Archive for September, 2011

“Send Me Away With the Words of a Love Song”~Audrey

As many of you read in my last (and rather late) post, one of the riders that I teach passed away. This was (and still is) emtionally devestating. In the past two years I have lost lots of friends-many being the four legged, furry kind. Each time I lose them I fill like a piece of me is lost as well. I come to you today to express my deep feeling of loss, not just for the people who have changed my life, but the animals who touched me as well. In my career, I truly know how much an animal can change a life. 
So check out my Flickr set; it is my love song:
 
“Go with peace and love”
Audrey
 
 
Lyrics from this post and the Flickr album come from “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Foggy with a chance of uncertainty.

Today, I woke up to foggy skies.
I thought about my life
And which direction it was going.
I couldn’t see ahead of me,
And I dare not look behind.
My night was filled with terrible storms,
So where is the morning sunshine?
Do I dare suffer another day of storms?
Or do hide until I see a ray of sun?
My Father saw my distress,
And stroked my head ever so gently.
He said you can’t hide
For you may miss your blessings.
Nor can you worry about what lies ahead.
Every day will have it’s struggles,
And many nights are plagued with doubts.
So, only concern yourself with the small steps…
The baby steps you take in the thick fog.
For this is your faith in action,
This shows how much you trust me.
Nothing in life is certain,
But this one thing I promise you
That though your day may be foggy
I am still guiding you!

-Beyondai

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Week 4- Renee`

 

Title: Funny actin’

So, as I said in my last video I decided to take the entire week off last week. Just singing I said: I am FREE I feel so good. The devil heard that and decided to just completely disrupt my plans. I didn’t end up resting, or reading much from my text books and I did not go on my retreat with God. Instead I spent the majority of the “vacation” wound up, stressed out and over all tired. To top it all off I had class all weekend long from 9-5. I went to sleep Saturday with a million and one plans and woke up Sunday morning sick! I mean a sickness that just came out of nowhere, I hadn’t even had a sniffle the night before. My body was aching, head pounding stomach turning sick! I was so sick standing up was a challenge.

I ended up missing most of my class and rolling around the bed feeling sorry for myself 97% of the day. I never get sick. I have used to work in daycare for three years and with all the crazy illnesses (foot mouth disease, colds, flus  etc) I never got sick. And here I was totally out of it, just randomly. I was so mad..my week of vacation had not turned out like I planned and now I was ending vacation sick!

God why?

Well He answered me. When you don’t take care of your body,mind,emotions and spirit you will get sick. If you are running around putting out fires for everyone else, but not letting God be your strength, you will run yourself right into the ground.  I was sick, because I neglected my time with God, here I was on my radical7even journey and I left God on the side of the road. I had to be sidetracked by HIM so I could really ask HIM to go on this journey with me. One of my goals is to look at things from a more positive aspect, how can one look at sickness as a positive…well 1) my sickness had me praying to God like never before 2) my sickness allowed me to realize that I take my health for granted (every day I wake up I don’t think that “wow, God woke me up feeling good, walking, talking” many morning esp Mondays I can say..man weekends go too fast and complain.) 3) I was able to really receive love, because my mother came over to help take care of me and my friend kept my son while I was unable to.

Also while I was sick I surfed Facebook a lot LOL during my search I ran across a sweet little girl named Starla, a two year old little girl who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. I couldn’t help but cry. Here I was whining because I had some crazy fluke sickness and here was a precious baby girl literally fighting for her life. In the picture they show her receiving her meds and she is smiling. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  I don’t think I understood what that meant until Sunday. Starla isn’t mad at God for making her sick, she isn’t spending her days worried or upset that this is happening to her. Because of her age she might not even understand what the diagnosis means…she is just a child, smiling happy, trusting even in the midst of a serious life challenge. I must be like a child..smiling, trusting and loving in the midst of health or sickness, wealth or poverty, single or married.

Trust is what a relationship is built upon. If I don’t believe that GOD can and WILL do all things for the betterment of me as a person…I have no relationship at all. I have an acknowledgement of Him, with no power. I need His power, I want a relationship…so whatever HE uses to get my attention I will count it all joy, like Job I will say: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”.

My radical7even moment: I will talk to my boss about funding for my position. I am currently on a contract that ends next August and I will be out of a job if other funding options are not found. The pass two years I haven’t been as proactive about asking my agency about funding opportunities or looking as diligently as I can to find one. Before time runs out I need to explore all the options my agency has for me, be more proactive about my life. I tend not to want to rock the boat and just trust that everything will work itself out. But in this case I feel lead to do more, so I shall step out.

Also, Danielle and I have decided to be bone marrow donors! I have had too many friends and family affected by Cancer and other diseases that marrow donation might help put into remission. Also, African Americans are needed to do more in this area, there is a shortage. I am a bit scared, because I don’t even donate blood (i KNOW, crazy right), but I have decided that this year I might be able to save a life. My first step is to donate blood before the end of the year is out.  I plan to celebrate my birthday this year raising money for Invisible Children.

Keep pushing

Renee`

To join the Starla prayer group click here:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=174438839301375

For more information on bone marrow donation visit: http://www.marrow.org/

For more information on Invisible Children:  http://www.invisiblechildren.com/

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Week 3 Pam

This week has been a struggle with no time for myself. I still have the injury from last weeks softball game plus a few more. We are in the middle of a move so I cannot rest and let it heal. I am in almost constant pain and I am trying to correct what I think is a potassium deficiency.  When I get done with this move I am going straight to the doctor. I have done badly on my diet also. I denyed myself so much to push through this week that I did not limit my calories at all. This is a trap that I get stuck in alot. Temporary self-neglect becomes long term. I cannot let that happen this time. I am also struggling with my limitations. When other people have problems, I take ownership of the work that needs to get done. I give my energy, money, and precious little free time. If I say no, there is this incredible guilt that I heap onto myself. Even though rationally I know better, I feel that if I do not do this I am not worthy of said persons friendship. This anxiety is not healthy or productive. This is probably how I have become such a multitasker. It takes the joy out of giving when it is motivated by fear of abandonment. This week I said no to someone I love. I just did not have a way to give what they needed. I felt that same guilt and fear creeping in to steal my joy. Then I took it to God and I gave it to Him. After a while I realized that this person was asking for something that really would not have solved their problem. Then I started feeling relieved that I had not been in a position to help.  If there had been a way, I would have taken this problem on without realizing the fruitlessness of it. I get involved in things that are just too much for me without going to God first. Huge mistake! I need a big caution sign to pop up and stop me I guess. My bible reading has mostly happened in the car this week while waiting for the kids to get out of school. I have set up a recycle sorting center in our new house to help with the environmental goals. I also added a few plants but only have written plans so far of the entire garden. I am not quite ready to tackle the rest of my goals yet. I am glad God is patient with me while I am trying to grow and change. I could not get through a day without needing strength from Him.

Uncomfort Zone: I went to a group discussion between members of AUM’s Gay Straight Alliance and members of the Christian community. It was called Transforming the Conversation and about 70 people attended.  There were some amazing and powereful stories about pain, rejection, God’s love and triumph. There was just too much to recap but I will say that no matter our differences we need to love everyone the way God does. Unconditionally. Otherwise we are cheating others and ourselves out of what God has in store for us.  Have a blessed and transforming week.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pam

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“I Still Hear Her Laugh Like She’s Here”~Audrey

I had an entry written and ready to type when I got to a computer this morning. It was suppose to be about babies and role models and self doubt. But when I got to work this morning, everything changed.

I am a therapeutic horseback riding instructor. I teach children and adults with disabilities how to ride horses and provide them with a fun form of therapy. I have seen many miracles happen but I have seen my share of miseries. This morning was the worst misery I have encounter in my job.

Each Tuesday I teach two adult riders from an assisted living home. Elaine and Dempsey have been coming to MANE since before I even started volunteering there. They had another rider that I had worked with but never taught who died about four years ago. Since then Elaine and Dempsey have continued to come out, and I have taught them for about on and off since I was hired at MANE. I taught them for at least the past year consecutively.

In the Spring, Elaine was diagnosed with other have health issues that I was assured were stabilized though you could see in her riding they were affecting her. When she started again this Fall, she used her limited communications to tell us she did not feel comfortable on the horse. I, as her instructor, was highly distressed. Elaine had always loved riding and had never, ever asked to get down. I knew in my gut something was wrong.

We continued to try to ride, even if for one lap each time, just to have fun and to rule out that it was not attention seeking behavior. She skipped riding last week because she was having some teeth pulled; the staff, volunteers, and the staff at the assisted living center, were optimistic that this would make a world of difference.

When I got into work today, my co-worker informed me that Elaine has passed away peacefully in her sleep Friday night. They unsure what the cause was, but that she was not in pain. My coworker assured me that she was in a better place and being her old self- the self that we loved. I couldn’t say anything; I was in shock.  No one had any indication that she was this sick. I had come in this morning with plans for her tomorrow-now I have none.

I am unsure about what to do with myself, other than stay busy. I try to keep the tears at bay till I can get some private time. I have volunteers I have to tell. The devastation on their faces seems like it will be too much to take. So I have told one and my co-worker is helping me tell the others. We have a group of volunteers that have worked with these riders for years. We are a team. And now our team is short one member.

On my part, I will miss her with all my being. She was truly one of those spirits who was happy no matter what life threw at her. I will remember her tricky ways, and her hugs, and the fact that I taught her something that made her so happy. I have always known I made a difference in her life, but I was never aware of what a difference her life made to mine.

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, and my lunch break time wanes, I try to put away the sad “what is class going to be with out her thoughts”, and  her laugh. I made her time her on Earth a little better.

Here’s to Elaine. You will be missed my smiling bean bag throwing trickster. “I hope they love you like we do.”

 

Song quotations are  from “Angel” by The Coors.

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Kelly’s Week 3 Update

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Jesus Piece ++Gem++

I have no idea how or why the phrase “Jesus piece” kept creeping into my thoughts. I tried to ignore it but for the past three days it has been following me around. Jesus piece, Jesus piece, Jesus piece. Now if you google this you will find many different descriptions for the term. But the definition I will go with for the sake of what I think God is dealing with in regards to my spiritual walk is : some type of representation of Jesus, could be jewelery, a bumper sticker, a bookmark in your book.  Let’s just say your Jesus piece in anything tangible that you may have that could signify “Hey I’m down with GOD”. We all have our Jesus pieces. For the past 6 years or so I have worn a gold necklace with a cross pendant around my neck. I like it, its pretty and I’ve only taken it off maybe 3 or 4 times over the past 6 years. This is my Jesus piece.

I’d like to say that whenever I get ready in the morning and see my necklace, I am reminded of the good works of the Lord. I’d also love to say that when something gets tangled in my necklace and I spend almost 30 minutes untangling it, I look down and stare at the cross and think my Lord was crucified and bore the sins of the world so that I could live a life full of his grace. I would also like to say that when someone compliments me on my necklace that I tell them what the cross means to me and the significance of God in my life. These are all things I would LIKE to say and do but I don’t. I have been wearing this necklace and it should be a reminder of all the things I mentioned but it isn’t. If I am chosing to have something that represents Christ, I should also be choosing to let it remind me of Christ. This is something that I now will strive to do. When I am having a rough day and feel like giving up I can look at me necklace and think: I can do all things through Christ who stregthens me me (Phillipians 4:13) Or when I have a day when I feel like there is no fight left in me, I can look at my necklace and think: The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still. (Hebrews 14:14).

Most of all I can let this “piece” remind me of the Lord’s “peace”. The rest of God, a place intended to shower his comfort and Grace upon us. God wants this for all of us. The Bible says in John “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

The Lord has given us peace, he has left it with us so that we can rest knowing that he will take care of us and we should not worry or be afraid. So I am proud to say that I rock a Jesus piece….I am even prouder to say that I am striving every day to rock Jesus’ peace 🙂

One day at a time

Gem

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