One Day At A Time

17 Mar

The alarm goes off, I can’t ignore it, my four dogs are nudging me to turn it off.  My husband rolls over, he can sleep through anything.  My alarm is in the bathroom, ensuring that I will most certainly get up, I have to turn off the incessant beeping.  I trip over the dogs, turn on the dimmer light switch and make my way downstairs to a hot cup of coffee.

My dogs content to check out all that has happened over the night, they survey the property ending up in the back of the house near the sun room sliding glass door.  It is here that they paw at the door and it is where they lay in various positions around the room as I read the Bible.  I read, slowly allowing the comforting words to soothe my soul.  I re-read certain passages, underlining and making notes.  My Bible is like a journal, certain verses touch a nerve and I record the message I am learning.  I close the Bible, pick up my goal cards.  Index cards that I write all of the goals I want to achieve.  Some are lofty- they will take me years, others are something I need to do everyday.  On the back of each one I have written a verse that corresponds with the goal.  I am reminded that without a vision, the people perish.  I am not about to perish because of my clouded vision.  No, I know where I am going and how I am going to get there.

Then I walk outside.  I have been up for an hour and a half.  It is only 5:00 in the morning.  The stars glisten in the sky.  I hear the sounds of my horses stirring.  I can hear the lone call of a coyote.  I feel the presence of God so clearly now.  I feed the horses with exact precision.  I have done this everyday, the same way without fail.  My horses like me love to eat and they hungrily munch on their grain.  Their warm breath billows up in my face and I love the smell of their sweet molassey breath.  I pat their faces, except Hershey because he hates to be bothered when he eats.  I scratch Brutus’s ears, rub Milkshake’s belly, tickle Quest’s rump, pat Chessy’s noble chest, kiss Chicken Nugget’s adorable face, rub Button’s broad girth, scratch Pumpkin’s belly and move to his shoulder, and then I walk the fields.  I have trails around my property, and it is here that I do my praying. 

I LOVE being under the stars guided only by moonlight.  I pray for friends, family, this wonderful country, my students, my high school where I teach, missionaries, foreign countries, and my imprisoned brothers and sisters suffering for their faith.  My walk is slow, the sound of the frost covered ground crunches under my boots.  I can hear the deer running from my approach.  I start to sing a hymn- How Great Thou Art.  I cannot help myself.  I feel His presence all around me and I am in awe.  I stand and stare into the sky, I close my eyes and open my arms.  Comforted to know that no one knows that I am here, cloaked in total darkness.  A tear escapes and runs down my cheek.  I just love spending time with God.  I am reluctant to make my way back to the house.

I take a hot shower, dress in lightning speed, make up applied in the dim light- it does not come out too well.  My students like to point out my missing mascara, or the blue shoes with my black pants.  I laugh and they laugh.  They tell me that I am not “normal” and I tell them to never believe the rumor that I ever was.  We laugh and they encourage me to tell them a story.  They love to hear my stories of achieving impossible dreams, believing in the impossible, and encouraging them that if it can happen for me, it most definitely will happen to them.  As I always point out, they are much smarter, prettier, and better than I ever was or will be.  I go through the day, grading papers, encouraging, cajoling, loving, helping, instructing, reaching, pushing, and prodding all of the students at WDHS. 

The day for many is winding down, but I must wind up as I drive home.  Like a bird in flight, I dive bomb the house grabbing jeans as I rush into the bathroom.  I throw on my Raise Your Dreams Farm sweatshirt and vest.  I grab my trusty Timex watch that is waterproof and put on my old boots feeling strangely relaxed, for it is here that I love even more than teaching at school.  I greet my students and the little ones hug me, the older ones slap my back.  My helpers are getting the horses and ponies for me.  We all gather in a circle with the horses joining us for prayer.  We grab each person’s hands. 

The little one says that they would like to pray too.  Of course I tell him.  He says, “Dear God, thank you for Milkshake and Pumpkin.  Thank you for McDonalds and hamburgers.  Thank you for Mommy and Daddy.  Thank you for Miss Jill.  I love you God. Amen”

With that we all gently squeeze one another hands.  My day is a success.  A child that never prayed before, now does.  A mother shares that her daughter is turning around in her behavior since she has been coming out to the farm.  A father and mother smile broadly as their son conquerors fear and rides the gentle Pumpkin.  A mother told me that her daughter no longer feels that she has no purpose in life, because when she is here, she is not only needed but wanted. She now knows her purpose in life, it is to someday teach like Miss Jill.

So, one day at a time.  I keep my eyes focused on the prize- to glorify the King of Kings.  I pray that He is well pleased with my efforts.  I hope that I used my words this day to build and not tear down.  I hope I used my hands to hold and protect.  I hope that I used my heart to expand and swell with love for all people, even those hard ones because they are the ones that need it the most.

Are your eyes focused on the prize?  Do you have a vision for your life?  Do you have a goal for your day?  If not, get thinking, writing, and planning.  Image

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3 Responses to “One Day At A Time”

  1. Kevin March 25, 2013 at 12:05 AM #

    Wow! You are a superb painter of images with words. My heart leaped when I saw what you do. Kids need purpose and to be respected more these days than ever before. I am going to pray everyday that God blesses your life and the labor of love you have chosen to embrace for God’s children. My son was diving into drugs and darkness and I had to quit driving longhaul for awhile to spend time with him. I asked Jesus what to do and he told me do nothing but love and respect him. It took a while, but he is free of drugs now and I didn’t have to give him my opinion even once. I just showed him he is loved and that seems to be exactly what he needed. Thank you for sharing and for caring, God bless you every day, in every way. Kevin

    • anythingforhorseandrider March 26, 2013 at 6:35 AM #

      Thank you, prayer is more precious to me than anything else!!!
      I too, will pray that God is always merciful to you as you drive.
      May you and your family be richly blessed!

  2. firnhyde April 15, 2013 at 9:58 AM #

    Amazingly well-written. You’re living my dream. Let me join that girl in saying that I too one day want to help change the world for Christ one person, one horse, one ride at a time. I want to show people what God can do with a horse and with them.
    I too one day want to teach like Miss Jill. Keep up the awesome work!

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