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High jump...

The last few days have attempted to fly me way off the saddle and into a ditch. Unbelievable. But the difference before my "before" life and "after" life as a Christian is that this wonderful thing happened. The peace that passes all understanding. Somewhere inside, because I'm not in sin - I can rise up and seat back into heavenly places. Life is filled with bumpy rides, but we have to look ahead to the great and wonderful so we can step into all God's destined ahead for us.

Not my paint. There's a paint ridden in Barrier Island.

In the current book I'm writing, BARRIER ISLAND, which I want with all my heart to be a TV series, my heroine Sage is thrown into a heartbreaking mystery. As she and her family endure all kinds of perils, somehow she still makes time to do what she loves and prepares for a horse show. Doing what we love in the midst of our difficulties is crucial for us to lead successful Christian lives.

Let me tell you a story about how a ditch can turn into a reward. When I was a kid, I had a horse named Nugget. She was a mixed breed cart pony who beat me up literally when I bought her. But Nugget's real problem was a lack of trust. On the first day I purchased her, she bit me in the chest. Oh joy! Aggh. Yes, Nugget, I'm feeling the love. The second day, she reared up when I was on her and flipped over in a cement floor barn. I walked away without any injury that time and attached a tie-down to her bridle so she could not rear up. No fear on my part. I am the boss and you are the applesauce. I was committed this little horse had a turn around in her future.

In order to buy her, for months and months I saved. I cleaned horse stalls and asked for cold hard cash for birthday and Christmas. In oversize gigantomous wheelbarrels I cleaned stalls for the girl whose dad bought her five horses. Fifty cents a load. Really crummy wages but at fourteen, my horse dreams were so big, I'd do anything. A meager $200 purchased Nugget. The owner of our stables advised against buying her - but nothing would stop me.

Happily Nugget ran toward good results. She learned to canter (she only trotted before) and became my best friend. I rode her everywhere, even down the street laying backwards (wouldn't suggest trying that at home). But perseverance and love were the keys to regain her horsey heart. Patience and hard work turned her into a fun rodeo horse.

People, like horses, deserve opportunities to turn around. So, back into my saddle I go. Only God can change someone else - especially when they refuse to change. Prayers and the small Voice of the Holy Spirit can guide our journey as we encounter these prickly pears that are people. Scripture states love others as you love yourself. We forgive them, but that doesn't mean we trust them. Trust is earned. When people care about us, too - and care enough to listen to our hearts, then, it's worth it to stay in the saddle. My sweet horse Nugget learned to trust and turned around. Sad that some people choose to get bucked off.

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