Donuts, Dog, and sweatpants

This past December my daughters bought me the cutest sweatshirt for a birthday gift. It has quickly become my go to sweatshirt. You know what I am talking about? That perfect piece of clothing with the soft lining and a little oversized for maximum comfort. The one you wear so much, that you eventually get holes in or completely wear it out. Yes, that is the one it has become my absolute favorite!! I reach for it anytime I am home and want to be comfortable. Hey, I reach for even when I’m going out too and just want to be comfortable. If you see me, well you will probably see me wearing this at some time. The front of the sweatshirt has writing that simply says: Donuts, Dogs, and Sweatpants. When I first opened the gift and saw this on the front, I actually had to giggle. Why? Because my girls know me so well!! Yes, one can definelty say that donuts, dogs, and sweatpants are three of my absolute favorite things in the whole world, besides my beautiful family of course. As I was folding the sweatshirt the other day after being washed and I read the saying that is on the front. It got me thinking about all the things that not only bring me comfort, but about what brings comfort to others as well. What is it that brings you comfort? Yes, I love my yummy glazed donuts, laying on the couch and snuggling with my dog, and a comfy sweatshirt and sweatpants. All of these things are tangible. However, my true comfort comes from God. He is the one that brings me the most comfort when I need it the most.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8-9.

A donut is truly delicious. One of the best things about donuts, is the countless options you have to choose from. Original, chocolate, glazed, and some even with delicious filling. Unfortunately, I am from a very small town so we do not have a place here to buy fresh donuts. Well, now that I think about it, maybe that is a good thing. It is no secret to my family when we go out of town and there is a Krispy Kreme, that I will be there to buy some delicious donuts. In fact, when we see that infamous red sign on, we stop traffic and do whatever we have to do to get there as fast as possible. No joke, we are crazy over donuts. They are just so delicious and truly are at the top of my comfort foods. What is your comfort food? Do you take extra measures to just get one bite of something that you love? What if we were to run to God like we do when that red sign is on a Krispy Kreme? When we have a craving for a taste of comfort, we can also run to him. God will feed our souls with his word. Whatever may be going in our lives, God is there. He will always be there to provide the peace and comfort our hearts desire. God is our comfort when our soul needs to be fed.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Johns 6:35.

Just like that cozy loungewear and delicious donut, I also find comfort in spending time with my family and my dogs. As I am sure it is true for most of us, my family is my entire world. The reason I live and breathe. It is no secret they are my true joy and peace. My dogs, who we treat like they are our family, also play an integral part in allowing me to feel joy, peace, and solace. In fact, there has been research done that dogs can reduce anxiety and bring comfort to those in need. It is not uncommon to see dogs used for therapeutic purposes in this day and age. Emotional support animals, dogs who aid in the care of disabled individuals, and even dogs brought into medical facilities and schools to help improve the individuals there are all ways we see dogs helping people cope. There has been many days that I really felt like I needed a friend, and my dogs have been there and helped me get out of a not so healthy headspace. God can also help you when a shift of focus. It is so important to remember God is our friend. A loyal friend that will never leave us and will always be there to be the light on a day that may seem dark. Feel his embrace and hear his words when you need comfort. Find peace in just sitting and talking to him like you would a friend. His love is constant and never changes.

Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort this in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4.

I love having things in my life that bring me comfort. I will admit I cannot live without my comfy clothes, favorite foods, and my sweet little doggies. However, there is no comfort like that of God. He touches my heart, feeds my soul, and wraps me in such a safe embrace that there is nothing in the world that can bring me peace like him. He is everything that I need. I encourage everyone that needs to find comfort and peace to run to him. Lay everything at his feet, and get comfortable because he will always take care of you.

I pray each of you are finding comfort today and are filled with many blessings.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

A Dog’s Love

People have many different ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. Exercise, journaling, reading, going on a trip, talking to a friend/counselor, going to church/praying are just a few examples of common activities people take part in to help in times of need. I have done all of these, and they have been very helpful to me. However, we all know everyone is different. One thing may help someone better than another. That’s ok. We are all programmed to deal with difficult things in our own unique way. For some people stress/anxiety/depression may be something that they deal with on a daily basis. Others, it may be something that comes in waves, or when a big event happens. Either way, there are coping mechanisms out there to assist in making things easier for everyone.

One of my favorite coping mechanisms that I have is something that is truly simple. I just hang out with my DOGS!! Ok, I know there are many people out there that are going to say “This lady is crazy!!”. I understand the criticism. However, if you are a dog person like me you will get me. I mean who else wags their tail and wiggles their entire body when I walk through the door? I am lucky sometimes to get my kids off the couch or off their phone sometimes to even say hello. My dogs are always happy to see me. I have never not had them greet me with nothing but pure enthusiasm each time I walk through the door. How can this not instantly make you feel better no matter what type of day you have had?

Winnie
Lola and Penny
My grandpup Ollie(We call him Bean)

A dog’s love is so pure. They do not care what you look like, how you smell, how much money you have, what type of car you drive, or any of the things that some of us classify as important. All they want is to love you and for you to love them in return. They do not ask for much. Just a big belly rub, to throw the ball, take a ride in the car, go on a walk, or just hang out on the couch. The simple things in life is all they need. Would the world not be a better place if we could just think and be like dogs sometimes? If the simple things would be all that we needed? That in itself, would be a giant stress-reduction. To stop worrying about the big things and just enjoy the simplest of things.

The unconditional love of a dog truly just helps me melt away some of the stress I have of everything that is going on around me. When I cry, they lick away my tears are they lay tenderly beside me and never leave my side. When I just need to get out and take a walk, they are happy to join me every step of the way. They notice when I am feeling down, and bring me their toy to play. Just watching them bounce around and play without the weight and worry of the world, truly just brings a smile to my face, and instantly makes me feel better. They live life so carefree, and from moment to moment. They don’t worry about the days ahead, they don’t hold grudges. they live each day with as much excitement as the last. Again, if we could just live life more like they do I believe their would be more joy in all of our hearts. The joy of being CAREFREE!!

No matter what your coping mechanism may be I encourage each of you to utilize those techniques. Be sure to always take care of your mental health. Never neglect it!!! And if you don’t have a dog, I encourage each of you to consider getting one. There are many dogs out there that need homes, and would love to become a part of your family. The love they bring to a home is indescribable and although they are a big responsibility they are more than worth it. I promise they will bring a smile to your face even during the hardest of days.

I pray each of you are safe and healthy today. I pray each of you are smiling, full of joy, and covered in may blessings today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer