Thursday, June 16, 2011


"Mom…um, everything's OK, but..."

I hate phone conversations that begin like that. They rarely bring good news.

"Yeah…what now?"

"It's Marty."

Oh no. Instant shot of taser-like adrenaline – like sticking my finger in an electrical outlet (has anyone ever done that, by the way?)

"What happened?"

Thus began a lovely little odyssey a few weeks back around 9:00 PM on an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday night.

It seems that in the weekly ritual of taking out the trash (which often means gathering up a day or two of rubbish taking up residence around the house) something fell to the ground and Marty got it.

My sons said it sounded "metallic" and when they lunged to retrieve it from the mouth of Jonah's whale – Marty swallowed *IT* faster than you can say, "I'm a beagle!"

"What should we do? We think it could have been a bottle cap…"

I like to err on the side of caution – especially when it comes to my beloved granddog.

"You better take him to the emergency vet."

So, Son #1 and Son#2 and Dog #3 headed off. (I would have gone, but they live ½ hour away – and "The Hub" thinks I already *hover* too much…but I digress)

Alone, I waited, I prayed, I worried – I prayed some more.

About 10:20 PM I finally heard from them.

Good news – the X-ray didn't show anything. Bad newsplastic bottle caps don't show up on X-rays…neither does any sort of chemical that could have been on what Marty swallowed. Worst news – just to "be on the safe side" – they made him…ahem…regurgitate.

"How's he doing?" I asked breathlessly.

"He's fine. They gave him a shot of something to calm his stomach. He's just acting sleepy and worn out."

I slept terrible that night – assaulted by all sorts of fun nightmaresall with horribly dire outcomes.

The next morning I called to check in on my favorite beagle. He was absolutely fine – good as new.

What has Marty taught me about God this time?

Well, it's this. Sometimes we get ourselves into all kinds of trouble by ingesting things we shouldn't. Some things are dangerous, some are poison.

Case in point, I used to buy the National Enquirer on a semi-regular basis – I know, guilty pleasure – but then I felt convicted by it. (Want the true, true confession, though – I still buy it – ONLY every now and then – usually the ones with the cellulite bodies on the cover. Who is that actress who looks like a normal woman?? Enquiring minds want to know...)

I used to sneak in a little horoscope reading. No harm, right? I wasn't living by the stars, after all. Just a little fun indulgence. But then, I felt convicted by it. The Bible speaks expressly against such practices. (I don't read anything having to do with astrology anymore – I'm still tempted, but I stubbornly refuse – I'm a Taurus, after all…sorry, couldn't resist)

These two things aren't all that bad – but there are worse things out there. Sinful, ugly things that we can read and watch and look atthings that we can eat and drinkthings we can think and feel and do – things we can buy…

There are a million ways that the enemy can get us to ingest something that has no business being in our lives. And we do…

Now some of these sins are hidden – they don't show up in X-rays – people looking at us from the outside can't see them. But, not every dangerous thing shows up on the outside persona we show to the world.

Some poison is in the heart.

What to do? The only thing we can do – to "be on the safe side."

We have to go the emergency room – to our knees in prayer and let the Lord take care of us. We need to have Him help us…ahem…regurgitate.

Only by ridding ourselves of potentially harmful things can we be saved from terrible consequences. Now, the process isn't fun – confession, repentance, and discipline from the Lord can leave us feeling a little worn out.

But, before we know it, we'll be absolutely fine – good as new.

Marty's lesson?

Stay away from trash – it'll just get you into trouble!

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Good word, Sharon, and it's not always easy
    to stay away from the trash since it's
    everywhere we look in this sin-sick world.
    So glad sweet Marty is fine.

  2. Sharon, I love this analogy! Great post. I'm glad Marty is okay and that he learned his lesson. (Well, I know it takes time for some dogs and some never learn!) LOL. Again it often takes some time for us to learn our lessons. I know it does for me!

    I began writing a post last night regarding such. Hope to have it up today.


  3. Ding! Ding! We have a new contender for Debbie's favorite lesson from Sharon. I loved this one so much that my fingers couldn't wait to hit the keys.

    First, some housekeeping, though. Yes. Raising my hand as one stupid enough to have stuck her finger in a socket. Twice.

    You? Hover? Never, I say, never.

    As for the lesson, I am repeatedly convicted to purge myself of all those things which go IN and bring poison right along with them. Just about the time that I get a hold of ONE, another one pops up to tempt me.

    Just deleted the rest of my post which got ridiculously long.

  4. I just told this story to my grandson and daughter - how true it is - and I am so thankful Marty is okay and I am going to think about what I am putting in me - does that include food too I guess.

  5. I love Philippians 4:8! Whenever I start to dwell on mistakes I've made or bad things in the world, I remember the words in Philippians and change my focus! As for the garbage in, wow. You are so right. Remember the old saying, "Garbage in, garbage out"? I don't want that to be me. So, I will put good things into my mind so I will shine for Him.

    Blessings, Joan

    P.S. So glad Marty is ok!

  6. I'm so glad Marty is OK! I love this post...simple, easy to remember...STAY AWAY FROM TRASH. I'm going to do that, Sharon. Because that's what so much is around us...trash. Thanks for the label.
    PS I hover too. I'm going to work on that too.

  7. Great lesson and glad the dog is OK!

  8. Hi Sharon -

    So glad that Marty is fine.

    Yes, we need to have regular appointments with our Lord - preventive measures are the ideal.

    But, of course, our realities are that we don't always do the ideal.

    Why oh why do we sometimes lean to the bonehead choices?!

    Lord, please help us to keep our appointments with You and to regularly digest Your Word, and to pray daily for help with all of our issues.
    And please help us to consistently DO what You prescribe. Thank You, Lord - Amen

  9. I'd be with you, Sharon, worried until I heard how he was doing. Good lesson he taught you though. It is so true; garbage in, garbage out as my mom used to say (though she loved her National Inquirer magazine, but she knew the truth, not sure why she liked the "smut" magazines as she called it) now that I think about it. Oh well, I'll have to ask her when I get to heaven :)


  10. You make a really good point, Sharon -- I'm so good at justifying a lot of fairly harmless but still pretty negative habits that distract me from God.

    Glad the cutie beagle is okay!

  11. I'm going to have to default to a list. I have too many thoughts, but none of them relate to the others.

    1. I have not stuck my finger in a socket, but I have seen someone shove scissors in one. SCARY. ;)

    2. The National Enguirer has been on my guilty pleasure list. I've gotten to the point now that I just peek in the grocery aisle and move along. Somehow I justify it if I don't spend $ on it. (It doesn't work that way, does it?)

    3. It's the cellulite pictures that get me too.

    4. The parallels are perfect! What a good dog and fortunate outcome to set you up so well for this post! Love it!!!

    5. Philippians 4:8 is so powerful. Going to post that one on the bathroom mirror.

    6. Hope you have a blessed Friday!

  12. So glad your granddog is okay...

    "..not every dangerous thing shows up on the outside persona we show to the world." very true...the things that are hidden are always the most threatening to our relationship with God and our Christian witness to the world...

    Great analogy, Sharon!

  13. Hi Sharon, We had a beagle for eight years and they are just so smart! Jaiden still cries at least once a week, wishing he was back. We are very happy that Marty is healthy and happy once again. I love how you connected Marty's real life story with God's word. We certainly need to go to the Lord to empty the harmful toxins we allow to seep into our hearts. Great blog Sharon!

  14. Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and leaving such wonderful comments. Marty insisted on replying to you this time - hope that's OK - he's a very persistent beagle!

    Mrs. Sandy - You humans have a much more trashy world than I do. I feel bad. Ask God, He's always there to help.

    Mrs. Joan - What lesson? I am trying to learn. Mrs. Sharon tells me that God really loves a "work in progress." She says that's how God loves her.

    Mrs. Debbie - As far as the socket thing, I feel better knowing that humans do that, too. And yes, Mrs. Sharon hovers - but I really like that about her. Watch out for the poison, it's everywhere.

    Mrs. Sandie - Yup, I think it includes food, too. I've gotten hold of a few things food-wise, and it didn't agree with me at all. I think God wants moderation in all things. (Mrs. Sharon said that, I don't know what she meant, but it sounded good).

    Mrs. Joan (other Joan) - I like GIGO - that's an acronym, Mrs. Sharon said, for garbage in, garbage out. Garbage isn't good - even if you don't eat it. Focus on God, can't go wrong there.

    Mrs. Anita - Did you tell Buster and Bugsy to stay away from trash, too? And we dogs like hovering - it's just the big kids that seem to think it's nosy. Koo-koo, if you ask me. Hover, smother me - I love it.

    Mr. Gregg - I'm fine, and the lesson was a good one, even at my expense!

    Mrs. Sandra - I like that you used the word "bonehead." Of course it means something different when you're talking about a dog. You're right - humans need to keep making appointments with God - He can prevent a lot of needless...ahem...regurgitating.

    Mrs. Betty - I'm good. Tell Koda that he doesn't have to worry - and stay away from the trash. I'll bet you had lots of stuff to get rid of when you moved. It's always a good idea to get rid of the clutter - inside and out!

    Mrs. Michelle - You think I'm a cutie! YAY! Yup, just like me, humans have a hard time understanding that "harmless" things just aren't harmless sometimes.

    Mrs. Jennie - Was it Sarah who did the scissors/socket thing? She sounds like a rascal just like me. We'd get into all sorts of trouble, I'm afraid. Thanks for calling me a good dog - I am, I really am.

    Mrs. Karen - I am fine. And yes, hidden things are always the worst because they're the things that cause the most potential damage, huh?

    Mrs. Kerrie - YAY, you think I'm smart! I do, too. Tell Jaiden that he can "adopt" me - and I'll think about him all the time. And yes, humans need to have God empty out those bad things in their lives.

    Dear friends, many of you mentioned GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. But here's what I found in Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary:

    G arbage
    O ut
    G od
    I n.

    Let's all "GOGI" with the Lord's help.

    And Marty, stay away from the trash!


  15. Many sweet blessing Sharon and Marty, I'm so thankful that you're both OK and do hope that this lesson was learned for good. No more TRASH! So many good points and a great acrostic.

    I waited long enough to get to this all important lesson, not because I did not read it however... I read it when it was hot off the press. I soaked and pondered, not because I dig in the same "trash" as you (N.E. and horoscopes indeed they are horrors and trash, sorry, my friend but glad you are being weaned) but I needed to know what trash is poisoning me. I use to have one of the same problems and I admire your honesty. I was told that i needed to not only repent and rid myself of the astrological door I had opened to my life but I needed to renounce and actually distance myself from it.

    I am relieved as you that Marty is alright! I despise nightmares of anything poisonous like that attacking our loved ones. Then that makes me think of mine, and what kind of "trash" have they allowed in their lives. Just as many commented and I know full well, we live in a sin filled sick world that is getting worse instead of better. The trash is affecting everyone... even our beautiful oceans and our politicians are prime suspects. It really is disheartening!
    It's time to take the trash out and be preventive and protective of Godly principles and promises as we pray that we no longer are prey of the enemy but strong in the Lord and filled only with more of Him!!! Thanks Marty and Sharon for a lesson to alert us of the dangers lurking in the TRASH! GOGI!!! GOGI!!! Yeahhh!

    Love and sweet hugs,

  16. Peggy - What a lovely comment. I so enjoyed reading it. I made light of my N.E. and horoscope reading - but I was dead serious, too. Trash can sneak in so subtly.

    I couldn't agree more - the world is getting worse all the time. And you're right - a lot of it is trickling down from the top, from people who lead us. I like how you said we need to "be preventative and protective of godly principles and promises." Beautifully said.

    We must be on the alert - watch out for the trash - and GOGI!!!


    (Marty says Hi)

  17. I am now following you! I looked under Marty, and he does look like Fenway! What a cutie! AND I believe they are brothers at heart. Why? Well, our beloved Fenway swallowed a Coke bottle cap last year on July 26th. Horrors! Then, he had horrible stomach problems. We kept taking him to the vet, and he was put on meds. and everything. We thought he passed it. Four months later, he threw it up! It was still whole, and the bottle cap did not disintegrate. I know! We took him back to the vet. They called him a miracle dog that his esophagus didn't get damaged. We were definitely praising God! What a great lesson you tied into this! Your granddog is super cute!

  18. THANKS for following!

    My goodness - Fenway IS a miracle! I continue to be amazed at the digestive systems of dogs - HA! My sons and I joke that Marty is really just a nose with a dog attached - beagles are such hounds - sniffing and snouting out EVERYTHING! And a lot of it manages to go into their mouths, too!

    Thank goodness that Fenway is OK - God is good to ALL of us (furry and human) who seem to *swallow* things that aren't good for us.

    Oh...wait...Marty wants to say something.

    Mrs. Beagle Mama,
    I'm glad you are following my grandma. I do that, too - all over the house. Tell Fenway I like him (and Tessie, too). But Fenway and me, we boys have to stick together, and learn to stop swallowing stuff. I once ate a good portion of a plastic cone I had to wear on my head, and part of my collar. I don't know why - seemed like the thing to do. Anyway, good to know all of you!



"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!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)