Marking Wars

I’ve faced a lot of “big deal” things that have tested my faith and perseverance.  Sometimes however, it’s the “little annoyances” that take the wind out of your sails and test your faith and perseverance  seemingly more than some big issues.   These can sneak up and take your joy by surprise.  At least this has happened to me.  Can anyone else relate?

I’ve had my spirituality severely tested of late by “marking wars.”  The wars go like this.  (This will make more sense if you read my previous post.)

Granddog Reilley moves to our home with his family and says, “I’m displaced…my kids are here so I’m claiming this as my space,  too.“– lifts leg.  Blackie (remember aka “Jackie”)…our little black cocker-poo says, “Who do you think you are…this is my house! “ – lifts leg.

Millers move upstairs.  Blackie sneaks upstairs….”People, you are in MY rooms…these are mine I tell you…” – lifts leg.  Reilley says, “Wanna bet? These are my kids, they are sleeping here…I’ll show you whose rooms these are!”-lifts leg.

Reilley knows the owners of the house are the key to his ownership…He sneaks into our room and says…”If I take this room I get it all…”- lifts leg

Blackie comes behind him, “These are my people I tell you…get outta here.  I’m the boss here”-lifts leg.

“Ahhh..there’s the toy box.  I get it first”- both lift leg at same time

I come behind them all (Equalizer Stain and Odor Eliminator in hand….$9.86 per bottle on Amazon…greatest pet odor stain remover EVER…been through about 15 cans…I hope we don’t all die from the chemicals) and am filled with fury and tears.

Me – “Why can’t you just get along? Deal with it.  You’re killin’ me!”

So, they are 12 years old…fully housetrained for years but are full of “one upmanship,”  territorialism and certainly not understanding Philippians 2.  So I sat down and read this chapter to them. IMG_4405

Philip. 2:1-8

    If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, [2] then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. [3] Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. [4] Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

    [5] Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

   [6] Who, being in very nature God,

        did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

    [7] but made himself nothing,

        taking the very nature of a servant,

        being made in human likeness.

    [8] And being found in appearance as a man,

        he humbled himself

        and became obedient to death–

            even death on a cross!

Somehow, I think they misunderstood the parts about “emptied himself” and “poured out like a drink offering” that are part of this chapter.

Come August, this carpet is gone!  I hope I can hold it together until then.

Meanwhile…I’ve thought about the ridiculousness of this war, asking myself what ways I might have figuratively lifted my leg to have the “last word” or “ demanded fairness” or  “wanted to be right” or have failed to consider another’s needs above my own…especially when it is costly and humbling.

It seems ironic that I follow the dogs around these wars with my spray can of “Equalizer.”  Perhaps that is what is needed with us – a spray of Equalizer,stain and odor remover… as we are all equal at the foot of the cross, in need of God’s mercy. Without it we are stained and stinky.  Once again, Jesus’ example is such an inspiring, convicting and high calling.  I am so grateful he shows us how to do this, and walks with us and lives in us to teach us and enable us to “put down our legs.”

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  1. Suzanne conroy

    Oh my goodness! That is our house too! A twelve year old and 4 year old previously housebroken dogs who started marking wars. We have resorted to belly bands and have reclaimed our home but still will have to discard a couch, love seat and rug. I’ll try reading Phillipians too, but lack the faith that they will have soft enough hearts.

    This was a great post. Loved it and related all too well.

    By the way, belly bands are great as long as you don’t mind going back to changing diapers 😉

    • jeanieshaw

      Oh dear! Now I never have heard of those. Thanks for the encouragement. Glad you have the “wars” under control. 🙂

  2. Carolyn Harrell

    Hi Jeanie,
    I’m sorry you are filled with fury and tears, but I’m laughing as I read this. It was perfect for me today. I’ve been there with my 4 crazy Bassets and with situations with people sometimes as well. I’m so glad you are filling morning/afternoon/evening cups again. Love, Carolyn

    • jeanieshaw

      Love you and miss you. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Rhoda

    Enjoyed this…am still laughing. I don’t know who else would be reading the bible to their pets! Glad you keep your humor.

    • jeanieshaw

      Glad you enjoyed. You can appreciate dog humor 🙂 Love you.

  4. dustyearthmother

    I am DYING. So hilarious and the pic of you reading them the Bible made my whole morning.

    • jeanieshaw

      haha. I thought this was your kind of post. Dogs provide us so, so much material. More than I wish for these days. Congrats on all the wonderful ways your talents are being recognized and used. Encouraging.


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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