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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

The Puppies Are Coming, The Puppies Are Coming!

Mocha is having puppies! Her due date is May 31 so not much longer. Poor girl is in the waddle stage and really just lies around a lot. She will do little “runs” but then sleeps for a couple hours after some intense panting.

I will now answer the questions: Yes, we bred her on purpose. Yes, we probably will keep one puppy and sell the rest. The daddy is a lovely chocolate lab, same coloring as Mocha.

I had no idea about dog breeding, so this is a new adventure. Dogs are only pregnant approximately 63-65 days, so things move along very quickly. We had some morning sickness (which I had no idea they had), we had some grouchiness – growling at other dogs she loves. Apparently, she was letting them know to be careful, no rough housing. (Mocha never growls so again a new thing). We weighed her last week and she had gained 11 lbs. She put a run on a bear a couple weeks ago, which is so unusual – bears usually cause her to come back to the house and stay close, but nope, she did not like him in her yard and she went after him.

Mocha is into her “nesting” phase, which is where mom find a safe place to have the babies. For a while she felt under the spare room bed was a great place to hide out. Now it is either the bathroom, sometimes trying to get behind the toilet (the lino is cool on her belly) or again the spare room, huddled into a corner. We bought a kiddie pool and set it up with blankets to “nest” with. She rarely gives it much attention.

Now we simply wait.

The phrase “the puppies are coming” reminds me of the Ikea commercial where they chant “The people are coming, the people are coming” – because company is arriving. The scramble around frantically trying to clean up the house, they open the dishwasher and shove things into it along with drawers and cupboards. When the doorbell rings, the house looks spotless.

I have to giggle, because this phrase “the people are coming” causes me to think about a conversation I had with a couple ladies a while ago. We were talking about this very subject and admitted to each other that we turn into a monster woman at the thought of “the people are coming”. We launch into high gear, get our cranky on, and start cleaning like a mad woman. Should any poor family members be around, they get told in no uncertain terms what they should be doing or not doing.

“I just cleaned the toilet…. no one use it!”

“Clean your room”

“Pick up every toy in the living room and put it away!”

And the favorite…. “Vacuum!”

One of the ladies told us this story about her mom – no names are mentioned to protect their identity. They were expecting company and mom launched into vacuuming mode while the kids were told to start cleaning up. Mom was downstairs and the kids heard a cry for help. My friend ran downstairs to find mom on the floor writhing in pain as she had just put her back out.

“Mom what happened? Are you all right?” my friend went over to her to help.

“Don’t touch me! Keep vacuuming!”

We laugh at this story but unfortunately it rings true to a lot of us! After all the people are coming! We do this kind of stuff don’t we? I know I sure do. My poor boys bore the brunt of “the people are coming!” and now Brian gets to face it alone.

You know, in the grand scheme of things, it gets even worse, I think we do this regularly with God.

Oh, we do not use the phrase “the people are coming” rather we say something like, “God fix it!”

We find ourselves in the middle of a messy situation, often self-imposed, but we get stuck in it, it’s painful and we have no idea how to get out. We look up to heaven and crankily say, “God help me! Can you please fix this?”

Then when God starts to fix it by working on “us”, we say, “don’t touch me, just fix it!”

God is not a genie in a bottle, rub three times to get your wish. He does not answer on a whim and He is a really great Father who will let us bear the brunt of some of our own consequences. We do not really like that part as we lay on the floor in writhing in the uncomfortableness.

I have to ask myself, “what would be so bad if people saw a messy house?”

Worst case scenario… they won’t come back to visit. But that is not really the issue is it?

The big picture is that we want to “look good”. Wow, that hits home.

We dress up nicely because we want to give an image. We talk politely and positively to answer the phone but we might have just been yelling at our kids or spouse a few minutes ago. We dress up to go out instead of wearing our work clothes (for me those would be painting clothes). We purposely forget to tell the doctor everything he should know ie: “I feel fine”… but neglect to say we walked around the block and had to nap for 3 hours afterwards or “I eat properly” but neglect to mention that we consider a cup of coffee breakfast and rarely stop to eat lunch or grab a chocolate bar on the way….

When we stand before God, we tend to forget or chose not to remember, He knows everything, He sees everything.

When we stand before Him begging us to help us loose weight, He saw that we ate the 20 pack of timbits yesterday. (and the chips…)

When we ask for help with our health but do not get off the couch to help ourselves, He knows. (Sometimes an apple a day instead of timbits or a walk around the block can be so good for us).

Hey, I am speaking to me here, I have not been spying on you.

Sad isn’t it, a lot of us can identify with some of these things, you know why? We are all human and we have weaknesses. We can spot them immediately in others, but heaven has to move to often get us to see them in ourselves.

You know who else can identify with these things? God.

No, I am not meaning He does them but rather He knows how He made us, He does not hold them over us as weapons. He does not turn into the cranky pants woman who launches into clean-up mode! Wouldn’t that be horrible…

God: “It’s your fault, stop eating the timbits and I will help you!”

“Vacuum out that crap that is hiding in your heart, do a Spring clean before I will come to visit you.”

God does not do that, and God NEVER dehumanizes us, not ever. The guilt and shame we feel, we bear is from other people or ourselves, God is not in that business. God has a standard for sure, but you will never hear Him say, “you stupid little human.” God never shames us rather, He convicts us, but always lovingly.

How do I know? Read the story of the prodigal son, (Luke 15:11-32), the son who wastes his life and his dad’s money foolishly on wine, women, song. Where is dad when he comes home? Waiting at the end of the driveway, lovingly watching for his lost child to come home, daily. That is who God is, He is lovingly waiting for you to come home, every day He waits, even with all our flaws.

God says, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“I will never leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5, Deuteronomy 31:6,8, Isaiah 41:10-13

Go on, give it a try today, lay down your stresses, lay down your cares, and hand them over one by one to the hands that can hold them all, you do not have to clean yourself up first, you do not have to clean up the mess or have it figured out, you do not have to dress up, simply look up and place all of it into the very capable hands of God.

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Veronica Falkenberg Tallman
Veronica Falkenberg Tallman
May 25, 2022

I had to laugh at the story of the woman on the floor in pain who said, "Don't touch me! Keep vacuuming!" But then sobered quickly when you used it as an analogy of how we often do the same with our requests to God. So very true. And yet, ... Thank you for the reminder that He continues to love us, showing us mercy, giving us grace. He is our strength.

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