and sleeps till morning. Breaking the cardinal rule has brought great relief. 

Oh sweet ladies, some of you are going through much tougher circumstances and I want you to know that whatever you are going through you are not alone. No matter what image any of us project in a blog or in life, we all have hills to climb and valleys to endure. The good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is never lost if you keep your eyes on God because He is our light. Trials will indeed come but each challenge serves to polish us into the image of Christ. Whatever you are going through God knows your pain and will provide you with the strength and comfort you need. Things will get better. You can count on it. 

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3:21-23


Amy E. said...

Goodness gracious that is one cute dog!!! I am glad to hear that you all are sleeping better. And your blog is a blessing..thank you for being faithful.

The Olson's: said...

Thank you for sharing & reminding us that "each challenge serves to polish us into the image of Christ." I needed that reminder.
~ Leanne

Abba's Girl said...

Sleep is more important than the cardinal rules of owning dogs. I broke the rule in 1986 with our yorkie, never dreamt we'd have a rottie next.

Love your blog, it blesses me.


Barbara said...

I have to say... that's such a cute picture of you and the dog together....glad your sleeping better.

Tammy said...

Been there,done that.

Our dogs Boudie and Sadie, both bichon frises, would cry all night until we brought them in to our bedroom.

Now they selpt in their crates and don't make a peep until morning.

Those pictures are priceless!!


Anonymous said...

Our dog Lucy sleeps with us. She sleeps at the bottom of the bed. I would miss her if she wasn't there now! It gets a little crowded when the 2 cats join us though. :)

Great picture of you and your new baby. And your daughter looks like she is loving Cocoa Bean too!

Hope you get the rest you need. Blessings!

Cheryl Barker said...

We are going through a rough time, and you are right, Nancy -- God is strengthening us through it. Don't know where I'd be without Him.

(Loved the pics of your puppy!!)

Sallye said...


Love the pictures esp daugther and dog.

Have you tried putting a towel that you have slept with in the crate along with a heating pad on low? It will both hold your scent and keep puppy warm.

Your blog is a great blessing, and a wonderful reminder that God is with us even in the seemingly smallest things such as puppy and sleep.


Anonymous said...

I think you are meeting the goals you set for your blog. Sharing about overcoming adversity is not whining.

Looks like Dani is smiling in that photo with your puppy. (!)

You uplift me regularly. Thank you, Nancy.


Gail W. said...

Cocoa Bean! Who could say "no" to a face like that? This post cracked me up - not only does my dog sleep on my bed, he has his own little sheepskin blankie. Thankfully, my baby is old enough to get through the night without the 3am potty break. Hang in there, Mom!