Seasons of Life

So, who else is excited for Fall?

I know that I am! Fall is hands down my absolute favorite season! Between the cool crisp air, the clothes (or should i say boots!), and pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING! I just love it. I however am not a fan of the fallowing season. Winter in Colorado with kids, horses, and dogs means work! There’s colds and flues to be had, frozen hoses to thaw, animals to keep warm and fat in freezing conditions… Anyway, if we could just have spring and fall with just a few weeks of summer thrown in there to spice it up, that. would. be. great.

Although I don’t necessarily appreciate or want all seasons, they are necessary and serve a purpose. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Now, we need to keep in mind and remember that this verse is not just referring to the weather seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, but we will get back to that… One thing this verse IS talking about is the fact that THERE WILL BE CHANGE, and that it will happen in God’s timing! Sometimes we fear change (kind of like me seriously fearing being a mom of three and my husband and I being outnumbered by our children very soon!) But we have to remember that God’s timing is in fact perfect, and we need to trust in that. Psalms 27:14 tells us to, ” Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” If we trust in God’s timing and just allow Him to direct us then He will honor that. Isaiah 40:31 says, ” But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”

So jumping back to our first verse about the seasons, if it wasn’t just referring to the seasons of weather, then what was it talking about? Well the funny thing is, the Bible tells us! Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 lists 28 different “seasons”. “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” These verses show us that not only is change absolute, but it is also of God! 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

One thing about new stuff is, it tends to be beautiful. Think of a new baby, a flower in the early spring, maybe even that new car you’d really like to have… Ecclesiastes 3: 11 “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” We serve a limitless God, but we as people are limited. We can not see from beginning to end like the Lord can. We do not know what He has in store for us, which is why we NEED to trust His timing!

While change can prove to be extremely intimidating, especially when that change includes illness, career change, or a big move. Instead of fretting about the unknown, God wants us to rejoice and enjoy what we do know, and what He’s given to us! Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 “I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” Verse 13 tells us that “… it is the gift of God.” to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Life is always going to be filled with changes, but rather than worrying about what will happen next we really need to practice rejoicing in God and what He has done in our lives!  We also need to remember and find peace in the fact that God has a plan for us and we just need to wait for Him to reveal it to us.

What season of life are you facing right now? Is it the dead of winter and you feel like you’re facing storm after horrible storm? Or is everything all roses right now? Regardless of the season, remember that God has a plan, and even on the rainiest of days, He always has a sunny one waiting just around the bend.

So, get out from under the covers and go dance in that rain storm! Rejoice in what the Lord has and will continue to do in your life!

The Six Week Menu

In an effort to become more healthy (and lose a little more post baby weight) this breastfeeding momma has decided to address her diet. Now, since I am breastfeeding I can’t really skimp on calories for the sake of my little man. So I have decided to change the type of calories I take in on a regular basis.

Eating healthy has proven difficult for us, partially because I desperately love anything and everything loaded with cheese and empty calories, but who doesn’t right!? And It doesn’t help that my hubby is extremely picky and doesn’t care for 90% of veggies, so I have to cook things he will enjoy, but that are healthier annnnd did I mention it has to remain cheap.

We are transitioning from having two full time incomes to living mostly off his salary with very little income on my end. So that I can be home with the children, so funds are limited. Basically I have a budget of about $75 a week to spend on groceries, and that’s not just for dinners anymore. So for the next 6 weeks I will be posting my weekly menu, shopping list, favorite recipe of the week, and how much I actually spend at the grocery store. So stay tuned and hopefully you will find some recipes to incorporate into your weekly menu. And maybe just maybe this momma will lose a little weight and save some money in the process.

The Standard of Motherhood

As a second time mom it has become more and more evident that as women, and mothers, we seem to set an incredible standard of what motherhood should be.

We all want to be wonder-women, and we expect ourselves to be just that.  We think that after having our baby, we are going to slip right back into our favorite jeans and walk out of the hospital able to take on the world, newborn and all. We think that as soon as we get home, our baby will be nursing perfectly on a great schedule and sleeping through the night. We think that we will be able to take care of the house, our kid, and our husbands and look good doing it all….

But then reality sets in,

We have our baby and realize that our maternity jeans are still the only thing that fits, and breast feeding, ha! Well breastfeeding hurts, and that precious newborn baby, well he wants to eat 24/7, or at least be latched so that he can use you as a pacifier and sleep attached to you. We get home exhausted from actually delivering the baby just to be up at all hours of the night with said baby, then daytime rolls around and we guilt ourselves into staying awake even though the baby is finally sleeping so that we can get something accomplished around the house. We wear ourselves thin with lack of sleep, and lack of decent food (because all we have time to grab is a cookie). We avoid looking in the mirror because we realize that we haven’t had time to take a shower in a few days and we look like a zombified mess. Before we know it we are overwhelmed, overtired, and frankly just over done. We cry because we’re tired, we cry because the babies tired, we cry because we’re crying.

Well Momma, I’m here to tell you your not alone, and it’s ok. Motherhood is hard, like really REALLY hard, and you don’t have to be Wonder-Women. You just have to be mom. You don’t have to be perfect, so what if your wearing the same sweatpants as yesterday annnd the day before. So what if you have spit up in your messy bun. So what?! Fact is your the one there taking care of that little bundle of joy, your the one up all night with a crying baby, your the one momma! So be proud! To that little baby, you are Wonder-Women. So pat yourself on the back and cuddle up next to that cute little baby and take a nap! The dishes will wait, but you only get so much time to be that babies everything! 

Let’s set a new standard for what Motherhood should be. That standard is you loving that baby unconditionally, the rest can wait. 

Losing the Weight of the World

Along with the beginning of a new year comes a bunch of new things, some fun and some not so fun. Every New Year I can’t help but to get excited, because, well that means its Stock Show time! But then I crash back to reality and remember that the New Year also means ridiculously cold weather, taxes (YUCK) and of course resolutions, which can be fun to make but then, well you have to actually try to keep them.
Speaking of resolutions, did any of you make a resolution this year? I always make at least one New Year’s resolution, and for me they are usually centered around horses and losing weight. Being pregnant for this New Year’s pretty much kicked my usuals to the curb, so I was kind of at a loss on what to do for my New Year’s resolution.
All of this thinking about New Year’s resolutions got me searching for what I could do this year, so I turned to my trusty friend, the internet. I found that in the US 55% of Americans tend to make New Year’s resolutions, and 50% of those resolutions are typically for weight loss. After that more people tend to make resolutions to start an exercise routine, and to quit smoking than anything else. Clearly as American’s we are very focused on our physical body.
As Christian’s though, what are we focused on this New Year’s? Colossians 3:9-10 says, “9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Here the Bible tells us that we are to, “put off the old man and his deeds.” So if prior to salvation all we focused on, is our outside and what the world finds attractive in us, shouldn’t we put that thought process aside and as Colossians says, “put on the new man”? By putting on the new man we are supposed to strive to become more like Christ in every way.
So while the rest of the world is eating healthier, taking protein supplements and lifting weights, as Christian’s we should be strengthening ourselves in Christ. One way we can do that is by reading God’s word. 2 Timothy 2:15, “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” And 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” While the world wants to be strong so they can showoff how much they can lift, by lifting our Bible regularly we are strengthening and preparing ourselves to act more Christ like in all situations being ”thoroughly furnished unto all good works”.
As women we tend to lean on the Losing Weight Resolution, not for health reasons but usually to appear better looking to the opposite sex. Weather your single, engaged, or married, there is always someone you want to impress. And for some women it’s not that we want to impress men, but that we want to impress other women. I bet you all can think of that one woman you’ve met who constantly has to tell you about every single crunch her size -10 body does. Because she wants you to know just how good she looks, personally I want to feed her a big old chili cheese dog and a cupcake with a massive Pepsi when I come into contact with her. But seriously we all have a little of that same vanity in us. But instead of focusing so much on what people think of our appearance, we should be focusing on them seeing how God is working through us. Galatians 5:22-25, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” As we strengthen ourselves by being in God’s word our actions will start to show how God has and is changing us.
As Christians we should desire nothing more than others seeing how great God is through us and how he’s changed us. So this New Year instead of being like the rest of the women out there and dwelling so much on our outward appearance, as Christian women let’s make it a point to really start to dwell on growing in Christ. Instead of making it a simple new year’s resolution that, as studies show, tends to be forgotten as the years carries on. Let’s give God our all, Colossians 3:23, “23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” I mean really, what are we doing with all of your heart? Are you focused on the outside or are you putting your whole heart and all of your effort into a God who gave you his only Son? I don’t know about you but when I think of what Christ did for me, it makes me want to give Him my all.

Robby Roo

Robby was a 19 year old, retired Sheriffs Posse Mount.

This mare had been there, and done that! She was horse number three for me, and this old gal taught me so much!

Robby had been a Sheriff’s posse horse for many years, but her previous owner (the one in the Sheriff’s Posse) had one story he loved to share with everyone that met this old gal. When Robby was just a young horse and was just starting out as a posse horse Duke had to work a Garth Brooks concert. Him and a few others worked on their mounts. While one of the bands played prior to Garth coming on some guy walked up and started talking to Duke about his pretty little horse. After about 15 minutes of talking the guy asked if he could hop on, just for a minute. So Duke being the kind man he was let this perfect stranger pop on Miss Robby for a few minutes. The man got off and thanked Duke for being so kind and told him he had a great little hose on his hands, and went on his way. Duke climbed back into the saddle and didn’t thank twice about it. The concert carried on and before he new it they were announcing Garth Brook onto the stage. Duke’s jaw dropped as he realized the man who had been complimenting his horse was in fact Garth Brooks. He was so embarrassed for not knowing who it was at the time, but was overjoyed at the fact that Garth Brooks had complimented him on his little red horse.

Robby had a whole resume built by the time I met her, and for the few months she got to be mine (prior to my mom horse-napping her from me) she helped an 8 year old little girl to start building her own horsie resume. Robby built my confidence, and just when I’d start to get a little full of myself she’d put me right back in my place. She had the most amazing way of instilling confidence into a nervous rider and pushing them to be able to handle more and more with each ride.

Here for horse number two?

Well why don’t you try Miss Suzie Q?

That’s what Bruce Ford, Hall of Fame Bareback Rider, said to my mom as we got out of our old Explorer.
My mom had met Bruce at horse auction and had told him she was looking for a new horse for me. I was 8 at the time and was so excited to get to go pick my new steed! We saw a few others while out at his ranch, but Miss Suzie Q, a 9 year old American Quarter horse Arabian cross was the one. She was little, just 14.3 hands and she was a beautiful sorrel color with one little white spot right between your eyes. I climbed on her back and I ruled the world. A few days later she was trailered out to the barn we boarded at and our journey together began.

She was a great little mare, and put up with a horse crazy 8 year old perfectly. One day my dad decided it had been long enough and I was ready to go for my first trail ride with him and my mom. Everything was going great so dad asked if I wanted to lope… Uh duh! We started loping and I was flying , wait literally flying like through the air, then I was falling FAST. Next thing I knew I was on the ground balling my eyes out and I could taste blood, and oh my sweet Suzie Q, well she was standing behind me with her muzzle on my shoulder like, “watcha doing down there? We were just playin mom.” Well I wasn’t playing, I had bit through the inside of my lip and landed right on the top of my head, there was no way I was getting back on….
Wrong again, “you get your butt back on the horse or I’m selling her today and there won’t be anymore.” My dad’s voice rang in my ears and I knew he was serious, so I got up brushed myself off and climbed back on my horse. I was terrified so my mom ponied me most of the way back. That was until her horse started to act up and she tried to throw the lead to my dad, which spooked Suzie and she reared. Here we go again, I slid off her butt this time. So there I was, on the ground, and there went my pretty little horse galloping home with the lead rope flapping in the wind behind her. Man this day just kept getting worse. My dad took off after her, got her caught and mom and I headed that way. When dad got back to me he handed me the lead and made me lead her the rest of the way home, that was the worst walk of shame ever.

When we got back dad walked in the round pen, set me back on my horse and informed me that him and mom were going to go back out on the trail with a friend and I was not to get off of my horse until he got back and said I could. Man I was mad at him, I mean I had just been bucked off, then reared on and now he was leaving me ALONE! And for as long as he felt! So not cool… Well after about five minutes I wasn’t scared anymore, and after 10 I was wishing I was back on the trail with them.

I didn’t know it then, but that was the most important lesson an equestrian ever has to learn. And I am so thankful he made me get back on over and over again. So here’s to my daddy, thank you for making me the rider I am today.

Don’t ever give up, when life gets hard, dust yourself off, and get back in the saddle.

That moment when…

That moment when horses officially become your whole existence!

For me the date was April 22nd 2001. That day I not only received my birthday present 2 weeks early, but I got the gift of freedom, and peace, and love. That day as my mom handed me the lead rope to a 20-year-old Appaloosa rescue horse in front of tons of people, including a reporter from the Denver Post, she handed me the gift of passion. That mean old skinny horse who was correctly named Diablo started me on an amazing rode of horse ownership and training.

I thank my mom and God for the gift of the love of horses that was given to me so early in life.