Hasn’t that dog left the yard yet?? or WIABOSDNJABOSD Part Quatro

If this is your first time, read here, here and here. If you’re back, grab a seat. You must have a favorite by now.

Where was I? Oh yeah…

When is a Big ol’ scary dog not just a big ol’ scary dog?
When he’s a four-footed bible verse in action.
Remember those verses from Proverbs and Peter?

If I don’t have self-control, I’m a city with no walls and the enemy can saunter on my property…he’s just looking for an “in”.

(Are you seeing the connection?)

When I’m out of balance and lacking in self-control and self-discipline, it’s like the walls of my city have crumbled. And like the dog in my front yard, I’ve allowed the “roaring lion” easy access. (Did I mention that the land we live on has no fence?)

When this happens, my fears, frustrations and failures flock together and fuel dissension in the family. My impatience, irritability and irresponsiblitity rise to surface. It’s not a pretty picture.

I’ve allowed him to walk right over the crumbled wall. And just like the big ol’ scary dog, he saunters in like he owns the place. And in those moments, do I rise up and resist him like I’m told to do? Do I boldly rise up and stand firm??

No, I stand there in fear, just like I did with that dog. Afraid to move, lest I fail again.

I have to get my priorities straight. My relationship with God is first. My family, a close second. My writing, third. And then everything else. Then I have to be self-disciplined enough to carry through and do what needs to be done. My new favorite quote is one Kristi Holl shared on her blog: “The hard thing is often the easy thing that wasn’t done at the proper time.”. Self-control is NOT restrictive or a chain around my ankle. It’s a tool in my quest to run free! Free from fear. Free from the chaos I tend to create with my lack of self-discipline. Free to be all that I am supposed to be!

Now, lest you get the wrong idea, I don’t think the dog was my enemy. He was doing exactly what dogs do. Sniffing out and marking territory. And as scary as the experience was, I’m glad I had it. I’ve learned a lot about myself. Plus he gave me fodder for at least four blog posts. If you’re wondering, he’s not been back in our yard.

But — if he does wander into my yard anytime, soon, I have the dogcatcher on speed dial…and a nice BB Gun by the door.

And when the enemy comes a roaring? I’ll make sure my “walls are secure” and do what James 4:7 says: “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.” (that’s just another way of stomping my foot and saying “GET!”, ain’t it?)

So, any big ol’ scary dogs in your life that are lessons in disguise? Share them with us!


4 thoughts on “Hasn’t that dog left the yard yet?? or WIABOSDNJABOSD Part Quatro

  1. I love Kristi’s quote – so true! 🙂

    My big ol’ scary dog was a family member. When I was a kid, I was meek and quiet and let pretty much everyone walk all over me, including this family member. And he did, using a steam roller, lawn mower, you name it.

    As I grew, I got tired of the constant trampling, learned self-respect, and set personal boundaries for all the world to see. But this family member didn’t really see them, because I didn’t see him very often. And when I did, it was in short stints.

    Well, we spent quite a lot of time together this past christmas, and once again he steamrollered right over that boundary. I got mad, then he got mad, and it escalated into a screaming match. I went home and stewed for a couple months, not able to see how we could ever have a relationship if he was going to keep doing this.

    Then, the solution came to me. It was so simple, but I was too mad to see it before. All I had to do was tell him what my boundaries are, and what the were consequences if he crossed them. So I told him. He was not happy and isn’t speaking to me right now, but he hasn’t crossed my personal boundaries again. And if he does, he knows what will happen.

    It felt so good to do that. The enemy ain’t gonna tramp all over my yard, either. 🙂


  2. Way to mark those boundaries, gal!

    When we take on stuff that isn’t our own, we hurt ourselves, don’t we? I’m glad you’ve marked the boundaries. I hope, in time, the other party involved will realize it’s to everyone’s benefit…including theirs!


  3. Okay, first, I am dog-o-phobic and will have nightmares all month about this! BB gun, my foot; I’d want a fire hose.

    Secondly, nice writing here, wordwrangler. I came late to these and had to keep clicking.

    Thirdly, the “all or nothing” you describe is very familiar. I either write a ton, or nothing. You failed to mention the accompanying guilt that comes with the “nothing” times.

    I will have to think of what my own BSD is…


  4. Jacqui,

    The guilt is horrible, isn’t it? If I had mentioned it, I would have had 23 MORE “continued” pages. YOu folks don’t have that kind of time. 🙂

    Thanks for the sweet words about my posts, too. I think yours are pretty nifty as well! 🙂


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