The Prodigal

Alright, I’m pretty sure that at some point in life we all struggle with loving ourselves. Loving our personality and who we are. We begin to pick out our prodigal side;  the foolish side, the one who never does anything right and always screws up. The one who never could fix what was going on and still can’t get a grip on anything now. The one that deep down inside when you take a good look at who you are or what you’ve become, you truly hate what you see. It sickens you…. You begin to wonder if you’ve screwed things up so much that the people around you are upset with you and don’t want you.

I love being out with my equines because no matter what I’ve done or said they love me, they want me. They love me. Not what I do for them, but me. It’s neat. They don’t see my screw ups, they don’t care about what I’ve done wrong or what I’ve said. If they can look past that why can’t we? Even when working with a horse, we can screw a horse up royally but 90% of the time with a little effort they’ll forgive us and turn out just fine. Or with horses that you’ve bonded with they’ll forgive you in a heart beat. They don’t care if you just got upset with them, if you are able to make it up to them they are more than happy to pretend it never happened. They look past it, give you a second, and third, and who knows how many other chances they’ll give you. If an animal can give you a second chance, at least give yourself that much. You deserve it. However we do always say that it doesn’t matter what other people say about you. But when someone says something, do a little self searching especially if it is a repetitive complaint. Then if you see that it is a problem own it and fix it. It’s easier said than done, but you can do it, I can do it, and in the end it will benefit us. Find the person you were created to be, the person who is forgiven, accepted, and perfectly made. He’s in there somewhere, we just have to dig deep and find him. Don’t let your prodigal self define who you are, because that isn’t you. It’s not me and I wont let it be.

God Bless,

Jessica

Broken Families

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Yes, my family is a functionally dysfunctioning mess. But I love them dearly and wouldn’t want anyone else as a part of my family. See currently my family is made up of three different families. We have three from one last name, one from another name, and my four from another name. We have united as a functioning family. No, we aren’t perfect, yes, there is a lot of chaos and confusion, hurt, frustrations, but at the same time it produces memories that you won’t get anywhere else and I wouldn’t trade those times for anything. They bring times of contentedness, satisfaction, and joy. But you see here is the problem: we are clashing as a family, it seems more so lately than we have before and I will admit that I am probably a majority of the problem.

I’ve always had a close relationship with my mom. We’ve spent years protecting each other and my two younger sisters from her now ex husbands verbal abuse and his neglectful and narcissistic personality. Now we have a 4, 6, 9, 10, and 16 year old, me and  dad, who all want mom’s attention with dad getting the majority of it – don’t get me wrong as husband and wife I believe that they do have a priority to each other but really, I’ve never had to “share” my mom – and see in my mind not only do I feel like I’ve lost mom, but I also have lost the only true father I’ve ever known. So with that and several other problems, even though I know they both love me, I still have an annoying tendency to act out. Along with EVERYONE else. But mostly me.. and I do aim to change that (I’m not a problem child, never have been and I refuse to start now.) Anyhow, with a family of 8 trying to figure things out and clashing as we have been here is where I was going with this.

The song by Casting Crowns “City on a Hill.”

Did you hear of the city on a hill?

Said one old man to the other

It once shined bright and it would be shining still

But they all  started turning on each other

You see the poets thought the dancers were  shallow

And the soldiers thought the poets were weak

And the elders saw the young ones as foolish

And the rich man never heard the poor man  speak.

And one by one they ran away
With their made up minds to leave it all  behind
And the light began to fade in the city on a hill
Each one thought that they knew better
But there were different by  design
Instead of standing strong together
They let their differences  divide

It is the rhythm of the dancers that gives the poets life
It is the spirit  of the poets that gives the soldiers strength to fight
It is the fire of the  young ones, it is the wisdom of the old
It is the story of the poor man  that’s needing to be told

With that being said, we all have a place in a family, whether it’s a broken family or a nearly perfect family, whether your family is made up of adopted kids, or like us, you have a few that are related to you, a few that belong to the step-mom or dad, and another who was taken in because of a cruddy home life.

Question is; will you let your difficulties, your differences, your frustrations, or whatever else divide you? As a teenager speaking a lot of our support and stability comes from our parents. If you take the time to listen to the stories that your parents tell of their childhood it can give you hope that maybe one day you will grow up to be a little bit like them, as strong as them, as spirited as them. Or in some cases it may show you where you need to support your parents a little more, because I find there is no one with an easy problem free life. I have met more people that were/are abused, physically or verbally. So it may show you why your parents handle things the way they do whether it’s right or not and how you can help them. On the same note the kids/teens can give the parents hope and joy. The proud mommy moments or the proud daddy moments, the help that the children can offer. Then you have the siblings who should band together to help each other out. Protect each other, play with each other. We all have a part, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, we all have an essential part and if we are all bickering and clashing we can’t operate as a happy, healthy, functioning family. So even if so and so isn’t doing something right. Each individual should be doing their part and supporting those who are struggling.

We need to stick strong as a family, turning on each other shouldn’t be an option. For those of us who don’t like kids, try not to see the miniature devils that should be exorcised from their bodies, because as much as I don’t like to admit it kids really aren’t that bad. Try to see the disturbingly sweet smiles that make you wonder what they did wrong as a good thing not always assuming they are doing something wrong. Or learn to feed off their crazy energetic personality when they come squealing and bouncing up to you because they did something they hope makes you proud of them. For those of you who have problems with your parents, try, I know it is hard, but try to see the good in them, their try’s, maybe even listen to and watch them and try to understand their struggles. Learning to stand as a family if everyone is involved great if not learn to stand with those who will stand with you, even if it is just mom, or just dad, or just a sibling. You can still support each other. Even if you are alone find someone who will help you stand up and be an example. Every member in a family is essential. With each being different and having their own part in a family, we are different for a reason but we are all equal. Build each other up, encourage the small steps, and don’t look over the most diminutive changes. It’s easier said than done, trust me I know. But I will get better and I know I can do it.  And for those of you who my have trouble with it right there are your words of encouragement. You can do it.

Don’t run away, don’t get discouraged, be patient, don’t give up on each other, stand strong, you can do it.

God Bless,

Jessica

What You Learn From A Horse

I have started working with my mustang again. While I was talking to Jake, the person who is teaching us, he had mentioned that Fancy was troubled. It struck me as odd when I first heard that my mare was “troubled” but then I got to thinking that really, troubled is pretty on the spot with her. I have caused some issues in her world and her understanding and she is acting in the only way she knows how. There hasn’t been anyone to help her/us through it until we came across Jake. Anyway in the many months I’ve had Fancy the one vibe I have gotten from her is “Don’t give up on me. I want to try. I want to be good. But I don’t know how. Don’t give up on me.” So over the last year or so I have contemplated finding a home for her but I couldn’t settle myself on that decision, especially after I got to thinking about it more and realizing that if I tried rehoming her I would send her into the world unprepared and she would probably end up getting bought up by a kill buyer.
I was thinking over the weekend that I know I’m going through some crap and I hope that the people that are getting the brunt of my actions wont give up on me. It will take me some time but I’ll pull through, I always do. I’m not doing anything nearly as bad as pitching people on the ground like Fancy does but I have my issues. Anyhow with all this running through my mind I understood a little more how many people there are, kids, teens, even adults that act out in the only way they know how. I had several trainers tell me that I screwed this up, I screwed that up, but we are going to cowboy her up a bit and force her to get over herself, and if she doesn’t pull out of that she’s hopeless and you may just call it quits. When reality is all she needed was a soft hand and someone to understand her and help me understand her. That has happened to both Fancy and Chester and Sontari was just a mess. But how many people do we tell them that they need to just get over themselves and if they don’t meet our standards of happiness or whatever we just throw them to the side. Completely helpless maybe hoping that someone will “deal” with them. How many people we give up on because they don’t meet our standards fast enough.
Now don’t get me wrong I think there are some people who just don’t want to be helped and so they do need a bit of a firm hand. But even with horses some of them will just need a firm hand to help them understand they can’t behave that way.
But over all, how many people do we pass off as just being a pain and rebellious, or a trouble maker. When all they need is someone to understand them and help them through.
I think I can pretty much identify with my horse, she’s helping me understand myself and others better. She’s troubled, I will learn to understand her and between me, Jake, and mom we will help her through, I’m not giving up on her. On the same note I hope the people who get the brunt of my actions will understand that just as my horse is trouble so am I. I want to be better, I want to please, but they can’t give up on me.
And I have a better understand of all these people that are in this world who are broken and troubled and all they need is a gentle hand to guide them and someone to understand them and help them out.
And you know, I have a funny feeling that Fancy is going to be an AMAZING horse when we are through, just as Chester has turned out to be phenomenal, and Sontari is on her way.
Some of the horses with the worst problems make the best horses you’ll find. Those are the ones that will bond with you and be your best friend.
I’ve noticed the same with people, the people who have been through hell and back are some of the most amazing people. When you get to talking to them sometimes it makes you feel horrible because they went through worse than you did or are going through, and you aren’t handling it nearly as well. But on the other hand it is absolutely amazing listening to them talk because they went through all this crap and they are just completely amazing. My mom and dad being case in point. I don’t know all of his junk but I know enough, and I know most all of my mom’s childhood and it’s enough to make anyone cringe.
So yes, this is what my mare has taught me over the week.

God Bless,

Jessica