Life Lessons from a Naughty Dog

...and her family...who's always awaiting her next adventure!

best laid plans...

one another...

God provided a rare quiet moment this morning…something I haven’t seen much of since the beginning of March. As I scribbled the events that I hoped would envelope our day on our make-shift, tattered, black board in our school room, it was revealed to me how even with the crazy spinning in the world around us, life in our home has remained pretty normal.

Since returning to work last year, my hours have been random, so even though I am considered an essential worker, businesses everywhere are feeling the crunch, and so are my hours. Yet, I am thankful I have been able to spend this time with my boys, prepping them for year end testing and assisting them with the transition into spring projects and high school “stuff” that needs extra attention this time of year. I am thankful I still have a job when needed, yet have the extra time to do a grocery run for my folks, or run a kid for an emergency dentist appointment without having to juggle life. I am thankful my husband is still employed as an essential worker. Not much has changed on his busy schedule, but many new rules and regulations apply now in an already consuming position.

Being a home school family for seven years, we have found our groove, and discovered a routine is vital--mostly because MOM is the easily distracted one and can justify a glimpse of sunshine as an excuse to go fishing rather than finish a paper or grammar lesson. Many hours of prayer, a great support system, and a pretty strict regimen are what have held these years of educating together for our family. As I watch the events unfolding around me within the school community, I hurt for my teacher friends and kids. I sympathize with families working from home while trying to keep their kids on task with Zoom meeting schedules and limited internet or devices. I also see some kids still roaming around town, unsupervised, and most likely, not completing the time requirements needed to clock a day of school.

Not only are the kids roaming, lost in this new haphazard world we now live in, most adults are roaming in some way. I see grandma’s longing for their porches to be filled with the laughter of visiting grandchildren; I grasp how much our “little ladies” on the street are missing a good visit across the back lawns in the evening. For some the “roaming” may be the desire for physical interaction with others, and for others it includes wrestling with our thoughts and fears of the unknown. For some, it is not knowing how to utilize hours of time that were once filled with dinner, housework, homework and shuffling the kids to their next sporting event or dance class; and for others--we may be simply overwhelmed with defeat and exhaustion from trying to keep up with our part of the “essential” world that is still spinning and trudging on.

There are so many things we were used to, that are no more, and the promise of when or if they will be given back to us simply can’t be made. Through the times of uncertainty, I am reminded of a verse from the book of Esther:

“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b…

The story of Esther is full of debate and conflict between many a women’s Bible study. Her story isn’t all like what is depicted in the children’s version, but I choose to look through the deep and dark and observe God’s plan for Esther. Despite her circumstances, God had a purpose and he fulfilled it through the events Esther walked through. “And at a time such as this”---a time when some have lost their purpose, a time when things are just hard, uncomfortable, a time when the rug has been yanked right out from under us, maybe now is the time God is trying to show us another purpose? The church building may not be open, but many of our schedules are.

“…for such a time as this?”…

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16.