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Wednesday

The Worry Window and The Very Brave Dog





This is Schroeder. Pretty adorable, right? We've had him two and a half years now, and we think he's about three and a half or four. We don't know exactly how old he is because he was picked up as a stray and taken to an animal shelter. This is the first photo I saw of him:




When I saw this picture on Petfinder, I knew we had to get this dog. All we know about his story before he joined our family is that he looked a little like Chewbacca because of his matted hair and that a kindhearted woman picked him up from the side of the road where he was wandering around as a stray. He'd been at the shelter for three weeks before we adopted him, and no one ever came looking for him. This is what Schroeder looks like today:



He now loves peanut butter, pumpkin treats, and naps in the papasan chair. He's settled into his routine in our family and no longer cries like he did when we first adopted him and one of us would leave the house. He seemed to think we were leaving for good. He doesn't do that anymore.

But the thing about Schroeder is this. He hasn't forgotten what happened to him, whatever that was. It shaped the way he thinks. Every night, while our other dog Maddie is sneaking into bed, Schroeder hops up in the windowsill and watches. Sometimes in the middle of the night, he'll start howling because he's seen a bird or a cat or a tree limb moving.

I just can't seem to convince him he's safe now. That he doesn't have to always be on guard.

Last night I got up to get some water and found Schroeder dutifully standing in the windowsill, guarding our family. So I picked him up and carried him to the dog bed in our room and rubbed his belly for a few minutes. I told him to relax, that we were all okay and that he didn't need to worry.

And then it hit me.

I don't need to worry either. It's time to get out of the windowsill.

How often do we go over to our worry windows and watch for what might be coming? How often do we fear the cats or the noises the palm trees make in the breeze, then sound the alarm in fear? When all the while, God is calling to us, saying, "Come with me"?

Remember the story of Mary and Martha? While Mary was running around trying to finish everything that needed to be done, Martha caught hold of the bigger picture, and because of that, she was able to spend some time in the presence of God.

What does your worry window overlook? Today I want to encourage you to let go to God. He knows the cares and worries of our heart. He doesn't want to diminish those concerns, He just wants to give you a bigger perspective. He will keep you safe. Let Him watch the window for a while.

Do you ever find yourself trying to micromanage the dreams God has put on your heart? Maybe you've come to a place where you're nearing your goals, just like Schroeder finding a home, and you feel like you have to protect those things from danger. How can we take a step back and trust those things to God?

8 comments:

  1. I love this so much, and I have a feeling that picture of Schroeder staring out the window will come to mind when I start worrying :) I definitely deal with anxiety and like Schroeder I (foolishly) feel like my worry will somehow protect my family, my dreams, and the things that are most important to me. Instead it's a distraction, and not what God has intended for me. What a great reminder!

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    1. Thank you, Julie! And would you believe he slept in the bedroom last night? I was so happy to see him on his little dog bed. And I am the same way. I feel as if worry gives me some measure of control over things I can't control, you know? Thanks for sharing, Julie!

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  2. Oh yeah, this is so good, Ashley. I've definitely tried to micro-manage, control, manipulate (insert any other synonym) my dreams. For sure. Somehow, though, God tends to get my attention and shut me up, calm me down, whatever. And I love that about Him.

    One of the ways I've found to step back and trust God is through plain old repetition. Earlier this spring, God caught my attention in a big (yet simple) way...some verses that just hugely spoke to me. And I find myself repeating the truths in those verses over and over...the same truths keep showing up in my blog posts, in my own writing, whatever.

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    1. I love this, Melissa! I once heard a pastor say, "If you haven't heard God tell you something new, keep doing the last thing He told you to do." I love when we get a fresh word of direction or encouragement about something, and we can then keep coming back to that message.

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  3. Oh my goodness. This is soooo good. I struggle with worry. A lot, a lot. I need to just remember that God is in control. But I think that what's true for Schroeder is true for me. Because I lost my mom, my biggest fear is losing someone else. I can't shake it. Because I know that it COULD happen. God doesn't promise it won't, just that He'll hold me if it does. I still have to remind myself over and over again that He is good and that I survived my mom's death. It still haunts me...like when my husband is late and I can't get ahold of him, and I imagine a horrific car accident. I am pretty sure I'll struggle with this when I have kids too.

    But it's about a bigger picture. A bigger perspective. A heavenly one. Because my mom? I'll see her again. Life is about more than what happens on this earth. It's about knowing the Creator of the universe and trusting that He does everything--and allows everything--for a reason.

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    1. LInds, what a beautiful post! I can't imagine the strength it took to walk through what you did, and I think your story is inspiring! Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  4. Great post, Ashley...I am wondering if I was inspiration for it...HAHAHA! My middle name is "Worry" as you have probably figured out after two years as my crit partner! I am going to try and keep away from windowsills now...and cats (not a fan) Great analogy! :)

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    1. Ha! I hadn't even thought of you being a worry wart when I wrote it-- I promise! :) that's why we make such good crit partners... We both worry all the time! ;) Love you, Ang!

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