Thursday, October 24, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

"Don't take your love away from me, Don't leave my heart in misery, If you go then I'll be blue, 'Cause breaking up in hard to do..." Come on you know this song and if you don't, well then I have just let on to how old I am and that my entire family (minus my little brother) is years older than I. I really have no idea why this song came to my mind but it did and the only thing it relates to in my life is the pending break up in my future. I have to end a relationship that has been part of my life for 4 years, the relationship between me and my farrier, yes my farrier. You may giggle or you may be thinking 'what in the world, what relationship' but in reality there has been a relationship - one that occurs every 4-8 weeks when he comes to the farm to take care of my horses. If you have horses, you know that you are in a relationship with your farrier too. They comes to your property takes care of your horses for the short time they are there, they talk to you, find out how you are doing what's been happening, and somewhere in the midst of this short time you learn a lot about their lives and vice versa. From the first time they pull into the drive way, you my friend, not unlike me, are deep in a relationship. The picture above is probably an exact depiction of your relationship with your farrier, it's what mine looks like too.

It's funny this relationship we forge with these people.... we let on our farm, handle our horses, and then we pay them! Something about that just doesn't sound ....right (ha!). This friendship, sort of a forced situation, becomes something that I take time off of work for, make sure that the time is right, make certain that no matter what, the arrangement is kept, becomes a large part of my everyday life. Funny isn't it, how when you look at this relationship in that way, it takes on a life of its own...because lets face facts, if he/she was a true jerk, I probably wouldn't let them become part of my life, or would I? Don't be mistaken, I truly like the farrier I have now, it is not a personal issue to me but more of a 'business' matter. I hope that this person understands that no matter what I would refer clients to him but that our business is not working out.  This has happened only two other times in my time having horses in North Carolina, once because of time management, the farrier just couldn't make it to my barn on time, and once because the farrier was a friend and it was truly interfering in our personal friendship. When I reflected on these occurrences over the past decade of changes, it is hard not to reflect on other relationships that have ended in my life. I have had, at one time, 9 horses-yes 9, and of  those 9 I tried and created relationships with those horses some that worked out others that just didn't (if you have horses you know what I mean). Sometimes, the horse that you so desperately want to  work out is the one horse that no matter what just doesn't 'click'. The relationship failed and I was left with making a decision to remove the horse from the property. In retrospect, every decision I made was exactly the right one, each horse was perfectly placed in a relationship that was meant to be.

Isn't it wonderful when that happens? Isn't it just peaceful when that takes place? And isn't it amazing that God is using this situation of  the break up and past transitions to speak right to me. You don't believe me, I almost didn't believe it either because I went looking for one thing and found the answer in to many places. 1 Kings 8:57 "May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers, may He never leave us or foresake us." Deut 31:6 "Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified because of [anything] because the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you or foresake you." Josh 1:5 "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor foresake you." Heb 13:5 "..because God said, I will never leave you nor foresake you." Isn't it wonderful that no matter how I treat the relationship with God, angry at Him, disappointed with Him, being stubborn against Him, He is continually faithful, knowing the time when I will know exactly what He has known about this volital relationship, that He plans to stay whether or not I agree, He will hang in there.

I have to say that this was not what I was planning, not something that I had planned to find, in all truth the relationship with God has been less that friendly some days and more like a love/hate relationship than the "love/love" relationship that those who teach say it is.  And in reality in the truth, I believe that is really the relationship that I have with Him (probably you too).  And, although there is a relationship in my life that is ending this week, I know that the relationship I have with God is always going to be around, always going to be there even when I don't want it; in a strange way that is comforting. Maybe this relationship thing is going to work out, against all things, He will not leave you nor foresake you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

To Boldly Go Through Water....

Have you ever tried to find something and not matter how hard you look you can't seem to locate what you are looking for? I have been in that place this morning; determined to find a passage that is eluding me, probably on purpose, I am totally convinced that Beth Moore is right that just when you think you know where something is in the Bible it moves. Or maybe I'm not suppose to talk about that one particular verse, even tho that is exactly what I want to write about...and yet it is not in the place that I am certain it was located not to long ago. So, I am sticking with my plan, yep that's the way I am, hard headed, bullheaded, stubborn, well it all means the same thing...right? Well let's hope so, or what I'm writing is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Okay, lets go!

Why water? Well because if you know anything about horses, yes horses, you are fully aware that water seems to be a challenge above all challenges for a horse to go through. The reason is beyond me, I have heard that horses only see in two dimension and they only see that something is there, a reflection or black hole, and they are afraid to step into what they can not see. I tend to believe that statement, true or not, I believe that it's probably very true. My young horse, Myisha, had a huge issue with water when I first started riding her. Talk about bullheaded and stubborn, you have no idea. I used pulling bribing, and even had her ride buddies travel away from her...and she did not budge, could have cared less. Then after about 3 months of -ok not fighting - she just went through, from that day forward she went willing right through water, trotting, walking, cantering, right through water she went, no questions no hesitation...well until August of this year.  For the first time in 4 years she bulked at a puddle. To boldly go through water quickly turned to 'you first'.  Funny picture isn't it of the nicely dressed man hanging on his horses neck? Well that is what I had to have looked like in August! Looking back there were a lot of things that caused the bulk, she was alone the first time without a ride buddy, she was in the lead with 5 horses behind her, it was at the beginning of the ride, and the list goes on and on...But in reality, the reason she didn't go through the puddle willingly was because she didn't believe me. Yep that's right, she didn't believe me. 2 Cor 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (Just for the record, no, this is not the passage that I was looking for when I started this blog, but this is the one that seemed to jump out at me even in my failing attempts to locate the passage of scripture I wanted to use; says something doesn't it?)

You may ask, what didn't my horse believe, and why would that have anything to do with the course of this writing, and, of course, where is this mumbo jumbo heading? (go ahead, it seems that way, just a bunch of illucide writing, right? well I hope not.) The title "to boldly go through water" was a play on words from Star Trek (just for all you trekkies) that I used some time ago on a set of rhythm beads for my horse (long story, don't ask); it was not intended as a title to anything here, yet that is exactly the title that I'm using to make a point. My horse didn't believe me that it was okay to go through that puddle to enter the dark covered trail just beyond it and that it was okay to go and nothing was going to eat her; she didn't have faith in my decision to go in the place I was pointing her. Am I personally afraid of water? No. But I know people who are, maybe not a puddle but water nonetheless. What I am afraid of is moving; moving from where I've become comfortable, moving without knowing what's just beyond the dark puddle and under the tree covered, dark trail, all because I can't see. Not to unlike my reluctant mare, I don't believe that God has good intended for me where I can not see to go, I don't believe that He has my heart in mind, my safety in His heart, nor my sanity in perspective. That's what it really boils down to; believe it or not, just like my mare, who was certain that something was amiss, I too am certain that there is something lurking in the shadows just beyond the pit that the puddle is hiding, I'm afraid to move.

I'm not entirely sure what, if anything, this particularly blog is suppose to do for me, well okay besides smack me in the head, kick me in the sides to prod me forward, and push me through the puddle (yes that is exactly what I did to Myisha), but I'm hopeful that it'll all come together (in this paragraph!). I know in my heart and mind that some of you who read this are fully ready to go through the water and not care how deep or scary the other side is, and I'm fully aware that some of you are saying "amen sister", because like me, you are afraid to move. "For we walk by faith, not by sight" - for each of us afraid to move, we know that this means beyond doubt we are to move - get through the muck that we are not willing to tread and yet we don't go because we don't believe. How do we change that? Well for my horse, she had no choice, she was most definitely going through that water! And I believe that God is not to unlike me when I ride, maybe He isn't using a stern voice (or maybe He is) and maybe He isn't literally kicking me in the side, but He most definitely isn't allowing me to get away from the water. I can't go around it, and I can't go back (although truth be told it would be nice), so here I stand waiting to not be afraid to move. Waiting to look like this horse and rider above, boldly going through water, without hesitation, without reserve, without fear of what's waiting on the other side. "For we walk by faith, not by sight", maybe I need a blindfold? Maybe I just need to close my eyes and take the first step to find out that the water isn't quite as scary and deep as I think and only ankle deep there's the ground.
For we walk by faith, not by sight... Lord help me walk blindly and believe.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

12 Days and Counting....

Yep, that's right 12 days and counting.....down that is, counting down. What to? A record, well to me anyway. I am by far the worst at sticking to a program, continuing on something that I desperately need to do or something that i may want to do and then - part way through- just stop working toward that goal. Somewhere, sometime ago, I heard someone say, that if you do something for 21 days it becomes a habit, you work it into your daily life and that habit becomes part of your routine. Wow huh? Great news because 3 weeks, or 21 days, isn't really that long, well until you start something and you start counting, keeping record, watching the clock so to speak, and then those 21 days become the longest 21 days you have ever withstood! If you don't know what I'm referring to, then you are one of those lucky people who no matter what is going on, an upcoming event, a time frame you are looking forward too, you are not affected by the elongated day at work, the dragging of the end of the week to that destined time when the even will happen, all in all you are mightly blessed not to be affected by anticipation. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people....I'm exactly opposite. The day can not get here fast enough, I pine over a time frame to end so that I can get to the anticipated goal of whatever it is and the days drag forth, the time drags on....and so, in most instances, when I attempt to reach a milestone goal, or record for me, I give up, seeing the goal to be to far away for me to reach, or to much work for me to achieve. This time, however, this time I did not count up, I decided to start counting down.

You may think it odd that someone would countdown to reach a goal but that's not unusual for any of us, not when you really think about it.  For me, and a large majority of my friends, we hear the countdown at every ride we attend.....The infamous voice of Nancy or Laurie echoing in the  morning dawn "10 minutes to trail open", while warming up or finishing saddling. "5 minutes!" The anticipation and nerves start to roll in my belly, butterflies flutter through my body out of my hands and through the reins to my horse who responds with anticipation and excitement.  "1 minute.", the sound comes from the trail head through the crowd of riders, horses jigging, trotting, side stepping, excitement and energy flow through the herd of horses and riders. "30 seconds." Riders, top runners have stopped at the trail head to get a first head start; "10, 9, 8 7, 6"...the focus is intense horses are looking forward as tho they know exactly what is coming in the next few number..."5, 4 3, 2, 1...Trail is Open!" And away the top runners escape, energy pulling those riders and horses from behind as though there is a line running tightly from the first horse to the last. The sound of hooves striking the ground heavily, the whisper of riders trying with words (not actions) to calm their mount, and yet the ever pulling force away from camp, seems to drag the group of riders ever forward. The race to the finish has begun, the countdown to the anticipated event is over and the event ahead has come into sight. "Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I am creating. I'll create Jerusalem as a sheer joy, create my people as pure delight." Isaiah 65:18 (MSG). I wish, and sometimes I hope that every day, every day is an anticipation like the minutes and moments before the beginning of one of the rides I attend. If you felt any of the descriptions that I made about the beginning of a ride, you probably do too. (If you didn't well then please tell me so I can work on my creativity!)

Imagine, waking up every morning, moments before the alarm goes off and you start anticipating the alarm going off and get excited. Okay in reality those of us who do wake up moments before the alarm are generally not waiting with butterflies for the morning to start, we are waiting for the alarm to go off to hit the snooze! Come on you know it's true. But imagine it being different, imagine everyday you wake up you simply can not wait to get out of bed and can not wait for your day to begin. What would life be like if every day I woke up and it was a race day? Wouldn't it be wonderful everyday to get up and think, "is the alarm ever going to go off!!!" And jump out of bed like the day can't get started fast enough to get to what...the end of the day, that's what, because its starts all over again. What would life be like? What would I really do everyday if I woke up like I do on race day? I think that is a question God is asking me, albeit one that I've ignored, but it's been wholly asked. Maybe He hasn't asked in the way that most people would hear it, but I think this is the way He is asking me "Why are you not looking forward to what I have created? If you would just trust me for a moment, you may find that I have joy in your future, I have something for you to anticipate."  My response "Why? What is it? And where is it?" Why? Well because I don't trust Him, and I don't want to trust Him, not at the core I don't. Yet, somewhere deep inside, I heard the countdown this morning, somewhere I heard the word 'anticipation', and somewhere I heard the question posed to me and I wondered what it would be like to anticipate everyday as tho there was a countdown to something exciting....and I believe, deep down, that there is. What? A time where there is no sorrow, pain, or hurt, but a time filled with joy and anticipation of the next day. So my question is what are you not anticipating? I don't want to not anticipate. I want every day to be a countdown day to the day I get to be filled with joy.
"Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I am creating. I'll create Jerusalem as a sheer joy, create my people as pure delight." Isaiah 65:18 (MSG).

Friday, July 26, 2013

Growed Up

I love hearing my husband say things like "growed up" or "whore-dee-vors" (i.e. hors d'oeuvres); its definitely horrible english but its funny and our kids used to ask "what is that?" when he would say those words or use those words and phrases. And off and on, I'll ask "look at you all growed up"....of which my daughters return "yep". If you have children, you know that the growth process seems to take forever, then one day you get up and realize that they are all growed up. This week, in training for an endurance ride in a month, a friend, who as been riding a older mare or a growed up mare, decided that she needed to bring her younger horse up and use her instead. I have written about this little mare before, when she was with me she and I didn't always see eye to eye. Although she would do as I asked, go where I directed and act like I expected, there was always a hint of us not quite making a connection (not to unlike a teeanger!).  On her first training ride out, and for the first time ever, she bucked my friend...twice. I didn't catch the first act but heard my friend's voice and knew what was going on. The little mare, while willing to a degree, apparently decided she wasn't so willing...although she is 14 she definitely was acting un-growed up!

Last night looking back at Wednesdays ride, I realized something, the mare's actions had nothing to do with her age but her growness (how about that for a non-word!). Not to unlike the picture of the foal, the mare just decided she was wanting to do her thing. Foals are full of adventure and playing, they run and buck at will when they want to do what they want to and sometimes look like the picture of this little foal.
John 21:18 "very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself, and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your arms and someone else will dress you and lead you where you don't want to go." Just so we are clear, I am fully aware that when Jesus was speaking here he was talking to Peter and telling Peter about his death and how that death will happen. But, when I remembered this scripture was yesterday morning, after our first training ride with the up and coming mare, and for the life of me I couldn't remember where to find it (thank you God for google!).  But, last night on our second training night, the little mare whom my friend and I expected to run from her to go, didn't run; she stood quietly in the pasture, accepted the halter, loaded easy as pie, stood at the trailer quietly, and went last night as though this was truly old hat. What a different little mare in 24 hrs, wouldn't you agree? So again this morning, the scripture was egging at me, and I found what I was looking for - a message about being growed up.  Isn't it amazing how God uses something to direct you somewhere? Because last night, that little mare looked something more like the picture of older horses doing what they are directed to do, going the direction that they are told, and without the buck. She was dressed and lead to a place she may not want to have originally gone but she went.

It's amazing to me, how God uses things that are in front of me to get a point across, usually a point I don't want to recognize or address. My horses, whether you believe it or not, were intentionally placed in my life. The horses that have come and gone through my life, were intentionally placed there to teach me a lesson. Lucky me! What lesson this time, well that its probably time to be growed up....a thing I definitely want to avoid. Why? Well unlike my children (and me when I was young) who want to be "grown", I want to run from it, hide away from having to be 'growed'. I believe that somewhere in all of us we desire to be un-grown, at least a little bit - go ahead and deny it...I have been for some time. I have stopped 'growing' stopped moving forward, stopped wanting something more. How do I know that? Because God plainly told me that this week - He used a mare to show me something that I am refusing to see. I guess I should say thank you, but I really don't want to; I'd prefer to go back to being and like not knowing I wasn't growing, but something tells me that's not going to happen. Just like the little mare, I am being asked to do something, go somewhere and be someone whom I didn't want to be. I guess my days of being a carefree foal are soon to be over and I should just accept the yoke that's being held for me and follow the One who is leading me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I am not a waiter....I think that's correct, probably not but that's what it is now! And I don't mean like a waiter in a restaurant, I mean a waiter! Someone who can wait in long lines for tickets, they are waiters; people who can wait for something to happen, they are waiters; me not so much a waiter. I usually want it to happen -like yesterday - and as time rises to whatever it happens to be I'm waiting for...I get antsier and antsier.  For those of you who know me, you are probably thinking...'what you?! no!' I know a revelation huh?! :) Soooo for those of you who do know me it will come as no surprise that standing in my pasture are two horses that can not wait either. Both are great horses but neither can just wait..of which someone was kind enough to point out was my fault because I am not calm and tranquil...thank you for that revelation! Horses, as many of you know, are a great part of my life, they were a salvation from a history that was less then favorable and less than wanting. And, most of you who know horses also know that they are waiters in the sense that I am not.  Knowing this, I googled 'horses standing in the rain' for pictures, and I was surprised to find horses running in the rain, playing in the rain, etc. Why a surprise? Because horses don't do that; they will move forward under saddle in the rain, but horses in a pasture or in the wild will stand, butts to the wind driven rain, heads down until the rain passes....they wait.

Usually my horses can't wait to get to go wherever it is so that they can get back to their older mare, Raychel, has been my job mare, my endurance partner for a long time and she loves to go and go for a long time....she's great at it and generally she can not wait to go down the trail as the out timer calls seconds to "trail open". It's almost as tho she can completely understand what is being said, when in reality Raychel can tell by me, by my hands, my body language, my anticipation to not be able to wait. She is anticipating my every move, motion, direction, and she responds to it almost on the moment, ok sometimes before the moment. I, however, do not have someone on my back telling me to 'hold on' and 'wait' for me to tell you when to do something....or do I? Romans 8:25 "We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become and the more joyful our expectancy." (MSG) "But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (NIV) Ok so my analogy of someone on my back telling me to 'wait' was a very poor description but it kind of feels that way.....that God is telling me to wait for Him, and I am constantly jigging in place, balling up by body to burst away in anticipation for .....what! I am not a good waiter, I am not a good  stand in place and hold on kind of person, so standing around does not sit well with me. Come on you're probably exactly the same way, you're just not willing to admit it. Why? Probably because you don't know what you are waiting for yet, or you haven't had a hope so large that you are ready for it to come to fruition so you can see it, or maybe because you are so grown in Christ that waiting is just something you do well....I hope one day to be that way...or do I? Or am I suppose to be that way? Every scripture that tells someone or me to wait, I always think what great disciples and people of Christ...and then there's always one or two who are not waiters, they want it now! Like right now! Maybe I'm one of those people, a non-waiter.

I'm not by any means ready to put my head down in the storm and wait it to pass, the storm that I am in is a struggle of spirit and mind, it is a storm that I can't stand to wait out. Even tho He says to wait patiently for what I hope for...I just can't do it. Unlike a horse, I can't stand in the storm with my back to it, head down, and wait for it to pass and provide green grass...that's really what they are waiting for ;), the grass.  Have I tried? Well not really, but every time an attempt is made, my body stays in motion....I'm not ready to just be a waiter and I don't know that I'm suppose to be a waiter. Am I waiting for confirmation on that, yes. Every part of my being is going, my mind, my body, my spirit, and waiting becomes a hindrance and brings with it depression.  Unlike my wise horses, who stop in the rain, turn away from its force and waits it out, I run into it....never to my avail and usually to my demise and yet I do it. I hope to be a waiter one day, a waiter for what I hope for, a waiter for the things that should be what I'm striving toward, a waiter on Christ...I just don't think that I'm there, not yet.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Barefoot - No Shoes Required

If you have never walked barefoot you don't know what you are missing! When I first met my husband, he never walked anywhere without shoes on of some sort...his reasoning, his feet were soft and it hurt to walk on the ground. Since then, some 20+ years ago, I catch him walking around outside quite often without shoes. Then, on the other spectrum, we have a friend we call the 'barefoot carpenter' - I think the nickname explains it all. Me, I have lived barefoot, especially growing up in Northern Michigan, once spring hit the shoes were gon. Since I've lived in North Carolina, I love to go to the beach and walk barefoot all over the place, and recently I have been walking down my drive way barefoot-mostly in an attempt to get a natural pedicure, but finding that it helped my back from sitting all day in an office chair. But, like most

things, walking barefoot is not something that is easy to do and generally I don't have the ability to be ' barefoot' all day in our day to day life. So like most things, my feet become tender, and when I walk barefoot, I cringe, wince, and tiptoe to where I'm going. I'm sure you are the same way, tender footed when you first take your shoes off in the spring.

Sometime ago, I started taking my shoes off when I was in church. Standing in place during worship one day, probably about a year ago, I took my shoes off and slid them under the chair in front of me. Standing barefoot on the carpeted concrete floor, I remembered that every time Kaleb played music in band or stood in the worship center, he stood barefoot, and I smiled. Since that day, when I go to church, I take my shoes off and stand barefoot, of course its not a big deal because the floor is carpeted and clean and soft so there's little wincing, a easy place to be barefoot - or not. This week, for the first time in more than 6 months, I attended church, without delay when I sat down beside Jennifer, I took my shoes off-and my toes rolled up underneath my feet..almost a wince. I didn't realize I did this until, in the middle of the message, the title of this blog came to my mind. This is not the first time that I've had this title reach my thoughts but this time I realized that I had stood with my feet curled up as though they were tender and I thought 'why would I do that?' And as quick as the thought crossed my mind it disappeared...until we were listening to a song as part of the message and I realized that my feet were tender because I was starting to walk on them again in a place that I have purposely avoided, a place that I chose not to walk, and like in the spring on the not yet soft ground, my feet were tender. This is going to be a stretch of an analogy to reach...but here it goes. My feet are not to unlike my life, I have worn shoes all winter because of the cold and to avoid hurt to my feet, I've protected them..I've done the same to my life, both spiritual and personal, I've put up walls, barriers, put "shoes" on, to protect myself. And like my feet, my spiritual life and personal life has become tender to issues, tender when I am 'forced' or 'expected' to address and "walk" somewhere without protection, and I wince. I was asked to do that this week, just walk into something that I have avoided and protected my heart and life from, and I winced.

2 Cor 12: 7-10 "....there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the lord to take it away from me. But he said to me "My grace is enough, it is all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness"."

I have asked countless times for God to work for me and take the things in my life that are thorns in my life away, that I couldn't take the pressure, the stress, the heartache, on any longer......and it is at tho nothing is happening; now in all fairness, I am not giving to God any part of my life through these issues. So I probably shouldn't 'get' any relief or rest from Him. I am far from Paul who was doing exactly what he was suppose to be doing and still received a thorn in his side, so my expectations shouldn't be so high. But, I still got the same answer from God as Paul. Mine didn't come as clearly, wasn't words that just came from above and said this is the deal, but they were the same words. I am beginning, or attempting once again to start a journey, and I really truly don't want to go because I am going barefoot, and He said to me "you need nothing on your feet on this journey, all you need is Me"...My grace is enough. This journey that I am not ready for but greatly missing in my life, is not easy will not be easy and is a journey I am avoiding purposely. Now that I know that I have to go openly into it, unguarded and unready, barefoot, I am hesitant. Afraid of the wincing that I will experience, the tenderness of my soul to go in the directly of the hard ground that is in front of me.  My grace is enough.......

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Friend is a Friend...Or Not

This is friendship! Unhindered, unadulterated, unconditional friendship! Isn't is a great picture? Isn't it a picture that we would love to see in our everyday life? I would and I wonder when I watch my horses bite each other, run each other off, and sometime be mean to each other, if they really are friends. But I realized something 2 days ago, my horses can be 'aggressive' toward each other, when they are having a bad day, or when the pecking order starts to get marred, but all in all, those moments last for a very short time; maybe 30 seconds, maybe 5 minutes, but when the moment is over, it is over, and life goes back to scratching each other's back. I tend to look at my friendships somewhat similar to my horses relationship, or at least I try to - I do have to say that is much more difficult than it sounds.  It is far harder for me, with my human brain activity, to be fired up about an issue, explode and then let it go. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, the issue will linger and sometimes pop up when least expected. Unfortunately for me, I am not my horse, I am alive with thoughts and memories and things in my life that required constant attention.

I am somewhat like my companion mare, Raychel, she is very aggressive, very dominant and very moody. She takes up offenses for her herd continually and when there is an issue or, heaven forbid, someone goes after our matriarch mare, Princess, Raychel takes up to kicking their butt.  I can watch her when she is jealous or angry and, very similar to me, she will go after the culprit until she finally gets them; not to unsimilar from me.  I have been battling taking up others offenses for most of my adult life. If someone related, close or even an acquaintance is offended or hurt, I can immediately take up their offense and their side. Some would say that is very admirable, very loving, but in reality, it is not...ok well not in most cases.  This happened once again this week, 2 days ago to be exact, I was ready to take up an offense for a new friend; ready to head to Fayetteville and kick someones butt....and I had decided I wasn't going alone. (Ya know I am kind of small and when you're my size you should always take backup in the form a good friend that can scrap. haha)  So for 2 days I have been worried and then stewing over this new found friend's issue. Why would her long time friends be so mean? Why would they try to cut her down in her time of true need? What is wrong with people? (Ok that last one is really rhetorical, there are a lot of things wrong with people.)The offense may have more of an affect on me than I would like, this friend is broken, trying desperately to find a way to heal from a horrific and terrible loss almost a year ago. And in the midst of this time, she has turned to her lifetime friends, people who know her and her heart, and in this moment she has been hurt by those she is closest too. Doesn't that just make you feel like you could take up her offense? Doesn't it make you questions those around you? The ones who are closest to you? Psalms 41:9 "Even my closest friend whom I trusted, the one who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me."  Pretty  harsh! And this from David, who's best friend, soldier buddy, turned against him when he needed is friend the most. David talked about his trials, his hurts and his friends. I think, in reading this one sentence, that David was hurt most by the betrayal and hurt he suffered from his best, closest friend. I believe, in all honesty, that a friend who hurts you is probably the worst kind of hurt, it was for David and I believe it is for us. It is the hurt that cuts the most, even when we don't want to believe it, it is the hurt that probably travels with us the most through our life, and it is the hurt that causes us to take up another's offenses.

I wish, yes wish, that I could tell people that friends shouldn't be this way and have them believe me. I wish that I could tell friends not to be that way and have them hear me; I think all of us do, even tho it doesn't really work, we wish it. Why do we wish it? Because we are human, we are not horses (although that thought is a wonderful thought isn't it). We usually don't have a plethora of friends who will stand beside us but we do have those who would stand by us through anything. In my human life I wish that a friend would n to raise their heels against me, I would love to say that every person I have ever met would never betray or hurt me, and I would be living in a fantasy world. But, even when I know that a friend could betray me, when I guard my heart against friendship because, in the end, I believe that they could raise their heel against me, I meet someone who tells me that I have always been nice to them, that I have encouraged them, and my heart guard breaks down just a little bit.

I know, as well as you do, that friends in our life come and go. Unlike my horses, who live in a pasture with the friends that  I give them to live with, I have a multitude of those who are friends.  Unlike my horses, who with time accept everyone, I sometimes guard my heart against those who I meet, and there are those, that circle of friends who know more about me than they probably care to know.  Those people, that small herd, that inner circle of friends are those who I bear my heart to the most. I hope that you have those friendships too, I hope that somewhere in the midst of hurts and betrayals, you can narrow it down to a group of friends that are your herd.  They would go to war for you, without question, they would stand and have your back, with no fear, and they would stand and cry with you, no matter what.  I guess I am living in a pasture after herd is small and compact, with friends that would love me and hate me at the same time, forget offenses in a short period of time, and when needed, they would run someone down and beat them up when warranted...I do have a herd, I wonder if you do too?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Well That Jumped Up and Bit Me In The….

There are sayings, phrases, looks, and words that my family always used. It didn’t seem what the situation was at the time; they were able to come up with something that wasn’t appropriate that seemed to fit the situation.  We were very poor and my mom worked several jobs just to keep us in a trailer park, I believe to this day her favorite rhetorical answer to us was “put want in one hand and s*&^ in the other and tell me which weighs more.” Inevitably this was used when we really thought we needed something from the store or in life that was a ‘want’ not a life preserving need. My Aunt Barb on the other hand always waited until just the right moment when something had gone terribly wrong, after she had given direct and loud advice against it, and she would state, with profound dignity “Well that jumped up and bit you in the …”(let’s say butt), her way of saying “I told you so.”  That happened this week something came right up and bit me in the butt. Jumped up out of nowhere and got me. What was it…contradiction is actually what it was, I was hoping over the past 4 days that somehow it would change to conviction…that hasn't happened (hence the title!).

I hate finding out in the midst of something that I strongly believe that I have been a hypocrite. Although I know deep down every one of us is in some way or another but it just bugs me when it happens. So what happened? In my small group on Monday nights we broke down to smaller groups to discuss the video, women whom I know and don’t know sat in a small circle to discuss the points and meaning of what we had just heard.  During that time, a very nice woman (forgive me but I forget her name) was making a point about protecting oneself, knowing your surroundings, and generally not trusting anyone. About 2 minutes into her point, she looked at me and said “like you (pointing at me) never trust a horse.” Without a thought, I said “no, I trust my horses completely I have to every time I get on them.” Her response “you never trust horses”. Now for those of you who know me, my head was in the midst of several questions that I wanted to ask this woman. Something had to have happened for her to make this statement (or maybe the Holy Spirit just put it in her mouth for me-something I am still kind of struggling with). But I would think over all  most of you would agree if you heard someone make a statement about – well anything – that sounded like this, your first assumption would be that there had to be an experience that caused that reaction.  Where’s the contradiction you ask? Here it is, not long ago, and probably every time I teach someone to handle and ride a horse, my first statement is always, don’t trust that horse completely, they are an animal, 800lbs of ‘get the heck out of my way something’s going to eat me’. I tell people to be aware of what’s going on when handling horses, especially on the ground, because they are horses and in a herd they will push each other around and you are just a speck standing in the way. And yet, at the moment she pointed me out and said ‘you never trust a horse’ my first instinct was to say ‘no I trust my horses completely.’ Well if that didn’t jump up and bite me in the butt!! (My aunt would love that right now, hearing that statement from me!)

So what is it in me that made that quick, unthought out, unhindered statement? Why would I teach and tell people one thing and without a moments consideration immediately say that I didn't believe it? It’s trust, unhidden, unbound, unquestioning trust of my horses. In the simplest terms that what it is; even in my cautions to people just learning about the wonderful animals of non-trust, in the end, I have to trust them. I trust that every time I put my foot in the stirrup, swing my leg up and over their back, and sit on them, they are going to allow me to do it. I’m trusting that they won’t kill me, which any of them could do easily, I’m trusting them to do as I ask and do it without conflict. I’m trusting them to about the measure of 800lbs. Why is this important? The small group I am in is called the Law of Love, at its core it’s about trusting what God has in store for me, loving Him completely to get me through it and to it, and not worrying about the caution to go.   Deut 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with your whole heart; love Him with all that’s in you; love Him with all you've got.” (MSG) There are different versions of this verse, I really like this one, but you may have heard it like this “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul” – I heard that first in the New Testament from Jesus, I didn't know at the time that it was said probably over 1000 different ways with the same result throughout the Old Testament.  The Israelites were told to write this on their hearts, write it on the hands, on their foreheads, on their door frames, on their gates, take it everywhere they went, when the sit, when they talk, everywhere! What in the world?! Write it on their foreheads!? On their door frames and gates?! That’s a little extreme; even for the Israelites don’t you agree? Or was it? As a child from the 70s, I remember learning in school meant memorization (that is not the case today), it meant if I had to learn it, I probably wrote it 10 times or 20 times, and if it was a punishment 100 times what I wasn't going to do anymore. (Do you see what’s happening here? I just got bit again… don’t laugh, you did too!)

Write it on your foreheads, your hands, your door frames and gates. Learn this with all your heart, mind, and soul so you take it everywhere you go. Isn't that what God was telling them? Wasn't he in essence teaching them how to trust Him without questioning Him? And how did He do it? He told them to write it everywhere that they love Him. Because let’s face facts, none of us, not one, trust someone we don’t love. I’d like to say that I love Him with all my heart, soul and mind but that would be a lie, because I don’t, not yet anyway (maybe I need to start writing!). I don’t think it’s a surprises to Him, I think some of you would probably say let me pray for you, and I would say thank you for your prayers but praying isn't going to get me to love anymore than a smack in the face. I have no idea what it will take to get to the point of completely and wholly trusting and loving God, I don’t believe that is a surprise to Him either. What I do know is that He knew the Israelites needed to be told where to put it, where to write it, and where to keep it, and maybe I need the same thing.

Contradiction is a big realization don’t you agree? Sometimes, probably more often then we would like, God gives us something without our knowledge and allows us to stand on that for a while and then He throws a wrench in the whole thing.  That’s exactly what happened to me, a wrench came flying at me in the form of a woman who is afraid of horses, and through her God threw a wrench at my head. Maybe I need a lesson with me on horses (I’m sure some on you are laughing right now) only this time I need to hear what I’m actually trying to say. What is that you ask? Don’t trust the situation, maybe the situation isn't perfect or trustworthy but He is; trust Him who put me in the situation, or allowed me to go into the situation. Because in the end the horse person in me sees it this way; when I’m getting ready to enter the situation, I am putting my foot in the stirrup; trusting that He is going to stand with me, swinging my leg over the saddle; and knowing that He is truly by my side, allowing me to sit with confidence astride their back. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

You Can Look But You Can't Touch

If you had an upbringing like mine the phrase "you can look but you can't touch" meant that you were somewhere you could do nothing but put your hands behind your back or in your pockets and stare endlessly at the shiny things on the shelves. It also meant that no matter how much you asked your mom or dad for something that answer was going to be 'no'. The pleading and grumblings of your heart's desire was going to fall on deaf ears, and if you continued it usually meant that you were going to get something else - no not what you wanted! I remember thinking as a teen that I would never, ever use certain phrases with my children...Like "because I said so", "because I'm mom that's why", or just "because", but one that I remember using over and over again is "you can look but you can't touch". It's funny how a cycle comes about in an adult life that we are determined not to do and yet there it is, our parents incarnate coming out of our mouths!

I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had parents that said yes to every one of my whims? What would it be like to get absolutely everything that I wanted, pleaded or begged for? What would it be like to have been raised without rules like "don't touch that!"? Wouldn't that just be wonderful! Come on think about it....Everything you wanted as a child, which lets face facts, that was absolutely everything we saw, every minute of the day, whether in a store, on TV or something of a friends. Everything! Wouldn't that be the coolest thing in the world? To be able to live carelessly and see everything and go everywhere and get anything! Wow! What a fantasy world! But what then would there be to offer my children? If I had and got and did everything, would I be willing to do the same for my children? Probably not. I mean lets face facts, if I had already done and gotten everything, why would I encourage my children to do anything? I probably wouldn't be enthusiastic about a new thing for them because I would have already accomplished that goal...sort of a 'been there done that" attitude.

Moses had a similar thing happen to him, he was told that he could look but not touch. He was hand picked as a child by God to free the Isrealites from Egypt, hand picked to bring plagues to Pharaoh's people, to lead the people God put in him charge of to a place that was talked about for hundreds and hundreds of years, the Promise Land! He was destined to lead tens of thousands of God's chosen children for 11 days, across the Red Sea, through the desert and the Jordan to the Promise Land! Oh what a delight. And then within a few days, that joy was destroyed, taken away. Moses, like those who cried about entering the land across the Jordan, was told he would never see the Promised Land, he would never cross the Jordan. Moses even pleaded for 40 years with God to forgive him, he pleaded, not the way you and I would, but pleaded all the same. Deut 2:23-28 "At that time I begged God, 'God, my Master, you let me in on the beginnings, you let me see your greatness, you let me see your might - what god in Heave or Earth can do anything like what you've done! Please let me also in on the endings, let me cross the river and see the good land over the Jordan, the lush hills, the Lebanon mountains.  But God was still angry with me because of you. He wouldn't listen.  He said, 'Enough of that! Not another word from you on this! Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah and look around: look east, west, north, and south. Take the land in with your own eyes.  Take a good look because you are not going to cross the Jordan. Then command Joshua. Give him courage, Give him strength. Single-handed he will lead this people across the river. Single-handed he will cause them  to inherit the land at which you can only look." Well if that's not a kick in the butt! Not only could he only look and not touch, he had to tell Joshua that he was going to get it and Moses was going to give him all the details on how to get it! That's like a kick in the head isn't it!?  That's like standing in the checkout line at the store and there in front of you and your sister is all the candy you can't have and all of a sudden your mom says "honey you can't have any because you're in trouble but you can help you sister pick you her piece of candy but you can only tell her you can't touch or point to the candy." That sucks! Don't you agree? If you don't than you and I have to have a serious discussion. Don't you feel bad for Moses? (Heck don't you feel bad for yourself having to pick out the piece of candy for your sister?!) I mean really this the same situation, the same terms, Moses was in trooouuuuble! I mean some big time bad trouble. He spent 40 years in the desert trying to get God to let him cross the Jordan and all he got to do was destroy two kings on the west side of the Jordan and then look at what he would never set foot on. Makes me kind of mad how about you?!

So now that I got a chance to rant, and I got you on my side about the whole thing....I wonder what the point of this is, what in the world is really being said here? And while I'm writing, I'm talking to a friend in a text, and out of nowhere it hits me. Smack! (yes just like that) And I wonder what it is that I am going to be encouraging someone to do that I will never get to do, that I will never be able to take part in? What is it that I get to see a glimpse of, travel the road toward, and never get to touch? And I realize that I am doing it everyday with my girls.  Everyday, I get to see Sydney go to school and excel at things that I never could have begun to do at her age, I get to see her pick up an instrument, pretty much any instrument, and learn to play it in a matter of weeks. I get to hear her try to teach someone how to read  music, I couldn't even begin to read music. Everyday, I get the opportunity to hear about Jennifer's life at college, I get to encourage her to persevere through troubles of her heart while being homesick and becoming part of a new life and new family. Everyday I get to hear about her new adventures, about her new classes that she is loving, classes that I never took part in as a teenager, college that I never experienced at her age. Do you see, I got to look but I can not touch. I can encourage and love my children, both of my daughters to a life that I never got to take part in, encourage them toward a new life, that I have never got to experience. I have the opportunity to know, that eventually, each of them will meet the husband God has planned for them, know that eventually they will be mother's and somewhere in the midst of all of their life, I will get to be at the beginnings but I will not be at the endings.  I will get to see but not touch, I will get to be part of for a while but not forever. And so I wonder, who else in my life am I getting the opportunity to encourage, strengthen toward a Promise Land that, like Moses, I may get to get a glimpse of but never get to set foot in? And I wonder, maybe God wasn't saying no to Moses just because Moses was still in trouble. Maybe God was saying 'I have given you the opportunity to raise a generation that will be greater than you. A generation that will be greater than the seas, a generation that will be My loving people. I so love you that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you don't need to touch what you are heading toward. But those you have raised, lead, taught, and loved, they will continue on the path that you have started. See...there is more to this than you know, more to this than you can understand. You are more to this generation than you, right now, could even imagine. Trust me."

You can look but you can't touch doesn't sound so bad anymore. It doesn't hold that power anymore that I don't get something I desperately want anymore. Instead, it holds a hope that I get the opportunity to be more than I think I am, an opportunity to encourage a generation to be more than they think they can be, an opportunity to do something I'm not so good a doing....encouraging those to go ahead, leading those toward a promise, filling up with the spirit, following the words of God, going to a place unknown, seeing without being able to touch, and trusting.
"Then command Joshua. Give him courage, Give him strength. Single-handed he will lead this people across the river. Single-handed he will cause them  to inherit the land at which you can only look."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Go! See!

I love to travel, I think it was inbred into my DNA. Throughout my life, when my mom would say "ok we're going to see your sister" it was an literally an adventure! What was always funny is that even using a map, going along the route planned each day (no not before leaving), sometimes along the freeway but most days on some country back road that led in the general direction of our destination. We would go out of our way to see some special landmark or place that she had heard about. One time, when we were leaving SC (she and my aunt coming to pick me up from AIT graduation) we took a scenic route through WV looking for the infamous bridge that people had started bungy jumping off of. After 2 hours of driving the same 4 miles, back and forth, we realized that the bridge we were traveling over was the bridge we were looking and mom laughed my aunt not so much. The fun thing about being raised by a single mother was that she was - I think- a little bi-polar. She would come up with a plan and one day get up and say 'let's go, we're going on a trip' and off we'd go. No planning or very little planning, she would just load us up and away we'd go!

Now, I am much more of a planner which is odd because I wasn't raised that way, maybe because I was raised that way. I laugh because my husband could NEVER go on a trip with my mother...I mean NEVER! HAHA! And as I remember the instant going without warning, I thought it was funny that she could just instantly decide that the trip was going to happen, pack up what was needed, load me and my brother up, and out the door we'd go. It was as though she wasn't afraid of anything, willing to just go and see things and be in places that she had never been without any cares.She would take us to go and see things that I wish I had taken my children to go and see, places that are just pictures to my children but places that I have seen, had pictures taken standing in front of, places that are majestic that could only be described as God made. She would take us without any fear, and go.

This morning I started a journey, not a physical journey, but a journey all the same...a journey through Elah ha-Devarim - to you and me Deuteronomy. For whatever reason, I was urged to begin reading this elongated book with 34 chapters, that is the be'er (bay-air), explanation, plain detail, simple writing of the law that God gave the Isrealites. Sounds like an exciting book doesn't it! I told you yesterday that this was going to be exciting...are you ready to find out what I found? I found a man who was told to Get up and Go, and he took with him thousands and thousands of people. He was given no direction, just a cloud by day and  fire by night to follow on a trip for 11 days. The didn't take anything from when they were told to go, just what they needed, nothing else and off they went. I and you know that this man led the Isrealites to the Jordan to take the promised land God promised these people. And you and I know that those who left Egypt never got to see that land, not even the man. These people we're going to get to see a land that they had been told about for generations; stories told about a land that was to be theirs; a land that was beautiful and full of fruit; and they let it slip through their hands. They went but they never got to really see what they were promised. Could you imagine being told your entire life, for generations, about a place that was real, that you were going to get to see and then never get to see it? Never get to set foot near or in it? Never get a picture of you standing in front of it? That's what happened to these people, they lost faith, fell to unbelief, and all of a sudden they only got to see the same desert for 40 yrs, the same sand, the same mountain, the same place they had been before, the same, the same.

The journey I'm on to read this book was just a read, that's what it started out as this morning, something that I felt inspired to do, mostly because I haven't read it ever. What I found was a couple sentences that detailed my history, get up and go to see, to wait and let things happen. My journey through Elah ha-Devarim has all of a sudden, in 6 verses changed...changed from a read to what? I don't know but something happened when I read what Moses said to the people of Israel as they were about to enter the promise land.   A journey that was just to get up and Go, See.  Deut 1:6-8 "The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb (Sinai) saying " You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn, Get up, Go, and set your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorite, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the  hill country and in all the lowland and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. SEE, I have placed the land before you; GO in and posses the land which the Lord swore to give your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them." I don't know what it is that I am suppose to See, not yet, but I know that in this verse there is something that God it telling me to move from, move away from this protected place that I have manufactured and Go. What is it He is trying to tell me? My best guess is that I need to step out in faith in something He has been putting before me, step out and go without thinking just go....there is something out there He has placed for me to see. Now all I have to do is cast off the unbelief that has taken up residency, step out of the fortress that is between me and the see, and go. What am I waiting for? What are you waiting for?
"And God said, why are you waiting, why have you stayed here this long? There is nothing here for you, there is not fruit, no land, it is desolate. Ger up and Go, I have something for you to See. Past the walls that surround you, past the things that are in your way. Trust me! The things I have for you stretch from lowlands beyond the valley, over the hills and mountains to the sea. Go and See."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Class Is In

Do you remember being in elementary school? How about sitting in class on the week before Christmas? Everyone running around not really listening to the teacher, the boys throughout the class launching spit balls at each other, the girls screeching when they got hit, the teacher getting the lesson ready in the morning, seemingly ignoring what 25 children are doing behind her. Then with authority and structure she would turn around and do...what? If you were a child anything like me, and every other 3rd, 4th or 5th grader, your thoughts were probably something like this "its the last day before Christmas break-I'm here to have fun, not learn or listen. I'm not going to see some of my friends for 2 weeks! I've got to get some good times in before the end of the day."  And often without warning, the teacher would walk calmly over to the door and shut the lights off! Oh the nerve!  (Allow me to take a break, if you don't know what it means to have the lights shut off in school....then you are missing an enriched part of your childhood life, a part when a light switch has the same affect on a child as wooden spoon!) Within seconds, literally seconds, everyone was quiet, heads on their desks, and no one was moving...oh you might have the occasional giggle from the class clowns but for the most part, quietness had overtaken the ruckus and noise. It wasn't amazing to me then, just part of life in class, but now looking back, that was an amazing trick performed by our teachers. And throughout time there have been a plethora of teacher trickery, if you never experienced it you have seen it on TV; a teach walking around the class with a ruler (very effective by the way), or my favorite from A Christmas Story "Class, class, its time to get started" and viola, like magic everyone was quiet.  So, for lack of a better term.....Class is in!

One of my favorite parts of school was English and vocabulary. I was a really good speller, one of only 2 in my family, me and my older brother, Chris, could spell and write like it was second nature. So every time I am in a class setting and I get to learn a new word...I am very excited! Well that's exactly what happened last night and I am going to teach you the words I learned - why? Well for no other reason than I was told that I needed to write again. Aren't you glad you read my blog!? :)

Words mean a lot in my life, I work with words in ways to get people to understand what they are doing in the legal system, how the law works and how they are required to obey that law intently. Words are my life line to explaining what the attorney details in legaleese (as we call it) and I get to translate. Words are very important, they are so important that I learned that in Hebrew every book is titled by the first words in the book. A great example is 'once upon a time' (I'm stealing this example from Beth Moore); if a fable had been written in Hebrew that started with this phrase that would be the book's name. Not a bad idea, not a great idea but not a bad idea.  Or at least I thought so until last night.  In Hebrew, the books of the Bible are named in Hebrew for the first words of each book; our translations (whether the NIV or King James) came from the Greek translation of the Bible from Hebrew.  Each Greek word, like Genesis, means what the book is about. Genesis means 'birth', 'genealogy', 'history of origin', 'source'; in Hebrew it was "in the beginning" or bereshit (bear-ah sheet).  Neat huh!? Excited yet!? I can tell all the way through the internet that you are very excited! Last night, in a weird course of events, I started a new class called Law of Love by Beth Moore, we are studying Deuteronomy. (I know hold your excitement down I'm typing as fast I my little fingers will let me!) The majority of the lesson last night was learning new words. My favorite - as of last night, of which I pummeled into my head - is Elah ha-Devarim (eh-lay ha-dev-a-rum), the Hebrew name for Deuteronomy. What doe these words mean? They translate "these are the words".  What a powerful phrase, I never thought they would be until I had to repeat this over and over last night in class, and 'these words' became powerful to me, meaningful to me, they meant something (although what-well I'm not to sure yet), but they mean something. Don't they mean something to you? I mean without knowing anything else 'these are the words' hold an introduction to someone's thoughts, someone's intent, someone's ideas...'these are the words'.

I know you probably stopped reading right after all honesty, I probably would too. But if you happened to stick with me, hold on to the thought that I am running through, I wonder if you think that Elah ha-Devarim might hold something for you too. Without knowing what I was getting myself into, I entered into a book that was old and unknown and probably a boring and tedious read to me. Especially after the cool stories and details of the New Testament, Deuteronomy seems, well.....uneventful. Even the name seems uneventful...who came up with Deuteronomy! What Greek was sitting around and said..."oh I got! Deuteronomy!" And yet, that is exactly where I landed. This is a long book, a book of Moses speaking to the Isrealites after they made it out of the wilderness and are about to cross the Jordan. It is Moses detailing their journey, their time in desert and giving their history to the new generation, the generation that didn't spend 40 yrs walking around Mt. Sinai. A story that the new generation would not know all the details of and he tells them this story in what I would call layman's terms...easy to understand, plain and simple (the Hebrew word be'er [bay-air]). A story to keep them reminded of a place that they do not need to return to, that they have been moved into the promise land, through a turmoil of  rebellion, and homelessness, and into a new life. In the words of Beth Moore, "Deuteronomy is the story of going through, being brought out of to be brought into."

I really have no idea what I am doing in this book of words, but for whatever reason, I feel compelled to read it. Read the words that start with 'these are the words'. Compelled to detail what I find, what I am meant to find.  So I embark on this weird and old journey, reading Deuteronomy, and lucky for you, I am going to write about those words that I hope hold meaning and in-sight. Hoping to find the words that I am meant to find, hidden somewhere in the text of Deuteronomy.

Elah ha-Devarim, these are the words, the words that tell how to get out and how to be free, the words that tell me that I am far from alone in this journey I am on and I think there is no point in what I am doing. These are the words, the words that I am going to trek through, the words that will hold some meaning that I have not found yet, words that in all hope and desire, give me freedom to be brought into whatever it is that has been waiting for me, whatever it is that has been planned and designed for me. Where are you in the journey out of the desert? I have no idea, I don't even really know where I am but I am 'breaking camp', going somewhere...for lack of imagination, I'm heading straight into the word!