I Got My Uniform and Now I am Ready To Work!

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“Mom, I need a t-shirt because I have to be in my uniform!”  Zoe made a statement as if truth was held in this precious shirt. Her mom laughed and grabbed a shirt resigned to the fact that her daughter loved few things better than this farm.

Zoe has been riding here for almost four years. She has “trained” all of our horses and ponies, and she loves each one as only she can.  She proudly tells every new student or instructor all that she knows about each horse.

“Now BRUTUS, he is big!” She pats the big Fresian on the shoulder and her eyes twinkle with pride.  “I trained him too!” She holds her hand on his massive shoulder and gazes into his eyes like a mother with her newborn babe.

Everyday when she walks to her mother’s beautiful car she tells all that one day she will work here. That day is finally coming. Her mother asked me if she thought Zoe could “work” here once school let out. Zoe overheard our conversation and said with pride, “Mom, you can just drop me off and I’ll work here!” Zoe can hardly wait to have the independence that she sees the other helpers have.

I easily have four to five helpers-volunteers everyday that tirelessly assist instructors, tack or untack horses and ponies, clean stalls, leather, tack-shack or sidewalk and lead during lessons. They are an integral part of my farm, and it would be impossible to run this farm without their unwavering support. Zoe has dreamed of the day when she would do what they do.

Last Saturday she got her RAISE YOUR DREAMS FARM t-shirt and it is with great pride that she will wear her uniform to work!  When that day comes I know few who would be prouder to be at this little farm that holds hope.

Jill Mansor, owns RAISE YOUR DREAMS FARM. She is also a motivational speaker and author of FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH (available on Amazon or http://www.jillmansor.com)

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Let’s Raise A Praise!

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What should one do, when their hope is failing?  Raise a Praise!

It is my first year living at my farm.  As a single woman, operating a farm, opening a business, working full-time as a high school teacher, I was struggling in every aspect of my life.  The original fence at the farm was an electric tape that my ponies loved to push down and climb through.  Though they never went to the road, my neighbors would find them in their backyard, or lounging under my beautiful oak tree in the front yard.  I had to do something.

I took all my money from my savings to buy a wooden fence.  I ordered the fence, never thinking that I would need to calculate two to three feet needed to stabilize the posts that would be buried in the ground.  Because I ordered the fence, it was cut to my specifications.  The fence posts were only five feet in length, not the required eight feet.

The fence installer looked at my devastating miscalculation, shook his head, and said, “This fence won’t hold a horse,” and I did what most would do, I hung my head in complete despair.  I knew that I had just lost the biggest investment I had made at my farm, $12,000 of complete waste.

The fence installer left imploring me to get new fencing, but I knew I did not have the money to re-order new fencing.  In my mind, I had just lost all.   I drug myself into my prayer closet and did what I knew I had to do, praise the Lord.  Initially it was very hard to praise when my heart was like a soaked blanket.  I was determined to get God to work on my behalf.

One hour of praise led to two, then three hours until I felt my heart loosen, and the words of praise rang true in my sorry heart.  I called the lumber yard, just knowing in my heart, God would make a way out of this mess.

When the lumber yard said they would take it back and refund my money, I literally fell to my knees.  They charged me a service and handling fee, but it was minuscule compared to the thousands I had just given to them.  I learned a valuable lesson that only God can teach us when we are in the valley.  Praise Him until you get out of it!

When hope is lost, despair is walking boldly into your heart and mind, that’s when it calls for a mighty praise!

Have you ever praised the LORD when all hope was failing, and He took your despair and turned it into joy?

Please share!  And always, thanks for reading my rambling!  LOVE YOU ALL!

Thread Bare Faith

 

IMG_1654I know I must, then why is it so hard to do it?  What must I do?  Praise the LORD, that’s my mandate, but I am slain in overwhelming disappointment.  I thought that after I battled cancer my life would be restored.  Instead, I lay in destruction.

I am fighting my fear, disappointment, and hopelessness.  You see, I did something the world would say was crazy.  After not being able to work last year, I closed a large account, in anticipation of spending it on my crushing debt.  After an extended fast, God said, “Do you trust me?”

I emphatically answered with a resounding YES!  What He told me to do next, rocked me to my core, “Give me all that you have.”  I had thousands of dollars in my account, earmarked for debt, and God was asking me to give it all to Him.

With shaking hands, I trusted Him, and wrote the check out for everything I had.

I rested in the glorious verses,  Malachi 3:10-11

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. 11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your land, and the vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the LORD of Hosts.…

Luke 6:38

38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Admittedly, I was getting excited with expectation of how He would use this extraordinary gift.  What came next rocked my world and left me spiraling in despair.

First, my sweet aged horse went into a severe colic and double pneumonia.  The vet bill crushed me.  Next, we were hit with a tax bill of $13,000.  Then our two-month-old refrigerator stopped working, and because it is under a warranty, Sears said they can’t come out for nine days.  All our food spoiled.  My tractor stopped working and now it is in the shop.  Everywhere I looked was destruction.

Maybe I will be laugh at these calamities someday, but right now it is raw.  I cried out to God, and proclaimed the verses of hope, prosperity, and all that is afforded to a believer in Jesus.  My faith is faltering, my strength failing, and my hope is thread bare.  Then I thought about it all, God is God of my life.  Even this period of wilderness will bear much fruit.  I am learning that my circumstances are temporary, He is forever.

I got my praise music on and literally laid on the floor, tears streaming down my face.  My big fluffy dogs trying to comfort me.  I did not care, I was going to lay there until He changed my heart from despair to hope.  If He gives me nothing, I am still going to praise Him for saving this sorry soul from the pit of hell.  I will smile in the face of defeat, because God is working it all out for my good, even when I wish His “good” was my kind of good.  My Father is a good God, and He loves me too much to leave me in this wretched place.

I repeat out loud, as if it were a battle cry.  “I am your daughter!  You are my God, and I will serve You no matter how bad it looks!  Have mercy O Great God!”

Immediately, my heart is restored, hope floods in, and I know that He will bring good gifts, I only need to hold onto hope.

Are you in the valley of despair?  Let me pray for you, please just put your name in the comment box.

Jesus Saves Wretches Like Me

I came to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, not because I wanted to, but because I had to.  While staying at one of the oldest homes in a quaint little town in southern New Jersey, I was in trouble, spiritual trouble.  I was house sitting this beautiful masterpiece.  But what I did not know was that it was haunted.  Lights going on, chairs moving, banging, thumping, electrical humming sounds, and most disconcerting was the overwhelming fear I had.

That morning, the phone kept ringing, and as soon as I grabbed the phone, all I heard was a dial-tone.  Frustrated, I went to the only thing that could help me, a pastor.  While speaking with him on the phone about what I was experiencing, the phone began to ring.  An impossibility, there was no other line except the one that I was on.

“Pastor, if I accept Jesus Christ, will this phone stop ringing?” I was desperate for answers to questions that I did not know.

“I don’t know, but what you will have is the power inside of you to stop it,” he said the  word that I longed for- power.  I knew deep in my heart that it was essential for me to have that power, without it, I was surely going to be destroyed.

I accepted Jesus Christ that day as my Savior out of desperation.  Little did I know that for one year, I would be harassed by strong demonic forces at my little home in Delaware.  During  that year I learned and understood the significance of the power living inside of me, and my life has never been the same.

It is a fantastic story and available in my book, Fighting for the Finish, on http://www.jillmansor.com or amazon.  I am currently holding a contest on my FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH WRITTEN BY JILL MANSOR FB PAGE to win a free signed copy.

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This is a picture from my farm, Raise Your Dreams, in southern New Jersey.

Sometimes the World Becomes Right when Riding a Horse

Life can be hard, but I always found peace on the back of my beloved horse, RAISE YOUR DREAMS.  He became an extension of me, and I was his.  Many hours were spent at the barn with this special horse making my life right with my two-thousand pound hero.

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Sometimes You Just Need to get Violent!

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Battling cancer all year, two blown knees, and lymphadema in my left arm, I felt that I was broken beyond repair.  Until I had an epiphany!

You are a child of God! You don’t have to live in despair! Claim who you are!  God was speaking to me!

“Ok devil, I’m serving you notice! The battle is already won! I’m a child of the most high God! You cannot, will not be able to touch me!” Admittedly it felt good!  I got up and started to walk, usually painful beyond belief.  This time, I was going to praise God for the healing He promised me the day He died on the cross.

“Thank you Father for my healing!  I walk in victory, I speak in victory! I am more than a conqueror through Christ!”  Emboldened by faith, I knew that I was learning to live above my circumstances.

That night as I climbed into bed, my husband said, “You aren’t in any pain?” He was so accustomed to me complaining, moaning and groaning throughout my day that he noticed the silence of peace that comforted my heart.

“No, Dan! Do you believe it?  God taught me that sometimes I just need to get violent!”

“Violent?”

“Yup, violent with the devil! I beat him up so badly by claiming all GOD has for me, that he dare not come near me!” I laid down and a tear of gratefulness welled in my eyes.  For the first time in a year, I felt no pain!  I was healed, always had been, I just needed to claim what I knew I had!

 

Lesson Learned

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“Miss Jill, I want to pray!” Luke, the just-turned-seven-year-old-who-grew-one-inch, stood before me.  He was part of the six-strong nuggets that lived next door to me

“Great Luke, what do you want to pray about?” I asked.

“I want to thank God, but I don’t know how to do it,” with that he tilted his head, seeking an answer.

“It is easy, just talk to God like you talk to me,” I held my hand out, a signal that we were going to pray.

He bent his beautiful head, “God, thank you for horses, Miss Jill, and Luke (a paint horse that had his same name), AMEN!”

He looked up at me, proud of himself for praying on his own.

As I walked into my home I was struck by his heart that sought Thanksgiving. When was the last time I thanked God for all that He has done for me?  Thanks Luke for teaching me a lesson.

Zelda Speaks Love Without a Sound

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Zelda has never spoken or written a single word in her life, but she writes everyday letters of love and hope on the hearts of those she has touched.  I’m blessed enough to say that I have witnessed it firsthand.

Zelda was born with cerebral palsy that crippled the left side of her body and in response her hands and feet have turned inward, making that part of her body useless.

No one is certain why she can’t speak or why she can’t hear.  But last night she heard the silent cry of a young woman in anguish and she answered it with all the love she has inside of her colossal heart.

Chrissy is twenty years old but looks more like she is forty.  Her life has left her heart broken.  She cannot speak and signs only two words Mommy and Hungry.  Her mom was unable to care for her once she reached adulthood, and she made the difficult decision to allow her to be with adults similar to her.  She found it in a wonderful group home for adults where she is cared for tirelessly by the most wonderful people who truly care about her.

On this particular Thursday she came to equine therapy with a sad face.  She was uncomfortable and frequently picked at her pants.  She was not going to ride because she seemed upset and she would whimper periodically no matter how much we wanted to see her buddy, Buttons, the fat pony.  She would shake her head vehemently and sit resolutely in our comfy Adirondack chairs.

That’s when Zelda came to the rescue.  With her numb leg she drug herself across the yard, which is the equivalent of crossing the Mohave Desert.  She sat in the chair next to Chrissy and tried to speak.  Her lips curled and her tongue puckered as dribble washed down her face.  She didn’t care; she wanted Chrissy to know she cared.  It did not matter that only grunts came out, her eyes and genuine smile said it all.

Zelda looked at me and signed love and then she pointed at Chrissy.  In her poignant and loving way, Zelda spoke the language everyone wants to hear- someone cares!

Zelda, you amaze me everyday!  I am the one who is richer for knowing a champion that conquerors everyday battles that all of us take for granted.  You do it all with a smile or giggle.

Keep loving all the people that you meet because I am the woman you have most changed!

Be Still and Know that I AM GOD!

In the rush of life, sometimes it is just good to be still, pray, and allow God to work in my life.  My students start every lesson off with prayer.  They have come to recognize the importance of asking God to be with them as they ride and work around 1500 pound animals that could spook because a simple plastic bag is flying across a field.  It is here that we begin with the most important aspect of RAISE YOUR DREAMS FARM!

Do you need peace?  Be still, pray, and allow God to work it all out!

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Nothing Better- Loved by Great Pyrenees

 

Snowball watching over his kids!
Snowball watching over his kids!
Timmy and the boys- Frosty and Snowball
Timmy and the boys- Frosty and Snowball
Sweet Frosty greets even those that are afraid of big dogs
Sweet Frosty greets even those that are afraid of big dogs

Living in the country is full of excitement.  Skunks that have made their home in my barn, and I was inadvertently sprayed because I reached down to pet what I thought was one of my cats.  There was also the time that the bulls from across the street decided to stampede down my driveway and into my horse pasture.  Lest I forget the time that the horses got out and decided to stand in the middle of the road, stopping traffic.  This is my life on a glorious horse farm, named Raise Your Dreams Farm.

Unfortunately there are some people who also enjoy perusing the country-side searching for an easy target.  My neighbor heard noises coming from his basement only to find a bad guy hanging out.  So when our neighbor had her barn broken into, my husband and I began in earnest to find a dog that would be intimidating enough to scare any would-be robber into thinking twice about coming to our farm.

As luck would have it, we were watching the Animal Planet TV show and they were featuring the Great Pyrenees dogs.  They were excellent guard dogs and would defend their “family” even to the death.  Their size was intimidating enough, 150-180 pounds, standing about 3 feet in height.  We had the land, and of course the livestock that needed their protection, so we concluded that these might be a good dog to invest in.  We ordered two fluff ball puppies on the internet, brothers that we named Frosty and Snowball.

I could not imagine any puppy cuter than these rather large bundles of white downy fur.  They slept all the time, played with one another, ate, and then slept again.  Unlike my labs, these puppies enjoyed laying around more than being up and getting into mischief.

As they got older, we realized these were no ordinary dogs.  A baby in a stroller was something for them to protect and they would even block the mother from attending to her infant, a toddler learning how to walk, they would walk next to them slowly allowing the child to balance themselves off of their broad backs.  A loud truck driving by, now that was something to be chased unto its death.  Occasionally the township worker would blow their horn to incite total havoc in my yard amongst my fierce dogs.  We have an electric fence around our home and thankfully they respect it because I think a lot of joggers and bikers would be in serious trouble if they ever got a hold of them.

If you are visiting the farm for the first time, expect to be stopped immediately and then escorted down the driveway to the parking space where they want you to park.  Get out of the car and expect to be sniffed and nudged until satisfied.  They will never wag their tail, until they feel that you are an accepted part of their “family”.  If they find you suspicious, they will bark until my husband and I are alerted.

Their favorite activity is to bark, dig, and chase anything that should not be riding down the road.  This is their property and they will not have any shenanigans here.  But their soft side is always shown to all that come here.  They beg for pets, high-five the kids, and lay on you if you happen to lay down on the soft ground.

They are now eight years old, still extremely active, and somewhat celebrities in our town.  If someone is not sure where we live, all we have to say is the farm with the big white dogs.  “Ohhhh, I know exactly where you are.”

Wouldn’t you want to be loved by a Great Pyrenees?