Summer sure flew by…I spent a lot of time with family, friends, cooking some of my favorite dishes, reading some awesome books, and joining a new shooting club with gals who like Glocks and to shoot them!
However, one thing that really rose to the surface of my consciousness is that life is all about connecting, relationships, and people. I’ve read several books pointing out this truth and always knew it to be true in my heart; however, this summer I got a good dose of real time experience with it.
Spending time with family and friends is always a desire of mine; however, I also planned on having a good time this summer riding my mare. I was getting a good start in late spring in that direction, then all of a sudden she got injured towards the end of June. This meant no riding, barrel racing, or pole bending, which is the bulk of my summer activity. Riding her at the end of a long day really lifts my spirits, gets me mentally and physically exercised, and gets me centered in the present moment. Due to where one of her injuries was located, it took two months to heal. There was a time in my past this would have really threw me off and upset me to the point I felt I was “missing out on life”.
However, God had other things for me to focus on this summer. After some praying to Him and “shaking off” the initial frustration of the situation, I was able to appreciate what God had in store for me next. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 (NIV) God opened up time and opportunity for me to enjoy the company of my family more than ever this summer. I got to know and fellowship with church friends and do other things I wouldn’t normally have been doing because I dedicate so much time to riding and horse activities. God had me making real connections. Connections that mean something. Connections that have purpose with people who are more real and genuine than the ones in the world I’m usually exposed to.
Below are just a few of my summer fun memories!
Although I don’t like to see my horse hurt, I can truly be grateful for the goodness God worked out of it. During the time it took for her to heal up, I spent cultivating relationships. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
These relationships will outlast any prize that can be won by competing on my horse. They will outlast the “I have to cram in as many horse related activities as possible” attitude. If this attitude gets out of balance, it can distract me from whom and what is really important. And they will certainly outlast the many shallow acquaintances that come with the territory of any activity or sport that involves money and competition. It feels good to invest my time and energy into the people and activities that really matter in life!
There were also the other usual type of ongoing lessons this summer such as establishing boundaries with people who disrespect me, clarifying misunderstandings, and discovering with a sad heart that I didn’t have as good of a connection with a specific someone as I thought I did.
I also had to say goodbye to my dog Eddie at the end of this summer. For us single people who go home to an empty house, our animals are a source of comfort. They are a source of comfort to many people whether single or married. Losing her was unexpected and saddening. But I take comfort in the scripture saying, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…Ecclesiastes 3:1-2(NIV)
And yet with all these lessons, this was one of the best summers I’ve had in a few years. I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 (NLT)
It’s knowing God and having nourishing and lasting relationships with the people who truly matter that make life beautiful in the midst of life’s lessons!
ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.