Blessed

BlessedLast year on this day, I had a horrible accident.  I was thrown from the back of a horse that bolted on me.  Little did I know, but this horse was “green” meaning that it truly was not broke to ride.  The person that we got this horse from was not honest with us as I found out when the horse took off with me on the back.  I was literally holding on for dear life gripping the horn of the saddle with all of my might trying to remain in the saddle.  We have six acres out in the country, and that runaway horse took me the whole entire length of our property.  It was only when she turned to go the other direction that my feet slipped out of the stirrups, and I was thrown from the back of this horse.  Thankfully this happened before the horse decided to start bucking, causing the saddle to go underneath the horse.  I don’t want to even begin to think how much worse it could have been had that happened while I was still on the horse!

The result of the accident was a fractured left hip/pelvic area as well as a fractured left hand.  The hand, no doubt, was fractured from me slamming it down on the horn of the saddle and the struggle to hold on tight.  The fracture to my hip/pelvic area was due to landing hard on the ground when I was thrown off.

For me to be here today is truly a blessing.  I know that God was with me that day because the accident could have been much, much worse.  I thank God that it wasn’t because I have two children that need me, and I thank God that I am blessed to be here with them and for them today.

A few months after the accident, I was anxious to get back in the saddle again.  I didn’t necessary want to ride at this point, but I wanted to at least sit in the saddle again to overcome my fear.  I knew if I didn’t get back in the saddle soon that the fear would take over, and I would never ride again.  I did not want that to happen, and I had to conquer that fear so it would not keep me from doing something that I have such a passion for.  When the day came that I felt I was ready to try, I chose my faithful horse who was 15 years old at the time.  She was an experienced horse and one of the best, well trained horses that we have.  She took excellent care of me.  I managed to pull myself up into the saddle, and I sat up there so proudly because I was back in the saddle again!  Then, as my horse stood quietly, I leaned down to hug her.  She restored my faith in horses once again and allowed me to conquer my fear.

Today is a very important day for me.  I look back at the accident that never should have happened but did due to a person’s dishonesty.  Had this person just been honest with me, we would never have purchased this horse.  All this person could see was dollar signs, though, and she did not consider the danger of putting a green horse with our family.  Had she just been honest with us … why is it so hard for people to just be HONEST these days?!  Yes, she would have lost the sale, but she would have also prevented an accident!  This horse was purchased for my two daughters, and I just thank GOD that they were not riding this horse when she decided to bolt.  I just thank GOD that if anyone had to go through this, it was me … and NOT my two precious daughters!

What ever happened to the horse that bolted on us, you might be asking?  We called the lady up that sold us this horse and told her what happened.  Initially, she was not that apologetic and wasn’t going to take the horse back or refund us the money.  However, she soon decided to do so, and still has the horse to this day.  You know how they say that Karma will get you?  Well, I’m not a believer in that saying or know whether that is necessarily true or not, but I was told a few months ago that this girl sustained an injury while working with a horse.  The extent of her injuries was a broken knee cap!  She had surgery and was in a cast where she was pretty much bedridden and unable to do anything at this point due to the cast.  I am truly sorry that happened, as I would not wish this on my worst enemy.  But, I did wonder if the same horse that did this to me … also did this to her.

Our family has been horse lovers for a very long time, and I did not want this accident to change any of that.  We have five horses now, and we love them all.  They bring us so much joy and happiness.

Not all horses are like this.  Please know that!  I don’t want you to read this post and vow to never get on the back of a horse!  We have five – more mature – horses that are just wonderful!  They range in ages from 10 to 16 years old.  That is a good age for reliable, seasoned horses!  They have been around enough to know the ropes, are well trained, and make excellent mounts!  They are perfect for a leisurely trail ride where you can enjoy God and the beautiful world that He has given us!  Honestly, I feel a little bit closer to God on the back of a horse.  As much as I love God and want to see Him one sweet day, I just thank Him that my time on earth wasn’t up on March 31, 2014!

Was it painful last year going through all of this with the accident?  YES!  But, God helped me through that time in my life, as He has at other times when I have struggled.  God is faithful and true!

This had the ability to snuff out my desire to ride horses ever again.  It had the ability to deprive me of something that, in the past, had given me so much joy.  Our family would seek out destinations to go on vacations and make sure that there was a ranch nearby so that we could go horseback riding while on vacation!  That is how much we LOVE horses!  Then our dreams came true when we became horse owners ourselves!  I feel very blessed to have these giant creatures that God has given us.  I have a high respect for people that take “green” horses and “break” them so that they will one day be suitable to ride.  I have no desire to do that, though, especially after the accident last year.  I just thank God that it wasn’t any worse than it was and that my children did not get hurt.

There was a lesson to be learned in all of this, though.  As much as we would like to believe that people are true and honest … sadly, they aren’t.  They will lie, and your life could be endangered due to their dishonesty.  That’s the sad, harsh facts!  But, an important lesson is to NOT take a single day for granted.  Appreciate the life that God has given you and get out there and LIVE it!  Overcome your fears!  Live your dream!

Today, I feel I am an overcomer!  With God by my side, He has helped me overcome the injuries I sustained in the accident that never should have happened!  I feel that God has helped me to overcome my fear and allowed me to get back in the saddle again with my seasoned horse that takes good care of me.  I am blessed to be able to share this passion for horses with my family.  My husband is involved with the care of our horses, and he also enjoys trail riding.  My children are involved and enjoy these beautiful horses that we devote so much time caring for and exploring God’s countryside on.

Yes, today is a wonderful day, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am blessed by God above!

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While I was thinking of writing a post about this very topic today, it tied in perfectly with the prompt word of Blessed for Karen’s Tuesday At Ten.

Shirley and Arizona

 

 

What Is Ruining Your Witness?

 

Saturday midday we stopped in at a barbeque place just outside of our hometown as my mouth was watering for some good ole tomatoes and rice.  No, this isn’t the traditional side with barbeque in the South, but there was hash and rice as well as the pork barbeque meat also.  All day, though, I had a craving for those dang tomatoes and rice.

We walked though the line filling our plates with all of the goodness that the buffet offered.  Oh, I could not wait to dive into those tomatoes!  My family and I found a good seat by the door, on the end of the table, and we bowed our heads to say the blessing before we started eating.  After we finished the prayer, we dove into our plates.  Imagine food slinging as both of our hands were at work with our forks shoveling food into our mouths.  JUST KIDDING!!  It wasn’t quite that bad.  Close, but … again, kidding.

I looked up from my plate to see a group coming through the door.  To me, it looked like a youth group or maybe a family from the church with a few teens with them.  The man spoke with an authoritative tone, and everyone in the group seemed to look to him as they made their way through the buffet line, to the table of their choice, and right on up to the point where he lead them in prayer before their meal.

I paused for a moment admiring them showing their faith as they bowed their heads to pray.  I listened as the man loudly said the blessing for the group, and then they began to partake of their meal.

Yes, it had to be a youth group … or something pertaining to the church, I thought.

Then it happened.

The moment that changed everything.

As the gentleman was speaking, he slipped in a curse word, and in that instance, he ruined his witness for Christ, in my eyes.

Could the conversation have done without the curse word?  Absolutely!  It was not necessary and did not add anything to the conversation.  If anything, it greatly took away from it with the need for him to say such a dirty word.  And … it most definitely ruined the whole feel I had about him and the group.

Maybe I was wrong after all … maybe they were NOT a part of the youth group or a part of a church.  But, if they were, they totally ruined their witness for Christ with what went down shortly after their prayer.

The same man that prayed with such conviction and authority is the same one that turned around and said that bad word.

Then it hit me.

What is ruining your witness, I thought to myself.

It wasn’t long before my husband could tell that I was lost in my thoughts, so he inquired as to what I was thinking.  I began to tell him what I had observed and how my thoughts wandered to what we do that ruins our witness.  No, we aren’t perfect, and we aren’t supposed to be.  We are supposed to strive to live a good life and do good to all those that we encounter.  But it occurred to me that just as we sat there watching this group as they entered the doors right on up to their conversation that we couldn’t help but overhear at a nearby table, people are watching us, too!

Maybe you haven’t given this much thought either until now, but people especially watch Christians and hold them more accountable and to a higher standard because we do proclaim to be Christians, which means we are to exhibit Christ-like behavior.  But, do we always? No … we don’t.

When we lose our patience with the clerk behind the counter at the store …

When we smart off at people …

When we get an attitude, whether we feel it is warranted or not …

Do we stop to remember that the bible says we are to sin NOT in our anger?  Do we obey?

How about in general conversation, just like this man … do we slip in curse words that we feel add to the conversation to make it more interesting?  Here’s a newsflash:  They aren’t needed!  If you feel that your words aren’t interesting enough in themselves without adding in curse words, maybe you should just sit quietly.

I’m not just preaching and not taking this into consideration in my own life.  Believe me.  I’ve been thinking on this all weekend long!  All of the above is something I’ve been thinking on and telling myself within the last few days.

Even sarcasm isn’t necessary.  Some times it is funny when you are joking around and the person knows you are just kidding, but be sure not to take it too far to where it ends up being insulting.

Will you take time to think on this and see what items may be ruining your witness and what you may need to change?  I know I will.

 

 

Life Matters And So Do You!

Every weekday morning at 7:40 a.m. on our local radio station they share a message from a pastor.  He ends his message the same way by saying, “Life matters … and so do you!”

Think of the impact that this phrase could have on people every where!

What if someone was really depressed and feeling as low as they could possibly go, and then they hear a message such as this?

They may be feeling as if they do not matter to anyone so what is the use anyway.  Maybe they are consumed with lies from the devil, yet they hear the truth that they DO matter.  That is life changing right there if they allow it to soak into their being and see the truth instead of listening to the lies from the enemy!

People do need to hear this and know deep down in their hearts that they do matter.  They are important!  What they have been through and are going through is important, too!  It is a part of their story, and their story deserves to be told!

How can you impress upon someone today and let them know that they matter?  In this cold, cruel world, how can you impact another person’s life with a positive message?  Think on it and then put action behind it and actually do something about it.

Compliment someone.  It might make a difference in their day and in how they view themselves, especially if inside they have a negative self image.

Treat people with respect.  You would want that, so give to others that which you desire as well.

Listen with your ears but also your heart.  We rush through our days often times not really hearing what people are trying to say to us.  Listen intently and then allow your heart  to show that care, concern, and empathy.  Some times what means the most is when people are allowed to talk about what is bothering them when they know they have someone that is listening and cares!  Give them your full attention especially at times when they are opening up and beginning to pour their hearts out to you.

YOU can make a difference.  You know why?  Because life matters … and SO DO YOU!

 

 

 

Are You Who You Want To Be?

As I was listening to RDIO.COM at work this morning, the song I’m A Survivor by Reba McEntire came on.  It was a popular song a few years ago and was the theme song for her self-entitled television show.  But, have you ever really stopped to consider what this song is actually saying?

She was born too early and wasn’t given much of a chance, but she is a survivor and will keep on living.  In the song, she’s a single mother with two children that works really hard and loves her children so much.

Something that really struck me are the words of the song:  Who I am is who I wanna be …

It got me to thinking, and so I pose this question to my readers today.  Are you who you want to be?

Think on that for a few minutes.

If you are NOT who you want to be at this stage of the game, what is stopping you from being all that you can be?  Is there a way that you can make a change that will lead you to where you’d like to be?  Would you consider setting a goal and then putting steps into place for you to achieve this goal?

It doesn’t have to be any major life changes, just little things that you can work toward.  It is possible.  Just don’t think you can make a change over night.  Give yourself time to think on this, pray about it, and seek God in ALL things.  Then, set your plan into motion.

You CAN be who you want to be … and love every fiber that makes you who you are!

 

Equestrian Ministries

 

If you have been with us for any length of time, you know that we have a special fondness and love for gentle giants, aka horses! These massive creatures leave us in awe each time as we watch them in all of their greatness and marvel at these gorgeous animals that God has given us.

Here at Light Love Hope we strive to share the message of God’s light in the dark world that we are living in, His unconditional, never ending love for us, and hope for a future and for eternal life in Heaven with Him!

Last year we became horse owners.  It is something that we have always dreamed of and had an interest in, but we hadn’t taken that step.  When we did, though, we jumped in with both feet into horse ownership and now have two paint horses, a dark bay quarter horse, a pinto pony, and a Shetland pony.  We feel we have a good mix, and oh boy do we love to gaze out at them in our yard as they are grazing.

Our HorsesDuring this past year as we’ve adjusted to life on the ranch tending to our beauties, we wondered if there was a way to incorporate the two things that our family is passionate about: Jesus Christ and our horses. After researching this topic, we found that there IS a way to do both, and so we have just recently joined the Equestrian Ministries in our state!

What, exactly, is the Equestrian Ministries and what do we do?  We are a nonprofit, nondenominational organization consisting of individuals and fellowships throughout the state that have united under a mutually agreed upon statement of faith for the purpose of fellowship and ministry to our local communities. We believe there is one God who exists in three persons:  the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We believe in the Bible and the words that God has given us to live by.  We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, that He walked the face of this earth and lived a sinless life.  We believe He performed miracles, and we believe that He died on the cross for all of our sins so that we may have eternal life through Him.  We believe that He rose from the dead, is now in Heaven, and that one day soon, He will come back for His children.  We also believe that we were made in the image of God, but we have been corrupted by the sin in the world.  However, there is still hope for lost souls if they believe in Jesus, have faith in Him, and ask Him into their hearts.  Their sins will be washed away, and they will have the gift of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ!

We are very excited as we embark on this new journey with the Equestrian Ministries.  We ask for prayer as we reach out to those in the community.  Everyone needs Jesus, even people that ride horses!  Why not try to reach as many people as we can, in whatever ways that we can?  That is what we are here on this earth to do – to share Jesus with lost souls.

Shirley and Arizona

Joining the Equestrian Ministries wasn’t just a move to ensure that we get to go trail riding. No, no, no.  It’s a much bigger picture than this.  Sure, we love trail riding like the next horse person, but it’s about believers coming together to share the message of Jesus.  Do I like the fact that we will be camping out and riding the trails with people of faith?  Yes!  Absolutely!  I don’t have to worry about what my ten year old will be subjected to while on a trail ride now, nor do I have to worry about conversation around the camp fire.  I have the assurance with the company that we will be keeping that there won’t be anything that her little eyes shouldn’t see or her little ears shouldn’t hear.

Tiff and Daddy

But, there’s more.

My daughters will get to share in this with us as much as they would like to be involved.  We will use our horses not just for pleasure, enjoyment, and the thrill of the ride.  Now we will be using the strong and mighty creatures that God has given us for His Honor and His Glory as we try to lead people to Christ.

Pray for us as we embark on this new journey.

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 After writing this post, I saw where Karen used the prompt word “Dream” for Tuesday At Ten.  It seems to fit right in with our post, so I am sharing it on her blog as well for the link up today.   Join us!

Jesus Sees Me

We are taught this, and we know this going through life.  Jesus sees us all.  He knows us inside and out.  God made us with His own hands, and He knows the number of hairs we have on our heads.  He knows things about us that sometimes we wish He didn’t know and didn’t see.

How did we learn this, though?  We were taught this as small children growing up in the church.  This was instilled in is.

As we grew more mature and into adulthood, we understood that Jesus wants a personal relationship with us.  Yes, we are to come to Him to ask for forgiveness, which He will grant if we are sincere, repent, and turn away from our sins.  If we believe in Him, confess Him as Lord and Savior, Jesus comes to live inside of our hearts, and we are promised the gift of eternal life through Him.  Jesus died on the cross for you and for me.

Some times, though, it is hard for little children to grasp the entire concept of Jesus, an invisible man that they are told to trust that watches over them.  We have faith although we cannot see Jesus walking the earth.  We know He is in Heaven, and we are to trust in Him and believe in Him.  We have faith in someone we have never seen before, but we can feel His presence so strongly at times in our lives.  I know I have!

What if you had a tool to help make Jesus more real to your little ones?  Do you think it would help them to grasp the concept of Jesus more easily if they had something tangible to hold on to?  While I know we have crosses that we can give to our little ones to hold that represent Jesus dying on the cross to give us eternal life, I have just recently come across a Jesus Sees Me Doll.  When I saw it, I knew that my daughter would love to have one.  She enjoys playing with Barbie dolls and regular baby dolls, so I thought why not an actual doll that will teach her about Jesus … with none other than a Jesus doll at that?!


Receive 10% when ordering the Jesus Sees Us Doll through Amazon. Click on the photo above and use this coupon code: JC10BLOG

This Jesus Sees Us Doll came with a book that my daughter could not wait to read.  She held Jesus in her hands, hugged Him tight, and then sat down with Jesus to read through this book.  She liked it so much that she took Jesus to school with her!  My daughter attends a Christian school and was so excited to be able to share the Jesus doll and book with her friends.  How perfect right before Easter, too!  The doll and book may have been invented with preschool aged children in mind, but my ten year old and her fellow classmates LOVED the concept behind it all.  The teacher had never seen anything like it before either, and she really liked it as well.  I think that says a lot.

My daughter gets scared at night as most children do in their childhood.  Whether they are afraid of the dark, despite the night light shining in their rooms, or whether they are afraid that monsters live under their beds, it brought my daughter great comfort to know that Jesus was with her.   She said it helped her to feel safer.  While she knows that this is just a doll and that the real Jesus is watching over her in Heaven, it did comfort her to be able to snuggle into bed with Jesus right beside her to help her have pleasant dreams.  She even carried Jesus with us to Chick-Fil-A recently to eat and watched television with Jesus right beside her.  She positioned Jesus just right so He could have a good view of the movie they were both watching.  That was very sweet!
Jesus Sees Me

 

Jesus Sees Me Doll

If you are not sure what to get your children for their Easter basket this year, why not consider a Jesus Sees Me Doll?  It is a tangible item that they can hold in their hands and arms to make Jesus real to them.  Yes, share the stories of Jesus in the bible, and yes, make sure they know the real Jesus … but what better doll can they possibly be playing with than a Jesus doll?  Think about it!  For us, it was the perfect gift, and her little eyes lit right up, quickly followed by taking Jesus into her arms to give Him a big hug.

The one thing my daughter did notice about this doll is that they did not have holes in His hands or feet where they nailed Him to the cross.  She commented that Jesus would have scars on His hands and feet due to how He suffered on the cross for our sins.  She’s right!  That is the only thing I noticed about the doll, too.  Other than that, the doll was perfect.  His arms are outstretched welcoming your little one to embrace Jesus, and His little sandals on His feet are just precious.  I enjoyed looking at the Jesus doll and reading the book myself!

What a great tool to make Jesus real to your little ones!  While we don’t want them to have any idols, we just have to explain to them that this doll is not the real Jesus, just like the man in the Jesus movies are not the real Jesus either.  They will understand this, and it will still comfort them to have the Jesus doll by their side.  They could even have this doll propped up as they kneel down beside their beds at night to say their prayers to the real Jesus in Heaven.

I think this Jesus doll is a great reminder that Jesus is always with them watching over them.  Consider getting your child a Jesus Sees Me doll for their Easter basket this year!

 

A special thanks to Fly By Productions and Jesus Sees Me for a courtesy Jesus Doll.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

I’m Gonna Love You Through It

It was a cold night with the wind whipping outside her windows.  As she got into bed, she pulled the covers up really high over her as she snuggled into the fitted sheet beneath her.  Tugging once more on the heavy covers, she lost her grip and her fist rammed against her chest.  After feeling the initial pain, it soon subsided enough for her to get some much needed sleep that night.

Over the course of the next couple of days, she found a lump as she was showering.  Fear and panic set in, and soon a call was made to the doctor for an appointment.  Remembering the incident on that cold Winter’s night, she feared that she caused this due to the blow to her chest.  The doctor soon reassured her that wasn’t the case but sent her to a specialist for a more thorough examination.  After being sent for a biopsy, we waited for the results … days that seemed more like years …

In the meantime, our local Relay For Life was going on.  That Friday evening, I heard Martina McBride’s song for the very first time.

She dropped the phone and burst into tears
The doctor just confirmed her fears
Her husband held it in and held her tight
Cancer don’t discriminate or care if you’re just 38
With three kids who need you in their lives
He said, “I know that you’re afraid and I am, too
But you’ll never be alone, I promise you”

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear
That I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

She made it through the surgery fine
They said they caught it just in time
But they had to take more than they planned
Now it’s forced smiles and baggy shirts
To hide what the cancer took from her
But she just wants to feel like a woman again
She said, “I don’t think I can do this anymore”
He took her in his arms and said
“That’s what my love is for”

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear
That I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

And when this road gets too long
I’ll be the rock you lean on
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.
I’m gonna love you through it.

I sat under the vast sky with only the stage lights on as the young lady sang her version of this song.  Tears filled my eyes and soon spilled over making their way down my cheeks as I thought of my mother who was awaiting the results of the biopsy.

Days later, our lives were changed when she received the diagnosis:  breast cancer.  While she did not cause the breast cancer due to the blow to the chest, that is what caused her to FIND the lump.  Otherwise, she never would have felt in that spot, almost directly between her breasts but more so on her left side.

We gathered all of the information needed to make a decision about her treatment, and after consulting with the doctor, he agreed that a lumpectomy was all that was needed.  All?  As if that wasn’t significant to a woman who would have pieces of her flesh cut away while she and her family prayed that the cancer was contained and had not spread!  That was ALL that was needed.  That is HUGE to hear that you require ANY type of surgery!

The day came, and we gathered beside my mother’s hospital bed where she laid so quietly.  She had her little hospital gown on as well as one of those “hats” they place on your hair.  I tried to keep the moment light, even though I knew our hearts were all heavy.  I took a picture of my mother and teased her that she was rocking that cap.  I still have that picture today.

They wheeled my mother away to the operating room, with us walking along with them as far as they would allow.  There came a point where we could not go with her, and we tried to remain strong as they rolled her out of sight.

Tears fill my eyes now as I think of this moment in time.

We went back to the waiting room where silent prayers were lifted up to Heaven on my mother’s behalf.  Martina McBride’s song was still ringing in my ears.

I’m gonna love you through it!

How very powerful … and such truth!

No matter what, I knew that my family and I would love my mother through this.

They updated us on her progress during the operation, and soon we were able to see her in recovery.  When she was released from the hospital, we still had to wait on the results from the lab on the margin and the lymph nodes they removed as well.

Days went by until we finally received the news!  Thankfully, it appeared that the cancer was contained, and she would NOT need further surgery nor would she need chemo!  Praises went up flooding Heaven thanking God for this wonderful news.  While my mother still had to go through radiation, it was much, much better than having to endure chemo.  We were thankful … oh so thankful!

My mother’s radiation treatment was going along smoothly until she developed an infection.  It was uncomfortable until they were able to get it under control.  She finished her treatments and is now on a pill that she will take for five years to keep the cancer from coming back.  We pray … oh how we pray … that she will remain cancer free!

My heart goes out to any one that has ever had to go through this themselves … or whether you’ve watched, prayed, and loved your friends or family members through it.  When you felt as if you could not do anything for that person … you did!  You prayed!  AND you loved them through it all … their worries and concerns that lead to the doctor visit, their diagnosis, and then the treatment … you loved them through it all … and THAT is what they need most.  Your love, support, and prayers!

Blessed

Did you wear your green today?  After all, it was St. Patrick’s Day.  Do you have the luck of the Irish with you?

When things happen in life, a lot of times people will say how lucky you are.  Me?   I say, “I’m not lucky, I’m blessed!”

God has poured out His blessings upon my life and my family.  That is not to say that my life has always been a bed of roses, because it certainly hasn’t.  I have had my fair share of troubles in this life.  But, I am choosing to look up and thank God for life!

It is a privilege to be here on this earth.  God woke me up this morning, and I am so thankful to Him because it is another day that I get to spend with my family making memories.  It is another day that I get to love on and ride my horses.

I don’t take any of this for granted.

I appreciate each and every minute that God gives me.

There are so many that don’t get to grow older.  Their time here on this earth was cut short, and only God knows why.  My sister, Pamela, is a prime example, as is Greg’s sister, Julia.  We don’t understand why they had to leave when they did, but God knows.  He called them both home, and I believe that they are with Jesus today in Heaven.

Just this afternoon, despite my ten year old getting sick and tossing her cookies at school, I had such joy as my husband got off work early to help build another horse pasture.  My daughter, who was feeling much better by this time, was playing basketball and pretending she was Maddie off of a show called Liv & Maddie.  She would exclaim, “Bam! What!” each time she scored, just like Maddie does on this television show.  I got to watch that.  I got to hear her cute little voice raised high as she excitedly celebrated making it into her make-believe hoop (no, we haven’t yet put one up because we can’t find JUST the hoop … and we don’t need the whole structure with the base, pole, and hoop).

My point in all of this is that I got to witness this.  I was the one that had the honor of looking at my darling daughter’s face as she smiled shyly after she realized I not only heard her but was watching her play the entire time.

No, I’m not lucky to get these memories-in-the-making or these precious moments with my daughter … I am BLESSED!

I had the chance to go alongside my husband to help build this new pasture and pull the fencing tight to ensure the horses didn’t escape from their new home.  It was hard work, but I was the one standing next to him pulling the fencing.  I shared this moment with him, and we got to bask in the glow of the fruits of our labor when we put two of our horses in the new pasture after our project was complete.  We did this.  We were blessed to be able to make a new pasture for them and work together to accomplish what we did tonight.

And, I am blessed to share little moments with my now-adult-daughter!  She’s 18 now, and I know that my time with her at home is coming to a close in the next few, short years.  I am not prepared for this, yet I know it is approaching sooner than I care to think about.  Until then, though, I get to tease her, just as she loves to tease me, and we get to share inside jokes together that we just smirk over and some times just bust right out laughing because it’s something that only she and I know about.

Oh yes, I am blessed, even though she only wants to focus on her bands and not her future and what she’s going to do when she graduates in May … as frustrating as it all can be at times … I am still blessed, and I thank God for these moments with her.

I thank God for allowing me to be present and in her life all of these years.  I have always prayed that God would allow me to be here for both of my children as they grow up and to allow me to see them graduate, go to college, get married, and have children of their own.  I have often said that I want to be an old lady rocking her great-great-grandbabies on her front porch.  And I still want that!  I want to be in good health so that I am able to help my children with their children and things around their house.  I pray that God will grant this as it is my heart’s desire to be here for my children, and I do pray that God will allow me to be healthy for many, many, many years to come in order to lend a helping hand when needed as they become independent and start lives of their own.

When so many grumble about turning another year older, I count it a blessing to be here all of my 43 years and beg God for 43 more!  No, there won’t be any grumbling or complaining about turning another year older for me.  I’ll be thanking God for one more year with my family and pleading for many more years to come.

So on this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m not lucky … I am BLESSED completely and totally by GOD above!  And I thank Him.  Oh how I thank Him for ALL of the many blessings in my life.

Blessed

Do Unto Others

Growing up I heard this a lot:  Do unto others as you would have done to you.  The “Golden Rule” to live by!   In fact, did you know that not only is this the “Golden Rule,” but it is biblical, too!  It truly is.  Luke 6:31 is where Jesus says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Sadly, it seems that the vast majority of people were not taught this in their childhood, or they let it fly out the window as they became adults.

It truly is sad the way that people treat other people in this day and age.  This week I was told about an ex-girlfriend that set the guy up in a situation, he fell for it, and she, then, walked right up to him and slapped him across the face. What makes people think that it is okay to put their hand on another human being?  I don’t care how angry she was over the situation, she had no right to lay a single finger on him.

Then, I experienced ill treatment this week myself.  No, no one slapped me across the face, thankfully, but I have been discriminated against more times than I care to remember.  I hear a lot of African American people that talk about racism, but it goes both ways!  Whites can be prejudice against Blacks, just as Blacks can be prejudice against Whites!  I was on the receiving end of it once again this week!  Allow me to tell you about it.

My daughter and I spent the afternoon together shopping for a prom dress for her upcoming Senior prom.  We were having a wonderful day together.  After having lunch and laughing over the silliest of things, we walked through the parking lot with the sun beating down on us … a much welcomed change since it has been so cold here!

My daughter spotted a Cinderella type dress in the window that she wanted to try on.  Upon walking into the store, we noticed that we were the only white people in there.  The owners and workers were all black, as were the few customers that were in the building.  That did not bother me at all, though.  We went about our business looking at different dresses for her to try on, but they only had ONE Cinderella type dress; the one in the window!  So, I asked the lady behind the counter if my daughter could try it on.  I was ignored three times until I insisted once more to get someone to acknowledge me and respond.  Finally, a lady did, but she would not make eye contact with me.  She opened her mouth to talk to me but continued as if she was preoccupied with that scarf she had in her hand.  She fingered the corners of the lace and satin cloth as she shifted it here and there, never raising her eyes to meet mine, as she said, “Before we take it off the rack” … long drawn out pause …”Can you afford it, Mom?”  

Hold on just a minute!  First of all, we were already feeling discriminated against because no one would acknowledge us when I was speaking … and now this?  How did she think that was okay?  It was as if she, without making eye contact, had summed me up upon my entry into her store.  It was as if she thought I was white trash or something that couldn’t possibly afford anything in HER store.

I have had people tell me that I should have walked out right that minute.  You know what I did, though?  Trying to wipe the shocked look off of my face, I asked her how much the dress cost.  Still never making eye contact, she said with a if-you-have-to-ask-you-can’t-afford-it-tone, “It is …” again, long drawn out pause … “$325.00 … three hundred … twenty … five … dollars,” she emphasized.

I never skipped a beat when I said that yes, we could certainly afford that!

Between you and I, do I want to spend that much on a dress that my daughter will only wear one time?  NO!  But, it isn’t that I can’t afford it.  It’s more along the lines of being practical.

Back to my story.

Finally the lady that would not even so much as look me in my face told another lady to get the dress for my daughter to try on.  We took our time, and I made sure to get pictures of my daughter in the dress for her to look back on later to decide if she was going to say yes to the dress!

After we took our time in the shop, I did ask how long it would take to get the dress in if we decided to order.  I thanked the ladies, and we walked back to our car a bit deflated over the whole experience.

We went to another shop in town, though, and were treated much, MUCH, differently!  And … the same exact dress at this shop was $275.00 so not only was the other store much ruder … but they padded the price.  I wonder if they did that just because of the color of our skin!

Then today …

My daughter is graduating in May, and her wish for a graduation present is to go to Canada.  She has a lot of Canadian friends, and I have a friend that lives there as well.  So, we looked into the trip and found that it wasn’t as outrageous as we once thought.  We considered driving, but 14 hours in a car with two children isn’t appealing.  We will now fly there instead.  To do this, though, we needed to get new passports for my daughters as theirs expired in 2013.

We went to the post office today to complete the paperwork for new passports only to be greeted by an African American woman who let it be known immediately that she was going to mistreat any person that did not have her same skin color.  It was so obvious from the time we stepped foot into the post office until the time we left.  Not only did she have an attitude with us, but we witnessed this with every white person that came into the building.  It was a small post office, and this lady was the only one working the counter.  She mistreated all whites while catering to those of her same skin color.  Remember when I said that racism goes both ways?  IT DOES!  IT is NOT just whites that can be racist … this is now two incidents in just a week’s time where I feel racism has reared its ugly head.

It matters how you treat people.  It truly does!  DO UNTO OTHERS … keep that in mind … AS YOU WOULD HAVE DONE TO YOU!

If a white person had treated the black people the way WE were treated in both of the above situations that I described, they would be yelling that we were racist, prejudice, and on and on.  BUT WE ARE NOT and never have been.  I do not care what color skin you have.  I truly don’t!  Some of my best friends are black, and I love them dearly!

I know there are some that are still holding on to what the white men did to the blacks back in the slave days.  Those days are OVER, though.  And, I wasn’t around when that was happening.  I bet the people that are still in that mind set today and are holding a grudge against ALL whites were not around during that time period either.  So why treat us this way now?  We did not have slaves.  We did not have any thing to do with what happened to your ancestors.  Why hold something beyond our control and in another era against us NOW?

WE ARE ALL MADE BY GOD ABOVE!  Just like the song says:  “Red and yellow, black and white … they are precious in His sight … Jesus loves the little children of the world.”  

NEWSFLASH!  WE ARE ALL HIS CHILDREN!  NO matter what our skin color, HE formed YOU … HE formed ME … He formed EVERY ONE just the way He wanted them to be and the color HE wanted them to be as well.

WHY can’t we all just get along and put racism behind us once and for all?  Why can’t we all go back to the Golden Rule and just start treating each other BETTER and with more respect?

What a wonderful world it would be!

 

A Very Special Day

Today is a very special day!  We are celebrating the birthday of the man, the myth, the legend … Gregory C. Johnson!  He handles all of the technical aspects of this site and is THE computer guru!  Mr. Johnson is a talented writer, and I encourage him to write as often as I can!  He has also been a valued friend of the family for 17 years.

I think we should make this Gregory C. Johnson day!

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Greg, we hope you have a wonderful birthday.

Horsing Around

Lots of love and blessings from everyone here at Light Love Hope!

 

Love Yourself God's Creation