Confessions of a Dog Owner

I like to say that a dog came with the marriage. Reinier has had his dog, Chloe, for several years, and while I won’t admit to liking her…sometimes she can be cute. (Not as cute as Queso for all of you who know my family’s dog back in the States…but it’s hard to compete! 😉 Just Kidding!)

But lately…let’s just be honest… Chloe has been a pain. We left for 2 nights a few weekends ago and since then, I think she thinks that when we leave, we are never returning. She has turned into a little Houdini when it comes to escaping our yard.

At first, she pushed and pushed the gate until it opened. So Reinier fixed that problem with another lock and a wood piece going horizontal with the gate.

And then she started jumping up on the counter we have next to the wall separating us and the neighbor… and then jumping over that wall. So Reinier put up bamboo on top of the wall to make it too tall for her to jump through.

And then she started jumping up on the counter we have next to the wall separating us and the neighbor and pushing the bamboo so that she could go UNDER the bamboo…and then jumping over the wall. And so Reinier put a horizontal piece of wood up on the neighbor’s side.

And then she started jumping up on the counter we have next to the wall separating us and the neighbor and pushing through the bamboo so that she could go under the bamboo and then jumped OVER the wood board…which meant jumping over the wall. And so Reinier took down the board that he had currently put up and put small pieces of wood horizontally on both sides of the bamboo so that Chloe could not go under.

But needless to say, we have come home from work on several days and there was no Chloe to be found in our yard. We have gone all around the compound, looking for her…and when we do find her, she is dirty and has stickers and thorns stuck to her fur. She is a mess!

The other day while I was bathing her (after she got out in the rain… so was brown when she is supposed to be white…), I couldn’t help but think about us and our relationship with God.

God puts up boundaries, gives us commands, puts people in our path to help us stay on the right track, and instills His Holy Spirit inside of us…and yet, we are always wanting more. We are always trying to see what is on the other side of the wall.

And sure the other side of the wall can be fun for a while, but let’s just be honest: it always ends up bad. Just like Chloe is left with stickers and thorns and dirt, we are left with marks of what our sin has done to us.

But God…with all of us grace and all of his love, still takes us back.

He cleans us, removes the marks that sin has left on us, and welcomes us home with open arms…every single time.

If that’s not grace, I don’t know what is.

-Kristen

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