Why This Blog?

This post was originally published on Monday, September 26, 2011. It tells why I'm writing this blog. If you want to know where the name of the blog came from, go here.

God's Mangy Dog Rescue and Obedience Training Program

Saturday I got to spend some time with a friend helping her learn how to set up a blog. Her blog will be vastly different than mine in purpose and audience, but I was able to steer her around some of the newbie pitfalls I've backed into these past few months. (Plus it was just a good excuse to spend time together!)

I thought it was amusing that my friend had asked me for help when I had never intended to be a blogger. My blogging came about through a strange sequence of events that was set in motion by the death of my precious mother. I sometimes wonder if Mama were alive and in her room right down the hall, would I even be in this community with you? Would I know that you were here? We'll never know, but it reminds me that I did not end up sitting in this corner typing because I had always thought that people wanted to read what I have to say.

One of the questions that my friend asked me is, "how did you get people to read your blog?" I explained a little of how I had met my "five loyal readers" and my gracious visitors.  I also told her about something I had just read that said bloggers need to be able to explain their blog succinctly when asked about their writing. Just saying, "I just write about what is going on with me whenever I feel like it" does not usually inspire people to take the time to come to your blog to see what you have to say - not unless they are a good friend or loving relative. Of course, my very organized friend already had a mission statement for her blog, so I was not worried that she could "sell it" to readers. However, it did make me wonder if I could tell you what I'm doing here on my little patch of internet real estate.

If you look at the tabs on my blog, you will see one that says, "Why a Ragamuffin?". You can go there and read how I came to identify as a ragamuffin. You can read the definition and understand why many people qualify for that moniker. That tells you a little of who I am and therefore how I named my blog. But it doesn't tell you why I'm bothering to write. There are many ragamuffins who have never read a blog much published one. So what am I doing here?

As I was sitting here trying to find a simile, metaphor, or outright blunt explanation, I started to think about puppies. You should know that I often think of puppies because I love mine so dang much. But back to our point...

Have you ever been to the local dog pound, the Humane Society, or a pet adoption event? There is usually one little mutt that looks a little sickly, a little scared, a little hungry, and a little sad. People often pass over that dog for the cute puppies and the healthy adult dogs with shiny coats and waggy tails. Often the employee or volunteer showing the dogs might even recommend against adopting that mangy mutt that is cowering in the corner.

This one has a lot of health problems and will probably always be on multiple medications. This one has some trust issues and it is hard to get her to bond with people. This one is never going to get much prettier - her fur is always going to look like that. This one is hard to train - instead of obeying your command, she'll turn and run off. This one won't be good with other pets - she is jealous and acts like there is not enough attention to go around. This one is a very picky eater. This one still isn't full potty trained. This one's former owners didn't know how to take care of her so she has some bad behavior issues. This one is always kind of sad and we can't get her to come out and play. This one is very timid and hides if she hears a loud male voice. This one isn't adoptable, but we've kept her from getting euthanized. Wouldn't you like to look at our younger, healthier dogs?

Amazingly enough, every once in awhile, someone takes a chance on that dog. That is what happened to me.

I was that mangy mutt. I was ill-used and I had all of those issues - picky, timid, jealous, unhealthy, hard-to-train, didn't bond well with people, bad behavior, peeing on the floor and hair that never does what it is supposed to do. Well, maybe not the peeing on the floor but definitely the hair is a problem. The amazing thing that happened is that God said, "Yes, she is the one I want. I will adopt her, take care of her, and teach her what a good dog she really is. I will give her the medicine she needs. I will continue obedience training with her as long as needed. I will teach her that there is enough love to go around and that many people can be trusted. I will not beat her or yell at her if she messes up. I will teach her to play. I will see her as beautiful not in spite of her unruly hair but because of it."

Wow. I thought my five dogs had it good. But nothing - NOTHING - compares to how good I have it as God's adopted child. He paid a high price so that I could come live with Him. He is gentle in His correction and He always takes me back when I've run off and come limping home with a new injury. The obedience training can be somewhat rigorous, but I know I am loved. He really does think I am beautiful.

How does this relate to me writing a blog?

Well,when that unusual set of events happened after Mama passed, I picked up this little blog I had and thought I would just use it for people to keep up with life in this household. I am somewhat of a long-winded storyteller, so having a place to get those stories down in writing was a good idea. Then people could come read them when they had the time.

God had a different idea. He quickly told me, "Yes, Carolyn, you are going to tell stories about your life. But I am going to give you the words and you are going to share your innermost self here." Really, Father, because I was thinking we could just do a little comedy.. No, He didn't want me to write comedy bits, although He lets me use my sense of humor. What God wants is to use my stories for His work, not mine. When there is something He wants me to say, I can feel His Spirit gently pressing down on me as I type. It was scary at first, because I had never felt anything like that, but I pushed through the fear because I want to obey His instruction. I find further confirmation of His current purpose for me in the writing projects He has connected me with such as Never Beyond and Soli Deo Gloria. Sometimes God even lets me know that my stories have made an impact in His Kingdom. Other times I only hear crickets chirping. Regardless of the feedback, I try my best to get down in writing what He asks me to say. It makes the "obedience training" a little easier if I just cooperate.

That is what I'm doing here. I'm telling stories out of obedience. I have no idea where God will take this work. I could end up with thousands of readers or the blog could trickle down to nothing when I've said all He wants me to say. I trust that if this project expands or ends, He will let me know what He wants me to be doing. And I pray for the willingness to be willing to obey.

So welcome to God's Mangy Dog Rescue and Obedience Training Program! Grab a bone and chew awhile!

And now for some photos of my puppies just because I can!
Beamer and Gizmo
Beamer and Gizmo!
Bella and Mascherina
Bella and Mascherina!