Packaged in the Unexpected

“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.--1 Chronicles 16:11

Read: 1 Chronicles 16

Amidst my usual helping of chaotic and unpredictable mornings, there is one constant in the day’s beginning: Josey. Josey is our chocolate Labrador...our very strong and excited chocolate lab. The apple of my eye. Blink blink.

Each morning Josey acts as if she hasn’t seen me in weeks. “Dad! It’s me, dad! I love you! I missed you!” (If only I started my days like that). And after our reunion, she heads to the door. Wait, let me rephrase, she attacks the door. “Okay Josey, okay!” I put her chain on, and we begin our morning adventure; she knows exactly where she wants to explore. First, she looks for the rabbits, then the squirrels, then the birds. So much to do! But it’s interesting that once we get outside, it’s as if I’m not even there. The one who opens all her doors, the one she couldn’t get enough of, was now an invisible bystander. Can anyone relate to her behavior?

Well, getting caught in some bushes today was not part of her plan. Tangled inside a bush on a steep hill, her joy turned to panic. And for the first time since emerging outside, she looked up at her master (the one who never lets go of the leash). Now, from my vantage point, all she had to do was listen to me, back up a few steps, and she’d be as free as the very bird that got her there in the first place.

Packaged in the unexpected, sometimes God speaks to us with thorn bushes and dog leashes.

--Jimmy Peña

UNLEASH YOUR POTENTIAL

Lately, we've been hounded by new studies and anecdotal evidence that suggest that dogs who are overweight are more likely to have overweight owners. The facts are easy to sniff out. The less active the family, the less active the pets. And though it might be rough at first, the solution just might fun. Make it a mission to see your dog get healthier and slimmer by picking up uneaten food and...and...wait for it... taking your dogs for walks. Your goal? Walk them everyday, allowing them to get used to the habit while trying to go a little further each day. With all the new daily walks, your best friend is sure to be healthier in no time.

According to the ACSM, walking the family pet can help you burn over 100 calories per half hour. Of course, the bigger the dog, the tougher the walk.