happy new year

Jules —  January 1, 2006

The last few weeks have been very busy ones for me. My posting has slowed down quite a bit. With four little ones at home, it’s challenging to sit down and do a new post. Wednesday Lydia and Jessica return to school and things should return to a normal pace.

Our Christmas turned out to be an extremely anxiety filled one. To appreciate the story you need some history:

In February of 1991, James pulled into the driveway of our humble, honeymoon mobile home with a malnourished little puppy, snuggling up to his neck. The pup was a Valentine’s gift for me, which James had saved from the barrel of a co-worker’s gun. James named him Razz — short for Razzleflacker.

Razz lived with us for the next 12 years. He is most definitely the best dog ever and was like a child to me for many years. After the birth of our third child, I could no longer handle the demands of having a pet. I know those of you that love your pets dearly may have a hard time understanding that. Razz is very emotionally needy and was growing too old for our busy, loud home.

Our close friends Carl, Mary and Tori became Razz’s loving, adoptive family. We surprised Tori with Razz at Christmas three years ago. I think Tori was eleven at the time. His retirement home is the best. Razz is very loved and wants for nothing.

We are Razz’s dogsitters now. He always comes home for the holidays as Carl and Mary travel out-of-town to visit family each year. On December 23 of this year, Mary and Tori dropped Razz off at our home. Around 10 0’clock that night James let Razz out in our backyard to sniff around and do his business. We did not realize the gate was open and Razz walked off (he can no longer run away like he used to). We drove around and walked the neighborhood for hours and got very little sleep that night. We could not find him anywhere!! We were very stressed and panicked feeling. We spent the next two days trying to find Razz. We imagined his geriatric, arthritic body freezing to death in an alley somewhere in the cold rain. Such a good dog should not go this way!!! We dreaded telling Carl and Mary we’d lost their dog. I cried all day Saturday and much of Sunday. James drove around for hours, sometimes yelling and pounding his fists on the dash! I’d take my turn driving around until my nerves could take it no longer.

Saturday morning someone actually found Razz, but by the time James got to Carl and Mary’s answering machine, he’d gotten loose and ran off again! They had called the police and an officer had taken his identification off his collar!!! Now he had no identification!! We prayed and begged God to bring Razz back safe. I just knew he was going to freeze and die alone somewhere in the night or get ran over by a car!

Christmas evening we received the most wonderful call! A man had found Razz in the middle of the street, stopping traffic, and had taken him home and called the police. We had been in touch with the local police department several times and they promised to keep their eyes open for our dog. We rushed to this kind man’s home and there was Razz. He was perfectly fine! I was so happy to give him his arthritis medicine!!! I guess this fifteen year old dog wanted one last, big, 48 hour adventure!!!

I took this pic of Razz the morning after his big adventure.


The Moral of The Story

As I was driving around, praying for Razz, I asked God if there was anything I was supposed to learn in this situation. To be honest, I was trying to speed things along. I thought maybe I could quickly learn my “lesson” so Razz could come home quicker! Despite my intentions, the Lord answered me immediately with this scripture from Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek ME and you will find ME if you seek ME with all your heart”. Whoa!!! We had spent hours seeking to find a silly dog. We would stop at nothing less than finding Razz! I believe the Lord spoke to me in that wet, cold rain. This year, I need to let nothing stop me from seeking Him each day. He needs to be my priority. I need to stop at nothing less than finding Him. Lord, please help me, help us all, to be hungry and thirsty for you this year. May we all be satisfied daily in your presence. ~ Selah



33 responses to happy new year

  1. A much easier lesson would be to check the gate… :rotfl

    So glad you guys didn’t call us and we really appreciate all your effort to find our (and I mean all of us in that “our”) dog. He’s been doing well, his adventure hasn’t taken anything out of him!

  2. Oh yes, the gate… yes, that too! ALWAYS check the gate! :fish

  3. I am so glad you found him!!! I can imagine how stressful the whole weekend was for you and James. I am so glad you were kind enough to tell us after he was safe and sound; it made for an enjoyable Christmas for at least our part of Razz’s family.

    He’s probably wondering why we don’t let him roam around town like James and Julie do…

  4. Doesn’t he look adorable in that picture?

  5. We like Razz also. During our 4th of July celebrations (in his younger days) at our home which has a large pond he would chase after bottle rockets in the pond and tried to catch them in his mouth. He was so tough and kept us entertained with much laughter.

    We had a Boxer dog for ten years and it was sad for us that Razz had been gone. Richard went out looking with James and Julie to find him.
    You should of seen Julie’s face when he was found. One could see the burden lift from her face. “a righous man is known by how he treats his animals” Prov. :angel

  6. Jules, I’m so sorry that Christmas was the Razz adventure. But this experience speaks volumes of your care for what’s been entrusted to you. Poor Razz! Although he probably did enjoy some of the adventure, I’m sure he was glad to be in a warm house with lots of good food and attention (and his arthritis meds!).

  7. I’m glad this ended well. I was worried there for a second! Silly Razz.

  8. Thanks for sharing “the moral of the story”. I really needed to hear that this week. I feel like I’ve come to this dry place in my spiritual life because I never have a moment to myself. Right now my spiritual life consists of listening to “Baby Praise” in the car & reading my “Mom’s group” bible study book once a week. Church is no longer a place where I am filled because one of my children seem to always come undone at Church. I spend the whole service either feeding the baby in the cry room or getting a screaming toddler to calm down and stay in their Sunday school room. :cry

    At the end of the day I know that God is the one who gives me the strength to do what has to be done every day. If He can lift me up and help me keep my sanity in the midst of raising my three very small children, He can also give me the time I need to spend with him. I love that He knows my every need before I even ask Him for it. I love that He wants to give me the desires of my heart & fill me up when I am running on empty. Thanks for posting Jer 29:13…I really believe God spoke to me through that verse today! It was just what I needed to read right now.

  9. Amber, I got teary-eyed reading your comment. I’ve been there and sometimes still feel that way. Although it does gets much easier. When Anjelia was weaned and started going to the nursery at church we were overjoyed!! We were so happy to sit together in church and hold hands, uninterrupted. It was better than any date we’d been on. Church became so fun cuz it was the only time James and I got alone during the week! People don’t realize how hard that third and fourth child is, unless they’ve done it!! Hang in there. I do think God totally understands the busyness of your life. He knows that five uninterrupted minutes with Him is doing real good! I’ll pray you get even more than that! Be encouraged…. He knows everything you go through. He knows every hour of sleep you’ve gone without this year!

    Get in the car sometimes BY YOURSELF and just drive off. Jon can handle the kids. You need the break away. I can’t count how many times I’ve done that!!!

  10. Animal stories make me cry, so did this one. I’m so glad it had a happy ending.
    Good message Jules, I needed it too. I have no excuses for not reading my Bible and letting the Lord talk to me through His word each day, cuz it’s just Gil & I in the house. I just get busy and you know the rest of the story. I am also going to try to seek God as hard, hopfully harder, this year as I would any thing else of interest to me. I really want that close fellowship with my Lord Jesus.

    You need to compare dog stories with your Aunt Kathern, she lost her dog when someone else was watching him, and she nearly had a breakdown before she found him again. She walked all over the neighborhood and beyond for several days before she spotted him one day on the other side of a creek. She started to talk to him as she entered the water and talked about everything he was familiar with just to keep him from running away. He was very skiddish by this time. The water got up past her waist but she just kept her eyes on him and kept talking til she was able to catch him.

  11. Did you make it home? How’s your back?

    It’s easy in any stage of life to get caught up in the busyness of life, isn’t it?

    That’s a pitiful dog story. I am really glad she got him back!

  12. I just got your e-mail. I am glad you made it back home.

  13. WOW–what a story, Julie! And thanks for sharing God’s word to you–inspiring.

    To you mothers who still have little ones–“keep on keeping on” and it’ll be worth it! It IS hard to worship at church and to fit in quiet time with God when your children are so little, but someday you will be rewarded by seeing your children come to Christ. Two of my boys have and it’s made it all worth while–the joy of those moments make the tough times worth it. I’m still in the trenches with you–I’ve got a 4 year old yet (plus my 8 and 11 year olds). I’ve redefined quiet time for myself for this season of my life. My goal used to be to have a block of time where it’s just me and God 1st thing in the morning. But reality is often just a devotion with the boys at breakfast and short conversation prayer on and off throughout the day. As long as I continue to seek Him in all things and being quiet to listen, then I’m spending time with Him. I don’t just talk to my husband once in the morning, then ignore him the rest of the day so why should I do that with God? I figure God’s pleased whenever I talk to Him and listen for His answer throughout the day–that’s more like a relationship, just like our relationship with our husbands. Well, I’m not sure I’m saying it the way I’m thinking it. The guys are all hollering at me that the movie is starting (Because of Winn Dixie) and I’m distracted!

    Book Recommendation: “Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship” by Robbie Castleman. Her main idea about worshiping is going to church with your children with the attitude of “Daddy, I’d like you to meet my children.”

  14. Our Boxer dog got cancer and we had to put her down. Razz really liked her. So did our grandchildren.

    Years ago when my children were babies we went to Bible School in Alberto Canada. Richard spent the days in Bible classes and came home to our three room home. He had to do homework the rest of the night and I wanted to talk to him and spend time with him but could not. Sometimes- most of the time, men don’t realize the drain of being a mother, wife, lover, and friend is on our lives.
    I really enjoyed our kids when they became teens because I STUCK it out. Hang in there because when you apply the Word in your everyday life you will be so glad.

    Here is some advice from a 54 year old: read the book of Prov. with whatever day of the week it is. Such wisdom from me is as an older woman is in Titus 2:3

    :worship :worship :worship :worship

  15. That’s a great movie!

    I agree about the seeking Him throughout the day instead of trying to chisel out big chunk of time. I feel that way about my kids too. I teach them about God and prayer a little at a time as we go about our day. Good thoughts, Deb! (Now if I can just seek Him as I go about my day, instead of forgetting as I get busy.) Thanks for your encouragement. It’s also hard to just sit and meditate on a particular scripture that I feel like He’s given me. So, if I feel like He’s given me a scripture, word or quote etc. I tape it to my kitchen cabinets. That way as I go about the daily things I need to do, I read it often and meditate on it without even trying.

    Amber, you have three children 4 and under! Don’t be too hard on yourself!

    Great thoughts everyone!!

  16. Thanks for your thoughts Mom D. I just found your comment awaiting moderation. I don’t know why it keeps doing that! Luckily I found it really fast!

    Thanks for your thoughts. I am going to read Proverbs like you suggested. I have been feeling a little lost as to what to read. Some direction was needed!

  17. Amega was a terrific dog. :indeed

  18. One day Gil & I were praying for the girls and he asked for each of them to have Christian mates. Guess what the answer was. YES!!!!!! We are proud of both of our Sons-in-law and thankful.

  19. Besides coming to know Jesus, that is my biggest hope and prayer for my girls. I want so badly for them to marry Godly men. May it be so!

    You are very blessed! :indeed

  20. Thanks Julie (and everyone else)! I love talking with other moms & hearing how they learn to balance meeting their children’s needs as well as their own. It seems that everything we do in life is always a balancing act. Some days things stay in balance, and other days you fall clean off the beam and land on your face! I’ve just had more “falling-on-my-face” days recently.

    After posting on here today I decided to do some cleaning up around the house, but first I plugged in my little ipod & listened to praise music while I dusted and vaccumed. I actually felt more refreshed when I finished cleaning then when I had started! I don’t know why I don’t do that more often. I always use the kids nap time as my
    “power cleaning hour” (otherwise it won’t get done), but this little trick helped me keep my mind off of the mundane task of cleaning & on something (or should I say “someone”) more important. Resourcefulness seems to be an attribute of motherhood I guess 😉 Five years ago I would have never been able to do and think of the same things I do today. That’s just reason 101 why being a mom has made me better person. I know that 20 years from now this time in my life will seem so short, that’s why I try really hard not to stress too much about the little things right now. My day WILL come when ALL of my children can wipe their own butts (that’s a biggie right now), get dressed on their own, feed themselves, and maybe even clean up after themselves too…but I won’t hold my breath on that one. I suppose when that time comes I’ll be sad that no one “needs” me anymore (sniff).

    Janet-thanks for your words of wisdom. I think I will try to read through Proverbs this month. I know I can at least make time for that every day.

  21. Jules, I’m so glad this story had a happy ending. I’m sure the waiting was agony. When our mom’s dog ran away (on her BIRTHDAY!), we were so upset and did a lot of the crying and pounding on dashboards that you mentioned. Phew… I’m glad we found her, and I’m so glad you found Razz. I believe God even cares for these animals that are so dear to us.

  22. I’ve loved reading everyones dialogue. Thanks, Jules, for sharing this doggie story with us and for the Moral at the end. It is so true!

    Amber, you are such a good mom and I know that God smiles down on you each day knowing that you were the best person to care for these three little kiddos. You are doing a great job with them and with keeping it together. You are almost out of the woods with being able to leave Maya in the nursery. Hang in there! Don’t give up.

    I keep contemplating that passage in Ecclesiastes that we all know . . .you know, about the seasons.

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-10 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.

    In the past when I read through this, I quickly read it and didn’t take into account that sometimes each one of these “seasons” could take years. As Mommies we are in the midst of several of these “seasons” and they just take time.

    Maybe it’s because of the new year that I am contemplating what season I am in. Sorry to ramble here!! Hope that made sense.

  23. My mom gave me one of those “Hugs” books for Christmas. It’s full of inspirational stories, quotes and scriptures.

    Here is a great quote I just read:

    There is no happiness equal to the joy of finding a heart that understands. ~Victor Robinson

  24. Sarah, I am glad your mom got her doggy back. Now I understand the stress of having a lost pet!

    I guess every trial we go through helps us to have deeper understanding hearts!

  25. You make me smile Amber. ;)And thank you to our dear Julie; I have a tear in my eye. :indeed

  26. Wow! What an amazing story! I can imagine how relieved you were at having Razz back safe and sound. The moral of the story was something I needed to read too. Thanks!

  27. -Thanks Karen :-)

    I suppose I’m feeling part “hormonal”, and part overwhelmed these days. The hormone part is probably what causes me to feel inadequate most of the time. I know if I sat down at the end of each day and took an “inventory” of my daily tasks I would have no reason to feel like I’m not doing enough for my family. In my mind I know I’m probably doing a good enough job, it’s just that I seldom get to see much of a reward for all of my hard work right now. Some days I can’t believe I spend the whole day cleaning & taking care of my little ones needs only to go to bed at night with a dirty house, and crying babies…… how does that happen?

    I do try to tell myself (often) that this is just a season in my life & it won’t last forever. When I look around at my friends and family who are on the other side of the “fence” raising older children, I just tell myself that “the grass is not really greener” on their side either. Each season brings new challenges & every time we have to adjust to them and move forward. Today my parenting delema was a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum in Wal-Mart, but “tomorrow” (14-16 years down the road) it will be deciding whether or not to let that same strong-willed child drive my car, or make major life choices by himself. Neither scenario seems easy, and too be honest I think I’ll take the Wal-Mart fiasco over the second option (because a wooden spoon can fix that one pretty fast!).

    Just for the record (Karen)….you always make sense. I’m the one that forgets my point after typing three paragraphs full of run-on sentences. 😀

  28. Amber, when Anjelia was born it was a huge adjustment for James and I. I’ve shared on here before that we decided to just try our best to be nice to each other. Having four kids five and under will do that to a marriage! We were both so tired. That first year is so demanding. Anjelia is two now and it really is a lot easier already. I know every stage has it’s challenges but that first one is so wearing because you get NO time to refresh. You don’t get near enough sleep and little ones demand all of you. At least in the later stages we won’t be physically wore thin. That’s gotta help. It’s hard to work hard everyday running on empty. I am so thankful God gives us the grace to do it. James and I keep saying when Anjelia hits three we will have made it!! I still keep finding stuff in the toilet!

    Be encouraged! Once Maya is weaned and “on her own” a little more, you will see the clouds begin to part. Talk with Jon and make sure you get some time alone. Just think He gets to get in the car each morning and drive off! Doesn’t a morning commute sound heavenly!!!

  29. I know what you mean about the hormones. I swore at times I could feel them surging through my body. Several months after Elaina was born I went to the doctor and said, “Fix me PLEASE!”. They said, “Honey, if there was a pill you could take for this it would be the biggest miracle ever!” It didn’t really make me feel that much better that many women struggle with hormones. They said to try to eat healthy (I know that’s a joke!)and get plenty of sleep (gimme a break!) and exercise (yeah, how do you fit that in!) I did buy a treadmill and I do think it helped. A few months after I quit nursing I started to feel normal again! But then I got pregnant again!!! Too funny, now!

  30. Hi Julie,
    Surprise, surprise, it’s your long lost Aunt Linda. Hope you have a very happy, peaceful new year. I really feel bad about missing Grandma funeral. As you know we were leaving in just four days for a two week vacation, all non-refundable.Plus Tara, Heather, and a friend with cancer all had Dr. appointments on those days. The friend could’t drive and Tara and Heather had no idea how to find these Dr. They were quite a distance. It all just seemed like to much.Neither of the girls are doing real well right now. Heather is sick all the time and is having surgery on her hand next week. Tara can’t seem to find help anywhere for her obsessive-compulsive behavior and spends most of her day in the bathroom or the house. Just keep praying, I know it’ll get better. We did have a great, relaxing, time on our cruise and on the islands. We had hot and sunny days. I wish I knew how to put pictures on the e-mail I’d send a picture of my hat with big grasshopper on top and the fish bobbing around the brim. I bought it on Isla Margarita. It got loads of comments. Thanks Julie on the comments about the funeral. Bye Bye Linda

  31. Aunt Linda, it’s so nice to hear from you.

    One thing I love about our family is our love for quirky, tacky things. That hat sounds GREAT! I would love to see a pic. Maybe someone can help you send it.

    I am glad you got to go on a fun cruise. You guys surely needed it!

    I am sorry to hear that my cousins are not doing well. It’s been sooooo long since I have seen Tara and Heather. :cry I will definitely be praying for them. I am sure we all will be.

  32. Wow. Glad it had a happy ending. That seems to be a common lesson that the Lord is trying to reach people with right now…been hearing it alot from a friend of mine…no one’s listening to her…not really.

  33. Ciera, I was just thinking about you. You popped into my mind and the next thing I know there’s a notification on my computer that you posted! God must be prompting me to pray for you. Happy New Year!