Joy, oh Joy!  I have not written a blog in two weeks and I have been dying to sit down and tell you what has been going on!  For the past two years I have been working on my book, String of Pearls, with great diligent, night and day, with little regard for home, order, exercise, healthy food, both physically and spiritually.   With great love, God has had me in a “time-out”.  No writing, no teaching, no speaking…nothing, until I get my priorities straight! 
I knew I was in trouble long before He called “time-out”, but did I stop on my own?  NOOOOOOooooo, That would require discipline or admitting that I was not doing as I should, so I just kept on keeping on!  Now God decided to place my creativity on a shelf until I got my priorities straight. “Perhaps”, I think, “I should begin walking again and try to clear my mind.”
My dog, Charlie, a shelter rescue dog, and I begin walking together, but like I said, I have not been exercising lately, not even walking with Charlie, so he is somewhat unruly on the leash.  I call out; “heel”, and he walks as far as the extendable leash will go.  I yell,  “come, sit”, as he continues to pull against my leash, and hides behind the outdoor furniture.
At this point Charlie gives me little choice but to place his chest-harness on him and attach a short-leash.  This is what I used when I trained him the first time.  As soon as the harness is on, Charlie immediately becomes submissive.  He walks with me, listening to each word I am saying to him.  Going back to basics clears his mind and helps him tune into my voice again.
As Charlie begins to submit, I hear the Lord whisper to me, “I have you too, on my short-leash, listen to my voice.”  The Lord continues on speaking,
1)   The short leash, protects when you are not paying attention, and danger could be near
2)   The short leash keeps you close to Me to remind you of the basics
3)   The short leash keeps you closer so that you do not confuse My voice with your own voice, or the voice of the world
4)   The short leash comforts and calms you, reminding you that I am here
After the first mile, I change the short-leash for the extendable leash.  Just having the chest harness on reminds Charlie that he has rules to follow.  This time he is respectful with the extra space.  Again, the Lord whispers,
1)   The harness is your breastplate of righteousness that you are wearing, even if you can’t feel it. It covers your heart.   It reminds you of the rules I have taught you, even when I give you more room to move.
2)   Righteous behavior shows the world that you are loved.  It is not something that you can create or achieve without Me.  It was given and we are expected to wear it as clothing.
3)   It was given to us to show the world that we are His.  We belong to someone who provides love and instruction.
After the second mile, I remove the leash and allow him to run freely with only his harness on.  Now, he is not running ahead, he is staying close, looking up from his sniffing, from time to time, to make sure that he is not running too far ahead.  Once again, the Lord speaks,
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.  By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”  John 15:7-8 NAS
There are other thoughts coming from, Three Mile Lessons, later this month.
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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She has written for (in)courage, Allume, The High Calling, Deeper Waters, and Outside The City Gates. She is currently co-hosting podcasts for The Consilium, and creating her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named lil girl. As a retired Dental Hygienist, she enjoys capturing in photographs God’s artwork to share on her blog. She looks for images to give joy and cause you to ponder. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried Shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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