A Place for All Women

Posts tagged ‘Love’

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

Freshly Pressed

         Audio and Music version

          When I was growing up, my mother and grandmother ironed everything.  They would take their ironing board to the living room, change the setting on the flimsy metal legs so the board was waist-high, then sit down while they ironed, so they could watch their “stories.”  Ironing was a thankless hot job, but at least they got to see who had checked into General Hospital or who was following the Guiding Light.

          I swore off of soap operas years ago when my son told his teacher I watched them “all day long!”  The only one I really kept up with was The Young and the Restless, and I only watched it because it came on at lunchtime.  But if my child thought it was excessive, it was time to stop.  So I stopped watching, but I kept ironing.

          I also iron everything.  Most of my friends think I’m crazy, but it hasn’t kept me from creasing my son’s school khakis or pressing my husband’s pants.  I even iron t-shirts, shorts and blue jeans.

          Wrinkle free clothing just looks nice.  It makes you feel good.  It’s attention to detail in a ratty old world.

          It would be nice if we could just iron out all the wrinkles in our relationships. I’m a fan of acting like nothing ever happened when it comes to mending the messes that I make and it works really well if the other person also prefers that plan.  But sometimes we have to put more effort into it, make up for what we did or said, and then try to move on.  Sometimes we have to push past our own prejudices and refuse to fall into that old trap of thinking someone else’s sin is worse than our own.

          When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  He didn’t say some of the law and the prophets hang on those two commandments, he said ALL of them do.

          What if we could iron out the differences between Republicans and Democrats, men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, Apple and Dell? 🙂 What if, as women, we were the first to quit pointing fingers at each other, to quit judging each other by some sin scale we were taught as children, to open our hearts and minds and really believe that ALL the commandments hang on the two Jesus cited?  We can’t condemn, we can’t judge, we can’t hate the other woman’s hair, dress or make-up if we are loving others as we do ourselves.  It doesn’t matter what we think of abortion, gay rights, paper or plastic.  Love is the bottom line.  We can love someone solely because they were made in God’s image or, better yet, because He told us to.  It doesn’t mean we have to invite them over for Sunday brunch. 🙂

          We’re all in this together.  Even in the Garden of Eden where Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Serpent and everybody was judging everybody else for what each one had done wrong, they were still in it together.  They had to learn to live together.  They had to overcome the blame game and who did what to whom or whose sin was worse than the other and they had to learn to love again.  As the World Turns wouldn’t have worked any other way.  They just had to iron it out. 🙂

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© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Life on a Leash

          There are two types of people on the rural road where we live.  There are those who keep their dogs on a tight leash, and those who don’t. I have to admit our two canines are free runners.  It’s one of the reasons we like living outside of the city. While an unleashed life comes with great risk, it also comes with incredible reward.

          Our dogs love to chase squirrels, romp through the woods, go creek walking or doggie paddle across the pool.  They have known and experienced the dangers of getting too close to the cars and have come running back home for help.

          God gives us complete freedom…so much freedom, in fact, we are free to walk away from Him…free to go it alone…free to find what is out there in the world that might bring us more happiness than Him.

          When our three-legged white terrier Zadie is headed up to the neighbor’s house for a little extra loving, or our black and white Border collie, Liberty, is bounding across the road after a squirrel, all our attempts to call them back fall on deaf ears.

          We’re more like them than we might care to comprehend.  How many times does the Spirit of God call us back?  How long does He wait for us to decide, even without a leash, that we would rather return to his presence than ever go it alone?

          Robert Robinson knew what it was like to be alone.  He lost his father when he was only five years old and was later disinherited by his wealthy grandfather.  Robert desperately desired to find his peace in the presence of Almighty God.  But in 1757, at 22-years-old, he penned the words,“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” It’s true, even the mighty men and women of God, down through the ages, have been prone to wander.

           I wandered away for a while, just a couple of weeks ago.  I was distracted by something that held worldly promise.  I tossed up a prayer, but when God didn’t respond on my timetable, I took my eyes off Him, and looked around me.  There’s always another way if you look for one.  And there’s always a way out if you change your mind.  I turned back.  It wasn’t really because I necessarily wanted to; our minds and bodies rarely want to do what is good for us.  I turned back because I had to…I needed to…I would have been crazy not to.

          And just as I open the front and back doors a dozen times every day to let the dogs back in, God was there waiting for me to return to Him.  Sometimes Zadie and Liberty are wet and muddy or covered in cockleburs but I let them back in anyway.  We clean them up and allow them to climb in our laps, on the couch or even on the beds.  We do it because we love them.  We can’t make them love us in return and we wouldn’t want to, but they do.  They love us.  They trust us. They need us.

          God knows we need our freedom.  He knows we are going to go out and get dirty.  He loves us anyway.  He’s not going to force us to love Him in return. What kind of love would that be? But when we do discover that we can’t do life without Him, He is always there waiting when we turn back and head home.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out

so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13  


          My father-in-law spent almost all his life in service to the Lord. He used to tell the story of watching 4-H animal competitions.  He said the kids would bring their prized pigs to the fairgrounds, bathe them to perfection, and adorn them with ribbons.  But if one of the pigs got away, even for a moment, it would head straight to the nearest mud hole and roll in it.  He said they did it because it was their nature…just as it is in our human nature to sin.  But God is a God of forgiveness and He will always take us in and clean us up again.

Are you prone to wander?

What are the things that cause you to take your eyes off God?

How long will you wait on God before you look for your own solution?

Would you rather do life on a leash or have a life of freedom?

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”

John 8:36


© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Who Needs Love?

300 Maple Street, USA.

Late summer.

Exactly 6:43 PM.

A roaring sound followed by a flash of light.

All communication cut off.

It’s an old episode of

The Twilight Zone.

At first, neighbors congregate, wanting to be close to each other, and looking for answers.  But fear and suspicion soon lead to accusations and before the show is over, they turn and attack each other.

 “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:14-15)

We woke up one morning, several years ago; to find my husband being bashed on the front page of the paper and morning radio talk shows.  He hadn’t committed a crime, but he had said some things that didn’t sit well with people in power.

Co-workers and friends scattered, and a lynch mob mentality took over, as people called for his firing.

This past week a prominent person in our community was accused of doing something, that in an instant, took his freedom, cost him his job, and threatened the stability of his family.

In my husband’s situation, only one man had the courage to speak up and put things back in perspective.  He is a man who loves God more than he loves himself.  He is a man who knows what it means to love his neighbor as himself.  His support helped save my husband’s reputation.  My husband kept his job and has lived to give God the glory many times.

In this more recent case, when the man’s actions were reported to the public, some of the very people he had hurt were asking for prayer and compassion…not for themselves…but for him and his family.

          Who Needs Love?

Jesus showed us by example.

He loved the people who were broken, the people who had sinned, the people who had been slow to listen but quick to speak, the people who had made complete messes out of their lives, the people who were shamed, humiliated and ostracized.

When someone else’s sin seems worse than our own we tend to distance ourselves…shake our heads…point our fingers…and offer up our opinions.

But on this Valentine’s Day, if we live by the command that sums up the entire law, we may find those who need love the most, are the ones we think don’t deserve it.

In The Twilight Zone people from another planet caused the conflict between neighbors on Maple Street.

But in the real world, all it takes is someone who is different from us, to breed fear, suspicion and hate.

Jesus’s instructions were clear, love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Who Needs Love?

We all do!

Happy Valentine’s Day

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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

Who Do You Want To Be?

          The question is raised almost as much as a single person is asked, “When are you going to get married?” or a married couple is asked, “Do you want to have children?”  My 13-year-old son is often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I love waiting for his answer and anticipating what he might say. 

          Right now he wants to be a lawyer.  But that follows a few years of wanting to be a preacher like his Papaw, a rock-n-roll star, an NBA basketball player  or a FBI agent.  I personally think if he doesn’t settle on just one, there could be an interesting combination at work.

          Lately, I’ve been spending time with people who are on their second, third and fourth careers.  It seems sort of exciting that you can re-make yourself that many times.  So I started thinking…

          Who do I want to be if I ever grow up? 🙂

          What I finally came up with is a bucket list of character traits… rather than just a list of vacation trips I still want to take:

  • I want to be the person who listens, instead of the one who always talks
  • To be like the woman who doesn’t just think something good about someone, but actually takes the time to stop and tell them
  • Someone who smiles instead of frowns, because it’s just as easy to do one as the other
  • I want to fully recover from, and never return to, my “control-a-holic.” ways…because, given a chance or any encouragement at all, I will take the bull by the horns and run with it.  When God is in control, things run so much smoother.
  • I want to always remember that some of the wisest people I know don’t have college degrees, resumes or impressive bios
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt, because we all have issues, we all have baggage, we all have histories and not everyone has dug up the roots of their past
  • Be someone you can call on, count on and know I will be there if I can
  • A wife who lifts her husband up instead of finding ways to cut him down
  • A mother who adores her children and grandchildren
  • A daughter willing to tenderly take as much time for my parents as they did for me.
  • I want to pray for the needs of others more than I pray for myself
  • I want to live, love and laugh with all I’ve got!
  • I always want to remember that God has never let me down.  And, as long as I’m here, He still has a plan.

                            So if you don’t mind me asking…who do you still want to be?


“What we are is God’s gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.”

Eleanor Powell


© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved


Hope for Healing

Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.  

Proverbs 14:10 NIV 

            “I’m just angry,” my sister-in-law said as she was describing her feelings three weeks after her husband’s death.  Raised in a charismatic church, where modern-day miracles were not only prayed for, but expected, she had come up short. 

            While her husband’s leukemia had been in a state of remission far longer than the doctors ever expected, it had come back full force.  The family physician’s best guess gave him one to two months.  He died two days later on Easter Sunday.

            Who wouldn’t be angry?

            It seems Mary and Martha were a bit ticked when Jesus delayed his trip to their home after he learned their brother Lazarus was dying.  Martha, so anxious to tell Jesus what she thought, went out to meet him.  “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”

            My sister-in-law feels the same way.  Where was God when she prayed, begged and bargained to have her husband healed?

            There was the remission.  And, even though doctors had their doubts, a stem cell transplant and white blood cells harvested from his sister did make a difference. He had almost four years of living and loving past the point where medical science would have typically predicted the end.  The two of them still had opportunities to share God’s word, to make amends, to be strong in the struggle and to escape the rigorous rounds of treatment through their shared passion of making music.  The Bible says our days are numbered and, within that number, God set aside time to bring them closer to each other and closer to Him.  But in the end, the time came for her husband to slip away.  He went peacefully, surrounded by his family.  And in some ways, that seems to be the ultimate healing of the heavenly kind. 

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV) 

            But here she is, my sister-in-law, all alone and angry.  Jesus knew she would feel that way.  He experienced anger when he tossed the temple tables.  He was sad, and even wept with those who thought they had lost Lazarus.  And when the disciples fell asleep at a time he needed them to stay up and pray, he knew the hurt of being alone.  So I think we are safe to believe, He will not leave my sister-in-law to resolve the anger, bitterness, sadness and pain all by herself.  Jesus loves her, this I know, for the Bible tells us so. 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 NLT 

If you are experiencing similar feelings…hurt, sad, mad, confused…lay it down before the Lord.  He alone is our rescue, our help, our hope, our healing.  Where else can we go but to the Lord? 

Just this morning as she was cleaning out some of her husband’s stuff, someone she doesn’t even know, sent her a card with this message:

“We give back to you O God, those whom You gave to us.  You did not lose them when You gave them to us and we do not lose them by their return to you.  Your dear Son has taught us that life is eternal and love cannot die.  So death is only a horizon and a horizon is only the limit of our sight.  Open our eyes to see more clearly, and draw us closer to You that we may know that we are nearer our loved ones, who are with You.  You have told us that You are preparing a place for us; prepare us also for that happy place that where You are we may also be always, O dear Lord of life and death.” 

~William Penn (1644-1718) 


© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved



The Word According to our Dogs

          Eight hours locked in a house without a bathroom break, ten to 12 hours in the big outdoor kennel, an hour waiting in the car, or five minutes out of sight.  Each and every time we are away from our dogs, they go crazy when we return. 

            If you ever feel unloved, just go get a dog.  They will love you with complete abandon.  It doesn’t matter what you have done to them, where you have left them, how you yelled at them or the last time you fed them, each encounter is met with unconditional, anxious, excited love.

            Jesus said in Matthew 22:37 that the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all  your mind.”  We are in essence, gods to our dogs.  We are their masters.  They totally exhibit the kind of love I believe Jesus is describing.

            If we really admit to ourselves that all good things come from him, that everything we are and everything we hope to be is from his hand, how could we not just lavish our love on Him?  Sure, he sometimes pulls his presence back a bit, he leads us into the wilderness on occasion, he disciplines us and refines us, but he never fails to provide for us or love us right where we are. 

            Everything he does for us is for our good to draw us closer to him, to seek his hand of favor.  And isn’t that what our dogs want from us…our hand of favor?

            Of course, after a romp in the woods, returning home covered in “stick-tights”… much like us, and our own messes, they are mostly just looking for a little mercy!


     “Will you die for him? WILL YOU DIE FOR HIM?”

            The words were meant to be remembered by anyone watching the 1988 movie The Seventh Sign.  Actress Demi Moore, playing a mother desperate to give birth, is faced with having to give her life for the life of her child.  In the agony of “life versus love” she reaches out her hand to touch the tip of the baby’s finger…and he lives. 

            Love is what keeps us sane and drives us crazy.  Love is at the root of all sacrifice: Giving up something you love, for something you love more.  Love was at the heart of all creation and is the very essence and existence of our God.

            I thought I knew love as a child, loving my parents, grandparents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  Then as a teenager I thought love might kill me as I loved with an innocent heart and love was not returned.  When I fell in love with my husband, I discovered the definition of a true soul mate.  But when I gave birth to my son, a love took control of my heart like I could not fathom would ever exist.  It was and is a gentle, tearful, ferocious love that changed the very core of my being.  Would I die for him?  I hope I never have to.  But, would I die for him?  Yes I would!

            If you’ve experienced that kind of love you know what I mean.  If you have never felt love that intense, you are not alone.  There are women all over the world who know exactly how you feel. And they hurt just as you do.  But there is still someone who sees your heart and wants to give you the unconditional love you may have never had.  Would he die for you?  He already did.  Much like the movie, he reached out his hands in the final showdown of “life versus love”.  Now all you have to do is let him touch you…and you will live.   

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

1 Corinthians 13: 4-6 (NIV)

The same God who loves his girls, gives us chocolate. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Make it the day you want it to be! 

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