Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life through a dog's eyes

(I posted this earlier today on Writes of Passage, a historical authors group blog I share with Robin Lee Hatcher, Judith Miller, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Tracie Peterson)

Have any of you read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein? I'm still reading so can't give a full-blown "Wow, you must read this book!" yet, but oh, what a treasure it is so far. Especially if you're a dog lover.

The story is written from the point of view of the dog, Enzo, a lab terrier mix, and my heart was hooked at the first paragraph:

Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature. And while I occasionally step over the line and into the world of the melodramatic, it is what I must do in order to communicate clearly and effectively. In order to make my point understood without question. I have no words I can rely on because, much to my dismay, my tongue was designed long and flat and loose, and therefore, is a horribly ineffective tool for pushing food around my mouth while chewing, and an even less effective tool for making clever and complicated polysyllabic sounds that can be linked together to form sentences. And that's why I'm here now waiting for Denny to come home---he should be here soon---lying on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor in a puddle of my own urine.

One more thing--have Kleenexes handy. That’s all I'll say for now.

Life has been a blur in recent weeks, and in the midst of that blur I’ve latched onto a Scripture—as I often do in trying times—and have tucked it deep inside me. Here are the verses God is currently engraving on my heart, and this after He's just told the Corinthian church that He who raised Christ from the dead will also raise us with Jesus, and will present us to Himself together with the saints:

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (II Corinthians 4:16-18)

What burdens are you carrying right now? What "present troubles?"

Is a loved one terminally ill? Have the doctors handed you a much-dreaded diagnosis? Is your child struggling with something in school, being ridiculed for it, and therefore dreading the start of classes in coming weeks? Is your marriage not what you expected it to be, even after all these years? Are you losing your house? Your car? Your health insurance? Are you battling depression that feels like a bottomless dark pit? Or does a loneliness stretch out before you with no seeming end in sight?

Whatever "present trouble" you're shouldering right now, take heart! Because, as the scripture says, it won't last very long in comparison to eternity. And know that you’re not carrying those burdens alone. Not hardly. We pray for each other on this blog. We, as authors, pray for you friends who leave comments, and for those who may write us personally, and for those “quiet souls” who may visit but not comment. We're in this together, and God knows who you are.

As a friend just wrote me today, though sometimes God’s mercy seems anything but mercy to our eyes, be assured that He is with you. He knows the details of your life and of your “present troubles,” and He’s working for your eternal good.

I don’t know about you, but these days I’m concentrating on not looking at my present troubles, but rather, I’m fixing my eyes on the unseen things, and I’m gaining precious glimpses of “a glory that vastly outweighs them all.”

And for those of you holding my sweet mom close in prayer…

She’s entered the hospital again (and she was just released on Saturday). She’s so very weak that the doctor has shelved the chemo and has, instead, made getting her strength back the first priority. Mom can’t fight the cancer if she can’t even eat and drink. Your prayers are coveted and so appreciated as we fix our eyes on Jesus, and on the unseen things.

Mom and me shopping in Dallas (July 2007) while attending the RWA Conference.


  1. So sorry your mom is struggling so. Just prayed for you and her. . . .

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your mother's illness. What a comfort and blessing you are to her and your dad every day. May the Lord's supernatural strength continue to sustain you. My prayers are with you all.

    I too have been on an incredible spiritual journey of late. The verse you cited today was exactly what I needed. Isn’t it true that for the living, that cycle of death and resurrection is the fruit of obedience as we co-labor with Christ? And even more perfectly manifested when we journey ahead into His open arms. Thank you so much for your inspiring words.

    Miss you and hope to see you sometime soon.

  3. Linda, your faithful prayers help sustain me (and my family). Thank you.

    Nikki, wonderful to "see" you again, lady, and I'd love for our paths to cross soon too. I'm praying for your own journey and am so grateful ours have intersected here.

    Much love to you both...

  4. Tamera,
    I had the privilege to meet you in Denver and expressed my concern for you & your mother...I have personally walked this path about 5 years ago with my own mother; however, the 'nightmare of my life' came 2 years ago when our son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His battle ended last July and I can only say: no one can walk this path with you--but GOD himself.....I love your books, keep writing and sharing your gift with us......

  5. Bless you, friend, for your note. And I remember you. In fact, I've thought of you many times since that day in Denver at the book signing and I've thanked God for the sincerity of faith and love and concern that shone in your eyes. And for your faithful prayers.

    My heart breaks for what you've had to endure. Your mother going first, and then your precious son. All too soon and too young. May God continue to comfort you in your walk here and in what (and who) awaits you in Heaven. I think of that day so often, when we'll all be there with the Lord forever. I look forward to meeting your loved ones there, and for you meeting mine. Much love...

  6. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  7. Thanks for your kind words, Betty, and for connecting with me (and us) here. Continued blessings, friend.

  8. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.




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