Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday update

It's been a loooooooooooooooong week. My boss has gone out of town so instead of working 3 days this week I'm working 6. 52 hours sitting at a desk gets really old.... really fast. The good thing about working the extra days is that the paycheck will be very nice and since I just got the horse vet bill in I desperately need some extra cash this month. The bad news is that I still have to find time to clean my mom's house, and since there is no time left after those 2 jobs I had to tell my new riding student that she couldn't come out for a lesson:( and there's no time to ride myself:( Thankfully the week is almost over!!

So, I haven't spent any time updating you on the crazy things that are going on. Last week I had a job interview and go in Monday to meet the staff. It is more hours then I am getting at my current job and the pay is slightly better. It is also only 15 min away from my current house and not 45 min away. To complicate matters I am moving. I've been praying for either a roommate or a cheaper place to live. Well.... God answered of course and the new place is pretty cool... I'll have my horses in my backyard!!! To read about just how excited I am about it and for more info on the place go to Life with Romeo since its a horse girls dream place I thought it more appropriate to write about it over there.

The complicated part is that this place is near the current job...so..... not sure if I should take the new job. We'll see I guess. The next month will be crazy.. I like moving, but I hate packing... lol. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

On a different note, my fam is in need of prayer. I won't go into much detail but my lil sis and her husband just need some serious prayer. If you get a chance to pray for them I'd appreciate it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Multitude Monday

This summer I challenged by Sunday school kids to memorize a passage of Scripture. I chose Psalm 27. I think God had me chose it more for my sake then for theirs. I have been amazed at how hard they have and are working. My class is full of boys with a few girls sprinkled in. They are 8-11 years old, and they are memorizing 14 verses this summer. 1 has already completed the challenge, said the whole passage with just 3 helps!! I love listening to young ones etch Scripture on their hearts, God always honors those who hide His word in their hearts.These young ones are not aware of the great rewards that come with memorizing and meditating on Scripture.

Listening to them say their verses has also made me feel quite guilty. These young children are much better at memorizing Scripture then I am. I need to change this. I came upon a passage of Scripture in Isaiah that I have just fallen in love with. The wording is so beautiful and a great description of His power. I think it is a very fitting passage for Multitude Monday as it is a reminder that He is the ultimate gift-giver. I need to spend more time sitting in awe of His beauty... His power.

Isaiah 10:6-16

No one is like You, O Lord;
You are great, and Your name is mighty in power.
Who should not revere you, O King of the nations?
This is You due.
 
Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like You.
They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish 
and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple - all made by skilled workers.

But the Lord is the true God; 
He is the living God, the eternal King.
When He is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure His wrath.

"Tell them this, 'These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.' "

But God made the earth by HIS power; 
He founded the world by HIS wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by HIS understanding.
When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar,
He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightening with the rain and brings out the wind from HIS storehouses.

Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish.

HE who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for HE is the Maker of all things. including Israel, the tribe of HIS inheritance - the Lord Almighty is HIS name.


This passage gives me chill bumps. I can't help but feel small after reading it. That's MY Father.... my daddy. He who makes the earth tremble is the one I call Abba Father. 

I am His... you are His...

I am the daughter of the Almighty, the Maker of all things.

I am loved, not just one of His many children. No, He knows my name, knows my heart, loves me. He thinks I am special. He cares for me, and not just the big things... but the little things too. Every little detail, He knows and cares about.

#255-271

My Maker

Sweet gifts sent from above

Open doors

New opportunities

Extra days at work

A fun evening, making new friends

Snuggles with Ben (can you tell I LOVE being an "aunt")

Ice cream run with my mom

Reading time with the nephew

Watching the shy one in class, who struggles with memorizing, say more then he thought he could and the smile on his face when he hears the words, "I'm proud of you"

Hearing those sweet, but loud, children complain because we have run out of time and they will have to wait till next week to hear the end of the story of Ruth.

A ride from a friend, which saves me gas

Gas below $2!!!

Peaches hanging from the tree

The sweet juice tickling down my face

The what seemed like the never-ending canning process, that yielded 2 dozens jars full of sliced peaches

A sticky floor, sticky counter tops, sticky stove, and sticky jars full of peaches










holy experience

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brokenness

Brokenness.

Ever been there?

It's necessary this side of heaven.

It is not enjoyable, but the fruit that it bears is so much sweeter.

Brokenness allows walls to come done. It brings healing... it brings joy... and strengthens faith.

Brokenness deepens the bond between Creator and created

It must happen as the created often fails to realize the depth of their own depravity. However, that is why there is grace. Without it there is no hope... no salvation... only death.

Grace is what allows wounds to heal. Grace is what allows a wretched, created vessel like myself to run straight into His arms, even after running far away from Him for so long.

It's always there... always free. Waiting on me to come get it. I can do nothing to earn it.You can do nothing to earn it. It is free. Given to those who He loves.

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
Ephesians 1:5-6

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The beauty of His word

 He is like the light at sunrise on a cloudless morning



Like the brightness after rain



That brings the grass from the earth


 2 Samuel 23:4

#235-254

A little girl asking to pray before bed

More cuddles with Ben and watching him smile

The cuteness of a baby trying new foods

New flowers in old pots

Seeing the beauty of His hand while watching that magnificent youngster of mine prance around

A new job

The simple fact that He always provides, even when I fail to trust that He will

An understanding boss

The chance to pray with a hurting sister

Knowing that even in hard times He is still in control

Peace that comes only from above

Watching faith grow

Sisters in Christ who bare each others burdens

A sister willing to say the hard things that move my heart towards repentance

Encouraging words that seek to soothe deep wounds made by loved ones

A repenting heart

A broken spirit

The depth of His forgiveness

Never ending grace

Refreshing words straight from His lips

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend update

It's been a busy week and I have been preoccupied with other things so updating here just hasn't happened. So today's post is just an update on the randomness of life.

For starters, I love blogging :-) and I love my horses :-) and like any mom, I could spend all day talking about my "children" but that topic just doesn't seem to fit over here at this blog, so..... I started a new one :-) for anyone interested you can follow here to keep updated on that part of my life.

Time to share a something that is making me crazy. I can't ride :( and I'm kinda depressed about it. That's one of the reasons for my new blog, if I can't ride then I can write about riding right!! You see that fall, or rather shot to the ground that I experienced the other day left me pretty beat up. The bruise on my arm was almost gone and my back was feeling much better so last Sat I saddled up Mr Romeo (after doing thorough ground work and making sure some of the wild energy was already released) and worked him for a bit. Everything went great, mister was an angel and the lesson was very productive. However later that night my lower back was in an enormous amount of pain. This was quite puzzling to me. I have lower back problems, due to a fall many years ago, I have had 2 rounds of pt and am now able to manage it well. In fact, riding makes it better and I always feel better after a ride, so needless to say this pain was troublesome.

As it turns out I suffered a deep muscle bruise on my lower back from the fall. By the way... those things hurt.... really badly!! Much worse then a broken arm. Kinda wishing that was my injury. So far I have not found anything that helps speed up the healing process for a deep muscle bruise, everything I read just says rest. That is the one thing I hate to do. I am one who always pushes through pain and ignores it. However, doing that with a deep muscle bruise will actually make it worse and there are  some serious things that can happen if you don't care for it. So..... all week I have watched my beauties from afar dreaming of the day I  can get back out there.

To top it off... the usual 100 degree weather we have in July was in the low 90's all last week and part of this week. Now that I am finally starting to feel better the temp shoots back up. Go figure :-p Sigh... yes, I'm pouting. The latter part of this week has been relatively pain free so that's a good sign. I've taken it easy and rested a whole lot. My goal is to ride early Wed morning. We'll see if I can.

Also a prayer request.... I'm looking for another part-time job. I need one that fits in with my current job but still allows me a day off other then Sun so I can teach riding lessons, oh and I really need to find 2 more students to teach, PTL for the one that I currently have! Teaching lessons has always been a dream of mine and the only way to keep my mare is for her to earn her keep which she is currently doing :-)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

He who Struggles with God

For the past three weeks I have been teaching my kiddos about Jacob. We have mostly stuck to the story about him and his brother Esau. I have read and studied this story many times throughout my life and I love that the Word is so alive. It doesn't matter how many times you read a story in the Bible, God can always teach you something new, or remind you of a lesson you may have forgotten about.

As I taught through these stories I noticed a few things about Jacob. One is that the Lord informed Issac and Rebekah that Jacob would be the stronger son. This was not decided by Rebekah, who favored Jacob, or by Jacob himself. The Lord declared that Esau would serve Jacob.

The problem was that Jacob was impatient.

Instead of allowing God to fulfill His own promise Jacob, and his mother, took it upon themselves to fulfill God's promise. Maybe Jacob thought that God had forgotten, or that He didn't really mean what He had said in the beginning....

Or maybe Jacob had forgotten God's promise and the deed was done out of pure selfishness.

Whatever the reason Jacob failed to rely on God to direct his path. He tricked his brother into giving up his birthright and then tricked his own father into giving him his father's blessing.

I wish that I could say that Jacob learned his lesson after this mess that he caused but he didn't. The story continues and we see that Jacob still struggles to trust God to direct his path. In fact Jacob actually wrestles with God on the matter. He fought so hard that God ended up touching his hip just so Jacob would give up. He lived with a limp for the rest of his life because of his stubbornness. God also changed his name to Israel which means, he who struggles with God. How would you like to be named that? Talk about a constant reminder.

As I studied the life of this Old Testament man I see myself. I often struggle with waiting on God. I know with out a shadow of a doubt that God has promised me great and mighty things, but because His timing is different then mine I often grow impatient. Sometimes I, like Jacob, decide to take matters into my own hands.

All this year I have taught about the Israelites and now on Jacob. One thing I see is a pattern of distrust. When something goes wrong, or if something just isn't happening the way they think it ought to go, they grow impatient. They usually don't even ask God. Instead of taking their questions, their wants, their needs to the feet of God they completely throw Him out of the picture.

I wonder what would of happened if Jacob, if the Israelites would of just waited. Or if they had just taken a few minutes to lift up a prayer.

I am pretty sure that if Jacob would have waited he still would have received the greater blessing, and without destroying his family in the process. The Israelites paid a heavy price for their impatience, the first generation all died without entering the promise land. God still remained faithful and fulfilled His promise. Jacob received his blessing but suffered many consequences because of his lack of faith. The Israelites still went to the promise land but think of how many people missed out on the great reward because of their lack of faith.  

It's easy to get frustrated while reading the story of the Israelites, sometimes I forget just how much like them I am. It's much easier to spot someones failing then your own. I don't want to be an Israel. I also don't want to have to make God touch my hip. I would much rather learn my lesson the first time and then enjoy the blessings that follow.

In everything give thanks

  Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Sunday's are always a day full of learning for me. It always amazes me that the most valuable lessons I learn often come from the lessons that I teach. Look for the post coming a bit latter on the lessons that the story of Jacob have taught me.

One lesson I am striving to learn is to dwell on this 1 Thessalonians verse. These 3 commands are the foundation for living a life for Him. As part of developing the habit of continually giving thanks I am counting the gifts that God has given me that sometimes go unnoticed.

#215-234

A weekend full of rain

Rain that waters the pastures

Green pastures to fill the bellies of beautiful steeds


The soft sound of rain falling as I sit here typing

Rain... are you getting the picture that I LOVE rain(:


An apology letter from an 8 yr old who is learning the hard lesson of controlling her tongue

An unexpected evening with the 2 younger P girls... movie, peaches and ice cream, finger nail painting, singing Jesus songs, and lots of sweet cuddles

Baby Ben napping on my shoulder

Lexi talking in church

New songs downloaded

Taking the long way home

Snowcones with friends

A clean kitchen

Good books to read

The wonderful power of coffee(:

The itching to redecorate

Walls coming down

The love of a Saviour

Grace







holy experience

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My prayer

I'm standing... staring.... the wall is before me.

He's standing there too. 

Side by side we stare at it. That wall is big.... much time has been spent building it. He lovingly looks at me. He bends down.

The Almighty lowers Himself off the throne of heaven and meets me where I am. 

His hand touches my shoulder.... He looks past my eyes, deep into my soul. "It must come down." I hang my head and nod... yes, I know that it does. I look up, into His eyes glistening with tears. He knows that I really like that wall... and that tearing it down will hurt. He knows what I cannot see.

That amongst the tears and the pain, there is hope.... joy.... love.

He pulls me close, wrapping me up in arms that are strong. He reminds me that yes, there will be pain, however HE is not going anywhere. I do not have to tear down the wall alone. The hardships, the loneliness, the fear, that is ahead will come but He will be right there by my side, holding me, every step of the way. He pulls away and stands up, still looking at me with complete adoration and love.

He holds out His hand.

I look up, into the very eyes of the One who created me, loves me, knows me. Will I take His hand? Am I willing to let the wall fall? Will I trust Him?


All I have to do is hold His hand... He will do the rest.

Father, give me a willing heart, spirit. I want to take your hand. I want to trust you. Destroy the flesh within me that fights so hard to remain in control. Give me strength to do the right thing. Give me faith that I might trust in You, and You alone. I don't want to be broken but I know that I must be. Break me down, draw me closer to You. Stir in me the desire to desire You. Overwhelm me with Your love, with Your grace.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Because He is worthy

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. 
Hebrews 12:28

Because He is worthy... holy... full of grace... I will give thanks.

He is the Most High... the King of kings.... and Lord of lords... therefore I am required to give thanks.

My Father is the ultimate gift giver... the one who bestows undeserving gifts.... because of Him I have things to be thankful for.



#185-214

A bowl full of fresh fruit

Extra change to buy fresh fruit

Grocery shopping with miss Embery

A short rain shower in the middle of the day

An afternoon to sit with good friends and stare at baby Ben... oh the miracle of a baby... a clear picture of our Creator

Snuggles with baby Ben

Playing with little Lexi and seeing her grow up way to fast

Watching the girls watch fireworks... and all their ohs and ahs

Watching fireworks with the best friends anyone could ever ask for

Chats with new friends

A great time catching up with an old friend

Memories shared over text with another old friend

A week of cool weather... a nice break from the not so nice blistering heat

A fall off the youngin that the Creator used to teach me a lesson

A loyal dog who checks on me and helps me up after that dreadful fall

The courage given to me to get back on that wild one and finish the lesson on a good note

The wonderful knowledge of medicine that makes the pain not quite so unbearable

The way a hot shower feels on sore muscles

Realizing that while I am not as young as I used to be... I can still survive a bad fall without killing myself.... so maybe I am still that young(:

The joy found in a cup of coffee

Extra days at work which will provide the much needed cash to place in savings

Extra days at work which will pay for much needed vet visits

Finding out that I now have a student to give riding lessons to

How God provides for even the littlest things when we let Him work and stop trying to interfere

Celebrating our country's freedom

The gift of freedom which allows me to worship... pray... speak out loud about my God

Fireworks

Good food, with good friends

The walls of protection the Shepherd has around me

His unwillingness to let me settle



 






holy experience

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The walls we build....

Everywhere you go there are walls...


Walls like those in a house, are there to protect us, shelter us. They are meant to keep things in... or out.

We build, live in walls all our lives.  

There are walls inside of us as well. 

Some walls are good... some walls are bad.

He builds up walls around us. After all He is the shepherd, and a shepherd builds walls to protect His flock from the things unseen. 

Sheep are by nature unable to make wise choices for themselves, they are, and will forever be in need of their shepherd to tell them where to go, what to eat, for without his guidance they are doomed.

The walls built by Him... by the Great Shepherd, are good walls.

Sometimes I build walls.

To protect myself... to hide myself... in order to avoid things I don't want to see.

These walls are not built by Him, for Him.

These walls MUST come down. They stand in the way of the Shepherd, make it so I cannot see Him.

Maybe that's why I build them. 


Some walls are put up quickly and come down quickly.

Other walls are put up one brick at a time... slowly.... cemented together. This wall will not come down easily. It cannot be taken apart the way it was put up. No, this wall must be demolished, broken down and sometimes it's painful. There is a big mess left to clean up. The effects of that wall will linger. The pieces must be picked up and cast away. 


 It's hard work... cleaning up that big of a mess. There are times when I really just want it to go back up, after all the hole leaves me exposed and vulnerable.


I don't like to feel exposed or vulnerable. 
  
Like or not the wall will come down. He will destroy it... with or without my help. It's in my best interest to help Him. As my mom often told me growing up, "He will do what He must to make you into His image. He cares more about your holiness then your happiness." I can choose to remove the stones, or start building it again, but He will keep molding me, time and time again. 


I am so thankful that my Father cares about me enough to keep tearing down the walls I build. He won't let me hide from Him. He won't rest until I give in. Till I am finally willing to remove every speck of that wall.










Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just showing off

Even though I am currently not liking Mr. Romeo I feel like showing off my beautiful "children." So bare with me while a prod mom shows off her pride and joy.

I did a photo shot a while back with them and here are some of my favs...

A hard fall

I rode that wild youngster the other night and after a very frustrating half hour of the battle-of-the-wills I found a good note to end on, swung my leg over and patted his neck... after all it's my fault he's acting this bad. Its what happens when Mr. Romeo isn't ridden consistently.

He's no Dutch... the bond isn't there yet. That kinda bond takes years... and for years, I've been spoiled. It doesn't matter how often or how long its been, when I climb on the back of that old friend, two become one. She knows my thoughts and I know hers. But it isn't the same with the youngster. Sometimes I forget.

The reason for my lack of riding is the simple fact that I live in Arkansas. For those of you who are not familiar with the typical Arkansas summer, here are a few words to describe it: horrendous, gruesome, dreadful, and miserable. We have already had a week full of days where the temp was over 100, add so much humidity that as soon as you step out the door you are drenched, and that ladies and gents describes the awful state in which I just so happen to live in. (Can you tell I'm not exactly thrilled to be here)!! So needless to say that is why Mr Romeo has not been ridden as of late.

After our awful battle in which I'm pretty sure ended in a draw, I told myself that something has to change. After all I spent my savings purchasing and bringing him here and he is my dream horse, so I better get working on fulfilling that dream of mine. Which means that I have to ride, at least twice a week. So I begrudgingly set the alarm for 630 and dragged my sorry self out of that cozy bed and drove the long way to the parents, saddle him up and began the days adventure.

It started out great.... started... got it? You'll need to remember that word. That sweet, charming personality that I fell in love with was right there. I spent extra time brushing him and just talked to him (which he loves). Telling myself to be patient and take it easy after all he's got a long way to go. The problem is in some areas he learns so fast which tends to make me relax in areas I shouldn't. Our ride started off like the other day but I just gritted my teeth, firmly told him to settle down and eventually he did. All was well so to reward him I let him run, which is what he always wants to do.

Well Mr. dumb-butt decided that he wasn't done being ornery and launch into a series of what we horse people call cow-hops. He goes up in the air and then comes down and launches his rear in the air. Hard to sit at times, but I always do... except for this time. You see dumb-butt is big, really, really big and the old saying goes, "the bigger the horse, the harder the fall." Let me tell you that it is true! Very, very true! I knew that one day he would dump me, after all another old saying goes like this, "every good rider falls." I anticipated this day, yet dreaded it.

Well he bucked, and I went forward onto his neck and then the not-so-nice dumb-butt (can you tell that my feelings have been hurt?) bucked again and off I went. I landed on my back and the pain sent a wave of nausea throughout my whole body. In all my years of riding and all the many falls I have had, none compared to this.

Not the broken arm (which left me in a cast for 6 weeks), or the busted knee (which put me on crutches for 4 weeks), nor the first fall on my back (which was the beginning of all my back troubles). Mind you all those incidents took place on that trusted mare of mine, you see that bond takes years and lots, and lots of falls.

The pain was so bad it took me a long while to get back up, but with the help of a faithful pup, I staggered to my feet. That wild, not-so-trusted youngster stood in the corner looking at me. Not sure what to think of me sitting over there on the ground... I swear to you there was pride in his eyes, which infuriated me. I walked over to him, grabbed the reins and swung back up. Worked him through the problem area and called it a day.

As I turned him back out my old friend came up to check on me and I fed her his carrots. He walked over surprised and even more surprised when I angrily shoved his head away. He doesn't yet realize that he broke rule number one: never dump the hand that feeds you. A bond between horse and rider is built upon trust in one another. He has broken that trust and now has to earn it back. A hard lesson for him to learn but I can't let it go. Trust is the foundation upon which all riding is built. If I can't trust him, I can't ride him. I hate teaching the lesson of trust to a horse, they don't understand what is going on, however if I ignore it he will become a dangerous animal. He has to learn to follow me, to obey even when he doesn't want to.

Interesting isn't it.... looks like I'm getting a taste of my own medicine. I'm rebelling against Him, and my horse is rebelling against me. Think someone'sI have not been faithful in training him. I'm rebelling because I have not been faithful to God. See the pattern? I do now.

Trust is important... the foundation upon which everything else is built upon. My horse has broken that so I have to be strong and firmly teach him that he can't do that. Well.... God has to do the same to me. I don't like it... Romeo isn't going to like it. But it has to be taught! If God, I, let it go bigger problems arise.

In the end it is I that suffers... I will now have tremendous amount of back pain to remind myself that breaking trust hurts... and it has too because it's that serious of an issue.