If you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you’ll remember how frightened our dog Max was, when he met a big black lab on the boardwalk:
A few weeks ago, Minnie met (and was terrified of) the very same dog.
Which reminded me of the lesson Max taught me, back in his day: Namely, that it doesn’t matter what we are facing, God does not want us to be anxious or scared. His love – his perfect love – drives out fear.
(Even when the thing we are scared of is fake.)
You can read more about confronting fear here, if you missed that earlier post. But today just happens to be Minnie’s FIRST BIRTHDAY (a Valentine’s baby!), and as I was scrolling through photos of her this past week, I realized that she has taught us just as many lessons (and prompted just as many scripture-based prayers) as Max did.
And so, if you’ll be so good as to indulge me, I’ll share just a few. These are all areas where I need God’s help; feel free to borrow any prayers that appeal to you too.
Encourage one another daily.
When Minnie joined our family last year, she didn’t have much choice about where she would go, or what she would do. But she tends to be very supportive and enthusiastic about pretty much every endeavor. You get the idea, looking at her, that she is hoping that you will succeed.
Heavenly Father, help me be someone who encourages other people every day. (Hebrews 3:13)
Whatever you do, do it for God.
“Whatever you do,” the Bible says, “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” When you’ve got some big, important project to do, it can be easy to tell yourself that you are “serving the Lord.” Laundry, though? Not so much. (But hey, God is all about making things clean…)
Heavenly Father, no matter how big or how boring my job is, let me work with all my heart, as though I am working for you. (Colossians 3:23)
Listen more than you speak.
Minnie has this one down. She doesn’t speak – she barely even barks. But whenever we hang out together, I am reminded of how nice it is to have someone who is always willing to listen. Which is a hard thing for me, sometimes. I like to talk.
Heavenly Father, help me be quick to listen and slow to speak. (James 1:19)
Pray about everything.
Do animals pray? I don’t know. But Minnie has certainly been exposed to a lot of good books on the subject, and she’s heard plenty of prayers. And if she could talk, I bet she’d quote Paul: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”
Heavenly Father, help me exchange worry for trust, praying about everything and thanking you for what you have done. (Philippians 4:6)
Know when to rest.
Here again, Minnie sets a stellar example. Because she’s just like me. She spends a lot of her day racing around. (Sometimes in circles.) But she knows when to quit, when to be still. She trusts that someone is keeping her safe.
Heavenly Father, life can be crazy and wild. Help me be still and know that you are God. (Psalm 46:10)
Love each other.
Life is better with friends; we all know that. And when Jesus tells us to love each other, he doesn’t leave us to try to be a good friend on our own. We love, he says, because he first loved us.
Heavenly Father, show us how to love other people with the same self-sacrificing love you lavish on us. Let us love out of your love, because you loved us first. (1 John 4:9-19)
Happy Birthday, Minnie. Here’s to many more years of praying the scriptures with you!
And to everyone else: Happy Valentine’s Day. You are LOVED! ❤️