Live Simply

Journey of faith, fitness, family, fashion, and fun

Archive for the tag “friends”

Pets With Anxiety and Stress Issues


IMG_0040

Meet Alaska. She joined the Turner family back in March 2013. She was a cute puppy and loved to play. She loved getting into things as puppies normally do. She loved playing with the other dogs and being outside. She loved to be loved on.

She grew up. She still enjoys to play, love on her family, and be loved on by her family. She makes a great snuggle buddy, and she loves to take rides in the car. She has a deep love for her family, and she is very protective of her family too. And as a bonus, she likes to chase chickens in her spare time (that story is for another day). Ha!

She also suffers from anxiety and stress. She stresses easily with change. She likes order. She isn’t sure of people she doesn’t know. She doesn’t like loud noises or tense environments. This is something we, as her family, have had to adjust to. If you are a fellow owner of a pet with anxiety and stress issues, you understand what I am saying here. And for those of you who haven’t had the experience of owning a pet with these issues, I know it can be hard to understand. I want to help you understand what it is like for the owners of pets with these issues.

Here are just a few things that we experience on a daily basis:

1. People leaving and coming to our house is a traumatic experience for Alaska. Let me explain this a bit. She doesn’t necessarily fall over in convulsions when we leave the house or if we have a guest over and they leave. She does whine and cry, and she gives us her best “sad face,” but her anxiety and stress comes when we come back to the house or if a guest comes over to the house. We have to take special precautions to help make this transition less stressful for her. How? For starters we have to put our husky in another room. For some crazy reason it causes tension between the two. Maybe because they are both big dogs and both female. I really don’t know. Secondly, we have to talk to Alaska calmly. This is almost as if you were talking to a baby. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Lastly, if all the dogs are contained when we come home, she has to be let out first. If you let any other dog out before letting her out, her anxiety level rises.

2. Classical music is her favorite genre of music. Yes, dogs can have favorite music genres. In the mornings I like to play it after my workout, so that it sets a calming environment.

3. If Alaska wants your attention, she doesn’t want you to share it with her fellow dog pack. Asking the whole crew to come over for some attention simply isn’t a wise choice. This stresses her out.

A few other tidbits: small spaces send her stressing, loud noises cause stress, if she feels overcrowded she will stress, unannounced visitors stress her, new people cause anxiety for her.

I know some of this sounds strange and just plain ridiculous. I get that. There are many days where I think, “Are you serious?” I love my girl though, and I know that this is something she probably gets frustrated with as well. Just like humans can have anxiety disorders and stress problems, animals can have these same issues. As their owners we just have to learn how to help them with these issues.

I have thought to put Alaska on some vet prescribed anxiety medication, but I really would prefer to treat it as naturally as possible. Then there’s the whole taking her to the vet thing. You see my dilemma?

Just a few words of advice to those of you who do not have pets with anxiety and stress issues:

1. Please be as understanding as possible when it comes to other pet owners who do have animals with these issues.

2. Please call ahead before visiting friends or family who own pets with anxiety and stress issues. Your friends and family will thank you.

3. Please do not take it lightly when a friend or family member shares that their pet has these issues. It’s a struggle for both the owner and the pet, and the struggle is real my friends. The struggle is real.

4. Pray for your friend or family member, as well as the pet. Prayer is a powerful tool. Just as I would covet your prayers for me and my family, I would also covet your prayers for my pets. Call me crazy if you want, it’s ok.

I know this isn’t my typical post, but it was on my heart to share. Animals are living creatures who struggle with things just like we struggle with things. They are part of God’s creation that He has asked us to care for on a daily basis. Let’s do our best to care for these babies in the best possible way.

Does your pet struggle with anxiety and stress issues? How do you help them cope with it?

Alaska’s Advocate,
Jac

Advertisements

The Year of Victory


Year of Victory

Today is January 1st, 2015. The beginning of not only a new day, but also a new year. A chance to start fresh. An opportunity to improve. A chance to invest in growth. An opportunity to be better than last year. Most importantly, an opportunity to lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine posted on social media a few days that each year she prays for God to give her a word for the year. After she shared her word and her thoughts, she asked for other people to share their word. My word for this new year is “VICTORY.”

I feel God impressing upon me that this is the year of victory. This is year that defeat will not be an option. The only option is being victorious. With that comes responsibility on my behalf though, and yours too should you choose to pursue the year of victory.

Courageous.

Bold.

Fearless.

Adventurous.

Faithful.

Devoted.

Secure.

Relentless.

Hopeful.

Loving.

These are just a few words that come to mind as I think on what a year of victory looks like. I believe that this is year of victory not only for me, but for you as well dear friend. I believe that marriages will have the victory. I believe that relationships with children will be victorious. I believe that there will be victory in finances, in businesses, in health, in faith, and in all areas of life.

Scripture says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NLT)

We have the victory through Christ. We have already won through Jesus. We have the ability to be courageous, bold, fearless, relentless, hopeful, loving, secure, devoted, faithful, and adventurous through Him.

I pray that this will be the year of victory for you too, my sweet friend. God has amazing things in store for this year. I can feel in my spirit. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things He has in store for you and for me.

Victorious in Christ,
Jaclyn

One of Those Days


Today is one of those days where I would love to hide away on a deserted island with absolutely nothing “baby” around. Yes, it’s another month where Aunt Flow arrives instead of a “Big Fat Positive.” I was really hoping for a Thanksgiving announcement, but that just won’t be happening. I really have no eloquent words or thought provoking paragraphs to write down. All I have is raw emotion and an admittance of wanting to pitch a temper tantrum that would make a two year old in the midst of “the terrible two’s” look pretty angelic. Will it solve anything? No. Will it make me feel better? Probably not. But that’s where I’m at. For the moment.

I am trying to remind myself of the message I preached this past Sunday. I spoke on the story of Hannah and how there is grace in the struggle, in the sorrow, and in His sovereignty. To be honest, though it’s hard to see it at the moment. Do I know it to be true? Yes. But can I see it right now? No. All I can think on is how I desire to have a child with my husband and nothing is happening. Nothing. And my mind begins to go into panic mode thinking of how I am about to be surrounded by pregnant family members during the holidays, and I want to scream. Can I eat my dinner in a closet somewhere? Oh, and let’s not forget that the media had to share that Kelly Clarkson is pregnant.

Yes, I know that I sound like a little kid pitching a fit. But this is real. This is something I never thought I would have to deal with personally. This is one of the most draining and difficult things I have ever dealt with, and well as I put it earlier today, it sucks. As I type this I want to breakdown. The depths of my soul cry out for Jesus because I don’t know what to do. He is the only place that makes sense even though I feel like He isn’t making any sense. I know deep down that He makes perfect sense despite my feelings. So into Him I will continue to press.

http://youtu.be/JmVxRl5bc4Y

Breaking Comfort Zones, and Experiencing Grace and Love


Image

Yesterday was a day where I felt the Lord leading me out of my comfort zone, yet again. You know I have discovered that when God moves you out of your comfort zone in one area, more than likely He is about to move you out of your comfort zone in another area of your life. And it is really futile to resist, because one way or another, you will be moved out of it.

So, back to yesterday. I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on a friend who has just had a baby. I have not been a very good friend in checking up on her consistently, as it has been difficult for me. Not that I am not happy that she is experiencing one of the greatest joys a woman can ever know, but simply because I have found myself in a place that I never thought I would ever be. The place of secondary infertility. (If you haven’t read my story on this, I encourage you to go back a few posts and start from the beginning.) It’s not that I am not happy for my friend. It’s not that I am mad at her for getting pregnant and having this precious baby. It’s just a hard and difficult area in my life that I have to daily work through (some days are better than others). So, we have texted back and forth during her pregnancy and since her baby boy’s arrival, but I will admit I have been guarded. I have tried to pull back. I have even been a bit snotty. Yes, I am confessing here and being real with you guys. I have my faults and weaknesses just like anyone else, even as a Pastor’s Wife.

But yesterday as I was getting ready for church, I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on her. You know just to see how she was doing and how precious baby was. I tried to resist a bit, I admit. But I sent the text. We texted back and forth, and then it happened. The Lord had to do it again. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to apologize. Say what? Yep, He was telling me I needed to apologize for my behavior. I was like, “Seriously, Lord. Do I have to? (Just like a kid, right?) I mean, this is going to be uncomfortable.This will not be easy. It’s going to be awkward, God. What if she is mad at me? What if she shares with me that I have hurt her feelings or something? God, I will be exposed!” yea, all those thoughts went through my head. As I stood there with my phone in my hand, staring at our text conversation, I did it. It was hard. It wasn’t easy. It was awkward and uncomfortable. As I waited for a reply I even began replaying the conversation with God in my head. Then came the reply, ” I appreciate your apology. I know it’s been rough on you, and I think about that (and you) all the time.” What? Her accepting my apology really wasn’t took me off guard. It was the next statement. She was thinking about me. Even with my wrong attitude, she thought about me and my feelings. Talk about humbling. It still gets me as I look at it this morning. It’s not surprising in a way that this behavior is out of character for her. It’s surprising in a way, that despite how I behaved she never thought ill towards me. How Christ-like is that?

Does this mean, that my struggles with my feelings about my infertility are gone? Not at all. But I do feel a sense of peace and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. God doesn’t push us out of our comfort zones as a means of torture. He pushes us out of them as a means of growth. He wants us to grow and blossom into the men and women of Christ that we are created to be. And we can’t do that in our comfort zones. I was hit with the uncomfortableness and the awkwardness yesterday, but most of all I had to face my own sin. I had to come face to face with my wrong attitude, and admit that I hadn’t been acting in a way that was Christ-like. And you know what I got in return? I got the love of Christ overflowing back to me. I received grace and love.

I pray that when God nudges you to step out of your comfort zones, that you are obedient. I pray that you experience the grace and love of Christ overflowing back to you as you break the bounds of your comfort zones. I pray that you choose to offer grace and love to those who step out of their comfort zones with you. Comfort zones are meant to be broken so that God’s love can be made known.

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: