Giving, Getting, and Taking a Break

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Dogs & Other Creatures, Faith | 10 comments

“Give me a break,” I muttered. The good Lord must have heard me because that’s exactly what He did. 

Give me a break

The first sign was a stifled sneeze during Bible study on Tuesday morning. Allergies, I said. But as the afternoon progressed, it was clear: another cold. That’s when I muttered, Give me a break.

This expression is used to tell someone to stop bothering you or treating you unfairly. Or to say that you don’t believe or are disgusted about what someone has said or done. So, I guess that’s what I was saying to God.

Hmm… That didn’t come out quite the way I wanted.

Getting a break

Although sinus headaches, stuffiness, drainage, and sore throat aren’t fun, my schedule didn’t change much. Cooking, cleaning, yard work, practicing, Zoom meetings, writing, editing, and dog walking. 

Cato has been exhibiting some aggressive behavior toward visitors since we adopted Mac. Showing off his alpha dog chops, but in truth, he’s never been a good greeter. On Thursday, we scheduled an in-home training session with the woman who fostered both Cato and Mac.

“It’s about slowing down,” she said, controlling doors—entrances and exits—breaking the pattern of amped up hackles. If that happens, say “Leave it” and “Quiet” while walking the dog away on leash. Then return to the door and try again. “Back Up,” if the dog is too close to the door. “Sit. Wait.”

This kind of break means obtaining and receiving a fortuitous and beneficial opportunity or new information leading toward a solution to a problem or relief from a difficulty. 

The result? Less jumping, less barking. Calm. A welcome break.

Taking a break

Sunday morning, I woke early to more congestion. Keith and I knew I would not be going to church. I’d been looking forward to being with him for Palm Sunday service, singing in the choir and playing with the worship team. But instead, I watched the service online and wondered. Is the Spirit telling me that I want what I want instead of what He wants? Or maybe I just need to take a break, to slow down.

I must admit, I rather enjoyed having the house to myself. After Keith left, I picked up sticks that winds had scattered around the yard then leisurely showered before the service. But I soon the break in my Sunday routine felt lonely. The Lord be with you—And also with you—typed in the chat. 

We are social beings, meant to share fellowship. An interruption like a coffee break speaks to the continuity of relationships. We also need rest, and sometimes that means a pause in work or activity. A hiatus, or maybe a complete change. 

Then when we say, “Give me a break,” we really mean it.

Linkup with Five Minute Friday:


  1. Arleen Bohlmann

    You were missed, Carole. With the extra activity yesterday morning I didn’t get to inquire from Keith about your absence. Now I know and can pray for a restoring break to regain good health.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Arleen. I missed you all, too! Hopefully, I’ll be back this week.

  2. Sandra K Stein

    Hope you’re feeling better.

    • Carole Duff

      I am, thank you so much!

  3. seekingdivineperspective

    I can relate, Carole. As the Psalmist said, sometimes “He maketh me to lie down…”

    • Carole Duff

      I hadn’t thought of Psalm 23:2 in that way, but it’s true. Thank you, Ann.

    • aschmeisser

      Sneezes, sniffles, stuffy head,
      yet more aspirin to take,
      wife says I should stay in bed
      and please rest, for goodness’ sake!
      Read or watch a DVD,
      or use the phone to play a game;
      Barb, you must be kidding me,
      if I do that I’ll go insane!
      My workbench stands outside the door,
      and it’s not that cold outside.
      I think it would be rather more
      helpful to morale and pride
      to do the things that I do best;
      when I’m dead, then I can rest.

      • Carole Duff


  4. Sue Love

    I enjoyed reading this writing. Yes, we need breaks. And the Lord has given me breaks before via sickness. I hope you are feeling much better now.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you for your comment and good wishes, Sue.

      By the grace of God, I’m back in my hind legs now, singing His praises.


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