My Blog

Wisdom

IMG_2880 I cannot stop thinking about them. They are branded on my heart… seared into my every thought. Every detail. Every Act. Every thoughtful thing they did. Perhaps the imprint, not necessarily that of their own, but rather how they chose to be Christ to me.

How precious those memories are. They become more so with the passage of time.  I am older now then most of them where back then. Yet, their wisdom surely surpassed what I feel like mine is at this stage.  In every way, they emulated those women in Titus… reverent, loving, pure and honorable.

In a recent conversation with a young mom, she shared her desperation for having communion with Godly older women. “Women who have survived the early years of family and marriage and feeling as if everything is on hold while they raise babies.” That amazingly busy “Summer Season” of our womanhood.

Her desperate cries compelled me to search for the answers for her…. as my mind dusted off the files, it occurred to me again.. She needs me.

I could feel my own heart thump louder, almost drowning out her voice….panic set in. In a quick darted prayer, I could hear my own voice cry, “Surely I am not THAT women.” Feelings of lack flooded over me.. The enemy leans in suggesting, You my dear are certainly not “pure” enough. Wise enough.”   In defiance, I felt every fiber of me fight back……Really?  Surely I am seasoned enough. I have lived enough life. I’ve shed enough tears. I have had to pick myself up from my boot straps enough times.  I have prayed, and swore, and promised to change, and changed…. enough.  I have enough awareness to see the times that God has carried me through the things I never thought I could see the other side of.  I could feel the enemy shrivel. He isn’t used to me fighting back. That in and of itself is growth.

The truth is, this young mom needs the same thing I needed when I was her. Someone who can listen. Who can assure her that there is life after… this season. That she is doing a good a job, and that she is more “normal” that the enemy would like her to believe. That no, she isn’t the only one who cries herself to sleep some nights out of frustration and fatigue. And no, she isn’t the only one that feels she has nothing left to give. And, yes, she is enough just the way she is.

I am learning that the thing I need the most, in order to step into this new season of my life,  is the acceptance and the gratitude that all those things that I cried out to God to provide, he did.  The awareness that while I wasn’t 100% the woman I needed to be in the moment, I was enough because God picked up the slack and moved me into being “her.” He knew who I could be. And, that is why with confidence he could tell me I was enough. He always knew, who I was becoming.

The enemy can confuse us by reminding us that we are still praying the same prayer all these years later. “Make me more.. God.” In truth, if we will be honest, we should all be praying that we become…. MORE.  At every stage of our life, we should be asking God to fuel that desire to be more…. More giving, more available, more aware, more wise…. More like Christ.

We just have to ask.

“If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask.”

I Cannot Un-know That.

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It has been about a year and a half. Perhaps longer.  I am horrible with time. But, lets just say, it is within the last two year, that God began to  show me that even while things can feel like they are happened to you….. perhaps God is allowing them to happen for you. For me. Its easy to know that after the storm. When you can look back and can see how  worked it all in your favor. But, it is less easy to see it when the storm rages around you.  Continue reading “I Cannot Un-know That.”

Crystal Peaks

 

Several years ago, I was lent a book written by Kim Meeder. I instantly fell in love. With her, her heart, her ministry and the stories she so generously shared. I quickly engulfed them all… some dozen or so.  Then, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit her ranch. To sit across from her face to face and share about our shared experiences. As my heart would have hoped, she was in person, how I had imagined her to be.

What a joy it was to walk the ranch. To envision what it was back when she and Troy began their adventure, which now, took some creative thinking to envision.

Prior to my visit, I suspected that I would be mostly captivated by Kim herself, and then the horses… and I was, but I was caught off guard at how I felt just being in that “space”, itself.  The details were charming.. the signs were all entertaining and perfect. The structures sweet and dreamy… but, there was a spirit that was palpitate.  An amazing blend of love,  excitement,  anticipation. As if God himself had taken up residency. And of course, I know He had.

I was shaken by  the flood of emotions I felt as I watched kid after kid.. each with their own story, bond with their new four legged friend. I watched as these kids faced fears then pushed through them.  It was all… stunning.  I found myself trying to capture it all through my camera lens, hoping not to miss a thing.  As I found my little perch and watched…. listened… breathed in and out .. I felt I was on hallowed ground. Maybe because I was in the midst of a place where everything I loved, everything that spoke to me, was now encapsulating me. Horses, families, the smell of dust in the light breeze…. or maybe it came from a sense of knowing the needs these kids represented and watching as Troy and Kim weaved through them as if they were “just” another helper… had I not known who they were… I would never have known that they weren’t part of the herd of volunteers that keep the ranch working so well. Kim was busy in the arena working one on one with a kid.. and a horse.  “One kid one horse”.. is their motto.. and there she was, living it out.  Troy and his truck were parked down the lane, repairing something in the fences line.

When Kim’s lesson was over, her assistant lead her towards me. I felt bad knowing that she had to carve out time for me.. a writer. At the beginning of our interview, you could tell that even through her gracious spirit, she was here out of duty.  There was still (after all this time and success) a part of her that would rather be out with yet another child, doing another session in the heat, than to be placed up on a petal-stool  of any kind.. but, not being a stranger to the process, she also knew marketing, and stories, meant reaching more kids.  I felt the need to verbalize to her that I sensed that… and it changed the interview.  I felt her relax as I shared parts of my story with her.. parts that we shared; her story and mine.

I stayed for the cowboy church service that evening.. hundreds poured into the barn… they came for dinner and stayed for worship. It was wall to wall people, brilliant. Each with their own story…

I left.. forever changed. Not because of Kim, or Troy or even the ranch  itself, but because of the amazing example Crystal Peak Youth Ranch is of how deeply God wants to work with us to make a difference in the lives of others.

Kim will be sharing their story on Focus on the Family Tomorrow and Friday.. Please take the time to listen, I know that you will love what you learn.  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15d378c4c3e91d43   Kim’s books can be found on Amazon or at their website https://www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org/

The Eye Of a Horse

IMG_8339.JPGThere are horses that have taken up residence in a pasture right at the entrance of my town.  Since I don’t often use that exit to go home, I cannot be a witness as to how long they have been there.  There are several. A herd. Young, old, black, brown, chestnut.  They speak to me somehow. There is something about horses that bring a calm to my heart and mind.

I’ve been unsettled the last couple of weeks. Restless. Aimless. Purposeless. Frustrated. Weary.  As my day would have it, I drove past that field several times. Each time slowing down to catch a glimpse. Each glimpse offering a glimmer of hope… a rekindling of joy.

I think God must have known there would be days like this. I was reminded of a card I saw a few weeks back.. that simply stated, “Sometimes I catch God watching me through the eyes of  a horse.”  While it may not be doctrinal sound to think such a thing.. I sure know it explains why on days like this, it is one of the few things that work like a suave for what ails me. And, I smile.

Roping The Wind

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It is hard to believe that it is quickly approaching 10 years of blogging.. Journaling really.  It is fair to say, I was blogging before blogging was cool. For those who have followed me over the course of those 10 years, you may be asking why the change in the title of the blog? The answer comes easily for me, because I have changed. Becoming more focused over time.. While much of the things that “called me” have lost their appeal over those 10 years… and other things have come more into focus.. Like the auto focus on my camera lens.  In my 30’s and 40’s I was doing more “exploring,” today, in my 50’s I am more tuned into what I have built over that time and it all settles in closer to home, and it is those things that I most like to write about these days. Those things being; Faith, Family and Friends. Continue reading “Roping The Wind”

But….. I don’t wanna!

Have you ever felt like this horse, afraid to walk into the “new”?   Probably not. I am sure that I am the only one. 3118_1137163142769_4303517_n

Mostly I would say I am a pretty courageous person. I don’t mind new things. I often don’t mind scary things.  I “pride” myself in knowing that there is not much that I cannot handle. I have a knowing that the hardest part of anything is just walking through it. BUT, there are times…. there are specific things that I just fight.

For example; I do not like being vulnerable  I don’t like asking for help.. or even admitting that I need help. And, I don’t much like relying on others to help me do thing that I think I should be able to accomplish on my own… Why yes, I do often hear that bratty me saying, “I’ll do it myself.” After all; I am a self reliant, highly capable girl. And often, when I am right in the center of this kind of moment.. God steps in and challenges my thinking. Continue reading “But….. I don’t wanna!”

Still I Wonder

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Have you ever stopped and wondered what it is that breaks the heart of God? I don’t mean what “we” the collective do…. I mean “we” as in you and me…..

I have been thinking about “LOVE” lately. Not the romantic kind of love.. but, what does it really mean to love….I will be honest with you.. I am in training…. In my past, I have not always loved well. I’m better. I’m learning that my ability to walk in love – – – –  has nothing to do with how other choose to walk, live, breathe, be…. that, is who they choose to be… rather, knowing that I have to, in every moment choose who I want to be… and in doing so.. I, like a million other things I am working on, turned to scripture for the answers.. and this is what I found.

1 Corinthians 13: 12-13…Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope,and love; but the greatest of these is love.

I couldn’t imagine living life without faith and hope. Life is hard. If not for faith and hope for a better day, what would drive us onward? To me these are as necessary as the air I breathe.  So then, if scripture tells us that as important as those two are… LOVE is even greater…….. that certainly tells me a lot about who God is. And, how he wants us to govern our lives. Once I wrapped my head around that…. I asked myself.. “what is love?” Again, the scripture gives us the perfect description…

1 Corinthians 13:4-

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away

WOW! I don’t know about you, but boy that is some chore list for me. Nowhere in that description can I find where it says we only have to love when others are “doing it right.” .  When I am focused on this list as MY own chore list… rarely do I have time for worry about whether others are doing it perfectly. And, I know it has to be one of the things that God mourns over.. when we don’t even try to get it right.

Matter of fact.. I would be so bold to ask out loud if it doesn’t break God’s heart when we continually use his word as a punishing stick for others, instead of a personal road map for ourselves.

This morning as I woke to more news of hate and discontent… this time closer than I would want… I wondered where Love was hiding. It caused me to grieve over the million times I stowed it away and let hate, frustration, and “right fighting”, take center stage. I wondered what would happen if we all just locked arms and said we are staying here until we find collective answers… having the only PLUMB line be… what would LOVE do?

Would love be willing to change its language? Would it give others the benefit of the doubt? Would it dig deep to find the answers? I believe that even an imperfect love like mine, would answer yes.

Certainly I can learn to not say “illegal Immigrants” if it causes some to bleed. And, instead refer to them as Undocumented. Certainly I could put down the picked signs and opt for a more loving understanding of those who don’t understand the shoes I am in. Even I would ask the questions that would help others find security here in the land of the free….. Questions like “why aren’t you documented? is it a matter of money, or paperwork, or job security, or…. even an imperfect love can be a part of the solution. I will never understand your side, nor you mine… if we cannot learn to sit and be with each other. And be willing to carry each other’s burdens.

I  think we are better than the world we are living in right now.. I think we are smarter….. I think we are more clever…. How did we become a people who have fallen for the lie that somehow  all truth lies on only one side of the isle, or the issues? has time not shown us, that these issues are better solved somewhere in the middle? Doesn’t it better us all to try and understand and to come along side each other? Doesn’t it better serve our kids who are watching and learning. What will their heritage be, love or hate?

My heart is broken today. If mine, then it isn’t to hard for me to wonder if God’s isn’t too. My grandpa used to say, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” I wonder how many of us, are willing to step out in love and be part of the solution?

I get it. Some will say I am a Polly Anna wanting to live in a Utopian world. Maybe. Thanks Okay.

But still, I wonder…..

Help!!!! I’m A Racist?

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Yesterday was a busy day. As I often do, I had the TV on for white background noise. As I got my computer work done, I was feeling quite accomplished. As the day clicked away, I was due to be in Tri Cities to spend some time with my youngest grandson and I still had a couple errands. I grabbed my handbag and headed out the door. The TV still on in the back ground.  As I sat behind the wheel, I noted I had left my phone.. back into the house I ran…. as I climbed the stairs of our 70’s split level I could hear Sarah Gilbertson – THE TALK – saying that those who didn’t like Beyonce’s appearance on the CMA’s the night be fore were racist.  I stopped in my tracks.

Now, I normally like the Talk.. and while I certainly don’t agree with everything they say, I also do not put them into the column of The View- a show I stopped listening to years ago. SO I was a little taken a back. But, I grabbed my phone, rolled my eyes and headed out once again.

Her scathing verdict stayed with me. Like a bee sting, where after you spend the rest of the day trying to find the stinger in hope of some kind of relief. Relief never came.

Just the night before I had sat and enjoyed the CMA’s. Probably enjoying them for the first time in a long time. I don’t always like where Country Music has gone in the last few years.. being more pop then Country. And every year I comment. While I don’t often like collaborations – admittedly I loved Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake. Go figure.  Had I not liked Justin – would I also be a racist? I love Darius Rucker and Charlie Pride – so I wonder how that fits the narrative? I don’t like them just because they are black.. but because they are talented.

I thought of all the ways I knew her verdict of me was not true. Starting with the fact that being a minority as whites are something we feel here in the Yakima Valley. It isn’t as if we are not part of the diverse world on a daily basis, we are. And, we do it well.

I thought of all my friends… Black, Brown, Red, Yellow…. and took comfort in the fact that THEY would not say I was racist. I thought of our son 2.5 whose brown, and our youngest son’s girlfriend who is as well. I thought of how much we love them and they are as much part of this household as any of the rest of us.

My irritation was now hurt. I know for a fact that I do not live my life sorting out colors as if opening a package of m&m’s and only eating the blue ones. Even as a middle class white girl, I have enough going for me to know that no matter the color of the shell… those m&m’s all taste the same. Like my friends of color, we all cry, and hurt, and struggle and laugh and….. love.

Then, as my emotions simmered down, I felt sad. Oh, not for me. I was clear once again on who I was and am. Who I have always been. But sad for the world that Sarah must live in to see the world as racist. To take comments such as mine… “I don’t feel Beyonce added anything to the CMA’s” and make that about race.

My truth is that it is not. It is about cultures.There is a huge difference between the Hip Hop Culture and the Cowboy Culture.  The cowboy world I live in embraces diversity. Includes anyone who saddles up.We still believe in respecting our elders, and saluting the flag, and respecting police officers and loving God and our nation. Not attributes always shared by Miss Knowles. Add that to preforming with the Dixie Chicks and well it was a hot emotional mess.  As they too have not always embraced these  qualities, and the country world has let them know… and they are white.. So… does that make us racist too…? Im confused.

Here is the thing… those qualities, those attributes, those Country Cultures don’t come in only one color. And it is so narrow for Gilbert or anyone else to assume that they do.

This morning as I sit at my computer trying to purge this awful accusation from someone who doesn’t even know me.. or frankly know enough about the outside of Hollywood world… I began to wonder…. “when did we as a nation start allowing the ill-informed.. to inform us?” I think back to the great news orators of the day – like Walter Cronkite. I see the image of him reading from the paper just coming across the wire. He delivered news. They are gone now. In country singer Clint Black’s new song he brilliant asks, “and we still call this news?” I get that shows like The Talk are opinion pieces. And, in yesterdays show I think Sarah Gilbert showed exactly how little experience on the topic she really knew.

I found myself wondering too, if Miss Gilbert were at a LGBT event and for what ever the reason someone was there performing or giving out an award who she had heard didn’t necessarily share her LGBT views, and they were of color, and she commented about not really “feeling” them… would she then be a racist? or would she have some cultural differences with them?  I am guessing that she would claim the latter… however, not afford me the same verdict.

If truth be told, the whole performance felt like another verse of the Dixie Chicks singing, “I’m not ready to make nice.” and no it didn’t set well with me, and I still don’t think Beyonce added a darn thing to it. And I still don’t get why you would have them come do a Beyonce’s new album song the same time we are honoring the legends in the COUNTRY field.

I am not saying that I do not believe we as a nation do not have a race issue. Personally, I feel that there are racist huddled in every color group. You don’t have to be white to be racist. You can be Brown, yellow, White, Red and every color in between. But, if we are ever really going to work through that, we have to stop calling EVERYTHING racist. I am not a racist for simply holding different values than you, and I am certainly not racist because I don’t bow down to Queen Beyonce, or the things she sings about in her songs, of the way she conducts herself on the stage, or the messages she puts out there about police officers and the like. It is still a free world and I get to express my opinion just as much as you do Miss Gilbert.

And, oh Miss Gilbert, anytime you want to venture out into the real world let me know.. I’ll give you a tour.

 

Flower’s Child

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I have recently started buying myself cut flowers.My husband has never been one to surprise me and bring them home, in his defense I didn’t think I was ever one that would appreciate them. It always seemed like such a waste to take them from the garden. I can see now that I was short-sighted as they are temporary whether we cut them and take them indoors or if we leave them in the field. I have seen the error of my ways.

Not that there isn’t a beauty of walking through fields of flowers, there certainly is as I was recently able to do. But, I have also recently discovered the joy they bring me sitting on my counter or family dinner table.

I am not sure why I didn’t allow myself the pleasure before, perhaps it is now that I am slowing down more, sitting more at the dining room table to write, or be with my grandson, learning to be still at home… that I can truly appreciate them.

While in the past I might have stated that my favorite flowers are daisies, I must say these days I am enjoying a variety of different ones, different colors and attributes. Much like my friends – I celebrate their diverseness, taking time to appreciate their individual nuances.

There is something so innocent about flowers and my new appreciation of them makes me a flower’s child.

Where In The SAM HILL……?????

IMG_5899.jpgMy Hubby and I traveled a couple of hours down the road to the Columbia River to meet up with friends at Peach Beach . . .  The weekend plans were simple. Friends, Music and Relaxation. After-all, getting my hubby out camping… or out for anything this time of the year is almost impossible. But, being our anniversary weekend… somehow it happened.

Saturday we slept in – – After a long hot summer, fall was finally in the air.. The crispness in the evening air was perfect and sleep came easy. After a lazy brunch at a nearby diner, we set off to tour the Historic Maryhill Museum. A beautiful castle on the hill that was built by Millionaire Sam Hill for his beloved Mary. Now converted into a Museum. As we walked through the hallowed halls I was struck by the heart of the man.

While the museum housed Native American History, photos and artifacts.. For the most part the Museum stands as a homage to Hill’s “artsy” friends.  Obviously running in a rather eclectic  – Sculptures, dancers, dressmakers, theater, as well as mover and shakers in the business and legal world. Hill, a world traveler, is exposed in the halls of his museum. While the museum was meant to showcase his friends and the brilliance that he so deeply saw and felt, to those willing to see, it also shows Hill’s heart.

Room after room he exposes his immense love and pride for the talents of his friends.  As I looked over some of the art – – I thought… “not my cup of tea,” or even… “I’ve seen better”, but had I just left it there, I think I would have been missing the point.

The Museum was build out of love… and filled with love. What a rare thing.. It isn’t just a bunch of things collected, but rather rooms full of art and stories and photos of those that captured his heart. What a tribute. Oh to be so loved that your very existence is attached for generations to someone who loved you, believed in your and held your dreams and passions and talents as closely as you held them yourself.

Someone might wonder where in the Sam Hill that kind of heart comes from… I am not 100% sure, but may we know friends like that… and more importantly may we be them.