Serenity.

I keep hearing people around me use the word serene. An interesting thing to notice, I know. Anyway, it is a good word and one that appeals to my senses.

When you think of serene, what comes to mind? Or the feeling of serenity?

Serene.

“Clear and free of storms or unpleasant change. Shining bright and steady. Marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude.” – Merriam-Webster

Serenity.

“The quality or state of being serene” – Merriam-Webster
Calm. Peaceful. Placid. Quiet. Repose. Restfulness. Still. Tranquil.

A quick google image search of ‘serene’ shows many people think of the same images. Sunsets. Sunrises. Quiet landscapes. Bodies of water. Rays of light. Colors.

All in the great out of doors. Do you think I am surprised by this? No, no I am not.

Here is what serenity looks like to me.

A quiet and soft eye, that peers deep into your soul.

Awe inspiring and relaxing landscapes.

Light and color.

The outdoors is like my church. The sky is the steeple and my horse’s back is my pew.

Everything I hear and see and feel was created and put there by Him and IS Him. AHAmoment.

I hope you feel serene now! What makes you feel serene?

Walk in love, dear readers!

A Big Thanksgiving

Or rather, a long Thanksgiving. Big and long.

Big in thanks and giving, yes, much gratitude. We have much to be thankful for.

Also big in numbers. Number of people. An abundance of family and friends. Tons of conversation and laughter. Bucket loads of love. Many dogs. Food, food, and more food (and booze). And not just any food, great food. I have to say, I am surrounded by talented people. Pretty much all of them are great cooks!

Some sadness, yes. That can not be denied, but I have to say, I think we all did a great job focusing on the positive and being grateful for each other. Which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

This particular Thanksgiving was long in a sense that it felt like it lasted from last weekend to today. Even with all the regular day to day things, like work, and all the preparation and cooking, it somehow felt like vacation.

Now, I know some of you will be in disbelief upon reading this. Or even rolling your eyes at me. But in all honesty, it did. I am sitting here with my coffee trying to psych myself up for this work Monday.

The weekend before Thanksgiving week (after the Charlotte Dujardin clinic…which I still need to write up for you…sorry, I will get to it. In short, it was great and I shattered my phone screen) I spent at the farm by myself. It was a terribly therapeutic weekend. Strong and funny language, I know, but stay with me. It was both releasing and restorative.

After taking care of some errands and chores during the day on Saturday, I quickly saddled up Chance and went for a sunset ride.

Then I built a fire in the pit, hit play on some great music, made a cocktail, and sat down with my dog to watch the last of the sunset with the northern front at my back. Drew Kennedy has a live album titled Sad Songs Happily Played which acted like my own personal concert in the best venue.

Sunday started early and chilly.

I took a little drive in my pajamas while the horses ate with my dog, coffee, and music. Because I could. I started listening to Dani and Lizzy’s ‘Dancing In The Sky‘ on repeat (I am weird like that) and just allowed the tears to flow. It feels …strange, I guess, to say that. To admit that. But hey, it’s the truth, so there. Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry or two…or three, as was the case on Sunday.

I got dressed and headed out into the sun to catch up my first horse of the day.

I came upon the horses and discovered the three young geldings laying down, having a post breakfast nap with Cheetah standing guard over them. I just could not resist the temptation and sat down with them. The most wonderful thing happened when Cheetah decided she felt comfortable enought to lay down with us. I have no idea how long I sat there with them snoozing, but it was simply glorious. One of them broke the spell and they all got up, so I haltered Cheetah and started grooming.

Keep scrolling for this cow’s newborn on Thanksgiving weekend!

Cheetah decided she was a saucy mare, but her son made up for it by giving me the best ride on him to date. Lito is really starting to put the pieces together and it feels really great. Really learning to travel between my legs and reins and lift his shoulder. Yielding his hindquarters and shoulders. I just need to keep reminding myself he is not farther along because I can only ride on weekends. I need to not push too hard and have it not be fun for him. Well, both of us. He is seriously the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden.

I had a quick ride on Ike after a late lunch on the porch. Then I built myself another fire to close out the day. As one of my dear readers said, I just sat with my feelings and reflected. That is what time alone at the farm is about for me.

I stayed at the farm until Monday morning to meet the farrier before heading back to town and into the office for the short holiday work week.

I took the day off of work on Wednesday to get my cake baked at my parents house and the kitchen cleaned before Thanksgiving. Middle Sister, K, her husband, T, and their dogs were staying at my parents house for the holiday so Darcy had ample entertainment. She is currently passed out after I made her go outside.

Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. This pumpkin cheesecake cake was worth all the work and calories, trust me. It really was not even that much work. Do yourself a favor, and go make it for yourself. Decorating it is also easy peasy, if you want to do that. Which you should because it is fun. And pretty.

My mom’s side of the family and a few friends came to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. And oh, the food. The food was so good! I am still dreaming about it. We all had a grand time and then loaded up and headed out to the farm just in time for sunset.

I give to you the post Thanksgiving sunrise if you missed it.

Remember that calf I mentioned? We all got to see it right after it was born. You are welcome for the cuteness. I do what I can for you, you know.

Another stunning sunset from the weekend.

On Saturday my dad’s side of the fam came out for lunch and some much needed togetherness and fresh air at the farm.

I took three kids on lead line rides and one solo ride all on Chance. There was so much fun and cuteness, I almost could not even handle it. Chance was so well behaved and we stuffed him with carrots and gave him lots of love.

My cousin got to harvest his first deer which was very exciting for everyone in the family.

I came back out to the barn before bed to give Chance another carrot and to thank him for giving those kids his gifts.

You haz carrot?!

This is a terribly long dump of a post, but there it is. The point is, I am thankful this Thanksgiving and wish I had another day before going back to work.

Thankful I got to enjoy it. Thankful to be surround by loved ones. Thankful to spend time at the farm and create memories. Thankful to ride all the horses. Thankful for cows and calves. Thankful for my happy dog. Thankful to see the sunsets and sunrises. Thankful for music and reflection and fresh air. Thankful that I got to pick out a Christmas tree with my parents and begin decorating. And even thankful for my job that I need to go get ready for.

That is all. Up next, all about the Charlotte Dujardin Clinic!

Walk in love, dear readers! Thank your lucky stars today and every day. Keep in the spirit of thanks and giving.

A Year Later

A year later and I still have no words to describe it. Not the feelings I have. Certainly not the feelings of my family.

Even now as I type these words, it feels so utterly strange. Uncharted territory, even as the first year is up. Different from a year ago, and yet, the same. I am not sure if anyone else in this situation has felt this way. I suppose each is different.

Yesterday I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and I wondered to myself, why am I doing this? Something so simple and mindless and downright meaningless? I had that EXACT same thought and feeling a year ago today after I heard the news.

Honestly, I did not want to write this post today and I have been dreading it. I do not want to relive it and do not want certain readers to relive it. It is too close. I did not want to offend or hurt anyone. To dishonor him.

Then it occurred to me that I, or we, do not need a blog post to relive it. It happens all the time. Thankfully, a little less as time goes on. Time heals, little by little. It becomes apparent when you look back. That I know for sure.

I need to write this post. For me. For my family. And for you. For anyone that has ever lost anyone. For him. To celebrate him and his life and his loved ones. The survivors because that is what we are. My Uncle was a beautiful and faithful man. Which makes it even harder at times. I suspect we will never know the answer to why in this earthly life. As is the way with many things we go through. There are no answers.

The only way I know how to honor him is to celebrate this life that I am blessed to have. That I am here to witness the Lord’s beauty around me. To LIVE every minute and celebrate every moment like it is my last. Do what makes my heart smile. Seek the Lord and allow His will to be done through me. To be a blessing to those around me. That is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

So, that is what I am trying to do and what I try to encourage others to do.

I still pray for us to lean into our Lord in these hard times. To grow together. To grow in our faith together. As a family. It is hard and will continue to be. But we have to. We have to for ourselves and for the next generation.

I hope I have not lost you. For those of you that were not here or do not know the story and would like to, I have linked my writings of the series of events from a year ago below. In sharing these posts again, my only hope is to reach those that need to hear these words. For them to know they are not alone and that there are people that have been through this. That know how they feel. That there is still beauty and light all around us.

How Do I Title This: November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve: November 23, 2016

A Prayer You Can Borrow: November 27, 2016

Today: November 28, 2016

The Aftermath: November 30, 2016

This weekend, while sitting by the fire with a cocktail in my hand and my dog at my feet, I put this string of songs together that got me thinking.

I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to Middle Sister, K for sharing this last one with me. Pass it on.

That is all for now.

Reflections on a great clinic coming up soon!

Walk in love, dear readers.

Please pass along to anyone that needs or wants to read.

Urge

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I am feeling the urge to tell you something.

Whenever I feel the urge or get a feeling about something, anything, I do it. Well, OK, not just anything, but certain things.

Like, for example, if I hear a song that has really helped me or is something I go back to listen to multiple times for one reason or another, I try to drop that artist a note. I seriously, actually do that. I look up their website and find an email or I will send a Facebook message. Something like that. I want them to know how much I appreciate what they do. I want them to know that they have made a difference. Oftentimes, I get a thankful and appreciative reply.

Or if I have seen or read something by a horse trainer that has helped me, I do the same thing. The other day, well more like several years ago, but who is counting, I was watching some Pat Parelli clinic video on one of the horse TV channels. He kept quoting from different authors outside of the horse world while explaining his concepts and theories. I have heard him do this before in other videos here and there. In this particular clinic, he had a sports psychologist, who is also an equestrian, speak for a good little while. As you can imagine if you have been reading this blog or a little while, all of this is right up my alley. Viewing and working with horses in the mindset of the broader world around us. Letting them teach us how to be better humans and better function in the world outside of horses. It may sound hokey and hippy dippy to some, but oh well. Anyway, I was curious what was on his reading list. What influential books he has read that have helped him in various parts of his life. So, I sent an email thanking him for his point of view and asking about books. About a week later, I get a response apologizing for the delay and hoping I find the attached list and a few others helpful. I went and purchased many of those books the next day.

Even something as simple and seemingly little as sending someone a note to say you are thinking of them or stopping to pick someone up some flowers, I act on those urges.

You never know when saying or doing that little something will encourage them or brighten their day or change someone’s life.

I could not quite get my words around it yesterday. I wrestled with it. I am not sure they are around it now, but I will give it a go because I feel the urge. I do not think many words are really even needed, but here is my little note to you, dear readers.

If you are feeling stressed.

Lost.

Confused.

Anxious.

Worried.

Sad.

__________.

Insert anything.

Alone.

Know that you are not alone.

Know that everyone goes through times, seasons like these. And you will again in your lifetime. They come and go for everyone. You are reading words written by one of those people right now. Some of you who have been reading this blog for a little while know this. Others may not. You are sitting next to one of those people. You will meet one of those people. You know one of them.

Keeping seeing the beauty and the light. We are surrounded by it. Keep working hard and doing good. Keep striving and keep knocking and keep praying. That is our call. To be a light.

I may not know much yet in my 29 years of life, but I know this. Everything happens for a reason whether we know those reasons or not. Often times we will not know those reasons in the moment. Be built up by the struggle.

Have faith.

Have faith and know that He has and is the plan and the path. The light.

No, you are not alone.

That was my urge, to tell you that.

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great Wednesday.

Shine your light.

 

Thanks. 

I awoke a full hour before my alarm was to go off at 6:30 AM. An extra hour of sleep would be nice before a long road trip. 

But. Here I lay. Fully energized and rearing to go. Excited to get where we are going. However, I am forcing myself to stay in bed because that was the plan. No sense in getting everything finished early just to sit and wait again. Silly, right? 

Anyway, here I am, writing to you since clearly the prospect of sleep is leaving as quick like as the sun is about to rise. And because Darcy dog is not here to cuddle. Which, is not so fun, not having my dog with me. 

I played on my phone a bit when I first realized there would be no more sleep. Then I put it down and tried again. No luck. Picked it up again. I was reminded of a song. You know how that happens. 

Here I am, laying in bed. Having the luxury of lounging in bed for an hour before I need to do anything. About to gather everything my horse and I need for a week, load it up, and head out with R for a week of riding and fellowship. 

How did I get here? How am I able to do these things that I love? Have these horses that I have? How blessed am I? 

I get to do all these things because my parents worked their tails off and did everything they could for us. Because they taught us to work our tails off. To do the right thing. To not give up on our dreams and wishes. To do what makes our hearts happy. To have faith and give thanks to the Man upstairs for it all who makes it all possible. 

Even when we didn’t realize or appreciate it. 

So. 

I give thanks to the Lord. I give thanks to my parents and family. And I give thanks to my horse. 

Corny as it may sound, it is all true. 


Time to get up and get moving. R will soon be on her way! 

Walk in love, dear readers! I will see you in a week! 

The Rando Rambles

Alternately titled…Avery’s Brain Activity In GIFs.

I have a case of the Tuesday random rambles.

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I can not focus worth a flip.

tenor

Too excited and jittery to sit still.

jitter

I want hot chocolate.

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Why, you ask? Because it looks wintery outside.

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Oh, lawd. Not THAT wintery. Not even close. Please don’t let it ever look that wintery here. The world would end.

tenor (1)

giphy

Darcy had a vet appointment after work for routine stuff.

*Insert imaginary, really cute photo of Darcy because I forgot to take one*

The early passing of musical great, Tom Petty, makes me immensely sad. And yes, I have been listening to him all day. An inspiration to many. Makes me think about all the other musical greats that left this earthly realm too soon. That Angel Band, man, it sure will be something to hear.

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All the finger pointing and hate (in all directions) in the wake of this tragedy also makes me sad. 

No GIF for that. I will not justify it with that.

But.

You know what I will do? Leave this here for y’all. And pray for them. 


“Pointed fingers must be ware”

And, uh, this because how can I not?

The one thing I can focus on though, is my trip.

Bazinga. Back to being jittery and exited again.

Just a few more days. How will I make it?! So ready to get out of Dodge. 

Walk. In. Love.

Walk.

In.

LOVE.

 

 

Wine, Pie & Time

Time is an interesting thing.

A powerful thing. Giving things time can have impressive effects. Have you ever heard the term ‘just sleep on it’? Well, now you have if you had not before. If you just sit back and think it completely through and wait till morning, you will often get a more harmonious result from not being reactionary.

Time is also a healer. I know this is a universal thing across all cultures and most know it to be true. There are of course songs written about it. After a difficult life event, it feels like time goes at a snail’s pace. Even when you keep busy to keep your mind occupied and try to make the time go faster. Grasping at anything to get you farther from the memories. The feelings. The sadness. The hurt. The anger. You just keep going, taking one step at a time because that is all you can do.


“They say music takes you back to a time. And time is a healer of things.”

Then, it happens. Time has gone by without you realizing it and you look back and realize how far you have come. Amazed at how long ago that happened. How did it get to be years ago?

That happened to me today. Looking back, I never thought it would happen. I still think of that day two years ago often and I know I will the rest of my life. Even just a few days ago, without realizing that it has been two years. Two years does not seem like a long time to some that are removed from the situation. But it feels like so long ago. So much has happened and so much has changed in that time.

Two years ago, we had to put down our first horse. You can read about that day by clicking HERE. He was over 30 years old and we had him for over half his life. He changed my life. That day was so hard, yet so wonderful at the same time. There is such beauty present in the dichotomy of this earthly life. AHAmoment. How something so hard and difficult also presents such life, light, and love is amazing to me. Your faith and spirit are always there. AHAmoment. Something that never goes away. I feel so blessed that I was open to seeing it in that moment, at that time.

We drowned our sorrows in red wine and chocolate pie that night and listened to this song. It always reminds me of him. To this day, it is still my favorite remedy for loss and I recommend it to many.

I am grateful for time. The time I had with him. The time in the moment, even though it was so hard. The time to heal since then and the time I take to remember the memories.

There are many in my life that have lost in the past year. Lost family members or loved ones. Lost horses and dogs. Lost their homes. Tonight I think will be a wine and pie night in memory…after I run.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Whopper

Welp. I dare say that was (well, still is) a whopper. A doozy whopper of a hurricane. I just came up with that. Just roll with it. 

(Disclaimer…blogging from your phone is difficult and annoying. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.)

Words really can not describe the magnitude of devastation. EVERYWHERE. 

I had a friend ask me if I or my parents had ever seen anything like this. My response? My grandparents haven’t ever seen or heard of anything like this. And my family has been in this area for a long time. 

It will take me a little while on this one to gather my thoughts and put them into words. To be honest, I am not even sure if I can. I will try though, not just for me, but for my people, my city, my region, my state. Please know that me and my animals and my people are all well. We are safe and on the right side of the worst of it. We have been blessed and I am more sure than ever that God provides. And He is here. Always. I so appreciate all of the comments and messages from you, my dear readers. It means the world to me. 

I apologize for being MIA since my last post. That was not my intention, but in circumstances such as these, your prioraties change pretty quick. 

I hope you are all well. I do not even remember the last time we spoke. That is how long this storm, horrible Harvey, has been going on. 

There is much work to be done now, but until then, please enjoy our aftermath of the storm. 


I needed that cocktail! 





Because everyone loves Tuner kisses…








Looking forward to all the new growth. 

Walk in love, dear readers. 

Elemental

Earth, air, water, and fire. 

And the Oxford comma. Ha! Hey, I’ve got jokes today! 

No, for real. 

Something so Elemental as to embody all four of those concepts. More than just words. They are senses. Images. Feelings. Emotions. All in themselves. 

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. God’s paintings twice a day, every day, no matter where you are. Both at the beginning and the end. Of everything. Yet different every day. New. 

Seeing and smelling the earth, feeling the air across your skin as you lope your horse around, praying for those clouds to produce some rain (at least where we are, they have had more rain than us!), and having your soul set on fire. 

Blessed and grateful. 

The reflection of the sunset on the eastern sky Saturday evening with horses and friends. Clearly no better at focusing for photos than I’m sure we were as kids…






Please take a moment to enjoy Lito’s expressions. Seriously, that horse. I just can not contain myself.

Sorry. Where was I? Right.

Sunrise progression Sunday morning. I told you God likes Sundays to be foggy…



Two things that inspire me most next to my horses and my dog. 

Have you caught a sunrise or a sunset recently? Share if you have! If you have not, do yourself a favor and watch one soon. 

Walk in love, dear readers!

The Path Of Least Resistance

The sun is fierce this morning, y’all. It feels like it is going to be a hot one. But. I am not here to talk about the weather. Even if it might be easier to do.

My creative juices have not been flowing forth as of late if you have not been able to tell. In a funk, if you will. Again. Or still. It is what it is, but I do not have to like it.

It is also scary. Being vulnerable. This whole blog thing. Making it public…what was I thinking!? Woof.

bBTn_h

Someone once said I was brave for starting this blog and sharing my story. I do not feel very brave lately.

I meant to post this last night, but then I got self conscious about it and conveniently ran out of time. What about the other days since I last posted? Shh. I do not know.

I am just going to say it. Part of this funk leaves me feeling alone. There, I said it. It is true. There is more to it than that, like vocation, desires, future, faithfully waiting that all plays its roll in the bigger picture of the feeling. Blah, blah, blah.

But here is the thing.

There are times when I think it might be easier to not be me. Did a bomb just go off? Very brief, short times, but still very present. Easier to change what might be different about me and be like ‘everyone else.’ Be more accepted. Whatever all that means.

I might fit in more. Who cares? Did I ever care about that? I am not sure I really do.

Have more friends. Do I need more friends? I have never been one to have a huge group. Just my close, small group.

Maybe not be single? Eh. I would rather not be in a relationship than be in one where I could not be myself.

That I wouldn’t feel lost in this way. Is lost a strong word for this? I am not sure. No stronger than alone, I guess. No one else seems to be going through this. They are all out living their lives. Aren’t they? Is that not what the book of face and insta prove? Ha! I do not believe any of that for a second.

Not stuck in my head of circular thoughts, unable to still?

I have no way of knowing any of that, but I do not believe it would be easier. Indeed it would be harder. I tried to be someone I wasn’t once. It was terrible. It was in middle school. It sounds silly and trivial, I know, but it is true.

I had a very clear feeling that I was not like everyone else. I was too different. I was outside of the box. I felt like a round peg in a square hole. I liked different things, like going to the farm to ride. I did not care to break rules or do things we were not supposed to do. I was quiet. I related more to older people than kids my own age. I did not care to wear makeup or do my hair or wear nice clothes, much to my mother’s chagrin. I felt lost and I did not know why.

I told myself I was going to change. Be more square. Not talk about horses as much. Talk more. Make more friends. Look like someone I wasn’t. I do not know how long this lasted, but I do not think very long. I felt more lost than ever before. Like a stranger in my own skin. I suppose I made more ‘friends,’ but there were not real. I went back to being me because that was the only thing that felt right. It was easy and not hard.

I have been rather. Um. Restless as of late. Desiring a change and not knowing much more than that. Feeling an outside need for change, greater than my own desire. A greater and grander plan. I can’t see the path yet. I guess that is what seasons of waiting are to feel like. I do not know what it looks like or feels like. I am doing my best to seek Him and be faithful in my waiting. To grow and learn what He needs me to. To see and feel Him seeking me. To pray. Keeping knocking.


“Believe me, the choice that does not involve Him always ends up in a bad and downright disappointing place. It ends up in failure because it’s not the path we are meant to be on. It’s not the truth. Seek Him and you will find the truth.”
~Cory Morrow

Desiring a change in life, or rather, feeling the imminent change (and not knowing what it is) is different than changing who you are. Not being you. AHAmoment.

You were made a certain way for a reason. Divinely and uniquely made. Tailor-made. For a purpose. He has a plan and a path for that plan. The road and the gate are narrow, yet easy to follow when you keep your focus on Him. We like to make things complicated and difficult. Instead, keep it simple. His path is the path of least resistance.

Anyone still there??? Does any of this make sense? No?

Be yourself. Do not change what makes you, you.

Walk in love, dear readers.