Sitting in the Sewage


Sitting in the Sewage

Minutes before we were ready to leave for school I asked for a volunteer to put our black lab puppy, Daisy, on her chain in the backyard.  Gianna cheerfully volunteered,  Daisy defiantly blew past Gianna and ran out of the door and down the street. I was exasperated that Gianna did not take more precautions and frustrated that we were a week away from getting the last pieces of our backyard fence. Gianna was unsuccessful in getting Daisy to come back and started crying on the porch.

With a terse voice I corralled the kids into the car while I unsuccessfully tried to get Daisy.  The last time Daisy wandered, the vet several blocks away called us to tell us someone had turned Daisy in to them. We left for school with Daisy wandering the neighborhood

Looking at Gianna’s sad eyes in the rear view window, I began feeling cruddy about how I handled her and our stressful runaway lab puppy.  Adding to that was my overreaction to the strongest defiant exchange on record with my 6th grader two nights before. I started to feel like I was sitting in the sewer.

Then I had a flashback from the Mid-West Catholic Family Conference about a talk given by Dr. Peter and Chantal Howard.  They advocated a process called “family confession”.  With some regularity the family would publicly confess to each other their sins and mistakes, asking for forgiveness.

Sometimes you have to sit in your sewage long enough to be ready to take the steps, like a family confession, that will help the family heal.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Consider “family confession” as a way to help heal your primary relationships.

Copyright 2012 Christina M. Weber 


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Christina Weber helps Christian biz owners to earn more in less time, have a greater impact, and live a life they love on a daily basis. Visit her website:


  1. Karina Fabian on

    I realize this isn’t the point of the post, but there’s an awesome trick you can teach a runaway dog–the Emergency Recall.

    First, find the absolutely most luscious treat you can. In our house, it’s hot dogs. Never use this treat for anything but Emergency Recall.

    Get a whistle. With the dog near you, blow the whistle, then drop a piece of the hot dog. That’s it. No words, no commands, no praise. Whistle, hot dog. Whistle hot dog.

    Once the dog starts getting the idea. Have someone hold them while you step away. Blow the whistle, drop the hot dog. have the person let them go so they can run to the hot dog. Repeat. Over time increase the distance and the distraction level.

    What you are doing is training the dog that whistle means treat, but on an instinctive level, so they aren’t thinking about it, like when you give a command. That way, they go tearing off, you blow the whistle and their instincts say “Treat!” and they forget what they were doing and run back to you.

    Our dog dashed out of the house after we’d been training this only a few days, but he can tearing right back at that whistle. It’s a great trick–and sometimes, avoiding a bad situation means you don’t have to apologize later. 🙂

  2. Christina M. Weber, MS on

    Great idea Karina! I can use all the help I can get. I’ll give your idea a try. Right now Daisy is having a play date with our neighbors dog in their fenced in yard.

  3. Kathleen Basi on

    This is a really interesting idea. I try to apologize regularly to my kids and husband for my mistakes and, well, sins, but there is really something about the collective nature of it that gives it power.

  4. Christina M. Weber, MS on

    Yes, Kathleen, it is so easy for things to get course around the house, at least for us. Family confession is not yet a part of our routine, but I hope to make it so.

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