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Lazy Days
© Christine M. Miller-Ramey 2012 


Every once in a while, I need a day to do nothing and just relax.  I enjoy where I live as I live on a large piece of property that my father runs as part of his job. We live on a church retreat center where he operates the goings and comings of everything here. Large and small church groups come to spend a week with us. Or a weekend, but whatever the case, it’s a nice place to come and be a part of it all.

Living here is great. I live at home with my parents due to my recent separation as well as my health issues. It was hard to come back home and get reacquainted with everything. Starting over, and adjusting to a brand new life wasn’t always easy for me, but because of my health issues I was forced too. Now, that I’m feeling somewhat better and living a normal life again I have hopes of one day being able to move out on my own again, but until then I simply have learned to enjoy life at home.

I love that our property has so many beautiful trees and it is so nice to relax underneath them on one of my lazy days. Sometimes, I’ll take time to walk with my dogs and we will go and lay out around them with my dogs beside me. I have two dogs. You’ve already met Betty on the last post. Soon, I’ll be talking about Harley my shitzu as soon as I can. I love them both. I enjoy spending my free time with them and with my family here on the property.

Occasionally, I’ll take a nice walk around if I have the energy to do so. It’s great to get out every once in a while and enjoy the smell of fresh air and grass. The roses and other flowers along my walk, however, due to living in Florida the heat can be unmanageable at times. So that makes walking on a regular basis quite difficult to do here. Still, I’ve learned to adjust and take my walk at night in the cool of the evening.

I enjoy listening to the rustle of the water on our small pond. Listening to the bird’s chirps in the trees and watching as the squirrels run down them. Enjoying the pleasant scenery of deer’s and other wildlife that live around us, it’s quite pleasant on a lazy day. I can’t complain too much about where I live except for living in a two story home. I have a lot of difficulties getting up and down my stairs as I live on the top floor. I manage okay, but some nights it’s difficult due to my knees giving out as I believe I have arthritis to boot, but it has not been proven yet. Getting some test done on my knees soon to see what is really going on. Because, it does get pretty bad at times, especially in the winter when the air is just turning to that freezing point, my knees ache about the time I just get going up the stairs. It’s so hard, but I’ve managed so far.

However, I love being in the country and hearing the sounds of winds blowing and the animals living their wild lives around us. It’s wonderful. Yet, there are parts of me that would still love to live in the city too. I can’t quite make up my mind where I’d like to live the most if I ever got the opportunity. But in time, I guess I’ll know when it’s right.

So for now, I’ll enjoy my days here and enjoy my walks with my dogs. Being lazy and enjoying the sounds of wild life and all the things that God has created for us to enjoy. 



 
 
Friends of a Different Breed: Part I
© Christine M. Miller-Ramey 2012

Today, I’m going to share with you about my dog Betty. I’m continuing these stories from my old website. I’ll try and bring the other stories back over to this site from my old one as soon as I can. But in the meantime, you can stay here for more pet stories coming soon. 




Betty is one of the oldest dogs I have living in our home (as I live in my parent’s home due to illness’s I face every day). I got her around 2005 and adopted her from an animal shelter in Jacksonville, Florida where I had lived at the time. I knew what I had in mind when I went in and wasn’t planning on settling for anything else.


Well, I walked around the entire building at least three times as I had a dachshund in mind. I remember seeing all kinds of dogs in there and how crowded it was. It really broke my heart when I stopped to think about how many homeless animals there really was. So, I had almost given up when I had gone around for the third and final time. Then, my eyes set on one dog in particular, and it was my dachshund/ chihuahua that I set my gaze upon as I got closer to her station, it was then in that one moment that I knew she was the one for me. I had missed her several times before because she was hidden from underneath the doorway that set in between the inside of the building, and the outside of the building. Her head was crouched down and I could barely look upon her. I asked the guard that stood next to the gate, “Is this a dachshund?”I asked pointing at the gate.


 The guard replied, “Yes ma’am, would you like to see her?”


Of course my only reply was, “Yes please.” Then I continued to explain, “I was looking for a dachshund but I had looked over this place three different times before ever noticing her. I almost missed her.” I somewhat said in a snickering tone of voice.


The guard smiled and almost laughed. “Yeah, that happens here a lot.” He explained as he placed her in my arms.



Of course, it was in that moment I knew that I was taking her home. She was what I had come after to begin with. But I had no idea the role that this dog would play in my life until much later on. See, my husband at the time (as I’m now separated and going through a divorce) didn’t care to have the dog and didn’t think that he would like her but eventually he fell in love with her after much convincing. Still, I was hesitant about bringing her home because of his reaction, but it was something I knew I needed for a lot of different reasons.


Later, after my husband and I separated, she became the one thing I had to lean on. The one I could tell everything too. Even when the humans that I had around me weren’t listening, I knew I could always depend on her.


Animals, unlike humans can be so much more trusting. They can love in ways that humans can’t. But my dog has been with me through the good and through the bad stuff in my life. She has sat at my side when I didn’t feel well as I’m also a Type I Diabetic. So, she is all too familiar with what happens to me when I go low. She warms me up and keeps me company every time.



Whenever my blood sugars drop they tend to drop pretty low. This means that I feel cold and shiver quite a bit. My hands are shaking and if I try to take a glass in my hand, it is difficult to keep the juice from spilling many of times as this is what I need to raise my sugar back to normal again. These are signs of my low blood sugars that I deal with every day.



But Betty, she’s been there for me often times like no other human could ever do. I guess in many ways that is why animals play such an important role in our everyday lives. They feel the holes that often humans cannot. 


 
    
 


 
 
When I’m Imperfect, God is Perfect
© Christine M. Miller-Ramey 2012



The older I get, the more I realize how imperfect I am. I  shudder to think the thought that I was truly ever perfect to begin with, if I  was honest with myself, I’d know that I was far from it. Many times, I get in  such a hurry with things that I forget to stop and breathe.



Life can be a joy if we let it become one. On the hand, we can also let it become a miserable place to live if we so choose. But, what I can’t  understand is if there is a perfect place to be, then why on earth would you  want to be any other place?


God tells us that if we know Him and love Him then we shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Meaning, we will live in Heaven with Him upon our death if we have first accepted Him into our hearts. Being a Christian doesn’t  mean you will lose out on what the earth calls “fun.” It simply means that you will have more fun than you ever thought possible because of your faith in Him to change your life completely.


It doesn’t always come easy and yes there will be struggles. Plenty of them, but the hope we have in Christ will get us through those difficult moments of our life. At first, things will look dim, but when you begin to grow, you will soon learn the true meaning of joy in Christ.



I know when I’ve felt like I’ve hit rock bottom and the sun is no longer shinning, it is then that I realize something I’ve already known all along. I’ve realized that I’ve forgotten who God was and what He could do with my life. Many feel that life should be a certain way and live by certain rules, but in Christ, I don’t have to live that way. In fact, I can live in freedom. Yet, many see it as nothing but rules.


It’s sad that they feel this way, because what they don’t know is that they will miss out on the biggest opportunity you could ever have—life everlasting. With Christ there is the life with no pain, and no sorrow, and living in full contentment. Who would ever risk that?



For me, this is the only way I’d want to live. See, I Know pain and I have also lived with sorrow. My life in general has lived on its ups and downs of roller coaster rides with my health for as long as I can remember. I’ve experienced divorce and a loss of a child. I’ve watched slowly has my health crumbled piece by piece.


Yet, in the middle of it all, I learned how to find joy in my Heavenly Father who gave me the strength and courage to keep on going no matter how bad things got. It was through His comfort and through His unconditional  love that I survived the most troubling days of my life. Without it I would have been lost for certain.


God doesn’t call us to be perfect. He does, however, call us to be a willing servant in all we do. Gently, He reminds us along the way that He still loves us despite all of our failures and mistakes. Love is not by a have-to-thing or because it is required, instead, He calls us to love Him and to be changed. When we learn how to love the way He has taught us how to love, it is then, that we can truly know Him and know true joy.



. . .but when perfections comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see  face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:10-13 NIV