Thursday, April 29, 2010

Buzzards, Bees, Bats & Deer

A deer came to visit us the other day. He emptied our bird feeder but ignored our hostas. I took a great picture of him so had to find a way to write about it. (I have no pets to display on my blog as a certain other blogger does.)  So here’s the picture.

This time of year with flowers, trees and bushes blossoming and creatures abounding, we see creation at its best. “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all, the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24

God’s creatures get stuck in ways similar to the chained elephant described in a previous blog posted 4-12-10. Place a buzzard in a 6 by 8 foot pen, open at the top, and it will be trapped. Without ten or twelve feet of space to run, it will not attempt to fly. The buzzard will be a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

The ordinary bat cannot take off from a level place. If a bat is placed on flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly until it reaches a slight elevation, then it can throw itself into the air.

A bumblebee, dropped into a tumbler, will try to find a way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

We are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle with problems and frustrations, never realizing we can escape our ruts or traps by looking up and “flying” up. When we pray and seek God’s guidance he helps us leave our comfort zones. We break free from our traps.

What about the deer? Irish Spring soap is embedded in each hosta to ward off deer. I guess we’ll place a bit of the soap in our bird feeder.

All of these are God’s creatures. David wrote about deer, a good prayer for us to pray. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1

Blessings, Dottie

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Making A Difference: Dogs, Prisoners & People

I recently read a newspaper article about an amazing charity named Circle Tail, Inc. It’s amazing because it helps everyone involved. According to their web page “Circle Tail provides assistance dogs to people with mobility, hearing, neurologic or psychiatric disabilities.”

Most of the dogs are rescued from dog pounds. The founder, Marlys Staley, trains the dogs at her kennel and places them with prison inmates for further training and care before they are placed with someone in need. The inmates learn how to train dogs and they also learn to be patient and conscientious.

Her goal is to help others every step of the way. She certainly does that. The dogs are rescued, many from being euthanized; the prisoners are helped by having a valuable job to do while they “do time” and the people with needs are ultimately helped when they receive an assistance dog.

Circle Tail also offers dogs for adoption, offers obedience training, behavior management and boarding. To learn more, check out their web page at Be sure to read on the web page some of the stories about the dogs and the people involved.

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.
                                                                      Matthew 25:35-36

Blessings, Dottie

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blog Questions Answered

It’s been an interesting two to three weeks with many friends uncertain about this world of “blogdom.” Here are the questions I was asked and my answers.

What is a blog?
A blog is short for WEB LOG. It’s an on line journal. A blog can be set up in many ways. Many people post family pictures to share with other family members. Many use a blog to keep relatives and friends informed when someone in the family is going through a crisis. A happier reason to have one is to build a following as a writer or as an artist.

I am not sure how to respond on the Blog. Yours is the first Blog I have ever looked at. Maybe you could give some suggestions about navigating on a Blog.

I have never signed on to be a follower, so don't know exactly what to do.

1. You can read what I have posted by going to my blog address I hope to post something new weekly. The most recent post will be shown first with previous ones available below. You can look at my blog anytime you wish.

2. To be a follower, click on the area on the right side where it says Follow. You can do this publicly or privately. They will give directions for this after you click.

3. If you have a blog and become a follower of mine our blogs can be linked.

4. It will help me to have many followers. This shows agents and publishers I have “a platform,” necessary in today’s world to be published.

5. At the bottom of each post is a button for comments. Life is busy. Comment only when you have an overwhelming desire. How? Click comments, give your email address, and type in your comment.

That's all I know on this subject. Thanks for checking out my blog.

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul, he who cherishes understanding prospers. Proverbs 19:8

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, April 12, 2010

More on Choosing Change

Most of us try to change or improve ourselves. We want to exercise, meet more people, look for another job, but we don’t get around to doing anything different. Why is change so hard? Here’s an answer from one of my Family Counselor columns:

Young circus elephants are chained to a stake in the ground from a young age. Initially they struggle and pull against the chain trying to get free. After a while they give up and stay where they’re chained. When they grow bigger and stronger they have the strength to break free but they don’t even try. They don’t “believe” they can break free.

In many ways we’re conditioned like the elephants. We may have been called “stupid” as a child and “decide” we can’t get good grades, we can’t achieve much. So we don’t try. Or we’re labeled “shy” and think we can’t be outgoing or friendly. So we don’t try. We don’t try to do something new. Like the elephants we’re chained in one place.

Change is scary. It's easier to stay where we are. It’s easier to drift through life than it is to take "risks" and do something new or different. Instead of striving to be our best, we're content to get by. Most of us have a "comfort zone," a range of customary behavior. When we do something outside our comfort zone we feel anxious even when it’s something we really want to do.

To change, begin visualizing yourself succeeding. Like the young elephants, you’re now stronger and more mature than when your beliefs were formed. Don’t focus on pathology ("What's wrong with me?"), focus on growth ("How can I become a better person?"). There’s no substitute for action. Don't let butterflies in the stomach stop you. Think of anxiety as another name for excitement or challenge. Plan what you will do and do it.

There is only one way elephants chained all their life learn to break free. When they see the flames of a fire, they break loose. The same is true for us. When a crisis comes in life, we’re forced to move out of our comfort zones; we must take risks. Don't wait for a crisis. Take action now.

A risk involves faith. Pray and seek God’s will. Take action as he guides you. With his power in us we can leave our comfort zones. We can break free from our chains.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Faith if the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 NKJV


Let me introduce myself. I’m a Christian, a wife, mother, grandmother, counselor, and writer. I’m starting this blog to share my written thoughts. I write much better than I talk. I really do. Words flow out of me when I write. It surprises even me. (Yes, I also can edit them when they’re written.)

I’ve been journaling for years and have nuggets from this source to share. I also wrote a newspaper advice column for eighteen years and will share excerpts from my column. I love to read, so I’ll review and recommend the books I like best. For the last year I’ve been writing a book about changes in churches today. You may hear about this also.

Choosing Change

Starting this blog is exciting and scary. It’s something I’ve never done before. I’m choosing change. I wrote on this topic in my weekly Family Counselor column in 1999. Here’s an excerpt:
Three things will change the direction of our lives: Crisis, Chance and Choice. When we face a crisis such as a life threatening illness, our priorities radically change. We are shaken to the core and forced to break out of our old habits, thoughts and beliefs. A crisis is a type of conversion. We see the world in a different way and we handle life differently.

We are changed by chance when something outside of us impacts our life. For example, our life changes by chance when we win the lottery or are struck by lightning. Change that occurs as a result of chance is not something we can plan or make happen. Nor can we be sure of the direction it will take us.

Changes that occur as a result of choice are the best kind. With choice we are using our free will to make decisions that will move us in a new direction in life. What greater thrill! Changes that we choose are positive ones, they are changes we’ve yearned for, prayed for and worked for.

Why is change so difficult and why do we backslide so? Doing something we’ve never done takes us out of our comfort zone. Choosing change involves risks. Doing something new or different takes more effort than our usual routines. We “relapse” because the new way is more difficult or feels scary. We also “relapse’ because that’s the way most of us change. We don’t change in a straight line always getting better. Change is more likely to be a progression, three steps forward and one step back.

When we backslide we need to accept it and learn from it. What thought or feeling made us fall down? Our relapses give us valuable information on why we go back to our old ways. We also need to accept the fact that we’re human and we will fall short at times. Just start over and work your plan. Each time we pick ourselves up and begin again we grow stronger and more consistent in our new behavior.

Learn to motivate yourself toward your goals. Keeping a journal detailing your progress and your setbacks can help. A positive attitude is essential. Focus more on your successes than on your failures. Change is necessary. Without change we don’t grow. Crisis or chance may force us to change if we don’t choose to change.

I would add, seek God’s will and he will guide and direct your change.

This wasn’t so hard. I’ve chosen change. I now have a blog!

Blessings, Dottie