For the Love of Horses >

When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered the girl who carried the flag at the rodeo.  Pictures of horses cut out of magazines, wallpaper trim with barrel racers, and horse figurines are scattered all over my childhood bedroom.  The name of twenty horses that I wanted to own someday are still taped onto the stairs in my parents’ basement where my sister and I pretended each stair was a different stall for our Breyers.  I was obsessed with horses.

Every summer growing up I spent all of my waking hours down at the barn.  If I wasn’t riding, I was grooming, feeding, organizing tack, etc.  If it was a rainy day, I would take out a sketch pad and draw horses or watch a horse movie.  All I wanted to be was a professional horsewoman.  I wanted to be able to ride any horse and be a renowned trainer.  I wanted to have the biggest trailer, the fanciest tack, and coolest barn filled with the best trained horses.  Every night I would dream about horses and imagine taking home a stack of trophies and belt buckles.

I was so blessed that my grandparents and parents allowed me to have horses while I was growing up.  So many of them have changed my life profoundly.  Hard work, dedication, overcoming obstacles, patience, responsibility, and forgiveness are just some of the virtues I was taught by riding and showing horses as a youth.  Some have hurt me, some have challenged me, some have inspired me.

It was my background in horses, along with growing up on a farm and showing hogs, that motivated me to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science.  In college, I tried out for equestrian teams and horse judging teams.  I would even fall asleep with my boots on sometimes and wear spurs just in case someone might not know I liked horses.  I thought that horses would always be a part of me.

Lately though, something has changed.  Bills.  Work.  Exercise.  Responsibilities.  Laziness.  Fear.  Loneliness.  Those would all be words I would use to describe my lack of motivation for riding these days.  As an adult, things change.  I have to foot my own bills, work long hours, take care of my own house, and take extra care of my body.  (Falling off as an adult hurts a lot more! lol)

I have never been a great rider.  Besides my passion and love for the furry creatures, I have never had any true skills when it comes to riding.  Just like everything else in life, I have had to work for what I got.  By the time I graduated high school, I couldn’t do any real training, but I knew the basics and could handle most situations.  I knew my horses inside and out and could get them to perform their best.  Everything I learned came from my awesome 4-H leaders that I had growing up.  Sometimes I wonder though, if I am not good at it, should I still do it?

Right now I have four horses.  One that we don’t ride for health reasons, two older horses that could be retired, and my sister’s young horse that she lent me this summer.  It’s been five years since I graduated college and I haven’t done much “real” riding since.  Sure, I have rode a few trails, walked some pastures, and trotted around the roundpen a time or two.  But, I haven’t had any true goals for my riding.  Mostly it has been more for fun and stress relief.

However, I am a goal type of person.  I want to work towards something.  I want to have a reason for why I am doing it.  I liked showing because it made me work towards a goal and held me accountable.  I had to work on my horse’s talents because everyone was going to see them.  I had to get better because I was going to be judged.  It is the same reason why I sign up for 5ks.  I need some motivation to keep me going.  Not having any real goals takes some of the fun and motivation away from me.  Can you still show as an adult?

It wasn’t until my sister brought Chief (her young horse) over that I realized that I don’t know what to do anymore.  All I have done is piddle around with my old broke horses for the last half decade and my skills are lacking.  I would love to work with a trainer or coach to get my riding skills more up to snuff.  It would be so awesome if I could take some lessons!  However, money and time are factors.  Plus, who wants to work with a 27 year old who is afraid of her horse?

Money is definitely a factor.  Yes, I have been working on saving since I got a big girl job.  However, horses are expensive!  Not only do you have the initial cost of the horse, but feed, vet bills, farrier work, and tack all cost a pretty penny.  Plus, if you want to show, you have to have a truck, trailer, and pay entry fees.  I am a teacher you know.  Money is definitely not growing on any trees in my backyard.  Should I still purse my passion as an adult if I can’t make any money at it and it costs a lot?

I have some of the most awesome grandparents a girl can get.  They have an acreage in the town where I live and they have graciously kept my horses there and have done chores for me everyday.  They don’t even make me pay for boarding or hay!  My grandpa even lent me some of his garden space and put up a roundpen for me.  They truly are the best!!!  However, my grandparents getting older and shouldn’t have to take care of them anymore.  My grandpa works super hard already and doesn’t need the burden of taking care of my horses, too.  Should I sell my horses to relieve them of this duty?

Yes, a lot of joy from riding happens because you make a bond with your horse and have internal pleasure from doing what you love.  However, that’s not the only reason to do it.  I loved showing and going to 4-H practice because I got to make new friends.  I didn’t have to ride alone all the time.  Now, I don’t have anyone to ride with.  It is not as fun when you cannot share your passion with someone else.  Plus, it really is not safe to go off riding alone.  If something happened, I would be in big trouble.   If I don’t have anyone to ride with, should I still do it?

I think another reason why my heart has changed is because my identity is not in what I do or look like anymore.  I used to say that I was a cowgirl and that is what I had my identity in.  I had to have long hair, wear jeans and boots everyday, and have horse decals on my vehicle.  However, my identity is in Christ, now.  I know that everything else must come second to my passion and love for my Savior.  I will hang up my cowgirl hat when I am talking to my King.

So, my question is, do I keep my horses?  Do I let my childhood fantasy go?  Do I move on and chalk another loss up to adulthood?  If I keep them, how do I go about remedying my problems?

This is my food for thought on this Tuesday evening.  God bless.

Struggles…the ballad of the single life

Oh boy!  Sometimes it is hard to stay patient isn’t it?!  Whether it is a tv show, love song, or social media, it seems like love is in the air in February. Everywhere you turn there is a couple holding hands or kissing.

I have never been the jealous type on Valentine’s Day and I actually don’t really notice the holiday.  (Well, besides for the cheap day after chocolate!)  This year I had a FFA event, so I didn’t even realize it was a holiday.  I did have the best valentine though…my pup, Ranger.  Dogs really are a girl’s best friend.

I thought that I was doing really good.  I had been feeling content and totally satisfied with being single.  I knew and still know that I am complete in Christ and don’t need anyone else to fill any vacancies in my life.  I know my impatience is Satan trying to trip me.  However, this last week spring fever got the best of me and I have been struggling.

I was out doing some local shopping when someone asked me if I was married and told me that I need to get on finding a husband.  It usually doesn’t bother me and I just smile and say if you find a good Christian guy to send him my way.  But, for some reason, this time it really got me thinking and wishing I was married.  This person didn’t mean anything by their comment and was joking, but it stuck.  Ever since that day I have been watching sappy romance shows, listening to my old favorite country love songs, and day dreaming about Mr. Right.

It is funny how our subconscious knows it’s wrong, but we do it anyway!  Thank goodness for His mercy and grace.  It has reminded me how fickle I can be sometimes and how close to the surface my flaws can be.  Why am I trying to fit in to this world?  Why am I not trusting in His timing?  Why am I using my time unwisely?

So, I guess this post is to show my weakness.  I don’t always have it together or even close.  I do struggle.  It’s not easy being single everyday.  Sometimes it is hard to wait.

I hope my acronym for patience helps you find peace today in your struggles!

P – pray harder

A – absolute truth meditation (read Bible)

T – think…about other things

I – identify your trigger

E – emotions are not truth

N – neighbor well and you won’t be alone

C – caution what you take in

E – engage in the here and now

Thanks for reading!  Time to pull on my cowboy boots and get back to the straight and narrow.

Psalms 23:1-3 “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.  He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  He renews my strength.  He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things!”

Singleness.

It has been three years since my first post about singleness.  Wow.  The time has flown by.  In a few weeks I will be turning 27.  I still have never been on a date.  I am still single.

My attitude for 2016 was expectant.  I thought this year would be the year that I would fall in love and get swept off my feet.  With only a few hours of 2016 left, I think it is safe to say that will not happen.  Up to about a week ago, there was a small part of me that was crushed.  Thoughts like “will I ever find someone” or “am I too this or that” were running through my mind.  The time is ticking.  I don’t know if it is just the Hallmark Christmas movies this time of year or my biological clock ringing in my ears, but I am reminded each day about being alone.

I have been waiting.  Oh, so expectantly and patiently waiting.  But, not just for a spouse.  I have been putting off all sorts of things.  Whether that be buying a house, going on a mission trip, moving to a new state, buying a nicer vehicle, getting a new horse, I have been waiting.  In my head it was all going to work out.  I would get married and then my life would start.  I wouldn’t want to do anything until I found my husband, right?

But, a week or so ago ago my attitude changed.  What in the world have I been thinking???  If I died tomorrow, would I be able to say that I have been living the life God meant for me?  Is marriage really the only thing that is going to make me happy?  Is marriage all of a sudden going to make my life become more exciting and meaningful?

I can answer all three of those questions with two words – probably not. You cannot wait until you find a boyfriend in order to start living your life.  Would it really be so bad if I woke up 20 years from now without a husband lying next to me?  Again, probably not.  If I am completely content in Christ and I am basking in His will, I should relish the fact that he has kept me single for a reason.  Isn’t He enough?  He is the author and creator of the universe, can’t I trust in His timing and judgement?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:8 NLT, “So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows-it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.”  Matthew 19:10-11 recites, “Jesus’s disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”  “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said.  “Only those whom God helps.””  I can be completely sure that if God has led me into this season of singleness, I can trust in Him to sustain me.  Even if that means that I never leave it.

Before I know it I’m going to be in my 30’s and I don’t want to say that I wasted my 20’s doing nothing.  This is supposed to be a fun and exciting time in life, right?  I think that it is time that I stop waiting and start living.

No, I can hear what you are thinking.  I am still going to (hopefully) only date my future husband and I will be completely and totally pure for him and Him.  This is not me telling you that I’m going to throw my convictions out of the window.  I still completely stand by my belief that courting should only happen when you think you have found your future spouse and you have prayed long and hard about it.

However, what I am saying is I’m not going to wait for my husband to get here before I do the things that I want to do.  I want to experience life, whether that is with a boyfriend or not.  I want to travel and impact God’s kingdom in a large way.  I want to help the lost and hurting and celebrate with the successful.  I want to be a part of my church and take on new responsibilities.  I want to try new foods, make investments, and take a few risks.  I don’t want to be tied down to this boring life anymore.  I want to make the most out of every day that I have.  I shouldn’t wait for the best me to come out when I’m married.  I need to live the best version of myself today.

This is just the first of many blog posts to come about singleness.  Enjoy!

Looking Back on Days Gone By…

So, I have a new show that I like to watch.  It is called When Calls the Heart.  If you are into Christian romance novels or pioneer era stories, you have probably heard of Janette Oke, author of stories like the Love Comes Softly series.  I love her books and movies and this new television show is based off of her books.  I have to say that I am head over heals for this series and I cannot wait for season 4 to start in February.

Yes, I am still working on watching less tv and starting to “do” more things rather than “watch” other people do things.  However, this series has really hit home for me in more areas than one.  It has caused some major thinking to happen and has inspired some choices that I have/will make.

Everyone that I know says that I have an old soul.  I am basically an 80 year old in a 26 year old’s body.  I go to bed and eat supper early, I enjoy spending time with older people and children, and I enjoy going on walks.  I don’t like anything that’s inappropriate or lacking in modesty.  I would go without technology in a second if I could.  I think I could easily assimilate into living in a previous era.

It makes me wonder though, why do I have such high regard for previous generations?  Surely now we have it much easier than they did.  We have one-touch ordering and delivery, automatic bill paying, dish and clothes washers, fast cars and airplanes, cell phones, computers, calculators, medical robots, texting, etc.  We live in an era of convenience.  We have a wide variety of food, clothes, medicines, and personal items on every street corner.  If we want something now and don’t want to get out of our pjs, we can go to our computer and in 10 seconds order it and have it shipped to our door the next day.  Waiting and planning ahead are things of the past.  Everything is fast pace, high intensity, and low mental/physical involvement.  This should be what we want, right?

However, aren’t there times you want to disengage from this fast paced life?  Aren’t there times that you wish that providing for your family and going to church socials was all that was on your agenda?  Aren’t there days that you wish you could produce something more tangible with your own two hands and see the fruits of your labor?  Aren’t there days that you wish technology was gone and you could fully be in the moment?

Many people believe that I am romanticizing the pioneer era and think that if I truly had to live it, it would not be so enjoyable.  And, maybe that is true.  We have to realize that these people really had to work hard for EVERYTHING.  To make a meal they had to go pick up the eggs from the chicken coop, milk the cow, cut the meat from the carcass in the shed, make the bread from scratch, and chop the wood to put in the oven.  Baths were taken once a week from cold water that had to be pumped from the well or dragged up in buckets from the stream and warmed over the stove.  Clothes were infrequently washed on washboards and hung to dry out on the line.  Heat was only produced by firewood in the fireplace or stove and there wasn’t air conditioning.  I don’t even want to think about outhouses and cold winter nights with snakes and spiders hiding in the shadows.  People waited two weeks or more to receive letters from friends and family in distant towns.

But, everything was simple back then.  If you were a male, you got a job and provided for your family.  If you were female, you had a job until you got married and then you stayed home and did the house work and took care of the kids.  Your family was all you had and you didn’t take people for granted.  There wasn’t any technology to waste time on, so in your few spare moments you exercised, sewed, knitted, read, painted, wood worked, etc.  People didn’t have the luxury of being lazy and they knew that time was precious so they didn’t waste it.  They were outside a lot and had pastimes like fishing, hunting, and riding horses. They truly lived in every moment.

Communities were strong and they knew all of their neighbors.  God was essential to their daily lives and the church was what held everyone together.  Everyone made time to read their Bible and pray.  People truly had fellowship with one another.  They broke bread together in their homes and had church potlucks on Sundays.  Kids respected their elders and said “yes or no, sir/ma’am.”  They lived with purpose and no daily act was too small to give God the glory in it.

Now, I know this wasn’t true of everyone who lived back then.  As always, there were a few bad apples.  But, it seems like today hardly anyone treats each other with respect and we live like we have all the time in the world.  Everyone is depressed and not mentally in the moment.  We waste hours a day watching tv or scrolling through social media on our phones.  Jobs are not used to glorify God with the works of our hands anymore, but merely a way to gain a paycheck in-between our weekends spent binge watching or partying.  Not many families are close anymore and most people don’t have deep relationships with friends.  Everything is surface level and not meaningful.  We care more about our likes and number of friends on Facebook than conversing with our neighbors and coworkers.

I wish I could give the gift to everyone 55 years old and younger to live in the 1880’s or early 1900’s for a year.  I think our eyes would open to our true gifts and talents and we would know what it was like to truly trust and praise God in everything.  Yes, our lives would be full of difficult work.  Yes, we might be bored or tired sometimes.  Yes, we could definitely still fail and have hard times.  But, we might just find our real selves and awaken our soul.

LIVE!

Have you ever noticed that live and live are spelled the same?  They mean kind of the same thing, but the word can be a verb, adverb, and an adjective.  We can be live and in the moment, or we can just live.  But, I would say, that to live must mean that you need to be live.  Confusing…but still it makes sense. 

One can just want to exist…or…one can lead something exciting and fulfilling!  State FFA Convention was this week and the theme was to amplify your life.  Each state officer gave their retiring address on what it meant to them to amplify.  One officer in particular said that it is about presence.  Not just being there and existing, but actually being in the moment and doing something.  I’m tired of physically being there, without being mentally engaged.  What is the purpose of being alive if we don’t use this time wisely and with purpose?

My last post hinted on my year long struggle with depression.  I had come to the realization that not everyone was going to like me and I finally realized how many mistakes I was/is/had been making.  Because of this epiphany, I became sullen and disengaged.  I was broken deep down in my heart.  But, the cool thing is that you have to get broken before you can get fixed!

Over the last two months, I have started to realize that God wants way more for my life than what I have been living.  I go to school and then come home and sit on the couch until bedtime.  Wow, how exciting.  No wonder I have been feeling empty.  God has been dragging me to the realization that existing is not the same thing as being live.  If I want to have a true and meaningful relationship with Him or anyone else for that matter, I have to start actually doing things.  I need to start investing in others, not just taking what they have to give.  I need to start exercising, cooking, traveling, writing, riding, etc.  I cannot be the best me sitting like a bum on my couch eating popcorn and watching Home Improvement.  It is ok to relax and take a few minutes for myself every once and awhile, but it is not ok to do nothing.

I found out this week how introverted I still am.  Since my first year in college, I have became a lot more outgoing and friendly than what I ever was in high school.  I remember feeling so scared of what people thought of me that I would never talk, like ever!  I ended up having very few friends and I felt alone.  I spent all of my time with my family and animals, never any friends.  But, in college I was forced to get out and meet people and actually talk.  This week I realized as I was getting breakfast at the hotel that there were still times that I felt like that shy girl in high school.  Instead of going up to the group of very nice agriculture teachers that I’m sure would have welcomed me to the group, I ran to the elevator and ate in my room.  Instead of saying hello to the parents of my students, I pretended that I was in conversation with another student or was looking at something on my phone.  Instead of living, I was checking out.  I could have had meaningful conversations, but instead I sunk away and hid.

I don’t want to live like that anymore.  I want to be fun, engaging, worthwhile, and meaningful.  I want to live with purpose and show the everlasting joy in my life!  I’m tired of tapping out and letting other people take the spotlight or have the fun.  I want to look back on my life and see that I have taken the opportunities God has given me to make a difference, not sit passively by.  I want to get up and do what God has called me to do.  I want to be obedient.

A friend asked me yesterday what I would do if I could change careers.  I said that I want to help people and make a difference in their lives.  I want to motivate people to be the best that they can be.  I want to either speak or write words of encouragement for others…and get paid for it! 🙂  I want to lead other people into deeper relationship with Jesus and ignite the passions they have to lead a more joyful life.

But, how can I do that for others, if I haven’t started doing it myself?  I realized that if that is my goal, then I have to start living it.  If I have the most important truth in my arsenal, but am not sharing it with anyone or showing its power in my life, then do I truly have it?  It is time to make my 26th year on this planet worth it.  I want the next year to be one that I look back 50 years from now and smile on.  I want to do things I have never done before, talk freely with people I don’t know, and be in the best shape I could ever be in.  I want to smile and show that Jesus is inside of me and God is surely active and real!  It is time to get off the couch and fight for what is right, true, and just.  It is time to be live and live!!!!

 

P.S. I have been getting emails from a career specialist named Kathy Caprino.  She gives many insights into why so many people are dissatisfied with their life and their career.  She gives advice on how to shift your perspective and how to change or advance your career by working on yourself.  Even though I don’t think she is a Christian, she still has great advice.  If you are feeling stuck or having problems in your work life, I would definitely suggest getting in touch with her or subscribing to her email list.

It is Time to Honestly Live!

Being alive…sounds simple, right?  Each day we take air into our lungs, our heart is pumping, and our eyes somehow manage to stay open for roughly sixteen hours a day.  But, is the blood flowing through our bodies actually what makes us alive?  Until recently, I thought I was living, but I think this last year I wasn’t alive…I was just existing.

In the words of Beth Moore, last year about this time I got had.  The wool was pulled over my eyes and I got lost.  My heart was broken, my mind was numb, and I couldn’t seriously think to save my life.  I’m pretty sure I fell into what a psychologist would call depression.  It wasn’t just for a day, a week, or a month.  I haven’t really felt like myself in over a year.

I remember feeling full of life, I remember feeling purpose, I remember feeling joyful, and I remember feeling smart.  I used to be a hard worker, a doer, someone who would do everything I could to be the most responsible and reliable person I could be.  I wanted to pursue goals and have fun in life.  I wanted to run, ride horses, read my Bible, bake, knit, write, walk, pray, etc.  I remember being in college and having so much fun and being so excited for the rest of my life to start.

There is a reason why they say stress kills.  Because it does.  Slowly but surely over the past three years something inside of me has changed..scratch that…died.  My passion for my Savior, my gumption to exercise, my willingness to work, and my ability to engage with friends has plummeted….to rock bottom.  I wish I could say this change all happened that day last November when my “had” started.  But, that would be a lie.  I think I have been fooling myself and that day was just when I started to realize that my life was not the way that I wanted it to be.  I finally realized that being a good person is not good enough.  It will not save you for eternity and it will not win over all people.  Some people will always not like you.  You will always make mistakes.

Recovery.  I keep telling myself that it is a process.  I keep telling myself that it is ok to be broken and that is when God is most near to you.  I keep telling myself that I will get my life back together tomorrow.  But, it is hard.  It takes work.  When you don’t feel like doing anything, even the fun stuff, work is exhausting.  Stress piles up and you can’t find your way out.  You know the way you should be…the way you want to be.  But, for some reason, you can’t attain it.  But, why?  Why is God taking me through this desert?  Why do I feel all alone?  Why do I feel like my life isn’t going anywhere?

I open my computer and all of a sudden hours have gone by.  I have spent so many nights scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest, or online shopping.  I am constantly trying to find something to procrastinate doing homework and extra work.  And of course it is not by doing something worthwhile.  I have wasted so much of my life on technology.  Sometimes I wish I could throw the computer in the trash and relieve myself of the temptation.  Besides, all I see on social media is all of these people that are doing something.  They are out having fun with their friends on vacation, they are getting married and having babies, they found an exciting new job in a new state, they just bought a new house and vehicle, they just finished their diy project or cooked this amazing dinner.  How?  How is their life engaging and mine is so blah? Why can’t I get myself to do those things?  Why am I so lazy?

I can’t get my butt to the barn, treadmill, even outside.  My cousin recently asked me how long it had been since I had been outside.  Honestly, besides walking to my car, I couldn’t even think of the last time.  I used to live outside.  I would ride my horses, go running or walking, help my dad on the farm, sit outside on the deck and just enjoy the sunshine.  I need to help my grandparents muck out the barn and scoop snow/mow, but have I done it?  No.  Now, I can’t seem to get off the couch and turn off the TV.  Watching Hallmark movie after Hallmark movie, viewing house after house on HGTV, and seeing episode after episode on Netflix is not all it is cracked up to be.  Not only have I accomplished nothing in my own life, but I feel even worse after watching other people do something with theirs.  The TV really does need to join the computer in the trash.

Being had really wasn’t something that I planned.  I didn’t want to get hurt.  I didn’t want to see my sins exposed.  I didn’t want to know that not everyone likes me.  But, God has used this time.  Even though I still can’t see it, and maybe I never will, I have to still have hope, right?  Things will change.  I will have some excitement.  I will learn to live again.  I will start doing things again.  There has to be water in this desert, right?  “They will neither hunger nor thirst.  The searing sun will not reach them anymore.  For the LORD in his mercy will lead them; he will lead them beside cool waters.” – Isaiah 49:10  I have the rest of my life to not just exist, but to really give it my all because God only gives us one.

I hope this post didn’t make you sad.  But, I’m hoping you feel encouraged to do and to live.  I know it has been therapy for me!  Happy New Year everyone!

 

Active Faith

Sometimes we become stagnant.  Sometimes we backslide.  Sometimes we are straight up lazy.  Sometimes we just need forgiveness.  Today, like many days before, God has slapped me out of my funk and brought me to the realization that I have been trying to play Him.  I have been trying to do everything my way and forget what it means to give my old self up and live my life as a new creation.

The other day I saw an ad on Facebook from this athletic clothes company that has christian messages printed on their shirts and other clothing.  I thought that was awesome, so even though I have plenty of running clothes and they were way too expensive, I bought a couple of shirts and a hoodie from them.  I thought about how if His message was written on my shirt how cool it would be for others to see that I am a Christ follower.  But, sitting here tonight, how I have realized that I was totally thinking like the devil wanted me to!

I shouldn’t need a Bible scripture pasted across the front of my running clothes for someone to know that I am a christian.  They should already know that by my actions!   I believe that our actions speak louder than our words and sometimes we need a heavy dose of reality to remind us of what we have really been doing and showing people lately.  Have we been pursuing Him or have we been sucked up by the ways of this world and living a lie?

Sitting here on my couch tonight I am wearing that new hoodie and on my right wrist there are the words “active faith.”  At first I thought that was just talking about how the store is a faith-based sports company, but then I realized that those words have life and a purpose!  What does it mean to be living out an active faith?  I know it doesn’t just mean working out physically, but working out spiritually.  Just as I cannot become fitter without spending more minutes on the treadmill, I cannot strengthen my relationship with Christ without continuous prayer and Bible reading.

The dictionary gives this definition for the word active:  1.  (of a person) engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits and 2.  doing things for an organization, cause, or campaign, rather than simply giving it one’s support.  Can I say that I have physically been giving God all that I have?  Can I say that I have been giving God more than just my wayward support?  I started to ask myself:  when have I sat down to read my Bible just to read it and feel closer to Him, when was the last time I lifted my hands to a praise song and felt His presence with me, when was the last time that I gave up something for Him, when was the last time I did something for Him?  If I am not DOING those things, then I cannot be active in my faith.  If I have not gone beyond mere acceptance and knowledge lately to live out my faith, then what is showing my salvation?  It is only through the ACT of repentance and worship that I can be renewed into His likeness and presence.

Last week was rough.  I felt like God had abandoned me to make my decision alone.  I “felt” like I had been asking Him what He wanted me to do, but the truth was that I was trying to do it by myself.  I was faced with a dilemma and because I didn’t follow Christ’s beckoning in the first place, I was majorly broken into pieces.  I “searched” for God everywhere but my Bible and my bended knees.  I asked my fellow sinners for advice, before I asked my Heavenly Father.  If only I had repented of my mistake to begin with and not tried to rebel, how many tears would not have been shed and how I would not have looked like a total fool!  If I would have been ACTIVE in my faith, I would have followed His voice instead of wallowing in depression, guilt, and sadness.  Thank you Jesus for your grace and mercy!  My problem is solved and I am right with Him again!

I found a new page on Facebook today of a woman who has really encouraged me.  She has a daily inspirational video or post on her family’s business page and her words are truly God’s words and she is definitely speaking the Truth!  I encourage you to visit their page called JW Hart/Hart Cattle Company on Facebook and I know you will not be disappointed.  Especially if you like rodeo and ranching, this is a page you will like.