Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stay Calm and Keep Smiling!

Stay calm and keep smiling!
Okay, I admit it. I'm one of those people who knows just enough about technology to get themselves into trouble. Over the past five years, I've built and maintained several websites. So, this year I decided to start a blog.

Little did I know that when I moved my website to a new URL, the blog would not "port" to the new address. When I contacted support, they told me it was nowhere to be found. Consequently, my old blog, which was also called Cowgirl at Heart, disappeared into the void where all code goes to die. Apparently. Wonderful.

But hark, there's hope! 

Today, I'm starting over with Blogger. And you know what? I'm enjoying the new format so much that I'm a little giddy. So, to celebrate this momentous occasion, I'm posting a picture of my office dog Allie, who reminds me that things usually always work out for the best. How can you not be inspired by a face like that?

So, welcome to my new blog! Allie and I hope you come back to visit us regularly. If you have the time, please introduce yourself. I'm looking forward to meeting you. Feel free to pop over to my website at:, to see what else I'm working on.

In the meantime, if you run into any technology gremlins, remember what Allie the office dog says: "Stay calm and keep smiling!"

How God Revealed Himself Through a Fishing Santa Claus

She cradled it to her chest and between 
sobs said, "It's my Santa."
Since my last post was about keeping a journal, I thought I’d share an incident I journaled about that illustrates how God revealed Himself through a fishing Santa Claus (pictured to the right).

For the past few weeks, we’ve been grieving the loss of a beloved uncle. We were also next of kin, so we’ve been dealing with much more than just his passing.

Before we left for the memorial, I had searched through Uncle Tom's things for pictures to set out for people to enjoy. As I rummaged through a box, a figurine caught my attention, so I grabbed it and put it inside my tote. When I got to the memorial, there wasn’t a place to display it, so I ended up keeping the doll inside my bag during the service.

Afterward, I was exiting the aisle when I noticed a nursing home resident sitting on the end of the row. She was overcome with emotion, so I stopped to comfort her. She cried out, "He was my Santa Claus and now he's gone. My Santa is gone..."  I knelt down to speak to her and knew in an instant that the figurine inside my tote was meant for her. I gave it to her and she burst into tears. Then she cradled it to her chest and between sobs said, "It's my Santa."  

I glanced up at my son, who’d been waiting for me to exit the aisle. His eyes were brimming with tears, as were mine. I waited for her to gather herself, then I tucked the figurine into a pouch that was strapped to her walker, and helped her to her feet. She wheeled back to her room with Santa Claus stowed safely away like a long lost treasure.  

My son and I stared at each other in utter amazement at what we'd just witnessed. God had revealed His Glory and comforted us through that fishing Santa Claus. You see, I had waited until the last minute to find something to bring. My procrastination had added extra stress to an already stressful situation, as we were heading out the door. 

I'd been beating myself up all week about getting something together, but I wasn't ready to sift through Uncle Tom's personal things yet. Looking back, I realize that if I had gone through them any sooner, I probably would have forgotten the doll at home, as I'd been feeling scattered all week. 

I believe the Holy Spirit led me to an impulse decision to take that Santa Claus with me. Another event documented in my journal that illustrates God's perfect timing and care during a time of grief. And that's how God revealed Himself to me and my son, and a grieving nursing home resident, through a fishing Santa Claus.

The older I get, the more I realize that God is always working behind the scenes. Has God revealed Himself to you in a special or unusual way? Please share it with me, as I'd love to hear about it.

Your Thoughts Belong in a Journal Not the Clothes Dryer

I keep my journal open on my desk.
I keep my journal open on my desk so I can jot down thoughts as they occur. This may seem scary to those of you who know me. For those of you who don't, my husband refers to my creative thought process as "the clothes dryer." Everything tends to tumble around in there non-stop. I try to capture ideas before they fly out the door, because when those thoughts are gone, they're like lost socks. Thank goodness I've kept my memories intact through 27 years of journal keeping.

You might be wondering what I journal about? Or maybe not, after that intro.

I'm sure my journals won't attract a big movie deal, or anything. Nor will they become a best-selling autobiography. However, there's a nice mix of history, politics, lifestyle, travel, job changes, business decisions, prayers, and answers to prayers that might interest a historian one day.

I can hear the collective groan. You're asking, why would I write about all that mundane stuff in my life? Believe it or not, pioneer women struggled with the same sort of issues that we do. Some things never change, like dealing with menfolk and seeking God's grace in our humanity.
I draw the line at learning that my spouse
 was hatched from an alien pod in the basement.

Still unconvinced? Perhaps you're worried that people will read your deepest darkest secrets. I admit, I used to cringe at the idea. However the older I get, the more I realize people have more in common than they think. Reading how someone worked through turbulent times helps others navigate those same treacherous waters.

For instance, my mother-in-law just turned 90 years old. Just think of all the turbulent changes she's gone through in her lifetime. I hope to find nuggets of wisdom in her journals. But then again, some things are better left unsaid. I draw the line at learning that my spouse was hatched from an alien pod left inside her basement.

I admit, it can be risky to write everything down. Recently, my 20-year old daughter happened upon my open journal and came to me in tears. When I asked her what was wrong, she said she never realized that I prayed for her every day. What type of legacy will you leave behind when you're gone? Hopefully, not a fleet of pods.

Do you remember what you were doing at President Kennedy's funeral? I distinctly remember watching the black horse without a rider (figures I'd remember the horse). Hey, come on, I was only 6-years old at the time. My mother and I were riveted to our black and white television set. She was ironing my father's boxer shorts, of all things. A pivotal moment in our nation's history and all I remember is the way she made perfect creases in my dad's shorts. My mother was an ironing goddess.

Not to be disrespectful of the significance of that moment in our nation's history, but who even irons anymore? So much has changed since my childhood. Nowadays, instead of spending five minutes pressing our clothes, we spend fifteen minutes hunting down the bottle of fabric relaxer so we're not late for work. That seems much less stressful, don't you think? Wait a minute, I need to make a note of that observation...

Have you ever thought about keeping a journal? Perhaps I've ruined any notion you've ever had of starting one. Please forgive me, but feel free to share. Be forewarned, though. Your reply might end up in somebody's journal. Either that, or in the clothes dryer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Heartwarming Tail

Whenever I hold them, I'm overcome with a rush of emotion.
Nope! It's not a typo--tail, not tale. Although, I've been known to weave a few tales involving horses (as well as typos). But today, I'm referring to the actual tail from a horse I used to ride.

This morning, I read a blog post at Harlequin Heartwarming's blogspot, entitled Heartwarming and Horses, by Leigh Riker. In her post, Riker describes a brick she had set in a walkway outside of Saddlebred Museum at Kentucky Horse Park in memory of her horse. Leigh's story squeezed my heart so much that it prompted me to share my own heartwarming tail, shown in the picture to the right.

Back in my younger (more limber) years, my husband and I spent many weekends with friends on their ranch. We rode and trained horses together, traveled to shows, and spent nights under a canopy of stars using hay bails as head rests. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? Maybe at twenty-something, but the truth is I'm just too old to sleep in the bed of a pickup truck anymore. Funny how you only remember the romantic parts of a situation and not the aches and pains that went along with it. In fact, I'm so spoiled now that I complain if my hotel doesn't rate at least 3 stars. But, I digress...

Recently, I was blessed to reconnect with our friends in California. David made me these key fobs shown in the picture above. They're woven from the tails of the horses we used to ride together. The horses are all passed away now, but these keepsakes will always remind me of the wonderful memories we share with these dear friends. Whenever I hold them, I'm overcome with a rush of emotion.

Is there something special in your life that overwhelms you with emotion whenever you hold it?