Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Heart of Kona

The sun was tucking itself in for the evening, shining through the tall pines that were stretching their branches up toward heaven to kiss the light blue sky goodnight.  The warm summer air hushed and cooled as the Stellar jay and brown thrush ceased their song making way for the stars.  

That is when I first laid eyes on Kona as his new owner led him up the gravel drive.  Fear radiated from his eyes as his muscles quivered and head jerked in a frantic battle with the harness, ears twitching and hooves stamping.  It was amazing that he was even letting himself be led into the stable.

I'm not a professional cowgirl.  I did not grow up around horses.  And I surely do not know the first thing about equestrian husbandry.  Yet, I have carried an ache in my spirit to be with horses for as long as I can remember.  Their beauty captivated me from the backseat of the station wagon.  I gazed out the window scanning the open pastures for the creatures.  The handful of trail rides my dad took me on allowed the scent of leather tack, straw, beet pulp, and horse breath to addict me at a very early age.  

Now, I thank God for bringing me to a place where my girls can learn to ride and I can escape into my lifelong dream - even if it is just mucking and hauling and dumping.  To hear their horse noises and feel their warmth and yes, enjoy their scent is all very therapeutic to me.  Each horse has a unique personality.  Each horse carries a unique story.  The story of Kona has quietly woven itself into my own story.  

The beginning of Kona's story is a mystery.  The clues uncover harsh treatment, a broken nose, and a trip to the slaughter house auction.  The rescue appears with a hopeful bid by someone who saw something more in Kona than a terrified, untrainable horse.

Through compassion, skill, and dedication of the true cowgirls and cowboys at All Starr Stables, Kona learned people can bring him good things.  Kona learned the touch of a human hand can be healing.  Kona learned their voices can be soothing.  Kona learned he has a useful purpose.

As I went about my chores in the stalls, I made it a point to visit Kona.  I yearned to earn his trust.  There was something seemingly magical that drew me to this huge horse.  Maybe it was the power of second chances that attracted me.  I was afraid of his strength and the vision I recalled when he first came to the stable gave me no reason to want to get in the stall with him.  However, there was something deeper about this animal that called out to me.  Was there something of myself that I could see in Kona?  No, I've never been on the auction block to be slaughtered for dog food; however, I was born a slave, a slave of sin and corruption.  I have a Hero though!  In steps Jesus.  He saw something more in my soul than all others at my life's auction.  Jesus bought me with His own flesh and blood - a very high price - and gave me a second chance.  

Gentle Kona & daughter, Elaina.
It hasn't been easy, these years of training that I have been assigned to as a child of God, but there is no place I'd rather be than in the hands of my great and kind Master.  He sees a purpose for me more lofty than I can even imagine.  We stable groupies love Kona and know that he can enjoy life serving his owner and going on grand adventures with her.  That is the same for me and my Lord.  Jesus knows I will enjoy life more abundantly when I am walking with Him, following Him on great adventures. 

Yes, there is fear in trusting in a God whom we cannot see and whose plans most of the time don't match up with human logic.  Our strength quivers under the tasks our Owner Jesus gives us.  Too often, we jerk our head away from Him in a frantic battle not wanting to hear what He whispers softly in our ears.  We stomp our feet defiantly.  Yet, the choice to surrender and let the Lord lead us brings us to green pastures and a might Fortress that is safe, peaceful, and full of love.

Kona is leaving the stable soon.  He has met his goals.  He is ready to serve his master and live on her property.  I won't be able to see him now.  His warm, sweet smelling fur will not be there for me to lean on when I'm weary.  His ears won't perk up at my voice.  Nor will his head rise higher than my own at the sound of my footsteps.  No more standing on my tiptoes to reach the dried mud from his back after his romping and rolling about in the pasture.  Even picking out his hooves was a blissful task.  

Kona helped me conquer some fears of my own as well as discover pieces of my heart.  Perhaps my Master sent Kona to help me read between a few lines of my own story.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Oh, to fast forward through all the preparation of a family road trip
 to the placing of one's posterior upon the passenger's seat upholstery,
 prop up one's feet, 
peer out the window at the passing scenery.

This is but a dream, for I am waist deep in tasks-to-be-completed such as clothes washing, linen changing, household cleaning, luggage lifting, toiletry totaling, snow suit searching, hat hunting, mitten menagerie and *snack food sanctification.

I try to tell myself to enjoy myself as I prepare for this pending vacation but each time a child bounds up to me bursting at the seams with light-hearted questions from their carefree little bubble like, "How many more days 'til we leave, Mommy?" I feel the vice of time pressuring me into pandemonium.  

It will be worth it all, I'm sure.  And really, it hasn't been all that bad, this road trip round-up.  It will be quiet nice, in fact, the more I think upon what is to come.  I should bring along some board games and Dutch Blitz to play on those cozy nights after sledding in the Cascade Mountains.  Yes.  It will be lovely.

My posterior is upon the passenger's seat upholstery,
my feet are propped, 
I peer out the window at the passing scenery.
Please pass the Pringles.

*snack food sanctification:  the setting aside and perfecting of food meant for nutrition between meals which has been tainted by indiscriminate imaginations and intents of immature hearts and bellies.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I have actually surprised myself in that I have enough time to sit and type something up on my blog.  You, Brother Blog, have been in the back of my mind all these many months.  My last entry was in March!  That's pitiful.  Well, there have been several "blog-worthy" moments come my way, but those moments also happened to SAP MY STRENGTH!!! leaving me too weary to even move my fingers across the keyboard to share the story.

Pitiful excuse.  I know.

So, what spurred me onto the search for my blog life again?  Well, a 13-year-old girl who lives with me named Samantha.  She now has a blog of her own, and I am so proud of her for starting it.  I just have to find her blog and then I will be her follower, her fan.

I've been Samantha's fan since the day she was born.


Monday, March 12, 2012

To Sump or Not to Sump

So, let me start by saying, "Sorry, Seth, for thinking that you had broken the bathroom fan and that you were the cause of the hideous siren noise going off in the house at 7:30 am Tuesday."

'Tis true.  I thought Seth was the culprit.  After all, he was in the bathroom when my sublime morning thoughts were yanked from me by a nightmarish mechanical wrenching sound 
coming from 
the bathroom.  

I found myself in the chilly garage in front of the circuit breaker box flipping switches off and yelling, "Did the noise stop yet?" to Meghan and Seth only to hear their response of, 
"Nope.  It's still going."  

Finally, I found the right switch.  
Sadly, it was labeled 
sump outlet.  

We don't have a basement!  What do I need a sump for?"

Pictures in my head came rushing back to me like a bad flash back from the TV series "Lost."  
Me...eyes open...hands reaching...pulling on wooden bench in our closet....
me....pulling and discovering mysterious insulation....
me...being engulfed in not-so-pleasant of an odor.  

"This has something to do with our toilet!"  I deducted.

My knight in shining armor confirmed my fears 
informed me that this was a job for 
the landlord's maintenance man.  
Oh, it is good to rent at times like this!

Obviously, I did NOT want our entire wardrobe to soak up the stench that would be released once that lid was removed from the sump pump, so I quickly relocated our clothes 
OUT of the cursed closet.

Who is the wise-guy who put the sewer pump in a closet anyhow!!!

Well, the rest of the story is that some 
ding-dong (previous tenant) 
had flushed a wash rag down the commode, 
thus locking up the pump which lifts the yuck 
and shower/sink water up and 
out to the street pipes.  

Needless to say, I lay aside all my concerns of my carbon stains on ceilings and walls en lieu of freshening up the air in our home and set ablaze my candles.  
The weather was also on our side as it had decided to be dry so we could have our windows open as well.

And as I sit here in my comfy-cozy chair, 
as survivor of the stuck-up sump, 
everything is back to it's normal 
fresh cotton 
apple spice scent.

My psyche, on the other hand, still causes me to twitch 
when I glance in the direction of the pump..
..pulling me back into the memories of 
morning mayhem, putrid grossness, 
the horrid hole of sump; 
memories I would like to delete....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Of Mountains and Men

     This probably won't be a very creative post, but I do have some thoughts I'd like to share.  Actually, I have a lot I've been thinking about but time does not allow me to share all of these topics that have been dancing around in my gray matter.  Perhaps that's a good thing for you, my reader.
     After some pretty seriously sad goodbyes, we have been enjoying some great hellos!  The mountains, for one thing, take my breath away.  I do believe that the Cascade Mountains and the Olympic Mountains are truly the prettiest ranges in North America.  What's cool about living in this area, we are constantly surrounded by these gorgeous mountains; however, they are not always visible because of the overcast skies that drip precipitation.  But then, on those glorious days when the clouds give way to blue sky, THERE THEY ARE!  These mountains that reach up toward Heaven like two best friends meeting again after a long absence.  The sun lights up their snowy covered caps and the atmosphere pours iridescent blues, purples and even pinks to the already whiter than white.
     Not only are they beautiful, but the mountains are huge!  They are strong.  They are ....well, they are majestic!  What a great reminder of their Creator.  Our Creator.  The God of All simply spoke these into existence.  Or, maybe they actually erupted from beneath the ground at the time of the Great Deluge - Noah's Flood.  Nonetheless, GOD created these spectacular, awe-inspiring peaks!  The same God that looks down on this little speck called Earth and has His Heart turned toward this little sprite of a girl named Ginger.  Now that's amazing!
     So, the clouds are kinda like our thoughts sometimes.  We get so distracted by the world around us, the worries around us, the materialism and humanism around us that we forget we have an all-powerful God just waiting to shine on us.
     And then theres the moon and the stars out here in the Great Northwest.  No kidding.  I think that they are brighter and more "sparkly" than in the Midwest.  Maybe it's the Java....maybe it's because we are at a higher latitude on the globe.  It's awesome all the same and I will have to share my stargazing and coffee drinking times with you at a later date.
     One more quick note:  I am happy to announce that I live in the land where the robins go for the winter!  That's right.  We see robins every day and hear their little chirp, chirp.  We also have orange-sided towhees and stellar jays.  Also, the last two picnics we have had at the Sound have been graced by the presence of a  bald eagle flying overhead.  For some reason, we are the only ones standing there with mouths agape watching our national bird soar above our heads.  This must be a normal occurrence here in the Northwest - to have eagles at picnics.  For me, I hope I never tire of these sitings because I want to mount up with wings as eagles.  I want my strength to be renewed as the eagle's.  And I want to abide under the shadow of my Lord's wings.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I wrapped my arms around Samantha and Elaina.  We watched out the window as the bus backed away from its dock.  Outside stood my mother and my mother- and father-in-law.  

I have grown accustomed to the burn of my tears racing down my cheeks after the farewells I have shared with my dear friends.  What I did not expect was the sense to watch with eyes wide open, to let my senses take in everything:  the warmth of my daughters close to me. The view of my family clinging to our faces peering back at them through salt-stained windows.  Blowing kisses, waving and finally holding out the "I Love You" hand sign.  

When I could no longer see my parents, it was then that I closed my eyes tight with the girls still in my arms and prayed.  I thanked God over and over and over and over again, "Thank you, God, for family who loves us.  Thank you for family who loves us."    Around the corner and further from my parents, "Thank you God for Your love.  Your plan.  We trust You."  Again and again.

I consciously was aware of the sensation that I was on the Raging Bull rollarcoaster at Six Flags -- at the top of that gigantic hill; it's a hill that's so steep and so far down from where you perch at the top that you cannot see the bottom.  Fear and the primal necessity to stop this ride and GET OUT overwhelms the heart.  Yet, we do not unbuckle that seat belt because there is a stronger desire.  The desire to experience the absolute, pure thrill of total trust as you fall into the arms of your destiny.  At Six Flags, the destiny is the bottom of a remarkably engineered thrill ride and possibly a lemon shake-up if you have any money left in your wallet after paying the admission fee to the amusement park.  In life, the thrill of closing our eyes tight to human reasoning and falling into God's loving plan leads to pure joy.  

Eyes closed tight.  
My daughters in my arms.  
Hot tears upon my face.  
A heart wide open to God. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012


The Children Thought the Greenbay Packers were Coming to Load our Stuff for Washington