I love to be comfortable. “Lounge wear,” as Old Navy calls it consisting of t-shirts a stylish stretch pants, and bare feet are my uniform for my work-at-home career in writing. When I watch episodes of Mad Men on Netflix, I cringe in astonishment at how uncomfortable women must have been back in the 50’s and early 60’s when they dressed in girdles and heels all day.
More than my clothing, I like the comfort of being well rested. I like the clear mind that a full night of sleep brings. Being a full-time writer affords me the ability to alter my schedule to get my much valued sleep. That is, until a few days ago when I decided I had been sans dog for long enough and it was time to get a puppy.
An eight-week-old chocolate-colored, four-legged, needle-toothed, ball of energy has taken over my life and transformed me into a light-headed comprehension-impaired zombie since I have been only getting 3-4 hours a night of sleep.
Did I pray about the major decision to get a puppy? Yes, a lot. I proceeded cautiously seeking God’s permission the whole way.
After the first night of staggering out the backdoor with a little puppy hopping happily behind me, I was so tired, I was sure I was going to be sick. I was beyond uncomfortable. I was miserable.
Did I hear God wrong? I felt like I had made a huge mistake. I was so tired I couldn’t get any writing done, music or prose. By the fourth night, I was seriously entertaining the thought of putting an ad in the paper: “Chocolate Lab puppy for sale by sleepless owner.”
I’ve raised puppies before, so I knew what I was getting into when I purchased the pup. I knew about taking the pup out for potty breaks in the middle of the night. So why was it so different this time? Why was I so miserable? So stressed-out and lacking in patience?
Lacking in patience. That phrase caused me to pause. Patience is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Had I coveted my comfort so much that I was not able to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit to the depth that He desired? I’m thinking yes, I did. I pondered this thought as I waited under the moonlight at 3:33 AM while the puppy bounded happily around my backyard instead of doing her business.
Did God give His blessing for me to get a puppy knowing it was a good opportunity to clean out my selfish pursuit of perfect restfulness? I’m thinking yes, He did. His blessing also created a situation where I need to daily press into and rely even more on God to get through the day. He emptied me physically so I could be filled spiritually.
One of my favorite Bible verses says, “’not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord God Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). I’m living in that verse, even now as I type these thoughts with a second cup of coffee next me and bigger-than-carry-on-size bags under my eyes.
One day little Abby will outgrow her puppy-ness. She will be an adult dog and she will use the doggie door on her own while I get a little more sleep. But for now, not only will she be a loving pet sleeping beside me while I write (as she is now), but she will always be an instrument of teaching and blessing from God to me.