Monday, October 21, 2013

{ " a real life hero. " }

Heroes aren't always what you see in Disney movies. In fact, that is an unrealistic interpretation of heroes. I know a real hero... that hero is my dad.

I can honestly say that my dad is the best father I have ever met. (I was going to say, "best father I have ever had"... but, that wouldn't have done him any justice.) Sure, he has made mistakes, but hasn't everyone? No, he's not perfect, but... is anyone perfect? There has never been a moment in my life that I can remember when my dad gave up on providing for his family, or showing his family his love. He has gone through many trials, or interruptions, throughout the more recent years, trials that I recall him going through. Like having a seizure in late 2010, and being out of work for a while, then losing his oldest son in November of 2010, then losing his own dad in January of 2011.

This year has by far been the longest of those trials, and the largest of interruptions. Throughout his pain, and suffering I have never heard my dad once question God. Maybe he questioned His timing (don't we all sometimes?), but he never questioned God Himself. I will say right now that my daddy is the strongest man I know. Throughout this last year I have seen him go through things that most people would lose hope after. I have seen him sick, I have seen him healthy, I have seen him happy, and I have seen him sad. Going to visit him in the hospital during chemo treatments was so hard for me, because I wasn't used to seeing him like that... weak, and fragile looking. I was used to seeing my healthy, full-of-life-dad, who always had a smile on his face, and was always cracking a joke. It broke my heart to see the strongest man I knew, the man I loved so very much, look weak, and to know he was suffering.

But let me tell you something, despite being sick, being weak, and being afraid, he never gave up. It would be so easy to give up in a situation like that, to be told you have Leukemia, and just to decide it was the end of your life. It would be so simple to just throw everything away and say you were done. But, he never did. He never, ever gave up, and I know he never will. No matter how hard things get, and how foggy the future may seem... he will always keep pushing forward, and he will always keep trusting in our Almighty God. Even when he was weak, he was still strong for all of us. He just kept pressing on, and I know he's not going to stop.

We don't know what's on the road ahead of us, but I know that my daddy is never going to stop until he gets where he's supposed to be.

Just so you know dad, you're my hero, and I hope someday when I may go through trials like yours, I remain strong, and keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus, like you do. And, that I never give up.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

{ " the dark, before the morning. " }

Everyone knows what pain feels like. Whether that pain is mental, or physical pain, we all know what it feels like. Actually, we all know what physical, and mental pain feel like. Even the youngest child can experience physical, and emotional pain. Sometimes we don't always understand why we feel pain. Sure, if you slam your head against the top bunk of your bunk bed (which I do far too often) you will not wonder why your head is then pounding. I mean emotional, or mental pain. Sometimes we just don't  understand why that pain is there. I have had this ache in my heart at times in my life, that I wonder why it's there. This pain that seems to just linger, and sometimes it gets worse, sometimes it fades away. It always seems to show up at the worst of times. Sometimes it's that ache that causes you to feel hollow, and completely alone even though you're in a crowded room. It's the way you have to hold back tears, and you're just silently hoping someone will see the pain behind your smile. That is a pain that you wonder why you ever have to feel. I guess it's human to wonder why we feel pain at all, but without feeling pain, we wouldn't know what joy feels like.

You know how after night time, there is always day time? Even if the sun isn't out, there is light. After the dark, comes the light. The light might not be bright right away, but it comes. The pain that we feel, as Christians, can't compare to the joy that will come in the future. So, every time you feel an overwhelming pain, remind yourself that it doesn't last forever. Every storm runs out of rain, night eventually turns into day, and God knows exactly what He's doing. God has a reason for giving us painful situations in life, and allowing us to experience things that cause us heartache. He has a reason for this, His reason is to strengthen us, and to draw us closer to Himself. Pour your burdens out to Him, tell Him you're hurting, and why, even though He already knows. Even if others might think the reason your heart is aching is "silly" or senseless. He understands all of our pain, and knows what heartache feels like too. He won't just brush us aside like we don't matter, and leave us feeling lonely. He will reveal to us the reason for our heartache, it might take awhile, but someday we'll know the reason.

So, if you're overwhelmed with emotional or physical pain, just hang on there's always dark before the morning.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." -- Romans 8:18

In Christian love,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{ " three years is only a heartbeat " }

I was able to visit someone very special on Monday, and I enjoyed every minute of my visit.

October 14, 2013

I contacted Jack about visiting Blessings Farm to have my graduation photos taken with Trixie. I figured it was about time to update the photos I have of myself with her from about eight years ago.

December 2005
The ride there felt so much longer than it ever had, but maybe it was because I was mulling over memories, and wondering what I may have missed over the last three years. 

When we arrived I noted two new horses in the upper paddock, and another little "shelter" for them too. The walk down to the barn is now paved, so it doesn't have to be a walk, but could be a drive now. (That walk is still a killer though.) They expanded the lower paddock, and just about doubled it. I didn't notice that at first, but when I went to found Trixie I realized I had to search for her through the woods! Anyways, the barn was just about the same. Trixie's tack is still in the same place in the tack room, and her stall is still the same stall. As I headed out to find Trixie out in the, now massive, paddock I was followed by a Biscuit, who trailed behind me almost the whole way. I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that my absolute favorite crazy animal Juice is still there, and was just as frisky as I had remembered. When I greeted him he was kind enough to butt me in the stomach and then just continue eating like nothing had ever happened. He was always so polite. *eyeroll* This was when I realized the paddock seemed to go on for days, and I had to practically hike through the woods to locate Trixie. I was greeted by sweet old Abi, before I finally found Trixie. Upon finding her I admit to having tears prick in my eyes, but I told myself it would be silly to cry. She came to me when I called her name, and she rested her head against my chest, just like she used to when I was little. I gave her a nice long hug, before walking her back to the barn. I didn't really have to lead her, she just followed. I'm aware that she probably follows just about everyone, but the fact that she was there following me again just like she used to, warmed my heart. I spent a good amount of time grooming her, while Laura played around with my camera. 

At first I had this fear that I wouldn't remember how to do anything... But it was all so natural. I knew which brushes to use, where to use them, how to pick up the feet. Everything was like I had never stopped doing it.

I brought her into the arena for some photos, but we decided not to take any in there. Before we went back into the paddock I ran around with her for a little while. It was so much fun, but reminded me that I'm extremely out of shape. 

After taking all of our photos I let her go off to munch some more, and I didn't feel sad leaving. I felt at ease, because I'm not planning on staying away for three years again. I can't wait to spend more time with her, and make up for the time lost. I realized that three years was only a heartbeat...

I was so thankful to be welcomed back with open arms, and open barn doors. 
I'm just going to enjoy every moment I get to spend with her, and keep being thankful for all I am blessed with. 

Enjoy the little things (and the big things, like horses in this case),