Never Fear the Nuggets are Here!

IMG_0382The large rambling mansion held bedrooms that boasted of ample sitting areas and soaking-tubs in each bathroom.  It was a beautiful home and truly the talk of the town.  If I was describing where I lived, I would say I am right near the big yellow mansion and then my home could be identified.  Unfortunately its hefty price tag was too burdensome for most home owners.  My riding students and their families would frequently gaze at the mansion next door that stood vacant for over eight years and fantasize over living right next door to what they considered a dream.

To my utter surprise it was bought by a young family with six children ranging in age from two to nine.  Their mother is a tiny dynamo and she quickly shared why they chose to move from northern New Jersey to this little town in southern New Jersey, it was because it was next to horses.  Her girls had begun to ride horses in northern New Jersey and they all seemed to have been bitten by the “horse bug” and it could only be satisfied by close proximity of a horse farm.  It also helped that each of their back windows gazed out on my pastures where they could watch the horses daily.

The girls each enrolled in lessons and they would frequently ask if I needed help.  Of course I needed help, and this little next-door-army of helping hands were eager to organize the riding ring for the special needs children that came from a local school or muck stalls.

Each one had something different to offer.  The oldest, a determined young lady that soaked up everything that was taught.  I would mention something in passing and she had it memorized.  She was also eager to employ it, and I found myself giving her more responsibility each day.  She was a child I could trust because she knew that this was an earned spot at the farm.  The second to oldest child fell madly in love with our big Quarter Horse Paint.  She would ask me if she could meet her goal of riding him.  The day I allowed her on his back, she could not stop smiling or fawning over his massive body that glistened in the sun.  She would explain every little nuisance of each lesson.  She would critique how the horse did and how she handled it.  She was the one that would explain each goal she had and whether she thought she could achieve it.  The youngest one had an iron core.  She was tiny but undeterred and the day that Milkshake decided to do a drive-thru and grab a quick bite to eat of the luscious grass when she was leading him back to the field demonstrated her grit, because he had stepped on her little foot.  She squeaked and Milkshake quickly lifted his foot.  She hobbled over to the chair and we put ice on it, but her face was set, she would never let a horse do that to her again.

Everything has a nickname here.  After proving their unwavering devotion to the farm and our horses, we christened them THE NUGGETS.  We have grown quite fond of their generous spirit and desire to do their best.  It is quite refreshing to find children that love to please others.

They remind me of the verse in Galatians 5:13-

…..serve one another humbly in love.

They reflect what we all need to do for one another, seek to serve.

Do you know someone that has served you? Please share.

A Miracle?

kassieIn her short thirteen years she has experienced more than most adults. Her parents felt led to take she and her siblings on a journey of countless perils to share the glorious Gospel to all people.

She went to France to learn the language and culture to equip she and her family for their special assignment in Africa.

It was here she learned about suffering first hand. While there she was almost kidnapped by the villagers and was saved by her valiant brother, who refused to give up until she was freed.

There were good times too! She witnessed children and adults come to accept Jesus as their Savior and had a pet monkey. It was during this time that she learned she had a precious gift- she loved to help and serve others.

Once back in the states her mother sought a horse farm where she could learn to ride and enjoy time away from service. That’s when she found my farm, Raise Your Dreams Farm.

Not only is she learning to ride, but she is once again serving others by volunteering here. Little did I know that her inner strength would also be seen outwardly in a miraculous way.

One day while leading our naughty pony, he tripped and began to fall, all the while a little special guy was on his back for equine therapy. Afraid that the student would fall, she lifted this hefty 1500 pound pony back to his feet.

It happened so quickly I could not mentally digest it. Once I was able to grasp the magnitude of her heroic fete I began to praise her and our Lord of Lords!

That’s when she said, “Miss Jill I thought he was trying to get some grass and I just pulled with all my might!” Her blue eyes glistened in the sunlight and she smiled with the satisfaction knowing that she had done the impossible.

Hmmm, I think I know a verse –
WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

It was with God she did the impossible! And for that I am so unbelievably grateful!