I’m beginning to think we bought our house in the wrong area. When we house hunt we pinpoint the best schools and search for a house there. It would be wonderful if we could know a church from the internet and pinpoint it then look for a house. My friend is a pastor’s wife, and she doesn’t have to worry about finding a church when she moves! And I didn’t have a horse when we moved here, so being close to the equestrian center would be a bonus. I’d love to be able to ride my bike to both places. And of course, the church is around the corner from where Gwinny lives now. Me? I live in the worst traffic San Antonio has, but my kids are in a good high school….and we like our house…and just the thought of moving for convenience gives me a full on anxiety attack. So I drive.
While I am driving I have time to think and process details of life, and this is only possible because it is country driving. City driving induces stress. But a country road is peaceful and it has a calming effect on me as I absorb the Texas hill country spread around me and feel my tensions unwind with every bend in the road. I think about the impact of one day in the scope of a life. When the boys were little I would wake them up and sing “this is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it” but there was a little sarcasm in my choice of wake up song because none of them were glad to be waking up and they always grumbled rather than rejoiced…and that gave me a little chuckle of my own.
When I’m having a trial in life that verse is a handle to hold so I don’t fall deep into the pit. God has given me each new day and there’s always something in it to make me glad and rejoice. I might have lamented the wasted time driving so far to ride Gwinny, but I find the drive is an opportunity to transition, to unwind, to pray, to count my blessings and thank God. I could storm about the many problems in our orphan care work, but no, that’s a conscious choice I am not going to do. My trainer for Gwinny calls it, “stinkin thinkin”, and it will undo the confidence it requires to ride well. It will also cast a dark shadow on the good I could do in a day if I give it my attention.
If I let the dark thoughts, the troubles, the stinkin thinkin to pervade, my creativity shuts down. My optimism hangs a closed sign on the door. My faith becomes retarded. I begin to hide inside my turtle shell. I know who the author of that stinkin thinkin is, and why would I listen to him when God the author of life and light has so much for me to see and do in each day?
I am a confident woman and always have been for as long as I can remember. If I have an interest then I am certain I will be able to do it. I never have doubts in my abilities to learn to do something, and learning is something I crave as if it were a bakery and I wouldn’t get sick if I indulged. But horseback riding has introduced me to a deeper place in myself where I encounter doubts and the requirements for confidence are greater than I think I possess. What a reveletion about myself to find at forty-four. In a twisted way it is exhilarating to have to dig deeper for confidence. Gwinny and I have been a pair for five months, and I’ve been riding for a year now. For a young horse and a new rider there is so much mutual trust that needs to be introduced into our working relationship and we are developing it daily. But the doubts can be powerful and they prevent me from riding her the way I want to because I don’t believe in myself to do it or in her to protect me through it. And the consequences are painful!! ( I ride other horses easily in the way I am hesitant to ride her!)
My trainer has shown me I can do it and Gwinny is willing to work with me not against me. It’s my stinkin thinkin that is in the way. So, I am plucking out the stinkin thinkin and I’m growing new confidence, positive words, motivational phrases, and I’m believing in the trust between beast and woman. And…I am happy to report….I am doing the thing that I was afraid to do with her…and it’s fun. I can feel my confidence soar and it sprinkles happy dust all over the rest of my life. Its raining happy dust because I eliminated the stinkin thinkin. I highly recommend it.
It’s interesting that while I overcome doubts and fears in riding, it is a mirror for our ministry. I am applying the same choices “to rejoice and be glad in it” with our work in Uganda as we care for fourteen children in our home there. The results are increased productivity, unleashed creativity, joy, and peace. It doesn’t matter that the problems are all still there. I just put up a wall and told the problems, stay behind there, I don’t want to look at you. Someone else has the job to deal with you, not me. It works. Watch out…the old me has been released…and soon I’ll come in at a gallop.