Last November I began helping a friend of mine build a website for his organization. When we began there wasn’t money in the organization’s budget for a website but it was needed nonetheless.

Back when life was far different, I didn’t mind and he offered an old fashioned form of payment–how about a horse?

At that time, Kari was wanting one and so I began working to get her a horse, after all, what nicer a present from a loving husband to his wife.

Well, things at home rapidly deteriorated over the next four months and I moved out in late-March.

Rebuilding My Life

Since that time I’ve made some deep down decisions to fight the travesties of life and give it a run for its money. Nearly every day I work to build websites, offer strategic planning advice, media relations, and we are doing some incredible market testing for the innovative Cleanpen product. (Did you see the Black Friday deal over on SantaCantGetSick.com? Hurry, I think that price is still available!)

And in that time, my friend has continued to look for “my horse.”

Well, three weeks ago he called and said he had one.

There’s an App-aloosa For That

His name is Jag, (and for those of you reading who might want to try and stir up trouble, he’s yet to cost me a penny.)

But what he’s already begun to bring me is a new form of therapeutic peace.

As I’ve noted multiple times here this year, my dog, Molly, was given away two days after I moved out without the chance to do anything about it. I never even got the chance to say goodbye. That has left a painful hurt in my soul.

So I’m trying to build a routine into my life where I go see the horse, spend some time talking to him, and getting him more and more acquainted with me.

My three eldest daughters, Chandler, 13, and the twins, Reagan and Haley, 11, have been out to see Jag twice now. The first time we went, they got to ride a second Appaloosa out on the farm.

We wanted to bring my six-year-old daughter, Ashleigh, yesterday, (She’s only been out there once) but her grandparents were in town and so, the girls and I went by ourselves.

Pent Up Frustrations

Driving over to see Jag like I’ve been doing, (I try to go about the same time of the day when I go so he gets attuned to seeing me with some regularity,) I’ve usually found myself fed up with the seemingly overwhelming pressures of the day.

But as we drove back last night, I felt again what I usually do when I leave the farm…I felt relaxed and renewed.

Arrival

I knew upon arrival on Saturday that Jag was loose in the pasture. I don’t know how long, but apparently he’s been allowed to roam free like that for a good while. The past three weeks have been a time of reminding him that he’s no longer free to roam the Texas countryside.

So when we got there, the girls took off across the field to where he was, standing on the other side of a barbed wire fence. I went to the barn to get him a pail of oats and then walked toward where the girls and Jag were. I also brought with me a rope with which to lead him if that became a possibility.

Jag has probably never been around three teen and pre-teen girls like he was yesterday, but not once did he show that he minded. With my pail of oats I walked out to him, and while he didn’t come running to me, within a minute or so, he was eating the oats and allowed me to fasten the lead rope to his halter.

We then began walking him toward the dirt area of the pasture. I led him at first. Then Chandler took over once I felt like he wasn’t going to rear up on her or the other two. Then Reagan led him. And then Haley.

Once Jag finished his oats treat, Haley then took off with the bucket to get him some hay. While she was gone, the other two of us began walking him in big circles and getting him used to being led by cute girls.

Once he saw the bucket headed his way again, he got even more responsive.

And at that point, three girls who were largely afraid of him three weeks ago began their journey as horse trainers. Each took turns leading Jag. They were each petting his nose and neck. Chandler obviously wants to do something to sharpen up his mane. It needs it.

And for three girls who would barely put their hands out when feeding him hay two weeks ago, Chandler reached her hands into the bottom of the pail asking if he’d eat oats straight off her hand.

And with all the confidence and tenderness there could be in the world, she did just that. And yes, Jag will eat oats straight off her hand.

Out of the Ordinary

Maybe to some of you country foke this doesn’t sound like much, but to a dad who apparently only makes daughters, this was pretty fantastic to me. Remember, just a few days ago I was posting that if nothing out of the ordinary happened this weekend, even if I didn’t get to see any of my girls, I’d still be okay, albeit lonely, but okay?

But through it all, God has helped me find other joys in life that I have previously been missing. Just like I fastened that lead rope to Jag’s halter and began to walk him around the pasture yesterday, God has been doing the same to me in 2010. More on that later.

I’m so proud of my girls. They’re growing up so fast and soon they’re going to be out in the world on their own.  That exhilarates and scares me for them all at the same time.  How many mistakes do I have to sit back and watch them make so they don’t suffer the way I have?  Can I help them steer around life’s problems and is that good for them?

So many points to ponder, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the memories of the Thanksgiving Day Weekend 2010.  It’s far different a picture than I would have painted 365 days ago.  So if it can be this different this year, I’m left with the simple hope and prayer that it can be vastly better this time in 2011.  I’ll go where God leads me.  And for the moment, he’s led me to a very happy place.




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