Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Look Up To The Sky May 29, 2014

It was a beautiful day around here. The perfect 70 degree sunny day without a cloud in the sky. I spent some time in my backyard paradise this afternoon soaking up the sun and thinking. This, I was reminded today, is one of my very most favorite ways to spend an afternoon. Especially when mom and baby Carter are around to keep me company. So there I was, finding myself drifting into a deep and happy sleep. It was one of those moments in life where you feel nothing but joy.

Treasure HuntingThen it happened. My dream became a nightmare as I saw my worst fears realized. The man with the leather belt somehow found me. Jo was not with him, which was somehow bothersome and happy at the same time. (I know in my heart she is happy and fulfilled and away from him somewhere). He found me, though. And dear baby Carter. It was just the two of us (for some crazy reason) and we were happy as could be until he came along. Fortunately mom woke me up (as she has a habit of doing when I’m barking or whining in my sleep) and I didn’t need to witness what happened next.

It made me afraid to nap the rest of the day, that’s for sure. But as time went on, so did life. From the ground up, I found joy in everything around me this afternoon. It was nothing out of the ordinary around here – Carter is still deeply attached to his eat, wake, sleep routines. That all happened as usual. And as it did I found myself finding peace in these moments. Finding joy in these moments. Embracing life in these moments.

As this happened I knew why I had that terrible nightmare. It was a beautiful day around here. It was one of those days that makes you thankful to be alive in the first place. But I’ve said before I think God throws us on our backs sometimes to force us to look up. Well, today I looked up at the beautiful sky and was reminded yet again of that poem “Footprints in the Sand.” In my case it’s paw prints, but that’s no matter. The message is the same. Sometimes we don’t know we are being carried through something until it’s already happened. Sometimes it’s not until we look back that we see how far we’ve come.

 

 

 

 

 

Elf on the Shelf December 6, 2013

The stare ahead. That’s what mom calls one of my most favorite moves I use to initiate play. And I suppose it’s pretty accurate whether my play mate has two legs or four. My head and eyes face straight ahead and I don’t make any eye contact. Don’t tell anyone I told you, but I’ve trained both mom and dad play along with me and act out similar behaviors. It’s my creative way of getting them to play chase with me. And it always works.

A Small SmileToday I got to thinking about this stare ahead and what it means for the power of the eyes. They seem to have just as much impact when they’re not looking at the subject as when they are. It reminds me a bit of this thing I’ve heard about lately called the elf on the shelf.

Apparently there is a large family of elves originally from the North Pole who, once adopted into a home, report back to Santa about the behavior of the children who live there. They leave at night to fulfill their mission, and return in a new spot each morning to resume observation duty. It sounds like a mighty important job if you ask me.

Almost as important as the original elf on the shelf. The Creator of watching without looking. The omnipresent and omnipotent “big guy” upstairs in that place called heaven. He is always watching us. And it’s no game for Him. Because (perhaps most importantly) He isn’t just seeing us. He is with us. He sees our good days and bad. He celebrates with us and cries with us. With no words at all, He crafts blessings s from teardrops. But because we can’t feel Him always looking directly at us, it can be easy to forget He’s there.

It’s very different from the stare ahead. And yet it brings me peace. Not only to know I’m always being looked after in every possible way, but in feeling empowered by that knowledge. I’ve always had my reasons for playing the stare ahead game. And while those won’t be changing any time soon, my perspective of my surroundings certainly will. Because just as I know the big guy in that place called heaven is watching over me, I know He would want me to watch over others in my own way very different from that of the elf on the shelf.
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“They might not need me, but they might,” wrote great American poet Emily Dickinson. “I’ll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.”