Monday, February 28, 2011


First of all, if you know anything about Marty, you know he probably isn’t speaking…

…he’s "air barking."

But he’s definitely got something to say.

Right now I’m babysitting with Marty…at the beach.

I know!! Marty, and the beach! The beach, and MARTY!!

It’s a tough gig, but somebody’s got to do it!!

Oh, he’s such a buddy.

My son has this great big recliner in the living area. It’s so comfortable. It hasn’t quite reached "duct tape" condition yet, but it is well-worn and squishy in all the right places.

I love to sit in it…and so does my partner in crime.

He just adores cuddling right up next to me – on my left side, mind you. Never, ever the right side. If you try to fake him out, and scoot to the left, he just looks at you like you’ve lost your mind. And if you don’t scoot over at all, he has perfected the "stare down" technique of intimidation. In the end, you scoot over. Oh, never underestimate the force of a dog staring at you – it just wears you down…

OK, so you’ve got the picture? Me and Mr. Marty, all tangled up on a recliner. Heaven…

Until I inevitably have to get up for some reason. Like I’m thirsty. Or hungry. Or I drink too much iced coffee when I’m thirsty…ahem. (Yes, iced coffee, not tea – java junkie here).

I have to extricate myself from the jigsaw puzzle of limbs, and like a well-executed tango, I finally scoot on out of the chair.

When I return, my little friend has rearranged himself in the recliner, in a position that totally hogs the whole chair and makes it impossible to sit down.

Now, when Marty was younger, he would stay like that. And make you move him. I have yet to be able to figure out how a dog that weighs (by the scale) 33 pounds, could become such a ton of dead weight. He was also very good at rearranging his molecules so that ALL of that weight leaned into the back of the chair – thus making it a circus act trying to remove him so you could sit down.

But, Marty has matured.

Now all I have to do when I return is sorta back my backside into the chair, politely say, "Excuse me, sweetie," and he gets up. He walks to the outstretched foot rest, and waits patiently until I’m all re-settled – and then he scoots in next to me again…on the left side.

Martin has become a gentleman.

I am always so impressed with how quickly he moves for me. He makes me feel welcome, and needed, and loved. He makes me feel important…

Of course, you know that this is teaching me something about God.

Isn’t that recliner kinda like our lives?

It’s so easy to get all comfortable and cozy – to feel all settled in, just the way we like it. To fall asleep, oblivious to anything else but the droning snore of our status quo.

Until Jesus makes an appearance.

When I was younger in the faith, I often acted just like Marty used to.

I’d see Him approaching, and I’d settle in even more.

I’d become an immovable object.

I’d fight against being jostled or rearranged.

I’d lean into the farthest corner of my heart. I’d make it impossible to move me.

I'd sigh in frustration that I was being inconvenienced by the Lord.

It was a ridiculous tug-of-war. Jesus, waiting to settle in – and me, refusing to let go of my position.

But maturity has come into my life, too.

I have grown in my understanding of Him. I have grown to appreciate His companionship. I have grown to move when He wants into my heart.

No matter what I’m doing – when He shows up, I want to make room for Him.

And then tuck myself right up next to Him – real close – on His left side, maybe, next to His heart.

Are you making room for Jesus?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I enjoyed this sweet and encouraging post,
    Sharon. I know I would like Marty. And
    yes, I have made room in my heart for
    Jesus. He is my everything.

  2. If we treated people and peole treated us like dogs - what a great world it would be!

    Does Marty have those dark brown eyes? You can't win with those. No way no how.


  3. Aw, Marty is lucky to be at the beach! Our dog had a stroke yesterday, and he's not doing so well. I really do believe that God loves the animals more than we will ever know...

  4. Hi Sharon,

    Excellent thought provoking post. Thank for for posting. God Bless - Nita

  5. that was some "tough" assignment you had Sharon. Babysitting your favorite dog at the beach, it doesn't get too much better than that does it? And time to spend snuggling with him too!! Marty is probably sad now that he is back to his usual routine and you aren't there to help keep him company during the day.

    I am trying to make sure I make room for Jesus and follow his lead rather than my own will; some days are better than others. I like what the pastor said at church yesterday "we write the script on how we will live our days" (not meaning that we are in control, of course we are not and he acknowledged that) but that we can choose to be joyful or we can choose to be bitter, we can choose to be anxious or we can choose to trust (get the gist?) So I t hink we consciously also need to remember to choose Jesus and his way, his will over ours. It is always the better choice isn't it, to give it to him (and preferably sooner than later)

    enjoy the last day of February! where has this year gone?


  6. Ohhh AMEN! Sharon and Martin (Marty with love)!

    Such a lesson and such a gentlemen! And so is Our Lord!

    I LOVE THIS!!! in so many ways!!! No time to list them or expound (like I do) just know I'm moved by this:

    "No matter what I’m doing – when He shows up, I want to make room for Him.

    And then tuck myself right up next to Him – real close – on His left side, maybe, next to His heart."

    Thanks and God bless your reclining at the beach! I'm so glad that Marty makes you feel that way!!!

    Love, peace and JOY, (i'm already tired)

  7. What an enjoyable analogy! I thank God in His sovereignty that he chose to create animals for our enjoyment. When we enjoy them he is glorified. I enjoy my two cats and my minature poodle, Fi Fi.

  8. Hi Sharon,
    Lovin' your paint-the-picture storytelling especially since it includes Chip's friend Marty.
    That Marty is quite a blessed dog. He gets you and the beach. And it's not too bad on you, either. The beach and Marty. I think I could take that sort of job!

    Love the lessons from Marty. Learning to lean into the heart of Jesus. To make room for Him when we've stretched out our lives so far that we've crowded Him out of the picture.

    Great lesson.

    Hugs and a Milk Bone biscuit from Chip to Marty!

    Blessings from me,


  9. Hi Sharon -

    I love how you told another Marty story. It was indeed a pleasurable read.

    Thank you for sharing your chair "duet" episode.

    I especially love this that you expressed,
    "No matter what I’m doing – when He shows up, I want to make room for Him."

    Yes, Amen, Sharon. And it is so wonderful that our Lord makes room for us.

    John 14:2 - KJV
    In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

  10. Sandy - You would love Marty. As I would love Tobias! And those two together??? One big furball of fun! Sandy, it is so apparent in everything you write, that Jesus is your everything. I just love that about you.

    Sandie - I agree. Sometimes I think I could just do without the people! HA! And yes, Marty has those huge brown eyes. And he is very good at using them - as I've said before, he has perfected the "pound puppy" look. I'm just a sucker for him!

    Debby - Oh, I am SO sorry about your dog! Could you please keep me updated? I will be praying. I am convinced that God has a very special place in His heart for animals. (I'm a little partial to dogs...) He has given them such a heart of loyalty and devotion. We could learn a lot...

    Nita - Thanks for your comment. Marty always seems to give me something to think about - his love just reaches me and teaches me about the love of God!

    Betty - Oh, I know. It was so tough! I tell you what, I just left earlier tonight to come home. Marty has been staring at me all day. I think he knew I was leaving. I even cried - it was really hard to leave his warmth, both inside and out! Love what your pastor said. And it's so true. We often don't think enough about our choices - that our faith is a matter of our hearts, yes, but also of our will. We must set our minds on Jesus. (What is going on with the time??? I'm not kidding - wasn't it just Thanksgiving??)

    MORE TO FOLLOW...yes, there is...keep reading... :)

  11. Peggy - Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I know how busy you are. Am praying for you - your physical strength, and your witness to others. I just had to leave Marty tonight - it was very sad! He does make me feel so special. And he points the way to Jesus - the ultimate place to tuck into!!

    Gregg - I just appreciated your comments so much. Yes, I also appreciate the fact that God created animals. They were part of His original plan - in a world that He pronounced good. And I just love how you said - "When we enjoy them He is glorified." That was really beautiful.

    Janis - It was a great week. We enjoyed each other very much. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I really had fun writing it - and really thinking about how I need to make more room for Jesus. I must always be ready for His presence to move me. (Hello, Chip - thanks for the biscuit!!)

    Sandra - I just love how you ended your comment. Isn't it unbelievably wonderful that the Lord makes room for US!! And the Scripture you used is just the best. We aren't going into some spiritual ether - we are going to a PLACE made just for us. Jesus will give us an eternal HOME!

    This is me, Marty - thanks to all my two-legged friends out there. I am happy when you read about me. Because if reading about me makes you think about God - well, then I'm really happy!!


  12. Not only is this a wonderful post spiritually, but as a dog lover I can picture the entire scenario. Our oldest dog will stare at me, then the couch, then back at me again. Why? He is asking me to spread the blanket on the leather...which apparently he doesn't like the feel of. And he loves to sit with me...but only on the left. Heaven help us!

  13. Anita - Your comment made me smile so much! So, you have a "left side sitter only" boy too!! (The comment about the leather couch was hysterical, by the way!) Are we suckers for them or what?! I think the whole idea of dog training is kinda silly - I just know that I am the one who's trained! I'm glad you enjoyed the spiritual application too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by - I really appreciate it.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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