Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Get Back On and Ride!

Romans 5:3-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Last week, my husband, Danny, and I take our first road trip together since our misadventure at a mountain cabin last spring.  We are off to visit a retired co-worker of Danny's whom he hasn't seen in ten years.  Lynn lives in Tennessee, so we travel the three-and-a-half hour journey along back roads, where the scenery and the no-stress drive through farmlands and small towns provide a calming alternative to the nerve-wracking interstate.

It is a route we've never taken before, so everything is fresh and new.  And so different from the roads we traverse when heading to a cabin in North Carolina.  Whereas we see Walmarts and Ingles grocery stores, not to mention cities of substantial size along the NC route, none of that applies here.  Cows far outnumber people, towns are tiny, quaint and old-fashioned, and Dollar General vie with Baptist churches for domination of the landscape.

One thing I notice, much to my chagrin, is all along the 150-mile drive, there is a sign for only one medical center.  One.  It's not even a hospital, for cryin' out loud!  I push the upsetting memories of our last infamous trip out of my mind.  And I say nothing to Danny.

We arrive at Lynn's welcoming lake house just in time for lunch as we planned.  What a lovely afternoon, spent in pleasant conversation and the best of company.




Lynn with Curly Sue and Danny

Knowing he would have no interest in driving home the same day, Danny arranges for a room at a lakeside lodge nearby.  It's not at all like the cabins we're accustomed to, but it's comfortable, affordable, and has a restaurant right on the property.  Here are some gorgeous photos Danny takes.








This is the lodge on the lake. 

After a delicious dinner, as we're sitting out on the lodge deck, Danny's comments catch me off guard.  "I'm really glad we took this trip," he says.  "You know the old saying, 'When you get thrown by a horse, get back on and ride?'  I needed this short excursion to assure me that everything is okay before we actually head to a cabin in November."

I'm transported back to the time when I was twelve.  To my great delight, my parents surprise me with riding lessons over the summer.  All is fine and dandy until a frisky, feisty gelding, who hadn't been ridden for days, decides a romp around the ring is in order.  Needless to say, I fall off and, thankfully, tumble into a thick cushion of sawdust.  Winded and shaken, I'm reluctant to mount any horse, no matter how gentle the trainer says it is.  But I do.  And this docile, sedate old mare, Flora, convinces me that I'm safe with her.

She gives me hope.

I smile at Danny.  "Maybe all you needed was to get back on the pony before you took on the full-sized horse."

Danny laughs.  "I guess you're right about that," he admits.  "I feel so good about everything now.  Honestly, I've been anxious about returning to a cabin, even though I knew I would persevere, but this journey has done a lot to erase the bad memories of our last vacation."

"It has for me, too, honey," I confess.  "We've both endured so much suffering this year, but you know what?"

"What?"

"We never gave up hope."

And don't you, my friends, ever give up hope either.  Have faith!  Get back on that horse and ride!

Amen.

We're off on another short road trip to visit my mother.  If you leave a comment, know I will respond sometime Wednesday evening.  Blessings!

24 comments:

  1. I LOVE this story...and the pictures are wonderful! Looks like a perfect spot to rest and relax...and a pretty nice "pony" to ride! So thankful that Danny is feeling so much better and that God has brought healing to his physical body as well as his mind/spirit. Enjoy your journeys...God has only good things in store for you. Love this post today. "We never gave up hope."...I like that!!!!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this story today, Pamela. Yes, we are feeling so blessed right now and rejoicing in Danny's healing, both physical and emotional. This was the perfect practice ride as the "pony" didn't buck once. I'll be sure to tell Danny that you liked his photos!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. As my wife is prone to say, and I join her, "Yeehaw!"

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  3. There is a saying from a Buddhist teacher--go to the places that scare you. I don't think that is necessarily a literal instruction, as in go jump in the ocean in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy. I think it means to go to the places in our minds that are closed off with fear. Shine a light into the darkness and let the fear fade away.

    That's what y'all did. And had a great time doing it!

    By the way, I grew up riding horses. The first time I fell off was a gentle slide off the horse into soft sawdust...and I broke my arm! How that happened is still a mystery. But at the time we didn't know my arm was broken, so I got back on the horse and finished my lesson. I enjoyed many years of riding, in spite of many falls. The get-back-up-on-your-horse analogy is always a good one!

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    1. "Go to the places that scare you . . ." Yes, Galen, we certainly must in order to shed our hearts and minds of those fears that wish to overwhelm us. Shining the light under the bed makes the monsters disappear, doesn't it? :)
      And just wow! I can't believe you broke your arm, but kept on with the lesson. That's a testimony to perseverance! I wish I could say I'd kept up with horseback riding, but never did.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I believe I would have rather stayed overnight than try to drive back. Especially with views like those! And glad to see you both back in the saddle again. Your lives will be richer for it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Bill! It does feel so wonderful to be back in the saddle, and so much looking forward to our trip to the mountains in November.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. One of the hardest parts of living so remote as we did in Papua New Guinea was the medical issues that come up. You have to doctor yourself or someone else until you can get the doctor up on the radio. Then you must wait for a plane to come get you which could be days when the weather has you socked in. The only time that ever happened to us was when my husband had a kidney stone. He started in pain around 9 at night, thank God by 10 I was able to get the doctor on the radio and he told me what shots to give him to hold the pain at bay till morning when the flight came in. It was a long long night and I did not sleep at all. My husband, thanks to drugs slept pretty good. Because of his heart condition I had to give the pain shots in small amounts several times. Yep, I know those feelings of stepping back into an unsafe whelm again. But no matter where it is, fear is the same, it strikes and tries to keep us tied up. What a blessing to be able to take a small step before the big one. Love this story on so many levels.

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    1. Oh, Betty, what a story of hope and encouragement you have shared here today! So very glad all had a happy ending, but I can absolutely relate to your fear and anxiety at the time all this transpired.
      And it is a blessing, when fear has overwhelmed you, to have that gift of taking a small step forward before taking the big one. I'm so gratified that my words here touched you on many levels.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I'm so glad you both had such a relaxing, beautiful, and strengthening ride, Martha. "Get back on and ride" is such a great lesson to remember in so many areas of life, so thank you. I love the scenic photos Danny took, too! Love and hugs!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words here, Trudy. This continues to be a powerful lesson in so many aspects of our lives. May we all remember that we can't run away from our fears, but must face them.
      I'll be sure to tell Danny you loved his photos. I do, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha, I'm so happy that you and Danny had such a nice mini-vacation. Your trepidation is very understandable, so doing a little trip to visit Danny's former co-worker was a great way to ease back into things. By the way, the photos are amazing, as always!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, I'm right there with you on those photos. Danny certainly has a gift!
      This was, indeed, just the trip we needed to ease back into things as you said. Like wading in a lake or ocean that seems too cold, you have to take it one small step at a time until you reach the point where your body acclimates to the temperature.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Martha, just the message of encouragement I needed today. I like what you told Danny about getting on the pony first before getting back on the horse.
    The pictures are just lovely too!
    I'm so glad you both were able to enjoy this trip and share it with all of us.

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    1. I'm so glad this message encouraged you today, Beckie. Whenever I hear this in the comments, I know that what I'm writing for God is touching hearts - what an amazing and humbling feeling that is!
      I'll be sure to tell Danny that you loved his photos. Photography is a passion for him, so that means so much when he gets compliments.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Wonderful life lessons! Good for you for getting back on the horse as a kid and again as an adult! Those are the actions that help define a person.

    That's my kind of people...

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    1. And you're my kind of people, too, Floyd! We must face the challenges, knowing that God is always with us, no matter what. He is our rock and our redeemer.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Oh, Martha, what a lovely ode to healing, to friendship, to being courageous enough to move ahead when it would have been easier to sit still.

    I'm so grateful that your husband is feeling stronger, that you are able to get out and about and do the things you love to do.

    God is so good!

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    1. Yes, Linda, God IS so good, and we are so grateful for Danny's healing. It feels great to be able to do the things we used to do and enjoy them again. Hooray!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Great storytelling and made me pause and appreciate the closeness of the medical care we have in our rural area. I am impressed you took the side, scenic rode too. Good for you for embracing the slower beauty of the moment!

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  12. Yes, Jean, we took the slower route on purpose. After all we've been through, neither one of us wants the stress and speed of the interstates. And truly, it's more about the journey than the destination, isn't it?
    Love and blessings!

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