A Place for All Women

Posts tagged ‘Children’

“Hi, Friends!”

          The first ride of the day often starts with a horse sneezing on the back of our bare legs. It’s usually followed by horse hooves kicking hot sand a couple of feet in the air to stick and stay right below the back of our knees.  The grains of sand that aren’t picked HI Friends 7up like little hitchhikers jump in the back of our boots. Sweat is already seeping into our socks to join the water sloshed in there that morning while we were filling eight individual buckets. We’re about to take a test ride around the arena to see if we dare leave the safety of the sand and the security of the fencing.  And, it is now when the stress level slowly begins to creep its way up.  

          Children who sometimes boast of their riding skills realize they are still beginners. Those who have taken English lessons on a tight rein try to wrap their understanding around a Western trail horse that wants the freedom of its mouth. And while many kids ride for the very first time, thrilled with what is finally happening, others are in tears begging to be brought back down on solid ground.

          There are four of us. Two directors. Two counselors. There are 16 of them. Eight kids. Eight horses. We usually have 20-30 minutes to get all the kids on a horse, get them going in the same direction, get them to listen to us (the kids and the horses) and override each and every opportunity our equine friends find for mischief. You know the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”? Well, it’s true! It’s also bankable information that you can take well-trained horses, put them in random riding situations every hour for five hours, and see them react in ways that will either throw your heart into overdrive or melt it in one memorable moment. Our emotions, if monitored during one ride, would look like an electrocardiogram right before a heart attack. Hi Friends 8 copyThe intensity can be indescribable, while the satisfaction at the end of a good ride can be quite soothing. But, what is constant in our world of unknown equestrian circumstances is a greeting we often receive, if and when, we venture out of the arena onto the open trails.

          “Hi, friends!”  

          The young woman easily voted Counselor of the Year at our children’s farm day camp is so full of light that she helps all of us walk right out of the darkness. Just those two words, “Hi friends,” spoken in genuine kindness, sincere sweetness and a directness that makes you feel as if you are here among the best of friends…those two little words carry amazing power. HI friends 6 We see her, we hear her, and we know her heart for the children, the horses and us; and, with those words, our fear washes away, our stress is released, and even our legs, still gripping grains of sand, feel strong and determined to walk the road ahead.

          In a place where my words look for ways to join in the cacophony of complaints, Miranda chooses her words carefully.  She is quick to listen and slow to speak, and like Proverbs 12:18 tells us, her wise words bring healing.

          If asked about her life, I would have supposed she had an idyllic childhood. I would have further ventured to guess that she has been so much the center of someone’s attention, the art of making other people feel special, just came naturally to her. But what I’ve found out is that her life has not always been fairy tales and princesses.   She’s had some struggles along the way…she rises above them. Instead of focusing on herself and “what could have been,” what “might have been,” or what “she may have missed,” she looks out ahead of herself for the next face she’s about to see.

          During a recent late night dinner, a bunch of us were gathered around a table at a 24-Hour Steak and Shake. I was on the Hi Friends 2opposite end and wasn’t always privy to her conversations. The next day, I was told she engaged others in a way they had never experienced. Full on, eye-to-eye, completely engrossed in what they were saying and obviously, genuinely interested. Those who might have felt awkward, uncomfortable, or on the outside of the little group, were immediately put at ease, welcomed in, and not just made a part, but an important part of all that was happening.

          In a world war-torn by angry and aggressive words, where what we want to say often outweighs what others might care to contribute, she honors others above herself.

         Hi Friends It’s why we all wanted to spend time with her. It’s why the kids clung to her, crying, begging, and not wanting to leave even though it was time to board the buses.

          Sumer camp is over

          The horses are grazing gracefully in the pasture as if nothing ever happened.

          And, Miranda’s life is about to change. She’s on her way to a big exciting city to pursue a graduate degree in social work. She’s confessed her fears and little bouts of anxiety. Still, she knows not to worry about tomorrow, for God has promised tomorrow will take care of itself.

          Her wise words will bring healing in her new exciting city as they did at our dusty hot summer camp. Proverbs 13:2 tells us she will be blessed because of the words she chooses. Just those two words that wield such amazing power.

          “Hi, friends!”

Hi Friends 4

 © Copyright 2014, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserve

Who Does He Favor?

There is a man with three children.

The outrageously rebellious daughter,

The loving and loyal middle son,

The carefree, on the run, gotta go, catch ya later youngest boy.

Who does he favor?

Who does he love?

He tries to talk with his daughter but she tuned him out a long time ago.

His middle son spends a lot of time with his dad and hangs on his every word.

His youngest is just too busy.  He has his friends and all his activities.

Who does he favor?

Who does he love?

There is a man who remembers the moment his baby girl came into this world.

He never knew he could love so deep.

He was pleased when his family grew and he loved his second child.

The third child was a surprise but much-loved.

Who does he favor?

There is a man who gave his daughter many gifts and opportunities.

She thought him old-fashioned and out of touch.

He gave his son many gifts and opportunities.

He thought his dad wise and strong.

The man had even more to give, so the third son received the most.

He just felt entitled.

Who does he favor?

He loves them all!

There is a man whose heart is drawn toward the son who spends time with him.

He talks to the son who listens.

He walks with the son who is by his side.

When his son asks him for something he takes great joy in blessing him.

There is a man who never quits trying to reach his daughter.

But there are other men in her life now and she’s not interested.

He tries to get his youngest son’s attention but there are just so many things distracting the boy.

His eyes turn back to the young man who wants to be just like him.

And he blesses him.

This same man ridicules people who tell him that God has blessed them.

He says it doesn’t make sense that God would bless one person over another.

And yet his own life is like a parable.

He loves all of his children.

He doesn’t love the middle son more.


If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

                                                                              Matthew 7:11 NIV

The middle son has no fear of asking his father for a favor.

He spends time with his dad.

He listens to his dad.

He walks with him and talks with him.

He honors and obeys him.

And when his Father calls, he knows the sound of his voice.

There is a man with three children.

The outrageously rebellious daughter,

The loving and loyal middle son,

The carefree, on the run, gotta go, catch ya later youngest boy.

If you were one of his three children,

which one would you be?

“The King of the universe wants a real, live relationship with us.

He’s not interested in just being a mind reader.  He’s not even interested in just being a provider.  He’s both of those things, but

the role He relishes most is Father.  He wants us-frail mortal creatures-to connect with Him and communicate with Him as the

dearest relationship in human existence.  He rejoices to hear our voices.  He delights to be our sole and holy source

for all things in life.”

~Beth Moore from the study of James Mercy Triumphs

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Silver Wings

           Light brown pigtails whipped in the wind as she sat in the backseat of the old ’66 Chevy Impala.  Dust from the gravel country road flew up in a cloud behind them, and the car outran it.  She had the window down, her arm propped up on the ledge, and a big smile on her face.  The backseat was all hers, and, from big rear speakers, the unmistakable voice of Merle Haggard, singing Silver Wings, drowned out all other sounds.

            She had never felt better.  She was still a kid, yet a little grown up.  In the company of her aunt and uncle, yet feeling she was out on her own.  She was a good girl, but, away from her parents, she was allowed to smoke and sneak a peek at a True Story magazine.  It was summertime and she was eleven.           

            It’s been a few decades since that day, but all I have to do is hear the sound of Merle’s voice, anytime, anywhere and the memories come flashing back.  Tears will always well up in my eyes, as I remember a time before life was tainted.  A time when I was innocent and full of wonder…where the world looked like a wonderful place from my eleven-year-old eyes. 

            The 8-track tape switched to Mama Tried and Merle told the story of a life so sad she couldn’t comprehend it; although she sensed what seemed like some sort of soul connection.  She empathized with his plight and she hurt for him.  But in that moment, while he sang of a “rebel child on a freight train leaving town”, she was still sitting safely in the backseat.  

            It was only a few years later when other people’s decisions would change her life.  She would go on to make poor choices of her own wishing, then, that silver wings would take her away. 

            Despite all I have done, I can’t comprehend the pain Merle Haggard pours into his music.  When I hear him sing, my heart still hurts for him.  

            Turning “21 in prison doing life without parolewas obviously not the end of his story.  He was paroled and went on to live a life, “…most men only dream of.”  He even received a presidential pardon.  But, apparently, none of it has ever been quite enough. 

            “There’s a feeling in my gut that says you haven’t written that one song yet, the one that’s going to live forever.  I’ll be satisfied only when I feel like I’ve written that song.” 

            Some might think a signature song like Okie from Muskogee would have been enough to fill the hole in his soul.  I used to think a successful career, the right award or the perfect person could do it for me.  But only God can do that for any of us.  He created us for relationship, and nothing will satisfy us, until we surrender to him.   

            Besides, Merle already sings a song with a message that transcends time.  He tells of a man named Leonard, who was… 

 “On his way to having what he wanted, just about as close as one could be, hey once he even followed Elvis Presley and he wrote a lot of country songs for me. But he laid it all aside to follow Jesus, for years he chose to let his music go, but preachin wasn’t really meant for Leonard, but how in the hell was Leonard supposed to know?  Well life began to twist its way around him, and I wondered how he carried such a load.  He came back again to try his luck in music and lost his wife and family on the road.  After that he seemed to bog down even deeper and I saw what booze and pills can really do.  And I wondered if I’d ever see him sober.  But I’d forgot about a friend that Leonard knew.” 

          It is never too late, we are never too lost.  God is always there waiting. 

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 

            All that we have done, no matter the magnitude, no matter how many times or how great the sin, all can be forgiven.  And, even after a life lived in rebellion, we can still come to him as innocent as that eleven-year-old child. 

He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “Silver wings shining in the sunlight…silver wings, slowly fading out of sight.”

         

 

 

Quote taken from PBS American Masters Documentary: Merle Haggard “Learning to Live with Myself.”

Bible verses:  2 Peter 3:9 and Mark 10:14

 

© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie. All Rights Reserved

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