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IMG_6153It was cold yesterday. Misty, with temps hovering around freezing, and icy damp that cuts through your clothes and makes it seem impossible to warm up. I had just built a fire, then walked into the kitchen, when I saw her out there.

Our daughter, Maddie, on her horse, April.

I knew she’d been working all day in this mess, and now she was at our barn, working our horses, before finally putting April through her paces for their next endurance race. She’s tired of the cold. She told me so the other day, sick of the unpredictability of a Texas winter; especially this one that’s been so crazy cold. But she doesn’t complain about it.

She never complains.

As I watched her through the window, I thought of her as a little girl, doing all her home chores quickly so she could spend Saturdays at Tinker’s barn in Parker, Texas. She got to help clean and brush and feed all day, braiding tails, and riding with her good buddy, Annabeth.

Then, when we moved to Iowa, she finally got her first horse. We boarded it at another family’s barn for a while, as we didn’t have one yet, and I’d drop her off after school, and on weekends, where she’d tend to Gus’s needs, and do things she wasn’t even asked to do to keep their century barn in good shape. When we finally had a barn of our own, and we began to add to our herd, she’d get up very early, before catching the school bus, put on layers and layers of clothes, and brave the Iowa winter winds and snows to go care for them. There was no heat or electricity in that pole barn, but even as a teenager, she never complained about it.

It all comes down to her passion for the horse. Certainly the horses in her care (people have joked about wanting to come back as one of her horses, and if I believed in reincarnation, I’d be the first in line), but also the horse industry, and the psychology,  medical care, and rehabilitation of the animal. She loves passing that knowledge onto people, old and young, and watching how the love that passes between them changes them both. Her passion drives her commitment to what she’s doing, no matter the weather, no matter the challenges; it always has.

As I stood there watching her from the warmth of the house, I thought

That’s what it’s about.”

Passion and commitment.

Getting the word out.

Living the Word out.

Despite the harsh, cold winds that try to beat us back, despite the relentless challenges, and without complaint, we can do what we’re born to do.

Just like my girl.

 

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” 1 Peter 4:10 ESV

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:6-8 ESV

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 ESV

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night…” Philippians 2:14-16 MSG