One of my favorite times of day is when. Charlie (short for Charcoal) my black lab, and I go for a two-mile walk.  For years we have taken the same route, past fields of geese feeding on tall grass, and ponds just begging a water dog to take a swim.


Charlie is a rescue dog.  Found on a country road, the animal shelter was his home for a year and a half.  Having the temperament of an over-sized lap puppy, he did not experience being “put-down” after the standard three months, but was confined in a small cell.  So, having the freedom of going for a walk in wide-open spaces is Charlie’s idea of heaven.


There is a point in the walk where, Charlie comes off of the leash and is allowed to run, and explore in fields, creeks, and ponds.  Even when the temperatures are in the thirties, he will go for a swim in the first pond he sees. I love seeing him enjoy the freedom I have given him.  As long as he comes when I call and remembers to keep his eye on where I am, then he can blissfully do what all dogs dream of doing – run!


Charlie will run after squirrels, and geese and, sometimes, he pretends they are around just as an excuse to continue running. But, he listens for my voice to let him know if he has gone too far.


When we come to a corner he knows to stop and wait for me to give the signal to cross.  Time and situation has proven, that he has no clue why he has to stop and wait on me.  He just knows, if he does not wait, he will be back on the leash.


There are times when other dogs appear and Charlie would love to go and make friends.  But, I can look at some dogs and I know, these are not the kind of dogs that will be good friends.  He doesn’t understand that when these situations arise, I am protecting him not punishing him.  But, I stroke his back, telling him what a good dog he is, as we past the other dogs without incidence.  Then the leash is again, removed.


Watching Charlie running, I hear the Lord bend His Holy knee and whisper into my ear.  “I love to see you enjoying what I have given to you.”


He brings me into wide-open places to dance for Him to see, to sing at the top of my lungs, to call to others.  And I can be in the open unafraid because He is guarding me.


God gives wide-open spaces to dance freely, and there we learn to delight in His discipline. (Tweet This)


 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-9)


God delights in giving us space to run.  As a father watches his daughter laughing, dancing, singing and jumping with joy –  our Father in Heaven looks at us in a ver simular way.  His limits are only for teaching, and for protection, in the freedom of wide-open spaces.






Also linking with Lisa Leonard at Hello Monday


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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 creates 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. 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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