It’s that time of year when people like to ponder the good things that have come their way. I see the trend of daily status updates on Facebook, where everyone is counting a blessing along with each day of November, and while it is inspiring to read their grateful comments, I haven’t joined in the fad yet. I have looked at the blank where I’m supposed to type my comment, and ten minutes later I’m still sitting there, overwhelmed with my thoughts….the blank just isn’t big enough. I have so much to be thankful for.
This blog’s focus is the horses in my life, and anyone who knows me well will readily confess that there’s nothing I’d rather talk about than horses. But in reality, my heart has been overtaken by the man I married and these two kids we have. They are everything to me, and without them my life wouldn’t mean anything at all. Every new day with them brings more joy, more excitement, more love. For me, having little kids in the house means every moment is surprising, every word they say is an adventure, and every minute I spend with them is a new chance to give and receive their love.
It hasn’t always been this way. I have always had horses, but the years I spent as a single and very lonely adult have taught me that you can have all the neat things you ever wanted, but without someone to share it, your joy it is so empty. Horses provided me with a focus, something to keep my hands busy, and I spent a lot of my extra time at the stable. Now that I have a family, I don’t have any extra time. But instead I find that there is joy—yes, Margaret (see her comment on this post)—even joy in sorting laundry! Every little task is a chance to show them how eternally grateful I am to have them in my life.
Our daughter started Kindergarten this fall, and she is loving it. It’s her first real chance at making friends and socializing, since I have always stayed at home with her, and she didn’t attend preschool. She fit in easily, loves her teacher, and wakes up every morning with an appetite for more school. When she was very little, she unexpectedly hugged me one day, and said, “Mom, you’re my best friend.” Now that she’s in school, sometimes I tease her by asking if she’s taken me off her best friends list….nope, she is thrilled to tell me I’m still one of her top three friends. I can’t tell you what an honor that is.
And our little guy. He is just three, and probably to most people he would be a challenge. He likes to boss us all around, in a very superior fashion, with all the authority of a forty-five year old excecutive. I find myself almost believing it sometimes, because it is a shock to me that he is actually only three years old. He is a worker. He will help me do any job around the house, and will usually turn it into a farm chore. For instance, he hauls laundry to the washing machine in his grain cart, pulled behind his four-wheeler. He is constantly busy, and it is usually more work-related than play—and totally his choice. Cowboy Dad teases him, asking him if he’s “Dad’s boy?”….”No, Mom’s boy!” is always the response. I’m a pretty lucky gal.
And as for Cowboy Dad, I just can’t say enough about what an incredible person he is. For instance, he’s getting supper ready while I am writing this. He watched the kids earlier this afternoon so I could go out for a long horse ride—which was awesome, by the way! He’s very generous. Selfless. Patient. Longsuffering, if you want an archaic term which means he puts up with a whole lot. He was joking today at the dinner table that he has given me a Native American name, Three Mares….which, translated in English means “Nag, Nag, Nag!” It’s one of his favorite jokes.
Before I met and married my husband, I was a school teacher. I would go out shopping every day and buy something new—even if it was just a new color of nail polish. Because it made me feel like I had a reason to look forward to the next day, wearing my new nail polish, or a new shirt or whatever. But I would cry all the way back home in my car, because I was so lonely. I bought so many things, trying to be happy, that it could have become a huge problem, drained my bank account, and taken over my life. Instead, I met Cowboy Dad, and it completely changed me. I am a happy person because of him.
I am still shocked at the way God has blessed me. I have everything I’ve ever wanted. Now, sure, I’d like to have a new gate on my horse corral, a new rug in the bathroom, a car that doesn’t clunk when you put it in reverse (I know, it’s a U-joint problem!), and a nice pair of winter boots. And if I really got to thinking, the list would be a lot longer. But I’m happy without those things.
So I thank God for this happiness, and I never take it for granted. I try to stay in a mindset of constant thankfulness, not just at Thanksgiving, but all of the time. God has given me so much to be thankful for. I am happy because of Him.