Embracing our inner selves

The dogs and I took a delightful walk on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. I love to drive out about 10 minutes from town onto the dirt roads and we walk there, surrounded by farms, nature, and beauty. Truly music to my wanna-be-farmer soul.

Suzie is a lab mutt. We don’t actually know what breeds she is– but she is black and resembles a lab (though much smaller than your average black lab). I suspect she may have some terrier or other sporting dog as well, but no one actually knows her exact lineage. In the past, Suzie has enthusiastically gone puddle plopping only when she’s really hot (usually when we’re in the middle of a hot bike ride). Then I introduced that kiddie pool (aka the puppy puddle) last summer, which got a lot of use from both the visiting munchkins and Suzie.

Suddenly, on a similar country roads walk a few weeks ago, it’s like it all clicked and Suzie fully embraced her inner lab like never before. Every single puddle we passed was tromped through, plopped in, laid in, lapped up. This was one happy lab. Today was no different: every single puddle and roadside swamp and flooded field and mucky ditch was thoroughly enjoyed. It’s like this irresistible pull now that she’s discovered and embraced the lab within. (Thankfully today I had the backseat of the car covered unlike last time).

Maggie, on the other hand, does not embrace her inner lab. She is also a lab mutt but I suspect there is a lot of shepherd in her. She only plops into a puddle when it is really, really hot or she’s really winded from a bike ride. She spent the walk mostly walking down the center of the road, occasionally walking daintily into a puddle, up to the top of her legs, taking a few drinks, and then calmly walking back out. She barely gives the time of day to her inner lab, it is probably too risky for her- what if embracing her inner lab made her more friendly (gasp!). At least Maggie resisting her inner lab makes for a much drier and cleaner dog at the end of the walk.

And me? This week, I am determined to embrace my inner human. I am trying to set realistic expectations for myself and draw reasonable limits. This is big for me. I actually think it might be easier for me to embrace my inner lab, diving into large puddles and getting muddy. Instead, I am consciously embracing my inner human, fraught with human frailty, limitations, and sin, and allowing the One who can lift us higher to do the rest. Come Lord Jesus!

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