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  • Writer's pictureMarji Stevens


Oden pranced past me with a purple lid in his mouth. "Good morning, Mr. Prancy-Pants." The site of him automatically lifted my thoughts off the negatives brooding in my mind.

I was bundled up, sitting on the porch swing having a cup of coffee. I'd just read my email--urgent prayer needed. Then, I open Facebook. A friend posts her husband is dying. Somebody else gets diagnosed with cancer. Pictures of sick children reach out to stab your heart. Reports of riots and prophesies of economic collapse. Everywhere you turn there are problems screaming for immediate attention. "Lord," I said pulling my jacket tighter. "So many things in this world seem totally insolvable."

My mood was declining. I surveyed the wreckage from the last wind storm cluttering my yard. That's when Oden pranced in front of me with the lid in his mouth. I guess the Lord wanted to lift my spirits.

The ironic thing is that lid he carried like a prize, was from the snack-food barrel that almost killed him the day before!

This is what happened: my 130 lb. puppy, who is in love with any plastic container that makes a crinkling sound, retrieved a discarded cheese ball snack barrel out of the recycle bin.

He was happily demolishing it when he sniffed the cheesy crumbs on the bottom. So, he did what any puppy would do, he jammed his entire head in the barrel and got it stuck!

The container immediately fogged up and the last bit of oxygen was quickly gone. He was suffocating. Fortunately, my son saw him staggering around the yard. His head was STUCK. Kyle quickly cut the bottom off so he could breathe.

There sat Oden, with his head stuck inside the gloppy cheese ball container, cheese crumbs on the end of his nose, starring up at us with great big trusting eyes. It was a job cutting through that plastic rim, but fortunately Kyle was here and had the strength to do it.

So, Oden prances past me this morning, right in the middle of my stewing, with the lid in his mouth--happy as can be. He knows he is taken care of,

I wish I was more like my dog--able to move past the hard times with unrestrained joy. Oden was my porch-swing lesson today. I think I'm going to turn off the computer and play more.

You can "prance" through your problems because you have a Heavenly Father who watches over you. He knows the way out of a tight spot. He knows about all the problems we call insolvable and whispers: Trust Me, Child.

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