This is a journal entry written during a period of time when Terry had been laid off and we were living with our two teens over a business on Main Street, Small Town, Kentucky. Main Street has been fixed up beautifully with old-fashioned lamp posts and antique shops, and our two rooms had the Victorian romance of having high ceilings and tall windows overlooking the street, but two rooms full of four people and a dog can get pretty cramped. Time alone was a treasure to be savored. Knowing this will give you context for why I couldn’t escape the dog.
Just call me Martha.
I have prided myself on being a Mary. My friends tell me how they wish they were a Mary like me. But tonight I see I’m really Martha.
7:15 PM—I’m finally alone, it’s been so long.
But they left me with a kitchen full of supper mess. I can’t get before God with this mess staring me in the face, the smells, the distraction. I’ll just clean up and put away the food, not wash. After all, I can wash when they get back. But…I’m already here, and there aren’t that many, why not be done with it so I can relax? Who wants to face dishes late at night?
Finally, that’s done, all neat and tidy, my house is together. Now I need to give the dog some attention or he’ll bug me to death. No, I may put the dishes before God, but definitely not the dog!
OK, I’m ready. Close the blinds, remove my shoes, get the music going…
This dog is driving me crazy. I’m going to get on the top bunk and escape. Get my paper, pen, remote, and head up.
Before one song is finished I sit up to write something down. Where’s the dog? Oh no, this means trouble.
Put my glasses on, climb down, find the dog. Clean up a fresh mess.
Where was I? Another song.
Oh no, I left the phone in my purse, I can’t hear it if it rings. I’ll leave it, what emergency can happen in the next hour?
Is that it ringing? Pause the music…no.
Third song—I don’t like this one, skip it.
The next song starts out, “Slowing down, learning to relax in your presence
Lord, You’ve been searching for those who will take the time…”
8:00—I don’t see the dog…okay, he’s sleeping in the chair. I’m enjoying the peaceful music, while at the same time my mind is all over the place.
I’m getting too relaxed, I need to move. I’ll listen with my eyes open awhile, it’s easier to keep the outside world from crowding in, or falling asleep.
8:30—I’m down with the dog, trying to listen to music and hold his toy while he fights it. At least I can sit down.
Good music, but now the dog has disappeared, I have to check on him. He’s in the bathroom getting in the trash. Might as well use it while I’m in here.
The dog is sleeping now, and I’m enjoying relaxing on the bed and listening. I can hardly call it worshiping!
Here’s the dog, trying to get in my face, I’m up now to escape him. I’ll dance. That’ll wake me up and I have to stand anyway to keep the dog away. Who needs satan to distract me from God? I have this dog.
The dog has messed on the floor. Might as well get the phone out while I’m at it.
My hands are hurting from being chapped. It’ll just take a second to grab some lotion…
9:00—Playing with the dog. If I hold his toy he’s less annoying.
A reprieve—he’s lost interest and gone in the other room.
I lay and try to focus for the four hundredth time.
The dog jumps up by me and I’m up again.
While I stand he’s on my foot with his toy. No dancing now. I enjoy a good song, and then make a note to remind Jessie to feed her bird.
Another good song, and they’re back.
Good, I can’t take much more of this time with you Lord!