Monday, September 24, 2012

The Lessons Farley Has To Teach Us All

This Sunday I shared that I have three amazing dogs, Fuzzy Beardog, Jumpin Jenny Gump, and Farley Jo aka “Phat Jack”, Farles Barkley or Mr. Jack.   

Farley is an amazing Jack Russell.  My son Zach and I found him at a pet store where nobody wanted him and they were about to get rid of him.  He was the coolest puppy there and he matched my oldest son’s red hair.  Farley was an instant gift to our family because we had just lost our German Shepherd we had for 17 years.  Farley brought so much joy and peace to our family. My son Zach charged him with taking care of me and told him his seat in the car was on the arm rest.  He still sits there to this day every time we are in the car.

Farley is a little on the “heavy side” for a jack.  When he is excited his little bobbed tail moves extremely fast and he sways his entire body back and forth. Farley has an issue though.  He constantly compares himself to my other two dogs.  His comparison issues have begun to be an obsession.

Here are the examples:

1.      Each week I come home with bones.  I have to give Farley his first because he is so overwhelmed with excitement and he is jumping the most.  I hand Farley his bone….he runs with it and hides it in a corner, and is back just in time to watch me hand jenny and bear their bones.  As Jenny and bear chew their bones Farley lays in between the two and just whines and whines because he wants their bones instead of the one he has been given.  He wants what the others have so much that he cannot enjoy what he has.
2.       I can sit and pet Farley and give him love all day and no matter how much love I give him, he needs more.  If another dog comes and sits by me, he comes up and puts his big “Phat Jack” behind on their head!  Yes, he sits on their heads!  He can’t allow anyone a chance for attention.
3.       When we first got Farley he was a master at playing ball.  When we got Jenny Gump she learned to play ball watching him.  One day though, I threw the ball and Jenny got to it first.  She started beating him to the ball quite regularly.  Farley got beat pretty often. One day I threw the ball and both Jenny and Farley went after it….Farley felt Jenny coming up behind him so he just turned around and gave up.  Now, every time we play ball Farley just goes up on the porch and lies down.  He has compared himself to Jenny Gump…he believes that he can never catch her so he has quit.

These are some real examples of comparison for all of us.  Have we compared the material things of others so much that we become obsessed to just get more or that we can’t appreciate what we have.  Have we sought the attention of a group or person that we tend overpower others by not letting them speak or have a chance, and only think of ourselves. Have we given up on something that we love because we just don’t believe we are good enough? 

Each one of us were created for a purpose and for Gods great design.  We were not created the same or for the same purpose as anyone else in the world.  In Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29 God is clear that he created us a unique individual and He has plans for us! We matter, we count and we are needed!  Just as who we are!

2 Cor. 10:12  But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense.   ----- I realize that our world today is constantly trying to tell us that we have to be just like everyone else and that just doesn’t show good sense.   We spend so much time doing this that we are not taking the time to see our own gifts.  Farley is a precious and amazing gift to me.  When I go to bed, he hops up with me, goes under the covers by my feet, spins around 6 times and lies at my feet keeping them warm.  When I go for long walks  Farley stays right by my side. Farley makes me laugh by sliding down the reservoir hill on his back.  On days I feel lonely he really helps me to feel loved.  He has an amazing purpose!  He is awesome to be around when he is secure in just being Farley. When he is busy comparing himself and seeking to gain more attention is when he is off balance, and to be completely honest -not fun! 

God wants us to walk out our purpose.  As Romans 12:2 states he wants us not to conform to what the world wants us to be.   He desires us to renew our minds so that we are listening to who He says we are as well as, what He says our purpose is.   God is asking for us to renew our minds so that we understand that His love will never fail you, it will never give up on you and it never runs out on you. He wants you to experience His love so deeply, so you can fulfill your purpose to share it with every single person you meet.   Renew your minds so that you aren’t concerned with material things or your abilities because you are putting your trust in Him that He will provide all you need. 

Dear God, please help me to not compare myself to others today.  Please give me the courage to look to you for my value and my worth.  Help me to have the courage to be myself and to trust IN HIS plans and purpose. 

You’re AWESOME!  Live it!


  1. AWESOME POST, ANGIE!! Your final sentence reminds me to visit Jesus in adoration more frequently so that I am able to 'be still' and know that He is God and be open to His plans for me! It also reinforces my need to receive my Savior in and through the Eucharist so that His grace will dwell in me and give me the strength I need to make it ALL happen! You're awesome, TOO!

  2. I love this Angie!!! Something I definitely needed to hear today. xoxo

  3. What a great analogy...I see this more and more as a teacher...Everyone is always looking at what others have and suddenly what they have is not good enough! I laughed at your story about the dogs! Nick came home from lifeteen and told me this story...

  4. Terrific comparisons! We are all guilty of it, aren't we? How easy it is to forget God created us to be exactly who we are, and we end up trying to be exactly what we are not. Thanks, Angie!

  5. Thanks for the insights. We can all do a little better at being the person God made us to be. I love the quote from Romans!

  6. this really made me stop and think...i have been stugling with a few things recently, and everyone tells me that God has a plan for us and will provide what it is that we need..but have been haveing a hard time beliveing he will...and this made me stop and think that i just need to let him be in control...Thanks Angie

  7. I. loved. this. I read it once and it didn't make an impact, BUT the second time I read it it REALLY made an impact. Growing up in a generation, like you said, that we always want to be like each other is tough. We sometimes feel we don't have the strength to be ourselves, when we have all the strength in the world behind us; which is God! So after reading this the second time, it made me really think and appreciate who I am as a person and as a child of God!
    Also, I absolutely LOVED your comparison with your dogs! It made this soo much more relateable!!


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