Follow Your Arrow

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Photo by Pixabay on

I spend a lot of time up in my head.  As in a scary amount of time!  Lol!  Lately I’ve been  thinking about what I might write to my kids.  The words have been jumbled up in my head for a while and each time I try to straighten them out I wind up knotting them together even more.  A friend has said to me on more than one occasion, “Your husband has really screwed things up for your daughter.  There aren’t many men in this world like him!”  I usually laugh in agreement and then consider just how true his statement is.  Then I consider my son and there aren’t many women out there like the daughters my friend has raised.  I ponder, is it so much the people they may or may not meet in their life or is it more about who I would encourage them to be that will attract the most perfectly appointed people to be in their inner circle?  I believe it’s the latter and in some form or another, I’ve shared with them, much of what I would write to them.  In reality, this is what I would share with not only my kids, but with all those I come into contact with 🙂

Aaron Watson sings a song called, “The Arrow” and some of the lyrics go like this:

I’ve been heart broke and broke down, hard up and hard fought

Misunderstood, misguided, and I’ve missed by a long shot

I understand first hand, I’ve been where you’ve been

Don’t you forget every sunset will become a sunrise soon again

So be bold and be brave and beware of those schemes,

Stay razor sharp, find your mark as you go chase your dreams

Watch out for those dangers always dancing in the dark,

When the shadows of the night shoot out the lights, I know you’ll be the spark

So promise me before you go follow your arrow,

You will pray to never stray from straight and narrow,

Be steadfast and steady, always be ready,

Aim for the stars in the sky, take heart, pull it back and let it fly 

What I want most for my kids, for you, is to follow the purpose that God laid upon your precious hearts before the dawn of time.  To feel sure enough in who you are to be bold, brave and steadfast even when the earth beneath your feet is quaking.  Happiness comes from fulfilling our purpose and loving one another.  It is not in big paychecks, fancy houses, fast cars and huge diamond rings.

I would encourage them, you, to find the beauty in the most simple of treasures.  The water colored sunsets and sunrises that set the sky afire.  The iridescent color of a Rocky Mountain Blue Bird in the spring.  The sweet smell of the earth after an afternoon thunderstorm.  The beauty in the stillness of a quiet winter snowfall, flakes falling straight from the sky and the whole scene like a snow globe that’s been gently turned, rotated and stirred.  God’s handiwork is all around us if only we would pause long enough to take the time and soak it all in.

I would tell them, I would tell you, that the seemingly impossible, that thing that makes your palms sweat and your heart skip a beat, go after that!  Don’t ever settle for the comfortable or the safe, sure thing.  Our greatest moments of growth and exhilaration are found not in what we know rather in what is uncertain.  Only when we are comfortable and we think we know all there is to know, that space in time when some place their curiosity on a shelf, and choose to stop learning new things, that is when death is certain.

I would tell them, you, to stay wild and stay free.  Those who love you, will love you wild, untamed and free spirited.  Those that find it necessary to change you, contain and tame you, do not truly love you.  Love is something we feel, it’s an emotion and it’s so very much more than that.  Love is in actions and behaviors and those that truly love us are those so secure in themselves and our love for them that they aren’t the least bit threatened when we spread our wings to fly knowing that the heart knows its way back home.

And I would tell them, you, that God loves you more than any man or woman can.  He loves you in spite of the mistakes you make.  As a matter of fact, He chose you before the foundation of the world!!!  He knew the mistakes you would make, the weaknesses in your character, the things you would struggle with in life and the faults you would condemn yourself for.  God didn’t choose you and then find Himself disappointed in you due to all your inabilities.  He purposefully chose you knowing all that you lack and in all the ways you fall short!  He picked you out on purpose to be His very own!  Let that love wash over you like the water of a warm, tropical waterfall, pouring out over you.  Soak in it, receive it and then, allow that love to pour out into other people’s lives.  Be a channel that love flows in and through, not a reservoir, damming it up and becoming stagnant.

You are so very much more than what you see in the mirror.  Allow the light within to shine.  Be the spark that the ignites the darkness!  I know that in the midst of life’s storms, sometimes we forget how to dance in the rain.  The waves come hard and fast and we’re sure that the spark within us has been doused and snuffed out.  It’s there, I promise you, it’s there.  Are you ready to blow life into that spark?  The horses and I are here, ready and waiting to encourage you, support you and stand alongside you as you rediscover the beautiful person God created you to be.  Are you ready to see yourself in and through His eyes?

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  ❤

Barbed Beliefs

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Photo by Linz Franciz on

“I feel like I’m a burden to them.  Like they don’t want me around.  I don’t want to be a burden.  I don’t want to be someone they don’t want to be around or that they just tolerate because they are too nice not to…”  Her voice trailed off as the tears quietly fell from her young eyes.  My heart ached as I stood in the Colorado sun on the opposite side of the round pen.  Quietly I asked her, “Is it fair to say that no child, teen, young adult, person, should ever feel like a burden to those who care for them?”  She searched my eyes for a long time before she shrugged her shoulders.  She’d felt like a burden for so long that it was foreign to even consider that what I was asking might be possible.  “I do not experience you as a burden.  Are you able to hear me as I make that statement to you?  Are you able to receive that as I share it with you?”  The anguished tears she’d been fighting back stole the opportunity to escape.  As she stared long and hard at me, I watched as the copper penny colored gelding walked in toward her.  “What did you just feel?  The thought that you just had, where did you feel it?”  I asked.  The gelding now standing next to her, his heart aligned with her heart.  She smiled through her tears and said, “I liked what you said.  That you don’t experience me as a burden.”  I smiled back at her through my own tears, “Sit with that girl.  Soak up that feeling.” 

He stood stoically in the round pen, eyes hidden behind his black aviator sunglasses, looking at the word, “Burden“, he’d written out on a sticky note and stuck to the mirror.  As the internal wrestling match raged between his head and his heart, I watched as the sweet, chocolate colored gelding stood quietly, holding space for him.  The gelding, completely tuned in to the long standing pain we were tapping into, offered his steady presence as a source of comfort for the man.  Over and over throughout his life he’d been told he was a burden and over and over throughout his life he’d received and accepted it as his truth.  He identified with it, it had become a part of who he saw himself to be.  “I don’t think I’ve ever said any of this out loud before.”  He said, breaking the connected silence between us.  “I’ve only said these things to myself …”  His voice fading as the emotion that came up threatened to overwhelm him.  The sweet gelding turned his head, looking intently at the man with ears pricked forward and deep amber eyes searching his soul.

I felt a tinge in my heart as the urge to hug him tight washed over me.  It wasn’t the man that needed the tight hug so much as it was the little boy in him who was told he was a burden over and over again, repeatedly reinforced by the one person that was supposed to love him unconditionally.  I took a deep breath, allowing my training to take over.  “Jess, you are trained to sit with pain.  Trust the process.  Don’t interrupt it.”, I reminded myself without a word being uttered.  I was the one to break the silence this time as I said to him, “I know this is uncomfortable.  If you are able to, allow yourself to sit with the emotion that is coming up.  There is no shame in tears that are asking to be shed.”  He nodded his head and the gelding turned to face him, fully engaged.

Like the sting from a cut smartly placed by the barb of a barbed wire fence, feeling like we’re burdening those we love is painful and the knowledge that we have been and/or that we are a burden can become part of a deafening tape that plays in our head leaving a person feeling like a failure, unworthy, worthless, and otherwise in some way, unlovable.  Joyce Meyer says, “Some people are hurting so bad that they can’t hear you when you say Jesus loves you, you have to show it to them.”  So many people are hurting so badly and have been hurt so deeply that the idea that they can be loved, valued and needed makes little to no sense.  The tape that plays on repeat in their head drowns out the love that we try to pour into them.

“I don’t believe it’s always fair to pull out these deeply rooted introjects, these things that someone has spoken over us and we’ve taken hold of as if they were ours to own, in an abrupt manner.  There are times that these things, these words spoken, are such a part of who we think we are that yanking them out by the root can be slightly terrifying.  So let’s gently work at the roots of this.  Are you game for that?”  He nodded his head and as he did, the gelding took a step toward him.

There are things that others have put on us as children, teens, young adults or mature adults that we’ve received as cold hard fact about ourselves without any facts or real time data to back it up.  Maybe you work 80 hours a week, go home and clean, cook, do yard work and yet believe you are lazy because someone has told you that at some point in your life.  Maybe you have multiple degrees, and can figure out complex issues and yet you believe you are stupid because somewhere along the line, someone told you that you were stupid.  Maybe, you have spent your life pushing yourself to win awards and accolades, accumulating wealth and material possessions in an attempt to prove your worth to the world after being told that you are worthless and would never amount to anything.  The list of things we believe about ourselves that are actually contradictory to who we really are is inexhaustible!  What if I told you that there is a way to root out those beliefs that you’ve carried with you, possibly your entire life, that are not yours to own and shed them once and for always?  I have a horse for that 😉

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“YOU are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  ❤