Tag Archives: encouragement

Give Everything and Then Some More

7 Oct

No rain or storm, just a miraculous rainbow to show us that He reigns here!

No rain or storm, just a miraculous rainbow to show us that He reigns here!

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2-3

Human nature says run when it gets hot. It also tells you that it would be easier to give up then to continue on. It is also harder when everyone else abandons you.

I am and have always been wilfully stubborn. It was a time in my life that swimming in life was no longer an option, but to hold onto God and the life raft he held out to me.

We were being sued for a million dollars. My husband was unable to handle the stress of this looming disaster. I could not handle it either, I just spent hours and hours in prayer. God would lift my heart and I would feel encouraged.

One day, my husband, walked into the kitchen and said, “I cannot take it any more. I am going to get away from this place. I am staying at my brother’s house,” he had tears in his eyes. With that he walked out of the house.

I felt so alone. None of it made sense. A lawsuit because we refused to let our neighbors send their water through our horse pastures into our creek. This prohibited them from building their home and they sued us as a nuisance. If we had been sued as a negligent, our insurance would have picked it up. Instead we had to pay out of our pocket the lawyer bills every month. We had already spent $60,000 in petitioning the court to drop us. The state of NJ allows anyone to sue and we were the receipients. It was and always will be the darkest time of my life.

That’s when I recalled the verse, James 1:2-3. This would produce patience and something even more valuable- a relationship that is unbreakable with my husband.

I know that there are many going through trials and suffering, but know that God will work it all to your good.

Today, I own my neighbor’s land, and we won the court case! The land is now called “The Happy Ending” because the ending was so happy.

I am here to tell you that God loves you and will use all to teach you valuable lessons. Don’t give up, just give in to His Will.

Today we ride horses on the property, grow hay, and enjoy it immensely. It was because I gave everything I had and then some more.

Keep up on all that happens on the farm on facebook on anythingforhorseandrider.com and raiseyourdreamsfarm.com.

Remind Me of Who You Are

29 Sep

Raise Your Dreams Farm

Raise Your Dreams Farm

Do you ever feel as though you are in a valley so deep that you will never get out?

Well, I am here to encourage you in hope.

It was a beautiful fall day and I could hardly wait to get to the barn and ride. I tacked my faithful horse, Raise Your Dreams, in record speed. No one was at the barn, and I enjoyed the peace and quiet of this beautiful fall day.

As usual, a song sprung from my mouth and I was singing at the top of my lungs. I was always listening to Hillsong, a Christian Contemporary Band, and their songs really spoke to my heart.

I was planning on enjoying a leisurely ride through the countryside.

Like an onion, I felt the worries of life peeling away. I allowed my hands to slip to the buckle of the reins, and I continued to sing. The beauty of the trail enabled me to just allow my mind to slip into neutral.

Then a crash came through the woods, and my horse spun wildly in response. I was caught off balance and crashed to the ground ripping my shoulder from my socket. I had just had rotator cuff surgery six months before, and the reality of the situation hit me, I had just ripped all of the pins out.

I laid on the ground and writhed in pain. Then I tenderly got up. My horse stayed with me.

I am ashamed to say this, when I got to my feet I was mad. Mad at God. I had just had surgery and was just given the ok from my doctor to continue riding. Now my hand hung down to my knee and the pain was excruciating. I had been studying that in all things we are to give thanks to God. There was no way I was going to thank God for a dislocated shoulder.

I was two miles from the barn. It was a good thing, because I had a broiling fight that I had to settle with God.

“You are God, you could have stopped this from happening! You know that I had six months of painful rehab. and now I am most likely facing another surgery. How can I thank you?” Tears poured freely and I could feel my heart literally breaking. I loved God, but my anger made me feel ashamed and sad.

For the last mile to the barn, I was quiet, my horse walking in silence to my halting walk. By the time I got to the barn, I was spent. I untacked my horse and that’s when God spoke to me, “I COULD HAVE BROKEN YOUR NECK!”

You can imagine how this truth made me rejoice and leap in my heart. Thank you dear Lord for a dislocated shoulder!

I went to the hospital and the Doctor told me that I would have to prepare for surgery, for the pins were floating in my shoulder and they would need to be replaced and restored.

I just kept quoting scripture, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil……”

I paced back and forth, trying to relieve the pain. That’s when I felt a gentle buring sensation in my shoulder. Then involuntarily my shoulder begin to move, then my arm, then my shoulder popped into place.

I moved my arm, no pain!
I wiggled my fingers, no pain!
I raised my arm, totally free and restored!

I ran out of my room. The doctor was outside at the nurse’s station. He was shocked by my appearance. I explained what had happened. He disregarded it and said that he would not sign the paper work to discharge me.

Then I said, “Sir, I mean no disrespect to you but this is a God thing. He just healed me.”

I stayed and got a gazillion x-rays because he said that he would have to see it to believe it.

He found it, I was healed and I walked out of the hospital that night.

God reminded me that the lesson of the shoulder dislocation was not just for me, but for the hospital staff. I learned that no matter how dark the situation, God will use it to teach a lesson.

Do you need to remember who God really is in your life? He is the healer, provider, helper, friend, always there, in every situation, and a lover of your soul.

Has God ever taught you a lesson? Please share!

Remember when you post tack, horses, riding apparel, on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com you are helping out Raise Your Dreams Farm reach more children.

$200 and a Dream

24 Aug

“Miss Jill, I have $200 saved to buy Hershey,” Rachel said with a slight curve of her lip and a gleaming light from her eyes.

“You do?” I was amazed, that is a lot of money for a young girl.

“Yes, I got money from my birthday and I also did some odd jobs and got more money.  Actually it is only $188 that I have but I think I can get $12 within the month.  I really want Hershey.”

“I know you do Rachel, but it looks like you will need a little more money to buy Hershey,” I said, gently placing my arm around her shoulder. I had listed Hershey for sale at $2,500.  I also knew what it was like to long for a horse so badly that my heart ached.  I felt her hurt. 

Horses choose riders, and clearly Hershey had chosen her.  He would run to her call, whinnying to her voice, and walking incessant circles around her as she tried to get another horse, thrusting his head into the halter, she would laugh at him and pat his broad shoulder with reassurance.  Many times, I would see Rachel whispering words into Hershey’s ears.  He would tilt his head, I knew they were sharing a conspiracy about how they would someday belong to each other.

Hershey is a jet black 16.3 hand Thoroughbred of sheer majesty and strength.  He was built for looks as he was for speed and agility.  He loves to jump, go cross country, and do dressage.  He has a comical side to him and he has been known to carry buckets in his mouth, a hammer laid on the ground briefly, or an empty water bottle.  He loves attention and he gently places his head low to the ground to tenderly eat some grass from the children that come to the farm.  He is not a horse for the weak, for he can sense it and use it to his advantage.  He makes you ride every second.  Unlike most Thoroughbreds he does not spook and he has no desire to be first on the trail.  He loves to be told how handsome he is and shakes his head in delight when he is told how much we love him.

Hershey is a horse that Rachel aspired to ride.  Her mother got his picture embossed onto a t-shirt for her birthday, to give her hope that she would ride him someday.  As a beginner rider, he would been too forward and too much for a thirteen year old to ride. We would encourage her with a lunge lesson and then slowly she exceeded our expectations and we took her off of the lunge line.  Now she trots and sometimes accidentally canters himImage.  She likes to take him on the trails and what she loves most is the dream that someday he will be hers.

Everyone needs a dream, a hope that keeps one alive.  Rachel’s dream is to own a horse named Hershey, and it is my dream too that she keeps it alive.  There is something that happens when someone has a single focus that keeps them awake at night and planning on paper how to get what seems impossible.

I tell the kids my story about my farm and how the impossible always becomes possible with God.  Be encouraged and know that God has a plan and purpose for you.  With God all things are possible.  If you feel like you are giving up hope, cling and crawl through that disappointment and believe that God gave you a dream and that it will come to pass.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

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