Aching Arms

I had to put my horse down yesterday.   I awoke this morning and looked out back at the horses, and she was not there.  Every morning for the past couple years, I would look out and see her butt sticking out of the shelter.  The other two (horse and pony) would be nuzzled inside and Marcy (my horse), being the last in the pecking order, would only get to stick her head in the shelter.  Today, there was an empty space in that shelter.   Yesterday I had to make the painful decision, on her behalf, and thankfully it was an obvious decision (it was not easy).  Her injured eye had given way, requiring either expensive surgery to remove the eye or the need to put her down.  The vet came out to check the eye one more time to be certain whether or not the eye had a chance.  We had to sedate Marcy for the vet to look her over because it was so painful for Marcy.  The vet confirmed that the eye had ulcerated and the ulcer had burst.  That is when it hit me.  It was time to say goodbye.  Up until that moment of truth, I still held out hope that there might be something we could do to help her heal.  Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do.   We had to wait a while for the sedation to wear off enough to walk Marcy to the place where we would lay her body to rest.  I had to hold her head up while she was sedated in her stall in order to help her stay steady standing up until the sedation wore off.  It was a precious time of hugging and kissing her and saying good bye.  But her head was heavy.  Today my arms literally ache.  But my heart aches more.   For 18 years, I have had the opportunity to see my horse and spend time with her.  Today, I no longer have that opportunity.  When I awoke yesterday, I did not know that it would be the last day[…]

Good Medicine

Today is the last day that I have to give my horse, Marcy, her antibiotic.  I am relieved.  She does NOT like it.  Even though I carefully mix the medicine with applesauce, she does everything she can to spit it back out of her mouth and avoid letting it her mouth to begin with.  Then, she proceeds to not eat anything for an hour or two after I give her the medicine.  She stands there looking pathetic, even drooling as she tries to avoid swallowing the medicine.   Initially this behavior made me worry.  Horses love to eat.  They do not really have a “full” sensor, so they would literally eat themselves to death if you let them.  This is why horse owners have to be careful to keep the grain locked up tight.  If a horse is not eating, it is a sign of a problem.   Marcy endured so much trauma that it was (still is) difficult to determine the extent of the damage.  Having her not eat, added extra concern until I realized that the medicine gave her a bad taste in her mouth.  To her, the medicine is no good, but I know that the medicine is necessary to help her heal.  The medicine is good.   “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).   Throughout this whole ordeal (Marcy getting hurt), I have done a good share of worrying.  I have worried about whether or not I was making the right decision to help her heal, instead of putting her down so she does not have to suffer.  I have worried that her eye will not heal (if her eye does not heal, I will have to put her down).  I have worried that she is not behaving right at times (not eating).  I worried about a lot more things, but I will spare you from the long list.   I did not want to worry, it is what happened if I was not actively fighting against it.  Thankfully, whenever I would become consciously aware that[…]

Loss of Sight

Last week, my family and I headed out for our annual trip to South Carolina to see my brother and his family.  We were somewhat exhausted beginning our trip as we had a lot of details to be figured out and work to be done before we could be ready to leave our home for 2 weeks.  In typical fashion, we got everything done just in time, and we were looking forward to a little R & R.   We were having a nice visit with family when we received the call on Saturday night that my horse had been severely injured.  As I sat and talked with the vet, I was legitimately worried that my horse would need to be put down.  I was a 13 hour drive from home with a little over a week left of our trip.  I was helpless to do anything other than make phone calls to people who could help in my stead.   We made the decision to come home a week early, driving straight through to get home in one day.  Monday night I was able to see, in person, the extent of the damage.  It was bad.  It was ugly.  It was a little frightening.  My horse (Marcy) was scared.   Marcy had somehow crushed the bone structure that protects and supports her right eye.  Her eye now sits in a different location on her face than it should.  The damage was extensive – the worst injury my vet has seen for a long time.  It was obvious that Marcy could see very little, if anything, out of her right eye.  She would startle if I touched her from her right side because she could not see me coming.  It broke my heart.   I was exhausted from worrying and crying.  I had to repack to come home before we had even settled in on vacation.  I was worn out from traveling all day with two kids.  I was disappointed that we had to leave our vacation way too early and miss out on the extra time spent with my[…]

Our Incomplete Story

For those who are curious about a story (mine) that God is writing…   We literally had one opportunity to get pregnant in June of 2005, and low and behold, we learned on July 2 that we were pregnant with our firstborn, a daughter.  Since we had seemingly had no problem getting pregnant the first time, we were quickly puzzled when the reality that building our family may not happen in our way or in our timeframe.   When our daughter was about a year and a half, we started trying for another child.  Like many people, we wanted our children close together in age.  Every month that ticked by felt like time running away from us and we were powerless to stop it.  After a year of trying, we sought medical assistance with Dr. Dodds and the Fertility Center.   We were hesitant to seek medical assistance for fear of trying to “play God.”  Were we trying to make something happen, trying to take control?  Would God bless it if we got pregnant this way?  Many other questions wrestled around in our heads, but we received an encouraging word from a friend that has forever had an impact.  He said, “Since we know that it is the heart of God to bless us with children, I would do anything (morally) to make it happen.”  Hearing these words gave us the encouragement to keep moving forward without doubting whether or not God was with us.  He was and IS with us.  We were seeking life (a child) where there had been death (an empty womb).   God is the life-giver, and he sometimes uses medicine to make that happen.  We are so grateful he has.   Our story…   In the summer of 2007, we thought the dream of owning a home on enough land to keep our horses would be realized.  We found a dilapidated home on 5 acres at a price we could afford.  The house was in terrible shape, but we were willing to put in the work and we knew enough people who would be willing[…]

Friend

Friendship is hard.   It does not matter if you are in 1st grade, 32 years old, or 80 something.  Being a good friend and maintaining good relationships with people takes work, commitment, and intentionality.  There are no guarantees that your efforts will pay off in the way you would like, but if you are willing to work at it, wonderful, life-giving relationships can develop.   I had several conversations about friendship with my daughter over the past school year.  I have learned that in first grade, the goal of friendship seems to mainly involve having someone to play with.  Once you have a “friend” to play with, you hope they want to do what you want to do.  Manipulation can enter the scene when both parties are not in agreement about how to play.  They say things like, “If you don’t do this with me, I am not going to sit by you at lunch.”  The threat is dangled in hopes that it will sway the other person, and they will do what is desired by the keeper of the threat.   As we get older, our friendships hopefully grow out of the selfish, manipulative stage as we become more aware of the highly rewarding call to BE a good friend.  Hopefully we somehow make the transition from viewing friendship from the perspective of what we can get from it, and in its place we recognize a deeper fulfillment that comes from what we offer to the friendship.   Lately, I have been pondering the idea of Jesus as my friend, and it has been a tough concept to wrap my mind around.  Even after much time wrestling with this concept, I still feel I have very little idea what it really means to call Jesus, “friend” and to have him call me his friend.  And yet, Jesus has been stirring my heart and calling me to a greater understanding.  I can tell that he wants to move me from an elementary understanding of our relationship to a more mature friendship.   If he really does call me friend[…]

Welcome to unwaveringhope.com!  I am so glad you are here. This space was created when my life story was not following the path I expected.  For years, infertility was the main topic of my wrestle.  These days, I find myself sorting through the mental chaos of mothering, wife-ing, friend-ing, teacher-ing, daughter-ing and what-is-my-life-purpose-ing.  As I try to steady my thoughts and park them in a healthy place, God has made one thing clear:  maintaining hope in Him is the key. Check out my blog for a window into my story.

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