Have you ever found yourself in a situation you never thought you’d be in? For the past five months, I had the opportunity to do something that was way out of my comfort zone.
In case you don’t know…we live on a farm. We bought our place eight years ago and quickly acquired horses, goats, and chickens. My daughter, Ashley, is the animal lover and though she was only 14 years old when we moved to the country, she has always taken care of the animals.
And I have not.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve love seeing the horses grazing. I love watching baby goats being born. And I love eating eggs from our backyard coop. (And I love the incredible lessons our whole family has learned over the years as a result of living here.) I love this life.
But doing all the chores…well…that’s another story.
So, when my daughter headed out to Virginia for a dream-come-true five-month internship, guess who was left in charge of a herd of horses? We currently have no goats or chickens – just five big horses that I’ve happily admired from the other side of the fence.
So, here’s the thing. You can’t take care of horses without going into the paddock, putting on halters, picking up manure, moving them to fresh pasture. You have to get up close and personal with those great big creatures.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like the horses…it’s just that I wasn’t exactly comfortable. I hadn’t spent enough time interacting with them to trust them. I didn’t know what to do with them. Not even how to put on a halter.
But I do now!
I spent the last five months keeping them alive LOL. Feeding them hay, transitioning them to spring pastures, giving them grain twice a day, stacking hay in the barn for winter, and moving them to fresh grass each week.
And you know what? I loved it! Ok, full disclosure, I did the chores about a third of the time. We had an awesome team that pitched in to help. But five times a week, I got up close and personal with those gentle giants. No, they aren’t Percherons or Clydesdales – but they seemed that big to me – at least at the beginning.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I think God – with our best interest at heart – provides opportunities for us to step into an unsure place, conquer fear, and come out on the other side with more freedom, more confidence – and having been changed for good.
I’m sure I’ve let some amazing opportunities slip by over the years. But this one….well…what’s a girl to do? I’d do just about anything for my children so when the opportunity arose for my daughter to accept this internship, I chose to see this as an opportunity for me too.
What are my takeaways?
- Horses aren’t as scary as they seem once you get to know them. The same is true for anything we’re attempting to overcome. The reality is usually nowhere near as frightening as the stories we’ve been telling ourselves.
- We can learn new things at any age. It’s never too late (or too early) to change, to grow, and to conquer challenges. It’s so good for us!
- Being on a team is a beautiful thing. Going solo is hard. Being in community with people who have your back makes the journey much more do-able and a lot more fun.
- Mindset is key. What do I mean by mindset? Well, here’s the thing…from the very beginning of this grand adventure, I determined I was going to embrace it. I went into it with no other option but to conquer my fear and learn what God wanted me to learn through the process.
That positive can-do mindset was crucial. I honestly surprised myself with how quickly I acclimated to dealing with these creatures. Haltering them, moving them away from the gate, leading them into the barn for the farrier. All simple things for “horse people”, but not so easy for those just learning the ropes.
I think the same is true for anything we’re trying to conquer – including taking our next step toward wellness. What might seem easy for one person, is a big step for someone else. I want you to know that wherever you’re at on the journey, I’m here to support you and cheer you on to victory!
And if you want to be part of a supportive team – please come join my FREE Facebook Group filled with women who are choosing to conquer their next step to making wellness a way of life!
You in? Join us here.
P.S. Ashley came home yesterday and I couldn’t be happier. See that smile on my face? It’s not because she’s taking back over the horse chores, but because A. She’s home! and B. I did it! And you can too. You can do that thing you’re not really sure about. You can do that thing that’s standing in your way. You.can.do.it.
You ready? Join us here.