The Joy of Phillip

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This morning Phillip, our dog, came running in from outside eager for breakfast. When he’s excited he sticks his claws out and slides all over the laminate wood flooring. Today he had extra momentum and slid right into the dining room table and a chair fell on top of him. He got up, pranced over to me all expectant, and looked up as if to say, “Soooo, where’s my food?”

Phillip was unfazed.

His excitement for food far exceeded any sort of concern for the events that had just unfolded.

While I’m not sure dogs can feel embarrassment, it got me to thinking. How differently would I live my life if I let my joy for the Lord exceed my concern for the little day-to-day mishaps?

I have a habit of getting embarrassed easily. I turn bright red, starting at my cheeks and quickly spreading to the tips of my ears. Yet even as my red face fades, I will hold onto that moment for far too long. It’s those silly perfectionist tendencies that throw off my day(s).

Instead, I want to practice holding to the grace of God. Assuming I’m not double-fisting it, I can only cling to one thing at a time. In order to hold to God, I must release my grasp on my own embarrassment, shame, guilt, etc.

My sweet and silly boy was my little reminder today to let go. Surrender my worries to God and instead hold tight to the joy of the Lord.

What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him.
A. W. Tozer

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We are Haley and James Earley, a family of two established on October 11, 2014 in our hometown of Rochester, MN and now living in St. Paul, MN. We are dog-lovers, coffee addicts, tree-huggers, balance-seekers, community-livers, and new foster parents. We live in a house of three adults, three dogs, and our sweet foster kiddos. We desire to slow down in this fast-paced world in order to pursue intentional community as we seek after the heart of God. We're just one couple trying to figure out this whole living life thing.

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