Friday, January 25, 2013

An Undisciplined Life

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.   ---Proverbs 3:11-12

Mirriam-Webster defines discipline as "training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character."

James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I think James could have said, "whenever you face trials/suffering/discipline of many kinds." 

I've learned another lesson through our dog, Gator.  I call him a "dumb dog" (not in front of the kids), but for a "dumb dog" God sure does use him to teach me a lot.  He's 10 months old and weighs about 50 (maybe more) pounds.  He is solid muscle.  He's hard-headed and stubborn.  He's bad.  He tears up everything in our yard - wooden swing (demolished), Lydia's socks (swallowed WHOLE), kids' toys (broken to bits), trampoline net (torn), blanket to keep him warm at night (shredded), etc... Whenever we try to walk onto the back patio, we can hardly get out the door from him jumping all over us.  And with all the wet weather we've had, he's a muddy mess and makes us all muddy messes.  He barks like mad if we're on the other side of the fence from him and when I walk him he often hurts me because he pulls me all over the place.  I've had whiplash on more than one occasion from a walk-gone-bad and my thighs and legs are often bruised because of his jumping.  He's like the obnoxious, annoying kid that no one wants to play with.  Gator has no friends.  Jonathan and I have wavered back and forth often since we got him on whether or not to give him away, even though we've sunk most of the kids' college money into him already (not really, but it feels like it).  Last week we found someone to take him.  But then we got cold feet.  We knew the kids would be crushed so we decided to wait.  Jonathan talked to a friend who trains dogs and he has agreed to help.  Gator will be gone for a month or more during this time.  Our friend made a comment that has resonated with me, "He wasn't born knowing how to behave.  You have to give him guidelines and discipline so he knows what to do."

Just like humans, dogs need rules.  The only way to teach the rules (to humans or dogs) is through discipline (sometimes trials and suffering).  And not discipline in the sense of punishment, but discipline to help grow and learn.

No one likes discipline - dogs, kids, me.  It's often uncomfortable, it often takes time, it's often not what we want.  But in the case of Gator, I know that discipline will make him calmer, more likable and we will actually want to be around him.  It's not his fault he's a "holy terror" (as the kids refer to him).  It's because he hasn't been trained.  And so I realize that when God is training/disciplining/putting me through trials, it's so I'll follow his rules, gain maturity and hopefully, become more lovable.  It's so I'll be a person that brings him joy.  It's so I'll understand my boundaries and live within them so I won't get hurt or hurt others.  As the Proverb says, he does it because he loves me, wants the best for me and delights in me.

I'm so glad to have such a "dumb dog" in my life!

The one time in his life that Gator sat still and behaved.

Other News
I've been taking my 2nd medicine for over a week now.  Other than being a little groggy, I had about 7 great days in a row with not much dizziness - PRAISE GOD!  But the last 2 days have been really, really rough with headache and a lot of dizziness.  I'm hoping these 2 days are a small bump and I'll get back onto the good days VERY soon.  Reading and computer work (like typing) are still hard on me.  I'm not sure why exactly.  Honestly, if I can get the other aspects of my life back (driving and getting out), I will live with the problems reading and computers cause me!

Beau's surgery last week went GREAT.  Dr. Mickey said his right ear was infected when she put the tube in, even though he'd been taking antibiotics for a week.  She said his nose and throat were gunky and that he was a sick little kid.  The adenoids she removed 4 years ago had grown back.  So, he had tubes put back in both ears and his adenoids and tonsils out.  He did AWESOME.  He hasn't taken anything but Tylenol since surgery (even when he was in the hospital).  He's slept good and hasn't complained at all.  He is the best patient EVER!  I know that in a couple of weeks when his surgery wounds heal he will feel like a much different kid - he'll feel healthy and won't be in pain.

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