A Place for All Women

Archive for the ‘Understanding’ Category

Willing to be Wounded

Star must have taken many blows.  

The marks on her body displayed the evidence.  

Sweat had dried and hardened her golden hair.  Her eyes were weary, yet strong, and determined.  

While every animal instinct should have had her on the front line of defense, she had turned and faced her own herd, in order to protect Princess Olive, a young, previously mistreated, and now permanently deformed filly.  She took much of what was actually meant for the little interloper. 

Although, by all appearances, a horribly cruel encounter for any new one, it is but a necessary reshuffling of the hierarchy in order to determine the parameters of the herd.  Each equine encounter ends in a

showdown decision.  One will dominate; the other will submit. When Star saw the overwhelming odds against Olive, she stood her ground.  As the only mare in the pasture who has ever given birth, we believe she knew the difference in this little defenseless lamb and was determined to defend and protect her.

Initially, as is a good practice when putting any new horse in an established herd, we placed them in separate pastures.  We even put our little donkey with Olive for overnight protection. But when we turned our backs to retrieve water, she effortlessly jumped the 4-foot dividing fence and ran right into the middle of our anxious herd.  We were paralyzed by the absolute awe of it.  Here we were trying to help this little rescued fragile filly and yet she was gutsy enough to run right into the middle of six healthy horses more than twice her size.

We run right into the middle of many messes.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Unfortunately, Olive was wounded in her foolish attempt to force her way into their world.  But her wounds are healing.  Star took most of what was meant for Olive, put a hedge of protection around her, and stood so Olive could lay down and sleep.  We lost an entire day of work just watching this unique display of selfless love play out in our little leased pasture.  God does some of his greatest miracles in what we might all perceive as the most unlikely of places.

It has taken a few days but, literally, the dust has settled. Olive has been accepted.  She has established herself in herd position and gets to push the little donkey…because she can.  She ventures out alone looking for
him…hoping to prove her dominance.  We’ve also seen her push the mares that rank upper middle. She struts her stuff when they move out of her way.  But, what we see, that she doesn’t see, is Star standing guard, parting that path, giving Olive confidence, and making a way where there is no way.

I was pushed back and about to fall but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:13

          Our Lord’s lessons play out all around us.  Some we see, some we take for granted, and more often than we ought, we take credit. He is still our rock, our refuge, an ever-present help in trouble…our bright and morning STAR!

 Princess Olive was rescued by an amazing agency whose volunteers found her on a filthy farm, locked in a horse trailer with no food or water.  They cleaned her up, gave her lots of love, and now she lives with us…fostered by a friend of ours who also exhibits selfless love.

We are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to teach Olive that she is a Princess and that her physical disabilities do not devalue her sweet existence.  She is worthy of all the love we can lavish on her.  And we look forward to all that God has planned.

Father, forgive the man who abused her…for surely he knew not what he did!

© Copyright 2017, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Trust me Moses!

          Sometimes, trust is the only thing that stands between us, and the life we were meant to live.  Or a stubborn streak keeps us from seeing what God has for us. Even worse, rebellion blocks our view, when what is waiting for us is not only what we need, but what we want.Moses happy herd

          We just fought our way through three days in a desert of distrust…Moses and me…my dad…the owners of Sycamore Valley Ranch, a couple of friends, a new vet, a vet tech, a fellow boarder and then there were the well-wishers and YouTube trainers…and count on it, this “horse tale” will preach!

          It all started with an opportunity to move our horses closer to home. The decision to leave an Moses Ranchamazing ranch was difficult enough, without Moses making the most of every opportunity to stay.  But, divine encounters, are often unexpected…and interruptions, in our normal routines, almost always tell us more about ourselves than our momentary circumstances ever could.

          Moses has never had trailer trouble, as far as we know. When we went to get our foster horse, on a cold and rainy day in March, he was Moses on trailer 2ready for a ride. So it never even occurred to us what we were going to encounter, or how his resistance would cause us to question the bigger message in the mess. Much like his namesake, our Moses did not react the same way twice.

          In Exodus 17, God told the original Moses to “strike” a rock in order to get water. And, he did. But, flip over to Numbers 20 when God tells Moses to “speak” to the rock and, we find out, he didn’t. His willful disobedience was one of the worst things that could have happened to him. Continue into the book of Deuteronomy and we discover that Moses got to see The Promised Land, but he never got to put his foot in it. Forty years in the desert and a lack of trust, stubbornness, or all out rebellion kept his feet firmly planted in the wilderness.

And that brings us back to our Moses. His feet were planted right outside the horse trailer where I threatened many times to leave him. He had watched his brother, Gideon, get on the trailer and head for Moses and trailerhome. Shadow, Star and Judah all jumped right on. But, Moses, well, he was having none of it. If you’re a horse person, I can almost hear you saying, “I’ve never seen a horse I couldn’t load onto a trailer.” We had those same discussions. Pressure/release, endless lunging, Join Up, small trailer, large trailer, withholding and reward, making the wrong thing hard, the right thing easy, and I could keep going. It didn’t work with Moses. His mind was made up. Despite visual signs of depression, due to being separated from his herd, he wouldn’t go.

          I don’t doubt there might have been some fear associated with the situation. My Dad jokes that Moses saw the others leave on the trailer and not come back, so he wasn’t about to get on and go. But, what I saw was an obstinate, determined, rebellious, willful, disobedient horse that is normally gentle, Moses defiantwell-mannered, and the first to meet you in the pasture. So, why would this happen? We all asked ourselves that more than once during the time it took to bring this bad boy back around to our way of thinking.

          And, yes, we prayed. We rebuked. We laid hands on his self-inflicted injuries. Rebellion can be very painful. In the end, God answered our prayers. Moses didn’t have a change of heart and hop on the trailer, like we all hoped. But, God did send a compassionate, caring, veterinarian to help us and to help Moses. How do we know God sent him? Well, maybe it’s because he just happened to be coming to see another horse at the exact time we ran out of strength, energy and determination.  The Doc offered to give Moses a small injection of sleepy meds, like they often use to load race horses, but even then, it still took six of us to hoist Moses’ 835-pound body up into the trailer.

          The medication wore off quickly.  Moses enjoyed a little “Scooby Snack” on his way home and, when Moses herd runninghe stepped off the trailer 35 minutes later… there was his family… his herd…running to meet him.

          So many times, during the stress, the frustration, the 90-degree heat, the “what are we going to do next” mode, we kept trying to tell him, “Moses, if you only knew what was waiting for you, you would go.”

          And, that’s where I think we are most of the time. We’re afraid to trust, so we just go with stubborn.  We put our feet down and refuse to budge when God is trying to lead us.  But, willful disobedience and rebellion have to be dealt with if we really want the best that God has for us. It’s so easy to plant our feet in a comfort zone, or fear what is out of sight, when, what is up ahead is so much better than anything we could ever obtain on our own. I suspect God also says to us, “If you only knew what was waiting for you, you would go.”

          I’ve heard two messages on endurance since all this happened and one message on how I need to trust. So, trust me, Moses, I’m wide-awake and listening!Moses in grass

Is there some area of your life you are refusing to surrender?

Do you feel afraid, stubborn or rebellious?

Moses on back

It’s okay, God is amazingly patient.

But, the sooner you come around to his way of thinking, the better off you will be!!

Just trust Him. 

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. —Psalm 20:7


Trust in the lord and do good;

dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. —Psalm 37:3


Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

© Copyright 2015, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserve



We’ve Got a Friend

          One of the cutest girls I have ever seen was sitting across the table from me in the coffee shop.   Her blue eyes sparkled, as short blond curls bounced around in the sunlight beaming through a wall of windows.  We had just met and I was there to mentor her.  Funny, I still feel like I need someone to show me the way.  But, I guess I am one of those “older” women described in the New Testament book of Titus…shocking as it may sound to my entire system.          

          So… we have a couple of hours of wonderful conversation, hug each other, agree to meet again and off we go.  I head to the library, boot up my computer and promptly Google this sweet little girl’s name.  If I had known what was about to pop up when I was sitting across from her, it might have changed the entire meeting.  But, as it was, her kind, sweet, humble spirit made an impression before I ever saw a video of her being crowned a beauty queen!          

          We had just had one of those mother/daughter type talks about how “nothing is ever as it appears” and here I am watching her walk the runway with that incredible crown of jewels and the big bouquet of roses.  I was so impressed…not that she had won a competition of that magnitude… but that I had just spent two hours with her and had no idea.          

          Fast forward a few weeks and we meet again for a walk and talk.  We cover every subject from the puppy she’s trying to train, to when it might be a good idea for her to think about having a baby.  Right before we make it back to our cars, we touch on the topic of Facebook.          

          Now, there’s almost 25 years difference in our ages, yet we each confess to feeling the same way.  Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, after looking at all that is going on with the hundreds of Facebook friends, we feel a little down, a little discouraged, slightly depressed.  

          There are photos of big homes, new cars and exotic vacations.  Even though we both know better, we sometimes compare ourselves with all that we see.  It might make sense for a 51-year-old woman to do that, but a 20-something beauty queen?  Really?          

          What’s happening in her life is that she’s trying to live modestly in order to remain debt free.  When she sees high school and college friends buying big beautiful houses, accepting that next grand promotion or traveling to Hawaii… well, it makes her question where she is in her life.          

          I typically just covet the travel photos and waste away an entire afternoon living vicariously through whichever FB friend is off on a great adventure.          

          It’s not that we’re not happy for them; it just makes us question ourselves.  Come on, you know you do it too.  It might not be Facebook, but somewhere in your life you’re looking at someone else and thinking they’re bragging.  And, of course, they are.  If it were you, it would only be sharing.


          So, I started thinking.  If Facebook, or any other similar website, has the power to work against us…how can we come up higher and make it work for us?  These are just a few thoughts.

          NOTE TO SELF:

          -Boast only when boasting in the Lord

          -Never use “What’s on your mind” to be a pessimistic, negative, buzz kill.

          -Consider other people’s feelings when posting.  Not everyone reads with the same inflection.

And, just as I learned from the young woman I was supposed to be teaching…

          -Never cast any light in my own direction.

Light should only reflect off of us and on to the

One who is the

Giver of ALL Good Things!

          Since back in the Old Testament books of Genesis, when one brick was laid upon another to begin building the Tower of Babel, we have all wanted to be “somebody.”  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with fame, money or success, as long as we don’t lose sight of the Source.          

          Now, don’t get me wrong and think I’m getting all self-righteous and holier than thou, or climbing up on my goody two shoes soap box.  A quick scan of my Facebook Timeline would show more than a few “Hey Look At Me” postings.  And if you asked the former Miss America contestant, she would probably tell you I gave her an entire resume of my accomplishments the morning we met.  But I’m just wondering if I can start using Facebook for the good of others rather than feeling like it lures me into an enemy trap?

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

A Helping Hand

            There is a phenomenon of social interaction known affectionately                 as The Nashville Handshake.”  It does not include a toothless grin, as some might perceive our southern stereotypical status, but rather a shifting of the eyes beyond the person you are greeting.  It’s a casual glance to see if someone more important has entered the room…an effort to eye someone with celebrity status, power, prestige or possibly with potential career building capabilities. 

          It seems we weren’t the first to coin the concept.

Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes. And suppose a poor man in worn-out clothes also comes in. Would you show special attention to the one who is wearing fine clothes? Would you say, “Here’s a good seat for you”? Would you say to the poor person, “You stand there”? Or “Sit on the floor by my feet”?  If you would, aren’t you treating some people better than others? Aren’t you like judges who have evil thoughts?

But you have put poor people down. Aren’t rich people taking advantage of you? Aren’t they dragging you into court?  Aren’t they speaking evil things against the worthy name of Jesus? Remember, you belong to him.

            I suspect there are endless examples of why treating people with favoritism can backfire on the most well-intentioned person.  Three come quickly to my mind. 

          One happened several years ago when we became part of an “in group.”   It consisted of popular, powerful and wealthy men and women in the process of working to build a new meaningful project.  Okay, let me come totally clean.  We weren’t completely “in” the “in group,” but we were welcomed on the periphery where many of the volunteers spent their time.  We were comfortable there and had a seat up close to the sidelines when it came time to watch the show.

            There were actually two groups.  Group one consisted of the founder, leader and his administrative staff.  Group two was a much larger body of overseers and their wives.    I’m not sure who tried to impress who more.  There was a lot of “Here’s a good seat for you” kind of stuff going on.  Eventually the two groups imploded in a flash fire of self-importance and pride.  I don’t think anyone was ever dragged into court but there were a few dragged through the mud.  It didn’t matter which side you were watching, or whose version you were hearing, it was UGLY!  People were hurt, property was lost, reputations were severely damaged and the house divided could not stand.

           It’s been many years since then and from our current view, in the cheap seats, it doesn’t appear as if either side has ever really recovered.

          The second situation was somewhat similar.   But there were only two primary players.   The leader and the nemisis, who wasn’t a celebrity but was married to one.  We were way out of the loop, as were a lot of other people, until the walls inevitably came crumbling down.  Then, there was an effort to garner support, and those on the outside were invited in.  Pride and position, once again, proved to be powerful tools of division.   The person sitting in the front row seat” eventually won the war; the leader left and the doors closed.  One side seems to have survived while the other still struggles to recover and begin again.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.

          God has warned us to watch out, yet we still cast our eyes on others, looking for opportunities that will be beneficial. Sometimes…we get burned. 

          The most recent example I have seen, happened in a family.   A house of cards, with enough smoke and mirrors to look like The Lives of the Rich and Famous, prompted a few people to turn their heads and look that way.  The favored were ushered in and given priority seating.  But things are not always as they appear.  When their silver spoon started to tarnish, they turned to bite the very hand that fed them.  I’d like to say those of us who were watching were surprised, but…not so much.  The Bible is right.   Some people will accept your hospitality and then turn on you when things get tough.

If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else for each one should carry their own load.

          I am not immune from name dropping and I have spent my share of time taking part in “The Nashville Handshake.”  God has blessed me with many opportunities and I have met a few powerful people.  I admit, there have been times when knowing the right person helped me get things done; but not one of those associations ever made me rich, famous or more important.   

          God is my provider.  He alone is my refuge, an ever present help in trouble and a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

          So, before I cast my eyes beyond the next person God places in my path… I pray that I always remember His words of wisdom:

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 

Who has God placed in your path? 

Do you see them, or are you looking past them?

 James 2: 3-4, 6-7, 8-11 and Proverbs 4:25


© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved


%d bloggers like this: