Friday, October 29, 2010


I have always been a question girl...always, and anyone who knows me, knows that I can ask some questions. Just when you think there isn't a question to be asked, I can come up with a question. My daughter, Syd, is the same way. Ever since she was little she would ask some of the strangest questions; that hasn't changed and she's 15. It's like being around a 4 yr old child, you know the one that asks 'why is the sky blue?' Answer: (at least by most people) 'it's reflecting the color of the water.' Which definitely leads to 'why is water blue?' The proverbial chicken or egg first, huh? Well thats me too. But lately, I haven't had an answer for a question that keeps coming to my mind..what does sadness and grief look like? What does it look like from your, the outsider, perspective? What does it look like to me, the insider, the viewer? And as of yet I have not received an answer or even close to a guess as to what it looks like from either point of view. There are lots of views of grief from lots of people but no real answers. But for me this is what it looks like, like a long desolate area that is holding onto a lone tree, standing against the wind and barely holding on to the battle toward relief. A sole person, looking for their way thru a valley that has no way out but thru it, and holding a secret around the edge of turn that you can't see around, and to climb out is not an option.; the ridges are to steep and you can't see to the top. Jeremiah talked about sadness and grief too and described like this Jer 9:21 Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortress, it has cut off the children from the streets and our young men from the public squares. I know, only after reading Jeremiah 9 that he is prophesizing about the coming days of distress and the ultimate reclaiming of the world by Christ (note you well before Christ's first coming). But to me this verse says way more, it answers my question of what grief looks like to me and, maybe, to you. I don't truly care if you are aware of a coming death (the living thru a prolonged sickness of a loved one) or if death comes unexpectedly, it climbs into our windows and moves into our lives, our fortress. And while I and my family are living with grief and sadness, the look for outsiders holds true to the second part of this verse. Those who are used to seeing us out now do not, death has cut us (children) from the streets. This is figuratively because in reality, the physical, we are 'out' but inwardly we are not. And for those around us who grieve, no matter the situation, we look like we are cut off from the streets. My question answered.

But, as you know now of me, this answer leads yet to another unanswered question. When will this feeling of grief and sadness end? Where is the destination? I have asked these questions too. I have searched for an answer and everyone has different answers from "you have to work thru this" to "thru God you will get thru this". That's a large range of answers because, if you can imagine, there are a plethera of answers in between these two responses. I can hold onto remembering what it felt like to be truly happy, knowing that Kaleb was going to college at a small Christian college that he picked out, that Jennifer will be in soccer for 4 yrs at high school, and Sydney would always bring a smile and laughter at her constant changes in life decisions. Today, I do not hold onto those beliefs, I know now without any doubt that everything can change and I have not control over my long term happiness or future dreams. That is a reality an acceptance I have came to terms with (so to speak). But I long to know what these questions of mine will bring as answers and .... when? And when it happens what will it look like? Mostly because I have forgotten what it truly looks like. In Jeremiah (yes again), I found a response to what it will look like, even tho I have not found the when. Jer 31:13 Their maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness, I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I know that this is nearing the end of Jeremiah's book of prophesy and that this is God telling of his promise in Christ but to me He is telling me in no uncertain terms that we will one day be full of true joy and happiness again. That one day our girls will dance in joy, and we will dance with our young men. And He gives those of us going thru grief and sadness that He will take that from us and give us joy and comfort. Even tho, He doesn't tell me when He will do this, He doesn't give me an end date or how to get to that point, He gives me this to share with you. That one day, somewhere at the end of the desert and thru the valley without climbing the ridges, we will get to joy and gladness, happiness and peace, and we will get to dance.
And one day, I will get to look like I am floating on air, both to myself and you. I will get to feel like dancing just because I feel like it and it will bring a smile to my face. And one day, maybe far away or maybe not so far, I will get to dance with my girls, my husband, and my son, once again.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Endurance Riders - The World's Unsung Equestrian Athletes.

Someone Like You

I first started enduance horse back riding when I was 14. I had no idea what it was, I had no idea what I was doing, I just did what the woman who was teaching me to ride told me to do. I found that I loved this sport; a sport that very few people know or understand, even those who ride. Riding endurance is something that becomes a partnership, a partnership of love of something, trust of someone, and dedication of love and not a sport. The riding of your horse for preparation of a ride with a one day distance of 25 - 100 miles takes a charge of two lives. In reality, that charge becomes a partnership. I dwell and love to become as strong as either of my endurance horses. I strive to love another so much that no matter what they ask, I would do that thing without hesitation, without concern for my body, and without doubt that the asker was leading me in the right direction. That is strength.

I posted a video a friend's daughter has on her FB page, and when I saw it, I had to watch it 4 times this morning. It is either a National or International ride that is set to the song Someone Like You by SafetySuit (a band I have never heard of until this morning). I watched this video on this morning of grief, sadness that has once again set in for 2 reasons now, 1st for the loss of my son and 2nd for the loss of a love that I once had, riding. But this video and song spoke to me in a different way and altho probably not about this at all, the song resonated a strength that can not come from me or those around me. I am not a strong person altho those around me seem to see me as strong. I am not as strong as my horses, Raychel, Myisha or Princess, I am not deep in love and trust, and I do not depend on others for anything. I am not able to trust anyone to lead me in a direction that I should go without questioning that direction. Strength is something that I was taught was something you had or didn't have and that it was acquired not gained. Right now, my strength is low. I feel like this horse and rider, struggling uphill to get to a ridge in the destination, a place of slight relief and healing, but the hill is just steeper than it looked from the bottom and my head is low and my heart is pounding trying to catch up with the physical exertion that is taking place. Strength is dwendling. 2Cor 12:10 "I delight in weakness...For when I am weak, then I am strong." There is more to this verse but these words stand out to me, mostly because I am weak, I am failing in all that I am trying to do, and I feel as those those strengths that I thought I had are no longer there. Odd to hear those phrases together, when I am weak then I am strong. I know that this is a reference to spririt weakness, of which I am in, but when I read this I hear a different kind of weakness. I can see my horse hitting the perverbial wall that athletes hit at long distances. How, no matter how strong she was when we began the ride, at a certain point in the midst of the chase, she becomes very weak, very tired, her head lowers and her stride slows. She becomes weak in every essence and yet in all that physical strife, she continues on - heading in the direction of those in front of her, going the distance that I ask of her without hesitation. And somewhere in someway, at about mile 39, her attitude changes, she perks up, her ears flip forward, her head pops up, and her stride springs back to her usual self. She becomes strong once more, once more at the point of her weakest moment, when her head is at its lowest, when water and grazing stops become a yaaaahoooo moment, she changes. She becomes the strongest at this point, her heart jumps into action and her mind becomes faithful to my request.

I don't know when I will be strong again, I don't know when my head will pop up and my heart will jump into action. I don't know that I am ready for it to happen and the wall is much thicker than I thought when I first saw it. I know that I am more and more thinking that my time with God is dwendling to nothing, and I feel as though I am going in the wrong direction. And yet, I still get up and go through my day, with my head low and my stride even slower. So these few words, "for when I am weak, then I am strong", speak of a future strength that is to come. A strength that I can not see but is out there on its way. A strength that, hopefully, God knows I need but also knows that I am not ready for because the wall is thicker yet ahead and the climb to the top of the ridge is only steeper than I can see. And somewhere up ahead, somewhere the strength that I need to make it thru the this weakness is waiting, and I will be able to make the last lurch upward to the point of strength that aludes me. And hopefully, one day, I will be to myself as strong as those around me see, one day, I will be able to say that I am weak because I couldn't be strong and that is exactly where I needed to be at that time. And now, at the end of the climb, the mountain doesn't seem so difficult and the last strides to the ridge are much easier to take. And one day, I hope to look like my horses do, I hope to look to myself like the strong person that God is preparing me to be and on the outside I look like I feel on the inside....strong.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shut up!

Don't you love being a kid? I loved being a kid because I had a big mouth, mostly as a teenager, and I could say just about anything and get away with it. Even in high school, I rarely kept my mouth shut...imagine that!! If there was something I didn't like or someone I didn't like, I had no problem telling them exactly what I thought about them or the situation. And I knew girls who didn't open their mouths, they were more temperate and calm, but I considered them weak. So, as I did and still do, I took up for them with my unshut mouth. I mean it was my position to do that especially when the uptaking was ripe for the picking.

As I've gotten older, I have been more cautious about my mouth but the mouth in my head continues to verse its own opinion even in the quiet of my mind. So inevitably, somewhere in the midst of a conversation, that opinion will sneak out (and I do mean sneak - altho I do tend to provide the open door or window for it to get out). And while, I believe for a small part, I have grown in my age and in my mind and the way I look at things and people, I still have that small part of me that just jumps without thinking. That part of me that holds grudges without releasing them and that part of me that just doesn't know when to shut up.

This morning, after several mornings of not reading anything or getting myself motivated toward God, I picked up my Streams in the Desert (a devotional that I am getting for all my friends - soon) and guess what the topic was....yep - basically in a nutshell - shut up! It was a short, broken up passage from Isaiah 53 - so of course I had to look up the whole chapter because Lord knows I've never read this or if I have it just didn't sink in - so off to I went. (And yes I used the computer not my actual Bible-laziness!) Ok back on track, I read these first 7 versus of Isaiah 53 because I wanted to know who the author was talking about because this whole 1/2 page of devotional was about keeping your mouth shut. Ok so it doesn't actualy say that but when you get down to it and read between the lines, that's exactly what it was about. So I read these, or skimmed the versus, and it was about the affliction of Christ. Ok so first of all, wasn't expecting that altho I should have expected it, I've read in Isaiah before and the majority of it is about Christ. So the 'shut up' took on a different meaning this morning. An all in all different meaning this morning. In Isa 53:4 - 7, Isaiah (I think) says "....surely he took up our infirmities and our sorrows...but he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our inequities...we all are like sheep and have gone astray each of us has turned his own way and the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all...He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth, he was led like a lamb to slaughter...yet he did not open his mouth." I wonder if Christ, in his humanly form, wanted to set judgment on those afflicting him, wanted to shout out for the unforgiven person who was afflicted for words or actions, I wonder if he really had a lot to say and for our sake kept his mouth shut? Don't you? I wonder if I can ever keep my mouth shut, it was something that I was working on in the past, not taking up other peoples offenses and lately that has ebbed, I have no problem spouting off at the mouth and sometimes it sounds like my 18yr old self coming out again. And then I read this small passage that said 'shut up'.

So maybe I need to stay quiet and work on quieting my mind's mouth. And maybe I need to work on what really needs to take place in my life and the lives of my family and friends and truly let things that offend me and others go. Will I? I don't know and I can't answer that for sure with a definite yes, but I can say this, I know what matters in life now more than ever. I know that the little things, altho still a battle in my mind and out of my mouth, are just that little things. I know more than ever that the things people say and do are a trick, a target to get me to look at them and let my mouth run amuck. That doesn't mean that I don't look, I still do, but what I want it to mean is that I know and can recognize it now and cause that moment of looking to turn into a moment of shutting my mouth. I don't have to open my mouth, never have had too really, but I've wanted to and so leads my free will to do as I please, to go astray. So how do I keep my mouth shut? Well I don't really know, but I know that I know that I know, that I don't have to say anything...someone has already said it all, I just have to believe what He said was enough.