Tag Archives: reality check


My heart goes out to Hero these days. The yearling steer lived his first eleven months happy with his mother, the other cattle, the mare and my daily visits to walk the pastures. Now with his second winter in full force, but for the neighbor’s bull and sheep nearby, he occupies the pastures alone.

Three months into his solitude, he’s taken to charging me.

Hero at a dead run from the back of the south pasture






Chomping away, Hero watches me steadily, happy for my company I’m sure ;).



For me, adjusting to living alone was a long process that I occasionally made unpleasant by demanding old expectations. I also raised my fair share of males, so my heart tells me the adolescent steer is simply frisky, excited to have company.

Still, I’ve seen him slide the last foot or so to a flake of hay. His 800-plus pounds thundering scant feet from my 140-something pounds demands prudence. Now I carry a whip or a stick in the pasture.

Missing loved ones during the long, dark winter makes for bouts of feeling isolated and lonely. This year I’ve been exceptionally blessed by not only Cole and his companions, but a steady stream of texts and phone calls from my loved ones far from here. All help serve to remind me I am never alone.

I’m grateful to be so fortunate. It helps me feel the Everlasting Arms that keep us warm and safe from harm – on any side of the pasture fences.

I’ll lean on these treasures long into the New Year.

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 6, 7 (NLT)



Filed under Notes from the Apex


“For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 (NLT)


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Out of Hiding

In a recent conversation Ten-Year-Old and I discussed what to do in case of a threat.

We fondly reminisced how as a preschooler he loved hiding. We both admitted we still like to.

Without sparking unnecessary imaginings, we agreed upon several threats where  hiding (and whistling for your trained, pet dragon, of course) is his best first line of defense. Knowing this stuff is important.

So, you’d think I’d know better by now. And yet, during my day-to-day activities I somehow delude myself to think God’s got my back, but I’m in control of my life. Pfffffft! That’s dragon for “you idiot.”

I can think of several points in my history when, rather than risk anyone seeing that I wasn’t completely in control, instead of calling for help, I put on my game face and toughed out bad situations. I hid.

We all craft our secret hiding places knowing they won’t actually help us deal with genuine threats:

  • We stay in bed too late, forcing ourselves to rush – again,
  • We take another portion because it tastes good knowing our clothes are already uncomfortably tight,
  • We stop at the bar instead of getting home where we’re needed,
  • We take another dose of medicine even if it’s early,
  • Rather than saving, we buy yet another pair of shoes,
  • We simply deny anything scares us or that there’s any problem at all,
  • We stuff anger, not willing to risk making things worse,
  • We make excuses for abusers rather than seeing them as they are…

I’ve been there and done it all, a world-class hider. I know how easily we sometimes cause ourselves more stress, wasted time, or risk unnecessary hurt by standing against a threat alone rather than ask for help.

However, the momentous occasions when I called out to God for help were complete game-changers – life changers actually. Even when I didn’t believe He heard me – when I called Him, and listened for His answer, things worked out.

Decades later, He still works it out whenever I get over myself and ask Him for help.

Are you hiding? Don’t stay there alone. Call out for help.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Image courtesy Pixabay

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The View From Ground Level

You probably don’t become so engrossed, so determined to redirect your life that you overlook living. I seem to have mastered the practice.

Allow me to elaborate.

Recently the status quo pushed me to my limit. Something had to change. Surely, I had to work harder. The year winding up, Thanksgiving already passed, I had to move fast.

Not entirely dumb, I prayed first. I listened. Soon the story came to me. I had it.

Painstakingly planning the process, outline, flow chart and all, I stepped right into work.

work Markus Spiske

Before long at all, so enthralled with the plan and the work, I happily keyed away – until either my cordless keyboard batteries drained or physical pain partially diverted my attention. Not hearing my alarms (another story), forgetting to eat or drink, I worked till the wall fell on me. And then I slept.

This cycle went on for some time – I’ll get back to you with the specifics.

I now recall having seen signs of Christmas here and there, noting to myself I must slow down soon – after I finish the manuscript that will not only change my life, but the world as we know it, of course.

Over a week into the Advent season, the numbers on the calendars flashed before me – what the… that date can’t be right. Noticing the ache from my waist down, I remembered blowing off my fitness routine for a day – or two – a week ago. No matter, I’ll think about all that after I sleep a little.

derailedThis morning began with a renewed determination to catch up, get my derailed train of a plan back on track. Start with the basics; hygiene, fuel, exercise, prayer and then work. But either the light was somehow wrong or the mirror lied at me – I looked awful! I felt fine, so I told myself I look good enough. All I could stomach was two bites of stale granola bar and a shriveled apple slice.

Reality caught up with me on the cold tile floor – where I sprawled, having fallen over my silly self, trying to pull on my walking shoes as I walked toward the door.

“I’m okay,” I announced, realizing I had released a loud, indiscernible sound as I rolled around quite gracelessly.

At that moment I realized I must seriously get my head back into living my life. Bounding ahead too fast brought me to ground level.

To catch up I had to stop. After a while I will stand. Then I’ll think about what’s next.




Filed under Notes from the Apex