An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First Official Horse Ride of 2012

For the past few years the girls and I have set riding goals for ourselves: today was the first official horse ride of 2012. It's a way to keep ourselves accountable to riding these mighty beasts rather than letting them just be pretty pasture ornaments. The idea began several years ago when we wanted to convince Rob that we really did need a fourth horse, hence keeping track of our rides, and has continued just for the fun of it. We rode out back to the cabin site this afternoon and put the horses in the arena while we enjoyed a picnic with the boys. After playing awhile, the boys walked back home and we took the long way with the horses through the woods and the fields.

It's all there: the pictures, the smiles, the memories, the horses, the kids . . . all except for Trent. It was one of those unbelievably gorgeous February days when, in the midst of paperwork and home school, I declared a fun day. Just like we used to do: pack up a picnic, the kids, and the horses and head out back. Even if everybody fought and the horses were ornery we were still together.

After my announcement I began procrastinating: we need to feed the chicks, does Micah have socks, change out of your nice pants, what kind of sandwiches should we bring, I have to put on some make-up, mascara, eye-liner, pick a pair of shoes . . .

I just don't want to do it; I don't know how to do it. When does the ache stop?

I beg for grace, and yet more grace . . . more and more and more. I think of eternity, when death will be no more. "Why not just start it today, God?" I ask Him; just start it today.

The grace trickles in. I have to go; I have to smile; I have to live. I remember that God is sovereign and Trent is in heaven after all: I know, I know. I just want to go have another picnic with him; I just want to hear him laugh again, and see him ride the short horses, and talk with him and see him play with his brothers. I don't know how to dream anymore. The perfect spot for the cabin doesn't seem so perfect anymore.

But God's grace is ultimatley sufficient, so I ride the horse, I eat the tuna wrap, I live for my kids.

The camera batteries were exhausted mid-picnic, so I couldn't hide anymore. I was forced to participate: to explore the woods looking for old bee-hives, laughing with my kids, playing games, really riding my horse, looking at the trees and the trail and the flying pheasant and the two girls ahead of me instead of looking for the perfect shot.

And I felt it, next to the ache and the pain, I felt the glimmer of joy rising.

Grief seems to force you to choose between emotions. Pain often rules and joy seems impossible because your loved one is gone. But does it have to be impossible? Is God not enough for joy in grief? For trusting His plans while you live the day's He still has you here?

This afternoon I stumbled across Isaiah 29:13 (NASB): Then the Lord said, " . . . [these] people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote ..."

The words cut deep: lip service, rote tradition, heart far removed. I don't want my life to be lip service to God. I long to know Him and trust Him with my very being.

I read once about a mother who expressed that God graciously revealed to her through her grief that her greatest desire was really her child, not Jesus. Such a fine line. One that we think we have a right to as mothers: to place our children above everything else, even God. I long to let God be God, and to be so satisfied in Him and His plans that my life reveals it fully; to be so consumed with Him that the things of this life are meaningless.

Maybe that's the real pain: what I thought was reality in this world has been lost along with my son. Somehow I have to learn how to live here the rest of my days until I get to heaven, not being of this world but in this world. I will continue to listen for that trumpet, and as I wait I'll dance before my King (Phil 3:20; John 17:14-15; 1 Cor 15:51-52; 2 Samuel 6:16).


Brenda said...

.... to dance before my King. Those words take me into His presence and imagine the day I get to dance before my King at His throne. But, until then, I dance before my King on these grassy hill sides and under the starlight. {{Huggs}}

Shoshannah said...

Hi, I am still grieving for my prodigal daughter as her life spins out of control and she hurts others very much. She is now leaving her husband for another man and losing interest in her baby, my first grandchild. We are helping to take care of him as her husband grieves. When will the pain stop? The actions of my daughter will ripple throughout the generations.
It is amazing to me that I am going through the same cycles of pain, grief and joy in the Lord as you are. My pain reaches new lows and my joy reaches new highs as I trust in and grow closer to our Lord. Thank you for taking the time to share your journey. I think in some ways, we are walking it together. Trent was an amazing son. I pray that my daughter will someday experience his joy.

Dicky Bird said...

Looking at those pictures it sure is hard to belive it is February in Wisconsin. I've always liked your idea of counting the rides in a given year. Maybe we will do that this year too. By the way, good job on having a fun day - you are such a good mama. Blessings from Ringle.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Your post made me laugh, cry, and smile all at the same t beautiful. I was curious about that one cabin, that looks like it's leaning to the side. Do you know how old it is? I'm glad that you got to spend some time with your family...and your horses are just gorgeous!!! I saw a group of people riding horses along the ocean not too long ago. It's an amazing site. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

OurCrazyFarm said...

Brenda~ if I ever get down to Missouri again we can dance together on those grassy hill sides in the midst of your goat girls:))

Shoshannah~ As Sherry from Russtic-Acres once said "there is as much ministry that goes on in the comments as in the blog posts." She is a wise woman:)

I sit here at my computer trying to come up with the perfect words to try to describe to you the intricate workings of God through your comment ... and I can't grasp His ways to express it fully.

My intention was to post a couple of horse pictures due to {{blog peer pressure}} of sorts and not go on about my trials anymore. Anybody else out there feel it, too? But then I realized, like my sister tells me, it's my blog ... so I wrote what I needed to write for me.

And I heard the whisper in my soul, "What if it's only for one person? Is it worth it to keep writing it then?" So I wrote it for me, I wrote it for you, but ultimately I guess I wrote it for God's name to be glorified again as we become encouragers to each other.

When you comment, I pray; I grieve for you; I feel a teeny bit of your pain; I lift your daughter up to that King on His throne who is the author and perfector of her faith as well.

Your words are precious to me tonight. Wasn't it good of God to take us on these parallel journey's together? He gives us all that we need, even in trials.

DickyBird~ I will be excited to see how many rides you choose! We still have to decide for this year~ 30 seems to be a good number, though. Thanks! I'll quit feeling guilty that we didn't get Science done today:)) Oh wait~ we took a field trip! I'll go cross it off;)) {{Feeling blessed}}

OurCrazyFarm said...

Thanks Heather! The "cabin" is actually a front of an old shed that we tore down from the barnyard a couple of years ago. It was one of the original structures on the farm, so we wanted to save it for nostalgia sake. The original thought was to make it into a sling-shot range . . . but it just hasn't got that far yet:))

Jan said...

Your transparency is a gift. Thank you.

cmarie said...

O Terri, In this world of noisy gongs - I hear a "hush" as I read this. The love of God is teaching you a beautiful dance!

Linda Stubbs said...

Just want you to know I love you!!!!!!!! Jesus loves you more........He will continue to hold you up.....even when you don't feel it. He will be coming for all of us one day........what a day that will be!

Hugs to you precious friend!

Shoshannah said...

Yes, Terri, it was good of God to come up with these parallel journeys of ours. We must remember the race and not grow too weary. We must remember that the difficult and mundane things have a good purpose which He will reveal in His time. I don't have a blog but am able to be refreshed and encouraged from afar by yours. For this I do thank you very heartily. Thank you especially for lifting me up in prayer before our King. Love and prayers to you from Indiana!