faithful living

What I learned from dog poop…

Let me start by saying that I haven’t found a single person who likes dealing with dog poop. It is messy and stinky and just no fun.

Recently, my husband went away for a guy’s weekend. I was holding down the fort alone, taking care of my two littles and our feisty dog. As I juggled things, I waited just a little too long to take the dog out.  Truthfully, I didn’t feel like doing it. I was tired and braving the South Carolina heat in my back brace was not on the top of my list. The result? Sweet Gizmo repaid me by pooping not in one spot….not in two… but in THREE different spots around our house. I think he was making sure his point was clear.

As I cleaned up the disgusting mess, I was tempted to be mad at him. Then, I realized that he’s just a puppy. He’s learning. I’m the one who chose not to take him out. In essence, I created this mess for myself…and I was left, alone, to clean it up.

Isn’t that a reflection of life? How many times do we refuse to do the things we need to do, and then when things go wrong as a result, we want to point fingers at other people or our circumstances. How often do we “not feel” like doing something so we don’t? It is hard to take ownership of our wasted opportunities, but I’m learning it is essential that we do. Otherwise, we’re left in stinky, messy, and not fun situations.

In reality, Gizmo will never be house trained if I don’t do my part. I will never achieve my goals if I don’t do my part in chasing them. My last post was about determining my new dream. I’m afraid that even if I figure it out and have a direction to head in, I won’t make my way toward the goal if I don’t get myself together and do the work that it takes to get there.

I’ve been reading and listening a lot to Rachel Hollis lately. Man, she’s a hard worker. She goes after things like no one I’ve ever seen. Observing her has made me really examine myself. I think it is important to look at ourselves and our habits. I think it is important to recognize if there is something unhealthy in us and attempt to adjust it. Otherwise, we never change or grow.

I’m about to get real “real”. The truth is I’m lazy. If someone else will do something, I don’t do it. If I can put something off, I put it off. If I can relax, I do that before I tackle all the things I should be doing to advance myself.  I have had things done for me for a long time (out of love, no question), but I have not been pushed to do things myself. It isn’t ingrained in me. I have been conditioned to float–to play the victim–to have this false sense of helplessness. I make excuses. I manipulate things to get my way. I find that I don’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities.

And what’s funny is–this description is exactly how I don’t want people to see me. I am nearly devastated when someone suggests I’m this way.  But like I said, it is time to get real. No more forced perceptions. Reality needs to be brought to the forefront. Because I don’t want to be this way anymore. I don’t want my children to grow up to be this way. And by recognizing these traits, I can find the strength to overcome them. What amazing things can I actually achieve?

I am holding fast to the knowledge that God believes in my abilities even when I don’t.  They’re a blessing, and if I don’t use my gifts for His glory, it is a waste. I don’t even have to completely believe in myself–I just have to believe in Him.

My very wise therapist, Gayle, taught me a very simple mantra to follow when I feel like I don’t measure up. “Just do it.” She even had me buy a Nike shirt with the slogan. It seems so simple, but it has been a real challenge to me… to step up. To take action. To stop letting life pass by. To start living my life purposefully.

I’m tired of looking around and seeing figurative piles of dog poop. I’m tired of not doing…and then being unhappy with the outcome. My whole life I’ve felt like there is a part of me hidden inside, begging to get out. I venture to say that part of me may be my gumption. My hard worker. My warrior. It is time to let her out of the cage where she’s been locked away. There is no more room for fear of failure…or fear of success.

I feel it is important to say that I have achieved a lot. I do work hard at certain things, but not always for the right reasons. Much of my motivation is geared toward recognition from others. I work hard at things I’m comfortable with. I’ll echo a previous post, it is time to do things for myself. For God. Even if it is hard.

And I pray that if you are busy avoiding your true calling… if you are allowing that dog poop to pile up around you because you’re not doing your part…make a change. Just do it!

Gizmo approves this message. Now I better take him out.


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