Thursday, October 07, 2010

"Tomorrows" (part 2)

Before I get to the rest of the story, let me give a little background. I’ve loved horses all my life. I wanted to be a jockey when I was 7 years old. I probably got this idea from a book that I had read, but it seemed the perfect occupation for me. However, by the time I was 10, I realized I was going to be if not already, too tall to be a jockey. There was a brief mourning period (for about a day) until I came to the conclusion that I could still work with horses. I would just be a trainer. Yes. That was it. I still remember someone asking me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” (For the record, when I was 3 or 4 I wanted to be a missionary, but I wasn’t reading horse books at that time.) My answer was very plain and proud, “A Horse Trainer.”

I still remember the sting of the reply that followed. It was something along the lines of “You can’t do that. You don’t have the experience, etc. etc.” Well duh, I didn’t have the experience yet. I was 10. And isn’t that what little kids are supposed to do? Dream big? In any case, I digress. I may have received discouraging remarks here and there, but I stubbornly clung to my dream and my love of horses despite assurances that I would outgrow it when I was 16. Nope. Sorry. Not me. Nuh uh. Not happening.

I never did outgrow my “horse-crazy” stage, but as I got older, and a little wiser, reality set in. That reality was that I didn’t work with horses that much, my exposure was limited, and it probably wasn’t going to ever work out. It began to be something I had to accept as a non-possibility.

When I was about 20, I ended up going to the Clark County Fair. I was by myself for whatever reasons, I don’t exactly recall, but at the end of the evening, I found myself talking with a member of the Clark County Fair Mounted Patrol. I remember it being dark, and this person was helping direct horse trailers in and out of the large parking lot. It was a really neat conversation, and I remember thinking that it would be really great to be able to be a part of a volunteer organization like that.

Fast forward a year and a half, I was working on finishing up my general studies degree at the local community college and I knew I was interested in joining up with the Mounted Patrol, or at least finding out more about them and the possibility of joining. I began to look up contact information and call some phone numbers trying to get more information. It seemed that no matter how much I Googled, nothing was turning up. I felt very discouraged. At the same time though, God was working in my life and my heart in such a way, that I began to see life in a little different way. I began to understand, with my heart, not just my head, some important truths about His love for me. I had learned that I was really holding onto this ‘dream’ so tightly, that it had become more important to me than it should have been. Through various changes and lessons, I gave up my dream. I gave it up to Christ, because I had learned that it wasn’t even mine to begin with. And I knew that if I could let go, I would find an even bigger peace and joy in knowing He was leading me where I needed to go. I don’t mean to sound preachy or romanticize it but that’s the truth. And while it is rather simplistic, I hadn’t been in a place yet where I understood this.

I still pursued trying to find a contact for the CCFMP, but knowing that if I never did, or never owned or worked with horses for the rest of my life, I was going to be OK. I would be more than OK. Because God was in charge. And I knew I could be happy in that.

And isn’t it amazing how God works? Shortly after I had come to this conclusion, I found a contact for the Mounted Patrol. Her name was Jody, and after talking with her a few times over email I decided to come to the meeting. My first time at the meeting was in January of 2009. And the rest is history. I’m so thankful I joined the Fence Riders (as we are often called). I met so many amazing people there, many of them brothers and sisters-in-the Lord, and have been so blessed by the friendships I’ve made. I’ve learned so much with them and it’s been a really fun time.

What does this have to do with my going back to school? Well, it was through this group of horsemen and women, and their friendship and encouragement that I realized that my dream of becoming a trainer, and working with horses, wasn’t as impossible as I thought it could be. It’s really their fault I’m back in school. (Well, actually, the Lord had a lot to do with it too. :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Life is filled with “Tomorrows.” Some of them are bigger than others. Today, I’m on the brink of one such ‘tomorrow’. I don’t know what it will bring, but looking back on all that’s brought me here, I find myself overwhelmed with various emotions. Excitement. Fear. Sadness. Joy. But most of all, I find I have peace about whatever is going to happen because God has been and continues to be good.
It continues to baffle my mind (and maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be) how God has worked all things out. Nothing happens the way I expect it to, but it still works out. Maybe that is just part of the mystery of serving an all-knowing and all-powerful Savior.
When I started to think about going back to school I wasn’t prepared for all that would happen. I hadn’t yet told my parents; I knew what they‘d say, and I wasn’t ready to answer the questions or give all the details. I spent time praying about what I wanted to study (I had a general idea – something with animals – preferably horses), researching schools and programs, and going over money matters. A couple months went by and I finally was ready to talk; I planned on having a sit-down conversation. Knowing my family, I would have to actually schedule something with my parents so we could make sure both were in the room and paying attention to the topic. (That’s how it goes when it’s a busy house and everybody has something to do, or say, or needs this or that done…best to just ‘schedule’ it.) So I mentally scheduled a date to “Have A Talk.”
And then Dad had a heart-attack. (Or so we thought at the time.) It was December, the week before Christmas. My sister and brother-in-law were in town at the time. Pretty much everything flew out of my head except for worry for my Dad. Dad was in the hospital two time within 10 days. When he was released the day before Christmas Eve, I didn’t really care about anything except that he was alive and going to be ok. And I suddenly realized (yeah, big epiphany coming up here…) that life is very short. And you never know when you want to tell someone something until it’s too late. I realized that for all my scheduling I just needed to get it out – just say it. Stop worrying about the “perfect time.”
The perfect time for me came on Christmas morning. Everyone was still at the breakfast table and Dad and I happened to both be in the kitchen getting something.
“Dad.” I said. “I want to go back to school.”
I braced myself for his reaction, pretty sure it was going to be something like “Well, let’s think about this…is this a good idea?” (Not really painting a good picture of my father here, but I really didn’t know how approving he’d be of this idea…especially of the field of study I was considering.) Oh ye of little faith…
His actual reaction: “Really? Good for you!”
Me: “Well, I’ve…wait….huh?”
Him: “Have you thought about what you want to study?”
Me *mentally*: “Here we go…”
Me *out loud*: “Yes. I want to study in the science field – something with large animals. Specifically horses if I can. I’m thinking maybe a veterinarian technician.”
Him: “Really! That’s great! I’m proud of you!”
Let’s just say, this was not the reaction I had been prepared for. I didn’t have very much faith in the loving goodness of my earthly father, much less in the goodness of my Heavenly Father. Like I said – oh ye of little faith!
The following weeks were another testament to me of how much He loves me. Dad sent out emails to former classmates who worked in various schools in their administration departments, asking for their help and input for me. And then he landed the big one.

(To be continued…)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Nancy Wilson had a great article a few weeks ago that I really appreciated. I appreciate all of them, but this was particularly helpful to me as I'm going back to school. Even though I've been through college before and kind of know what to expect, this article was very good. (I printed it out so I can keep it in one of my school binders as a daily reminder.)

You never realize how incompetent you are at (or feel about) something until you go to teach someone else how to do it.

At least that's how I feel lately. I've been given the task (really, no option here) of training two young ladies, new to my company, that are going to be taking over my job.
First, let me say this. I am a talker. I like to talk about stuff though I'm not so good at the small talk stuff...until I can 'click' with someone on a common topic, I mostly fumble about for conversation. Otherwise, I can be pretty chatty. I think I come by it genetically...I am of German and Italian decent, and well, let's just say that you can be glad I don't gesticulate wildly as some of my older extended relatives are known to do. *If I've never told you about my great-aunt...I should... ;-)

But to have to talk from 7 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon can be rather exhausting. And it's not just talking. It's teaching. Training. Every little step of the way. And trying to make sure you don't forget a detail or a critical process. That's the hard part. And then there's the "what if's" and "when's" that might come up after I'm not there, I worry if I'll have prepared them enough to do the job. I know I'm probably completely over analyzing things. It's not like they'll be totally sunk if something happens that they don't know how to take care of-- there are plenty of competent and well-informed people here that will help. The most I can do is give it my best and leave the rest up to God.

I can hear my dad right now "You're not the fourth person of the Trinity."
(Yeah, I know. Thank God.)

You, know, they also say that you know that you know something when you can teach it to someone else. I guess I might know a little. :^)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Day 16: A song that makes you cry

“The Little Girl” by John Michael Montgomery. I bawl everytime. Without fail.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Want to win a prize?

Go to Mama Chocolate and follow the rules to win a fantastic looking cookbook! (I did...) :-)

Day 14: A vacation you would like to take

Louisville, Kentucky (because once was not enough...)

You haven't lived until you've seen this view

Scotland- all of it

Santorini Greece

Neuschwanstein Castle (as in “new-sshw-van-stine” or something like that…)
Doesn't this look like it's out of a fairy tale?

Notre Dame, France

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding & Day 13: A guilty pleasure

Day 12: “Unforgettable” The version by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. (love that song)

Day 13: Um…ok…I’ll admit it…I will, on occasion read the Hollywood/Entertainment Gossip news…I’m not sure why, because usually everyone is just one big train-wreck and I read it, roll my eyes and thank God I'm not famous.

And there you have it. I posted two days because I felt like it. Also, who knows if I'll touch the computer tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!