In case you don’t know yet, we have two corgis.  Getting them to listen and stay in step with me as been a tad of an issue.  My personal favorite is Rafa (aka Rafael Nadal Neufeld…guess who my favorite person is).  He is gigantic, adorable and  1.5 years old. 

Next up we have Kiwi.  A tri-colored cutie who is 4 months old.  Since getting Kiwi we have encountered some issues and so this week we finally broke down and paid to have a trainer come to the house.

It was shocking how much we had done wrong:) but it could basically all be fixed with two simple things.  Time-consuming but simple.

The first is to always have them on a leash.  Inside and outside. 

This keeps them close to you, teaches them to follow you plus, if they do something you don’t want them to do, you give them a quick correction by ‘popping’ the leash.  

Second, to quote the trainer, “pay, pay, pay”.  Always have treats or kibble on you and everytime they do something right, you pay, pay, pay.  Food, food, food.  Treat, treat, treat.

After talking about it for a while, I asked her if I could do it with her present so that she could correct me.  I took five minutes with Kiwi and then five minutes with Rafa.

After this was all done, I went to walk the trainer to the door.  As I did, Kiwi and Rafa followed me, happily and eager, with their eyes on me.  They had already learned that if they stay close to me, good things will come.

stay in step
stay in step

It’s been 48 hours of this and already they follow me and listen to me way more than they ever have.  I am more than happy to pay, pay, pay.

Yesterday morning I stood in the shower thinking about the whole training thing.  It can be tiring and exhausting but when I see the changes, I know it is so worth it. 

Soon they won’t need to be tethered to me…they will know that I give them good things when they stick by my side.

It struck me how true this is of God. 

Let me give you an example with Rafa.  When I take Rafa for a walk he gets distracted by a few things.  

First, he MUST mark.  He is constantly stopping to pee in different places to declare them his territory.  He’s in control.  

Second, he gets distracted by fun or interesting looking things…a smell in the ditch, a flower, a stick, something stuck on the sidewalk. 

He will pull so hard on me trying to go to those things instead of walking beside me.  Those things aren’t bad and I love to let him be a dog and explore but on our walk is not the time.

Third, there is one particular dog that terrifies him. 

About 200m up from our house there is a fenced yard with a huge, scary dog that is always outside and always barks ferociously at anything walking by. 

When Rafa was younger, he was scared and would pull away in the opposite direction.  Now he knows what’s coming.  Before we even arrive he starts pulling and barking and getting his defenses up. 

He’s still scared and worked up but now he shows it in this aggressive, macho way.  I’m calling his name but he is fixated on what is scaring him.  He can’t think straight.

So yesterday on my first major walk with him since training, I was constantly giving him kibble to encourage him to keep his eyes on me and stay with me. 

I would occasionally say ‘heel’ which he learned meant, “stay close and walk with me”.  Whenever I said it, he learned to relax and fall in step with me.  It was actually amazing to watch the transformation.

stay in step
I think life is
one big walk with God
and for the entire thing
He is training us to stay close
and keep our eyes on Him.

Like Rafa, sometimes I want to mark. 

I want to declare something mine or hang on to the control of someone or a situation.  I want to show people that this is mine, my territory, I run the show.  I pull away from God in order to do this. 

If I’ve got my face in the Bible or if I’m on my knees in prayer, it’s impossible to keep myself first.  It’s impossible to think of myself as number one and then proving it to the world.  

If I stay in step with God, I am close to him, I relax and I forget about just chasing what I want.  The tugging and pulling for control eases.  

Sometimes when Rafa is tugging and pulling, the leash is so tight that he is struggling a bit to breath.  Sound familiar? 

Sometimes when I’m tugging and pulling for control, I can hardly breath.  I’m panicked and anxious.  When I’m close to God’s side, the tension on the leash eases and I can breath and be calm.

stay in step

Second, like Rafa, sometimes I get distracted by fun or interesting things.  Things that are not bad at all.  It just may not be the time for them right now. 

God wants nothing more than to let us off the leash so we can explore and have fun, but that time is not on a walk. 

He needs to spend time training us so that when we do enjoy things in this world, we will always keep Him in eyesight. 

If we stay in step with Him, we will always hear Him calling to us, “Come!”

I love to run or workout – but sometimes I need to sit and be still and do what He’s asking of me, like helping someone out.  There will be plenty of time for running and working out.  

I love to write and read but sometimes, I need to set aside writing words God is speaking to me so that I can love the people that God is giving to me…like when Summer is begging me to play Roblox with her.

And finally, like Rafa, sometimes I’m fixated on what is scaring me. 

Even if it is behind a fence and likely won’t happen, I dwell on it and my anxiety inside grows.  Things like losing Ted, or God-forbid, a child someday. 

Things like my kids making big life mistakes; or fearing that I will get so depressed that I will never get out of the pit; or worried about the bank account and our businesses being enough to sustain us financially.

The list is endless. 

Similar to Rafa barking before we even get to the scary dog, I get worked up and panic well before there is even remotely a valid threat to my well-being.  

The thing is, if I would learn from Kiwi and Rafa, I would see that it is best to stay in step and keep my eyes on my owner, my provider. 

I would also see that He’s got good things in His pockets – food and treats.  He’s ready to slowly dole them out as I stay near to him.  

stay in step

So what does it look like

to stay in step with God?


Sometimes I deliberately choose to listen to any music that doesn’t refer to God.  I don’t want to think about Him. 

I want to drown in my sorrows. 

However, those times where I push through and put on a worship song of some kind…this brings hope, at the very least. 

I may still cry and drown in my sorrows as I listen, but there is hope in the words and I hear the hope and I remember it.


I try desperately to enter in my gratitude journal every day. 

Sometimes I want to say screw it because I’m really not in the mood or the previous day felt like a disaster. 

But when I choose to pick up my pen, it is amazing that I can find where God was in the disaster…even if it is just one thing. 


And prayer.  Why is this so hard sometimes??? 

I find it hard to really spend time in prayer but when I do, I remember who God is. 

That He is ALWAYS good and I am ALWAYS loved. 

If I lock that in and remind myself of it, I will be okay to fall in step with Him trusting there is good in His pocket.

I don’t need to tug and pull. 
Trust where He leads me
with eyes on Him
so I don’t miss
the treats along the way. 

It is hard because there will always be things to lure us away and that’s okay.  We just have to keep practicing.

As a kid I used to try to imagine what heaven is like…

Maybe heaven is a huge, grass pasture where God and I run and play together, off the leash

I won’t need anything to help me stay in step with Him because I will see with my own eyes how amazing He is and I know I’d be crazy to venture off in any other direction than His love.

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