At the end of January we welcomed a ten-week-old puppy into our home, two weeks after the death of our older dog. I’d had a bad case of puppy fever for months but wanted to make sure I was mentally and physically prepared for the work and training that would be involved. Although we’ve cared for eight newborn babies, River is our first puppy.

Before we got her, I imagined our biggest worry would be sleep deprivation and that our precious pup would interrupt our rest multiple times per night with whimpering and potty breaks, but that only happened once. Our girl sleeps through the night like a champ!

While our nights are more restful than we expected, my days are lived at a level of vigilance I haven’t seen since our children were toddlers. River is either in my lap trying to chew my hands, my clothes, or whatever else she can reach underfoot or out of sight and is potentially up to no good. Some days, I’m so exhausted I wrap her up in a blanket, and we take an afternoon nap together on the couch. It’s amazing how little I accomplish these days.

In our pre-pup days, I studied a Bible verse during breakfast, summarized what I read in a journal, wrote out a meaningful verse in a second journal, and then read a short devotional from an additional book. This quiet time in God’s Word set the foundation for my day.

After multiple mornings when I spent more time removing River’s teeth from the ribbon bookmark hanging from my Bible than actually reading the Bible itself, I gave up on my usual routine temporarily. But I missed that dedicated time in God’s Word. Recently, when I started feeling a little overwhelmed and spiritually disconnected, I realized my personal worship might need to look a little different for a while.

Please join me today at (in)courage for the rest of the article and how I’ve gotten creative with my personal devotional time!

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