Saturday 11 October 2014

Dusty Hope.....

We tend to have people in our lives that tell us what we want to hear, whether good for us or not. I think we are cowards that way. I think we miss so much of who God is and what He wants us to know, when we shut out tough love.

Why do we not allow people, that love us with the bitter truth, to remain?
 It certainly makes me a hypocrite. I am happy to share my wisdom with another and puff up my ego.  But when God uses a dear friend to address a delicate matter, I become offended and distant.

How can that be?

How is it that I can fight for my kids and steer them in the right direction, but refuse that same guidance?  Why is it that I can counsel a friend struggling in marriage but allowed my own to crumble and bitterness seep in?

It has been some time since I have written a blog. The honest truth is that I have been distracted. Distracted with life and the direction it may or may not be heading. Distracted with my own fears and daily battles. Distracted with selfishness and earthly desires.

Where is God in all of this? Is He on the radar? How long have I been so caught up in myself?

 In a world that is so focused on self and immediate satisfaction, it is no wonder people are oozing discontentment. If inwardly directed, discontentment can seem to be temporally extinguished with alcohol, drugs, food or sex. Outwardly, the focus can be on children, a job, society contributions, vanity or an expression of material comforts.

What do I do when those things fall short and no longer satisfy? Where and to whom do I turn?

Do I shut out my spouse and find another? Do I explore career advancement? Do I disconnect from my kids and let them lead their own destructive lives?

Maybe one more drink will help. Maybe a new outfit or if I remodel the kitchen.  All would be well if I could just smother that internal ache, that just won't go away.

Is that the answer? To smother? Or is it to listen? If I am missing something in my life or rather ignoring, then why have I concluded that remaining distracted is the answer?  It must be so, as I seemed to have invited a number of unique and empty distractions into my world.

The hope that something of this world will satisfy me, has left me spinning in circles and now I am discouraged.  Is this where my God wants me? Standing in a cloud of dust?

As the dust starts to settle, it seems that this is in fact where I need to be.  As I quiet my mind and remain still, the swirling slows and I can begin to again see. I can see my Hope. I can feel His love.  He is all that I need in this life. How did I lose that?

Becoming distracted, thus discouraged, was not an over night   process. But the undoing of it was!

If my loss of hope is rooted in discouragement, then how can I be surprised by my state of mind, when my focus has been on temporal things?  It is all right to have desires and pleasures of this life. I believe that God uses the temporal to bless and encourage us.

It is I, that allowed the temporal to take over my focus and somehow adopt an understanding that more is better. Or numb is better. Or that maybe new is better. When all along I forgot that He is better.

 My focus cemented in Gods love and a desire to walk with Him, clears the air, the heart and the mind. It releases the anxiety that shouts, I need to change or fix something.  It soothes the emptiness that stems from loss. It challenges my mind set and encourages a change of behavior and attitude.

Clearly my journey of distractions fell short. My focused energy in finding hope in stuff or people, left me dishearten and discouraged.

Was it worth it? Yes! Because now I know where I don't want to be. I now know where and in whom my hope truly lies.

The dust is continuing to settle. The road is being cleared of debris and I am now standing back by His side. Even though I walked through a thick heavy cloud to get here, there is no other place I would rather be.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

 Here is a link to one of my favorite songs by Danny Gokey.  So inspiring!

Friday 18 October 2013

Dare to reconnect....

Riding Rio-no saddle, bridle or halter
There is a time in every relationship that the heart hurts and distance between loved ones takes root.  It can be a challenging time and ultimately devastating, if those hearts don't  fight to recapture what was lost.

For those of you that have regularly read my blogs, you are aware of the beautiful relationship that has grown between me and my horse Rio.  God has taught me so much through this horse and I have been blessed to share that journey with all of you.

Recently, Rio and I were working in the outdoor riding ring. He was free, meaning no halter, lead rope or lunge lines.  My goal for us was for me to stand on the ground beside him and work in sync, as we moved around the arena together.  So as we stood shoulder to shoulder, we would walk together and trot together.  When I stopped, he stopped.  When I backed up, he backed up and so on.

To refine my communication with Rio, I held a wand in my hand.  Never to be use as a weapon, but rather to block unwanted behaviour and help encourage him when he was on the correct path.

In holding this tool, I know in my heart that Rio isn't a fan.  He has been mistreated in the past by a previous owner, which has created a slight mistrust for anyone holding the item.  Rio and I have come along way with this tool, to the point that he will freely stand with me as I touch him all over and spank the ground close to were he is standing.  With my persistence, he has come to know my heart and trust that he is safe.

Today was a day that his past and fear got the better of him.  As we moved around the arena together, me in line with his back hip, I asked him to pick up a canter.  I used my wand to encourage him to pick up the gait, by waving it behind his tail.  I continued with the energy from behind and as he moved into a canter he slightly turned his hind end in, towards the wand, and kicked.  In his attempt to strike the wand, he also struck my arm, leaving me stunned.

I wasn't able to continue with our activity, as fear and mistrust set in for myself.  I wasn't physically injured but my heart was.  How was it possible that Rio had forgotten who I was?  How did he lose that knowing that he was safe with me? As I stood in the middle of the arena, watching him graze, I wondered what I was suppose to do now.

Could I trust him?  Now it seemed like our relationship had changed and my safety was something I had to consider more than I had prior.  I was always aware, as he is a horse.  But in knowing his heart for me and his nature, I trusted.

How was it possible that we were in this place?  Rio's fear is real to him.  There may not be any truth in it, as I have worked hard to assure him that he is safe.  But to him, in that moment, he was afraid and responded the only way he knew how.  To survive and self protect.

Is it possible that I also respond from a place of survival and self protection?  Is my past and those experiences, contaminating my current relationships?  Will I be able to let go?

With the the fear and uncertainty that has risen within myself, I am aware that yes, survival and self protection is number one on my list.  How do I move forward and reconnect?

It took a few days for me to work through my struggles with Rio.  Partly because I didn't want him to fear and mistrust me.  And also because I was very aware of my physical safety and needed to find the confidence in him again.  That his reaction was not about us but about the wand and what it represented it him.

How often do I miss seeing this within my family and those I love?  That their mess is often not about me yet I am at the brunt of the reaction.  If I am not able to look past myself, then I can miss loving those that deeply need it.  I can miss the opportunity to allow Jesus to live through me and bring peace and healing to a struggling heart.

The heart seems to fight to survive.  At any cost. I choose to believe that a heart doesn't mean to do harm but rather doesn't know better and sometimes can't see the truth that is standing before it.  I desire to love the hearts of those God has entrusted to me, with everything I have.  To remind them of the truth of who I am, even when a moment of fear or vulnerability rises up and then a heart is temporarily wounded. 
Rio's Butt =)

Rio was unable to pursue me during this struggle.  He lives in the moment and when the moment past and the wand wasn't visible, all was well.  He went back to being his adorable self but I found myself needing to pursue him.  My heart was the wounded one and I needed to re-establish that connection with him as it hurt me to feel unsure.

 Do I pursue my family in the same way? When my heart has been wounded from an outburst that isn't really about me. Do I pursue or does pride kick in? Do I demand that the offender make the matter right? Am I a tad bit stubborn, setting unrealistic expectations for how my heart should be wooed prior to allowing that deep connection to return?

If Jesus did not pursue me and love me, even when I turned my back on Him, I don't know where I would be today.  He has often chased me down and tenderly loved my heart even though I have wounded His heart with my rebellion and sin.

I have to believe that if Jesus can love this way then I can find the strength to as well.  That I can lay down my pride and pursue those that are wounded and broken, even if it hurts.  That I won't allow distance to linger to long because ultimately it is the connection that I crave.

  "And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." 
Colossians 3:14

Sunday 7 April 2013

What is the point?

I posted the video below a few days ago.  I am so proud of Rio, my 4yr old mustang, and all that we have accomplished in the 6 months that I have owned him.  I have taken many riding lessons in my youth but gentling my own boy has been such an amazing experience.  It has been good for my ego too.

I suppose I ackwardly say that because when I was younger I rode the way I was trained to and I disciplined my horse, as I was told to.  I was never really comfortable and felt many times that people just didn't understand horses well.  Though being young, I believed I had no voice. 

To be in a place where I can freely test my intuition and feel my way through my relationship with Rio, is a dream come true.  I don't have the noise of coaches sharing their opinions.  I can succeed and mess up without anyone's input.

 When I finished my time with Rio, in awe with how hard he tries to please, I ask my Lord..."Are YOU proud of me?"  Tears well up in my eyes as my heart goes to a vulnerable place that I don't often visit.  "I have come a long way Lord and together we have moved mountains and changed lives.  But if You are not proud of me then what is the point?"

It doesn't even really involve Rio, but he is an important part of my life.  Just as are my kids, my family and my job.   As I sit in vulnerable silence,  waiting to hear His response, I can't help to think of all the blessings I have received.  I work hard at gaining the things I want in life, whether relational or material.  I insist on having fun too and that is where Rio comes in.

Yet I wonder, is it all in vain?  How much of my time and money is given to the Lord?  Is He shaking His head while I shop til I drop or til my credit card gets cancelled?  Which ever comes first.  Is He disappointed that all my spare time goes to learning how to ride my horse without reins, and then bragging about it on facebook?  Am I raising my children up for His glory or mine?  I try not to put my children on facebook too often but they will surely get an ear full if they embarrass me.  Why is that?  I mean isn't that to be expected or did I have kids to show what a wonderful mother and person I am?

My heart feels as though I could do better.  I do have a purpose for the training I do with Rio and my intention is to give glory to God with it.  But I think my struggle is that I desire to show off as well.  I want to brag about my kids so others wished they had them.  I need to decorate my home so that I have a lovely place to share with friends and family.  I long to WOW facebook friends with my natural equine talents.  "I am just not sure Lord when enough is enough....."


Zephaniah 3:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

I do find it hard to believe that my God will rejoice over me with singing.  When I pick apart my heart and see how consumed I am with myself and my agenda, I don't know how any song can begin.  And even though I am acutely aware, I am not sure how much I desire to do better.   What would I be prepared to give up if He asked?

Recalling I ponder, what is the point of any of this if He isn't proud of me? How can I desire the audience of many when the only One the truly matters isn't present? 

 I would like to think that life is wrapped up in a neat little box.  If I am a good person and do all the right things, with a pure heart, then all will be well.  The reality is, is that life is messy.  Sometimes really really messy.  

I often find that my heart seems to have a mind of its own.  It regularly runs off in a different direction than I had first intended and I have no solution to this problem.

Thank goodness He does!  My God is a seeking God, who intentionally seeks to find those that are lost.  Who longs to know me and is jealous for my attention.   So jealous that He gently pokes with a feather, to remind me that He is craving my affections.  And that I have placed something or someone above Him and He misses me.  

I know what it is like to miss my children when they are gone for the weekend.  I know how it feels to miss having a special someone in my life.  Oh how my heart melts to know that my God, Alpha & Omega, also misses me in that same tender way.