11 years ago my daughter couldn't sleep. she couldn't stop dreaming and talking about horses. my mother-in-love warned me it might happen, she having been a horse-crazy young girl herself. i'm not entirely sure what sparked this obsession, but once the trigger was pulled, there was no going back. once her buns hit the saddle that was that. and i was caught up in my own curiosity. in spite of fear that had been driven into my heart by 2 separate and unrelated childhood experiences involving run away horses, i couldn't stay away. and thanks to the greatest trainers ever, Ray and Janet, i learned to fear less, and grow.... and ride.
so much so that we eventually, bravely, moved to Montana and cared for our own horses at home. a massive undertaking that thrilled, surprised and terrified me! but, how else do you learn other than doing? so we did. we purchased several more horses over the course of a couple years, including a jumping pony for Izzi. Ripley, pictured above, proved to be a challenge, but Izzi learned the english ropes from his back, the in's and out's of jumping and showing.... and eventually she learned how to fall, and get back on. and how to get thrown head first over jumps, and get back on. and how to get bucked off, and get back on. and then it wasn't so fun anymore... fear comes for a little visit, and then decides to stick around. and so we took Ripley out of competitive showing/training and brought him home to be a trail horse. let him live in a pasture and enjoy just being a horse. and he loved it. we had the best couple of summers jumping on him from the ground, riding him around bareback with just a halter. he was so docile and relaxed. an incredible season.
i previously mentioned that my mother-in-love spoke with me regarding my daughter's potential pony passions. she also, wisely, once said that it was possible a time might come when horses wouldn't dominate our lives. i nearly rebuked her! SHE may have decided not to have horses till she dies.... but that will NOT be the case for me!!! and i closed my proverbial fists around the idea.
over the course of the last few years, we've learned some things. we've learned about loss and letting go. we've been learning that it is painful to have your clinched fists pried open sometimes. that when a season is meant to change, it's going to change. whether you're prepared for it or not. whether your hands are open or closed, if what's in them is meant to pass or go, it will. it's more painful to have your fingers forcefully pulled back one by one. i'm learning to let the seasons change. they're supposed to.
above is a picture of Ripley, and his little buddy Mr. Dots (our leopard appaloosa mini) heading to their new home. a brand new season for them.... and for me. both horses are older, semi-retired. they are getting a new lease on life by becoming a part of a guest ranch here in northern Montana! as tightly as i've clung to my horsey dreams, and as tough as this transition has been, i'm happy to say i'm happy about this! Izzi, Ripley's primary rider, has moved to CA, i'm doing a new record and traveling more than i have in a while. it's time. it's time for me to say.... yes, God i trust you. YOU are the creator of the seasons, you ordain them to change. i'm yours. you love me. i trust you.
my STANDard for the month of February is Daniel 2:20-22
Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
i pray that as you listen to God in whatever season you find yourself in today, this week, this month, that you'll hear His whisper of protection. His words of forgiveness, and grace. open your hands, knowing that He knows and has the very best in mind for you.