Be Free

Friday, February 27, 2009

Condemnations from an owl

This morning, before sunrise, when I went out to feed the horses, I heard a single sharp yell. Then in a minute another one. A deep single syllable cry. I thought it sounded like part of an owl call, but I hadn't heard the abbreviated version before. Not sure why, but apparently she was clearing her throat because a few minutes later the dreaded question was voiced loud and clear, "who cooks for you!!" That's the cry of a barred owl. The picture isn't of her; it is a little screech owl on campus that was brought to my attention by a pair of furious mockingbirds (never anger a mockingbird!) But, not having a picture of a barred owl handy, I just stuck this guy up to suggest the topic. I told Kevin that that barred owl was trying to condemn me for my lack of domesticity: for not cooking for us. Kevin does most of the cooking and it is sublime. I do the cleaning up most of the time. Nobody would know that I'm lacking in this wifely capacity if it weren't for a blabbing owl that keeps demanding that I admit it. So, I do, to the horses, the dogs, the cats and to you, too. Maybe that'll shut her up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UT Campus in bloom

I work on the UT campus. There are groundskeepers that force Spring here even in the midst of drought. Still, seeing blossoms, even cultivated ones, lifts the spirit and wakens yearnings for the wild places to bloom. Soon, LORD, please!

The orchid trees were glorious last week in the Architecture courtyard.
Sweet Williams attract the eye and passing butterflies! This bench beckoneth!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Hub

On Valentine's Day, while I was off at Beth Moore's Bible Study, what was my hub up to? It was wonderful to come home to discover what he accomplished in those few hours! He pounded in t posts and strung wire so that the cows can be shifted off the hayfield (now that we have grass coming up we need to give it a chance!) The cows will be in the "front" for a month. That's a shaded, hilly "sacrifice" area where we put them when the pasture needs a break. The word 'sacrifice' is Scottish, I think. They mean an area that you let the animals eat down, trample, and basically ruin so that other areas can grow. In our case, it is a pretty place when they are shifted out of it because the tough native grasses do come back when they are off it. They have done away with most of the dewberry vines in there. Which is OK if you've ever tried to walk through those! He also installed a switch on the ceiling fan in the living room so that we don't have to unscrew a light bulb to have the room dim for TV and movies. He hung a handleless rake in the kitchen (we saw this someplace recently) to hang our keys and such things from (like our headband flashlights). He fed the cows. He was out in what will in time be our front 'yard' using the sawzal (sp?) to cut some mesquite when I found him. Kinda grungy, but I hugged him anyway. He had done more, but those are the things I was thrilled with. Then he needed a break before getting cleaned up for the Valentine dinner at church that evening.


We GOT RAIN! One day .10, next .20, then that evening (Feb 10) .40. SO, altogether .7! Since it came in several installments, the ground stayed receptive. It soaked in. It was useful. SEE! Grass is peeking up! Allelujah! Thank YOU, LORD!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


10 years before I married Kevin (in 2002) I gave up horses. The LORD showed me He wanted my energies, focus and finances on people. Surrendering the horses to Him was difficult; it took Him a decade to persuade me to let go completely. I was very sure that the tie to them was severed for good: for my good. I was living in town when Kevin met me; even my old dogs were gone.
But early in our courtship, Kevin brought up the fact that he'd want to live in the country and if we did, we could have a horse.

I immediately explained that you can't have just one horse. They are herd animals. One horse would not be happy. He said, OK, we can have two, then.
And interestingly, he asked about Morgans.

Kevin knew only a little about horses. He'd ridden a few times. But, he'd seen the old, Disney movie, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, and that was enough to sell him on the breed. It just so happened (which was one way the LORD gave this whole thing His blessing) that the best horse I'd ever owned or known had been a Morgan. She was a saint among equines. So, after we were married, and had purchased property, I began to look for our Morgan. Criteria: gorgeous, athletic enough for dressage, and brave enough to start a dynasty.

Because we had decided to maintain Ag exemption by having a breeding stallion, we needed something special. We'd named our Ranch: Rhema Ranch. Rhema is the spoken Word of God. (Logos is the written word). We found the horse we wanted in Billings, Montana. We spent most of the long trip home thinking of what to call him (his registered name was Be Bold Carlos Linsley.)

We decided to call him Rhema Reliance: Rely for short. And although the list of admirable qualities for Buck is lengthy, Rely's best characteristic is his reliance on us. We are his life.
Initially, I had plans to train him for dressage. We bought him for his amazing movement.

But, Kevin and I soon found out we liked driving. It was something we could do together. It has so many parallels in it to our life together in Christ. So, Rely was sent to a trainer: an amazing trainer who understood him perfectly. He came home three months later beautifully trained to drive. Tom almost couldn't trust us with him after the rapport they'd developed. Their bond was so obvious that I was a bit jealous!

Recently, I was wondering if we should part with Rely, so that he would be in the hands of someone more skilled at driving and could thereby realize his potential. I don't want to lose him, but, I want to be sure I am not holding on to him too tightly.
Although, it may still be God's will that we lose him, for now at least, I've got the LORD's permission to keep him. And enjoy him.

Rely isn't as patient, or obedient, or compliant as Buck. But, he is reliant. He comes when he sees us; he watches every move we make. He is mouthy. He has unflappable assurance he is wanted. And he snores. I've never known a horse before that snores!

Happy tails!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Consider our fine servant, Buck. As you will note, he is our host horse. When folks come see us, Buck sees them arrive and sizes them up, because he knows they are more than likely going to end up on his back.

We acquired Buck rather oddly. The LORD wanted us to "rescue" him, sort of. He wasn't starving or being overworked, but he was being bullied by other horses in a horse-trader's yard. Buck is totally non-combative. He is the humblest horse I've ever known. He is put-upon by just about everybody. He takes it in stride. He tries to get out of their way and take what they will from him: coat, space, grain, hay...he lets them have it all.

He also allows anybody to ride him, even two at a time. He does sometimes inquire about those that have unorthodox methods of mounting, reining or who are weighing in heavier than the norm.

He has become the horse we use to take photos of folks. He is now an experienced photo shoot model.

Because of his name, some people are a little leery about getting on him, but Kevin tells everybody that Buck is actually Buck-less.

Lessons to be learned from Ol' Buck?

1. Treat every creature like a buddy, even
if they reject you.

2.Even if you are having a bad hair day, look like you like being windblown and carefree.

3. Consider what you wear in public; folks WILL notice.

4. Posture impresses.

5. Stance can convey attitude.

6. Reins won't be needed if you cooperate. Ditto a bit.

7. Stand up for your buddies, even if they don't always treat you right.

Happy tails!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stepping Up

I'm thrilled to be participating in a Beth Moore Bible Study called Stepping Up. It is a study on the Psalms of Ascent. This is the first of her studies I've done. I am receiving great insights from this. I thrive on analogies. In them the LORD communicates with me much of the time. I offer this answer to the question a few posts back about why we are so intrigued by reflections and shadows: they help us to fully focus on what is behind them; to 'see' the unseen!

For example, getting to church early on Sundays (Kevin has to be there at 8:00 a.m.) we are greeted by this! The red stained glass window at the front of our church is a huge cross. At an early (just sunrise) hour the window throws this cross (it isn't really a shadow or a reflection; what would you call it?) across the sanctuary floor and it reaches the stairs. I find the sight of it, glowing on the stairs, illuminating the way up, so symbolic! We take turns standing in the flood of red light; it floods the soul!

I might have moved the guitar case out of this; but somehow it adds to the image because the reason we are privileged to witness this, is because the musicians are there to lift up their voices and play music in praise. Isn't an empty guitar case a little like the empty tomb! The instrument is no longer in it, but rather rejoicing!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

THis WonderFUL image
is not, alas, mine. Although,
given the same opportunity,
I would have come back with
something quite similar. But,
my favorite family photographer
(after my husband) took this
and I do recognize it isn't of family,
but, it suggests all sorts of captions
to me. I intend to comment
on it, but first, I'm going to just
post it and let you study it.
What does it say to YOU?