Dog-gone Thankful

Built on a Rock

In October we took a “Sheracation,” the first-ever trip where our dog, Shera, was able to come with us.

I’ve heard some people express that they love seeing places and experiences through their children’s eyes – but have you ever thought about seeing things through a pet’s?

Traveling with Shera was a great reminder to be thankful for simple things, which I continue to reflect on as we are in the month best known for the holiday of Thanksgiving.

Right off the bat, our dog loves riding in the car. She doesn’t spend much time looking out the window; she’s just thrilled to be along for the ride.

How often are we happy just to be along for the ride? To spend time with people joining us in our journey? I know that after some engine issues on our travels, I’m also especially thankful to have a working, running vehicle to get us where we need to go!

A highlight of our trip, for us and for Shera, was hiking in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around Marquette. We were hosted by a friend and her dog who showed us the best paths to take for those with four legs and with two.

The joy of watching wagging tails on the trails as they leapt over logs, climbed up rock piles, and smelled every squirrel was a reminder to be thankful for the sights, sounds and even smells of God’s creation. It was a reminder to soak in the beauty of colorful fall trees and rest in His presence. Even two wiggly pups slowed down when we reached the top of a mountain to sit and rest with smiles on their faces.

After a big hike, we all went out for some frosty treats – even the dogs. At our house Shera rarely gets “human food.” Imagine her surprise when we got her a Pup Cone! We could tell she was excited … but didn’t know what to do at first. She ended up licking all of the ice cream out of the cone, not realizing that it was an edible container.

How often do we relish in simple joys? And yet how much more often do we not realize that God has given us so much more than we have asked for and an inexplicable amount more than we deserve?

For the second half of our vacation we were back on the road headed to northern Minnesota. We found a pet-friendly hotel in Duluth to break the drive up and visit my youngest sister at college. This was another new experience for Shera. Yet I have never seen her fall asleep so fast from happy exhaustion as when her head hit the comforter of that bed! She knew she was safe with us, even though she was in a new place.

So, too, are we safe in our Heavenly Father’s presence and can rest with peace, no matter how many people are loudly walking past our room late at night.

Through a “Sheracation” I was reminded to be thankful for time with loved ones, no matter how short. I was reminded to be thankful for the beauties of this world and not to focus on the ugliness of sin. I was reminded to be thankful for all that God has given me and to rest in His peace.

I pray that you are reminded of all your blessings, too. 

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