Photography by E.V.A. Lambert (c)2019 RapturePractice! Publications
Photography by E.V.A. Lambert (c)2019 RapturePractice! Publications
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinithians 8:9 (NIV)
Design: (c)2018 E.V.A. Lambert for RapturePractice! Pub.
I do not own the All the Poor and Powerless All Sons & Daughters with Lyrics video music, images nor have any rights to profit from worshiping God.
It’s not something I prefer to talk about, but I may have mentioned I deal with some tremendous sadness. Now and then it can seem like too much for me. Sometimes I like to say, “Hey, let’s stop the pain train.” Even when I’m trying to be funny, I’m usually serious about that.
I hate to admit it (but hey, it’s just us here), sometimes I want to just quit – though that mostly happens before coffee.
The trouble with quitting is
1. I still don’t know how, and
2. I can’t imagine explaining to God how I couldn’t trust Him any more.
My life’s main accomplishment has been to prove how easy it is to drift off-course, to lose sight of even the nearest, biggest, most important goal.
Seriously, from the time I was about three for thirty-odd years, I often felt I was a mistake.
Circumstances and developments can seem like too much, but at least now we recognize and understand PTSD.
My personal game-changer happened when I was thirty-something. I rediscovered that I love God. I’m not talking about sitting in sanctuaries where my family met every Sunday, First Friday or Holy Day, nor the beautiful buildings filled with art that I fawned over as a child. I mean I cried out to the Creator of the Universe, God. He answered me and He showed me He had never actually left me.
He stayed with me and since then God consistently proved to me that relationship with Him is the best way through this world.
Today I’m all about appreciating that God does not make mistakes. Not even the devil (evil, et. al.) was a mistake. (How else would we appreciate God’s goodness?)
More than ever before I appreciate that I’m actually co-piloting my journey. Like most everyone else I know, I will likely continue to diverge –
occasionally often. Yet, I can unreservedly trust that God, my Pilot will continue to make continuous adjustments, redirecting me back to His intended route. And He does it constantly for me and innumerable other souls, all the time.
So, I can sum up my whole point today in three words:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5, 6 (NIV)
Video, Mistakes by Influence Music
Images courtesy Pixabay
New treasures every day.
We only need refresh our focus.
“The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.” Psalm 50:1,2 (NIV)
All images copyright (c) 2018 RapturePractice! Publications
When summer began Hero, the 18-month-old steer was essentially wild.
One of his first encounters with man was to be roped and his testicles cut off. Back with his mother he likely forgot about his loss that day. He never seemed to forget about the evil ropes of doom and wanted no part of the upright beings at the ends of the ropes.
If he wasn’t already bigger than me I could still easily imagine how he felt, so I respected his space.
Before long he connected the rope creatures with food and water. During the next winter he would come running to the gate at feeding time.
Come spring his mother, “auntie” and “cousin” went away “to live on a farm” leaving him alone in the pasture. Afterwards he gradually became more open to humans.
After hanging around the vegetable garden fence all summer Hero became so comfortable with me he would gingerly nibble from my hand. I came to laugh at how he intimidated me the first time I power-walked the pastures. He pranced along with me, as if coaxing me to frolic with him.
Not long into summer the steer started begging for attention while I groomed the horses. The day Hero literally nosed my arm so I’d brush him too my internal red flags went up.
Hero is not a pet. Cole actually fussed at me for naming him (yeah, he didn’t read that post either). Unlike the horses who summer with us and then return to their people’s pastures for the winter, the steer will relocate to the freezer this year.
For two years I have recited the rule daily: never get attached to the livestock. Even so, something endears me to these bigger beings. I now feel sad when the lonely steer runs to the gate every time he sees me – too much like an 1800-pound puppy.
There were times in my life when I could relate to that steer. People hurt me, separated me from my loved ones and then left me alone and lonely. For a long time I too was very careful of upright beings.
Like the steer and most people I too learned that not all humans will hurt or harm us. Still we must watch for ropes – the things that can bind or hurt us.
Jesus knew about ropes – ignorance, fear, intimidation, greed and plain ol’ meanness. He knew about suffering for someone else’s sakes. With His life He demonstrated the best way to live is to forgive those who hurt us.
I want to use my life like that.
Oh, and thank You, God, that I’m not a steer.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven… For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37, 38 (NIV)
To live with horses has been my heart’s desire most of my life. I like to think learning more slowly these days has nothing to do with aging (thank you for letting me run with that). In His infinite wisdom God has been teaching me about horses, slowly, gradually by arranging for me to care for friends horses. I suspect that’s so I don’t
obsess lose pace with anything else in my life.
When I returned from vacation I noticed the big bay gelding, TheOldMan looking a bit plump. With cooler weather coming I wasn’t terribly concerned about it, but a few days later I noticed he didn’t run to me as he had been doing and there was something different about his gait. Not necessarily bad, simply unusual. Still, my gut told me something was wrong.
I contacted TheOldMan’s people immediately and we arranged for the farrier to visit a.s.a.p. – which was two days later. Meanwhile the dissimilar gait haunted me.
The obvious problem was a thrown shoe, but my gut told me there was more and to not walk him. I felt some relief when Cole moved him to the north pasture where the sweet grass wasn’t as plentiful.
I’ve always been able to “trust my gut”. Thinking about it, I can’t remember a time when harm or at least hurt didn’t result from ignoring my instincts. Soon after I asked Jesus to take the reins of my life I began to learn another way to live – being Spirit led.
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:10 (NIV)
From that first day I have prayed and studied the Bible every day. I can’t learn enough about Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Over thirty years later there is still more to learn, but God consistently teaches me I can trust Him first and foremost. Essentially He has reconditioned my instincts.
Hanging out with our excellent farrier while he worked I realized I still have so much to learn about horses. Even so, I was right about that gait. The short story is while I was away, TheOldMan gained weight so fast he strained his hooves. He’s fixed up now so we can both walk into a full recovery.
God uses TheOldMan to remind me that as long as I seek and trust Him, He will never lead us astray.
While God uses all of me, I can trust my “gut.”
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)
Many days I wonder if I’ll ever slow down and settle in – mostly when I’ve been writing about the three years before I arrived here at the ranch.
As I prepare to fly to Austin, Texas I say goodbye to the garden. Even though I’ll be away only a week, the end of the season is quickly approaching. Here days are shortening, nights and early mornings are cooling. The gelding and the steer are fluffing up with extra hair and the flowers seem desperate to soak in the sunshine while it lasts.
In Texas we’ll have almost three years to catch up on, so I expect to be road weary upon return. And then there’s that emotional roller coaster after another series of “see ya later” (we avoid saying “goodbye”). Perhaps after returning I’ll have a new perspective I’d missed before. And maybe by then I’ll have an even better grasp of why I must be so far from the rest of my heart again.
Though I can hardly wait to get there, thinking about the journey that brought me here seems appropriate.
From October 13, 2016:
After a 28 hour turn-around for Cole, fifteen hours for me, I’m home. In my own cottage on my brother-from-another-mother‘s ranch.
No internet in my cottage yet, no TV or even radio and I have a whopping 2G cell service – from the middle of the north pasture when I visit the cattle and the mare. It’s really not all that bad…
While I’m still buried in boxes.
Once I unpack and set up I’ll shop for better options. For now I’ll take my time and catch up with me – it’s been a long, hard three years.
Try to not miss me too much. ❤
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23, 24 (NIV)
While collecting cucumbers, we overlooked many odd-looking, smaller, rounder ones until they were mostly orange-yellow. Izzy and I assumed they would be unpalatable and immediately let the hens enjoy them.
Rummaging through the twisted maze of vines the following day, I targeted the rounder, ripe, green cukes. I also found a few remaining yellow-orange ones. Some were longer, more like slicers but with a twisted tip – like a fuzzy, bumpy little tail. I also picked some that had just begun to turn yellow-ish.
Once indoors I sliced one of each shape and color and arranged them on a plate for a taste test. A dirty duty, I know…
Though the yellower skins were distinctively harder, to my surprise those cukes tasted fuller, actually sweeter than the green cucumbers.
Soon the phone rang. After the lengthy conversation I was anxious to finish my project and get to work. Even so, I went a step further peeling a slice of each kind of cucumber. Then, feeling pressed for time I sat at the table and continued my Bible reading.
“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” James 2:2-4 (NIV)
Hmmm… Lifting my fork as I pondered I noticed that, aside from diameter and thickness, no slice or seed was distinguishable from another. They tasted, well, like cucumbers without much variance. Certain there was more, I continued perusing the sidebars:
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 (NIV)
I chewed on this thought while putting the remaining slices in a pitcher of ice water.
Though they all looked quite different from the outside and came from separate vines, each of the plants came from the same bag of seeds. I suspect their only difference are the amounts of water and sunlight they get, some being closer to the treeline.
Yet they were all exactly the same on the inside.
What a wonderful world this is. How much better when we focus upon one anothers’ similitudes rather than our differences.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2,3 (NIV)
Despite the unusual few weeks leading up to this past weekend I had an exceptionally nice two days – which was welcome after a rough week.
Typical for this time of year, schedules must be juggled. Sometimes we must reschedule my “Grand Dates” (regularly scheduled time where my grand kids – all long distances away – bring me up to speed with the previous week). For the past two, maybe three weeks everyone I usually talk with at least every other week was unavailable to Skype, Duo, talk or text.
With the days getting longer and warmer I sorely missed our times together. I stayed busy with our gang, the pups, the pastures and the gardens. Still, I wondered how my grands fared without my input, encouragement and advice – or if they even missed visiting with me. I prayed long into the SansGrands silence.
On Saturday Izzy and I rescued our patio tomato plants from curling leaves, moving them to The Garden. Knowing the move wasn’t ideal timing, we assured our precious nearly orange tomato-lings to hang in there, they’ll feel far better despite the shock of moving.
Okay, so maybe my empathy wasn’t as much for our tomatoes. The day’s gardening finished, I returned to where I’d left off in my Bible:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35 (NIV)
The relationships I share with these amazing young humans are strong and endure occasional separations – no matter how they may feel sometimes. Still, I consider how anxious I get when my time with God gets shoved down the priority ladder. I’m a grown up (mostly) and yet I feel the burn every time my prayer time is rescheduled – or dropped.
After praying again, God’s assurance that the grands shall continue feeling the love comforted me.
I was no sooner into other chores when my phone rang. A couple of hours later two sisters and I caught up with one another. Then FirstBorn called. While waiting in a backed-up toll booth line he realized how long it had been since our last talk. We mostly prattled and reminisced some as he drove from Wadsworth to Milwaukee. By my bedtime I felt far better connected than I had in weeks.
On Sunday SecondSon’s Firstborn called. He reiterated every exciting detail of the last two ball games – that sent his team to state. And his sister, FiveYearOld, could hardly wait to describe a new growing thing she discovered in astoundingly accurate detail.
Maybe it’s just me – the ways God uses the garden and my family to bless me is amazing. Though I could hardly wait between their calls, He assures me it’s all gonna be just fine.
“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”
1 John 2:28 (NIV)
The Journal of Two Pissed On and Pissed Off Writers (Figuratively Speaking ... that is)
And by the way, who am I?
When it's too much to feel, I write !
Learning To Love Low Carb Life
A Christian Living in the 21st Century
You don't have to go alone. This place is for Any of my brother and sister fire fighters, EMS, Police, and Military who may need to talk to someone.
An honest and raw story of survival and recovery.
where truth and beauty meet
Muffins, Coffee and this Blog
My Goal Is to Introduce My Jewish Neighbors to Their Messiah and My Christian Neighbors to the Jewish Roots of Their Faith.
Let's talk about Tea and tell some Tales!
Family-Life. Faith-Life. Mid-Life. Sharing-Life!
(...and some I have)
Helping you to find the gold nuggets amidst the dirt, sand and pebbles of life!
Book Reviews, Books, Bestsellers, Literary Fiction
Unorthodox Marketing & Strategy
A Journey of a Lifetime on the Appalachian Trail
Our small family living in a 5th wheel following Dads work as a rock fall technician... what could go wrong?
Encouraging Christian Accord
Just your average PhD student using the internet to enhance their CV
Splendid architecture, the love of your life, an old friend... they can all go drifting by unseen if you're not careful.—Ian Mckellen