My little girl has horse fever. She has always loved to see them, read about them, smell them, touch them, watch videos about them, and just be in their presence. We started her in riding lessons last year to see what would happen when she learned that there was more to riding a horse than simply sitting in the saddle. See, not only does Kaycee have horse fever, she also doesn't care for germs more than your average person.
She started lessons and learned so many wonderful things! Of course she learned to ride. She also learned about keeping horse coats shiny and the different brushes to use on different areas of the body. She learned how to tack up and tack down. She learned to pick up their feet and pick the junk out of that gunky area. She learned about horse parts—private parts. The parts no one likes to think about having to clean. Yeah-—those parts. She learned about poop. We spent a lot of time learning about poop: healthy poop, unhealthy poop, colors of poop, scooping poop and piling it in wheel barrows. This one seemed to be a weekly lesson. Gross.
To my surprise none of that deterred her love for the animal... it strengthened it. I was sure the recurring poop theme might turn her even just a little but, true to form, that girl surprises me every stinkin' day. We started to see her confidence blossom and her anxieties subside. The day I saw her pick up a horse turd with her bare hands to examine the contents was a great, great day. Go figure. It was also also the day I knew we had to figure out a way to continue these lessons. My husband had a different approach because that little girl has him wrapped around every finger on her dominant hand. "Lessons?" he said. "I'm gonna buy that girl her own horse!" And so he did. Fast forward to Christmas and a little white horse standing in a pasture outside that little girl's window and you have a storybook Christmas morning... except for the fact that we were sweating in the Florida heat.
Last week Kaycee and I were working on some new concepts while she was riding her sweet Misty Moon. She's sweet. But she's about as stubborn as the girl riding her. She would NOT trot past the gate where her pasture buddy was eating from the giant roll of hay she likes to claim as her own. After the third or fourth pass Kaycee stopped, threw her hands over her face, leaned back and started to cry. I wasn't sure what to do, I mean, there's no crying in horse back riding! The saddle has always been the throne of leathery-faced, bear wrestling, bull-wrangling, COWBOYS! Misty and I sat there staring at each other, waiting for her to finish her meltdown. When she finally lowered her hands I could see the dirty, tear streaked face underneath her messy hair and pink helmet as she screamed, "Why isn't she listening to me??? I thought she loved me!!!"
I'm not known for tact. I wanted to grab her shoulders, shake her, and say "YES! This is just how your mother feels sometimes when you don't listen!!" Can I get an amen, moms and dads? But I saved that for later. Much later, because as it turned out God was using that moment to say the same to me. Why don't I get the still small voice everyone talks about? It was a blaring and unmistakable message.
John 14:5 "If you love me, you will keep my commands."
That's a pretty simple and straightforward message packed with a good old fashioned smack in the face for most of us. If you love God you do what He says.
This world is very nearly in a full capsized position. It's completely upside down. There are those around us that are screaming at the tops of their lungs to tear down that which you would lay down your life to protect. There are those around us that are willing to lay down their lives for that which you would scream at the top of your lungs to protect. It is becoming difficult at times to know what to do and how to respond. The question remains, Who do you say HE is? Is He the one you love? Are you keeping His commands? I'm faced with this question in my life daily because I want so badly for my Abba to be proud of His daughter. I don't want Him to see me as some stubborn little girl, too lazy or selfish to follow His directions because I can't see past the hay bale of my desire to see His blessings. Generation to generation our God has proven Himself to have the very best ways. His ways are far better than ours. We simply must follow His commands. There is no greater reward.
Misty finally figured out that it was easier to do what we asked than have to keep going back and trying it again and again and again. She also got a great big scoop of sweet feed and carrots for getting it right. In the horse world, sweet feed and carrots instead of hay is like opening up your pudding cup in front of your friend that's eating celery and quinoa.
Our God provides. He directs. He guides. He heals. He hears. He sees. He feels. And, friends, oh how He loves!
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.