How do Rattlesnakes and Marriage go Together?

It was a magnificent, warm summer day filled with laughter and stories of grand adventures. I didn’t have a care in the world as the day ahead was beckoning me into all it’s alluring glory.

We trotted along on our horses off to “pull bulls” as we call it in my line of work. (For those unfamiliar with our lingo, we were sorting the bulls out of the cows and taking them to their own holding pasture as their job was done for the year.)

The rustling of the summer leaves could barely be heard over of our horses breathing not to mention all of our carrying on!

Right then the laughter was broken as I let out a gasp when my horse jumped straight in the air like he’d been shot! I may or may not have come out of my seat just a little!

Thankfully my horse was paying better attention than me as right below where we had been headed was a coiled up mass of angry rattlesnake. Yikes, so grateful to have good horses!!

Without a word, my then boyfriend of only a few months, calmly stepped off his horse. He quickly slid his honda on his rope down to the end and in one quick swing hit and killed that rattlesnake. Did you hear me on that? One swing!! Hit it smack on top of the head with only one swing. Seriously, he went from boyfriend to superhero in one fell swoop!

Then he topped it all off as he swaggered (that part may just be in mind) on over to the snake, cut the rattles off and handed them to me as gift.

Now maybe some of you who haven’t grown up the same was I have don’t quite understand this gesture. It’s hard to explain but let me tell you as he handed them to me I knew right then and there I was going to marry that man!!

Those of you have followed me on this blog know my past wasn’t always easy. Even then I was still living in an immensely volatile household.

So this whole idea of someone looking out for me was a breath of fresh air in my life.

I was only 16 at the time and people ask me all the time how could I possibly know at such a young age this was the man I was going to marry. I was mocked and scoffed at when I shared it with others. It didn’t deter me though. I’d finally found someone who got me and there was no way I was letting go!

Looking back it’s easier to understand where all these people were coming from with their doubts. Yet to this day I’ve never wavered on that moment. I knew it then and I still know it now!

marriage

Mike and I just celebrated 25 years of marriage. Were they all easy? Heck no! We both brought so much baggage into the our life together and like a couple of onions God has been peeling layers off of us over the years.

We both know marriage isn’t easy. To put it bluntly marriage isn’t for weenies!

 We simply need to decide to invest in and be willing to grow together.

On the day of my wedding, just shy of 19 years old, my dad wrote me the following note. I have it carefully tucked away in a scrapbook. When I’m struggling on a bad day or just need a reminder I pull it out and read his wise words again.

To Laura on your wedding,

As you know, there are two methods of roping. One is to dally, the other is to tie on hard and fast.

With a dally, you can easily slip some slack if needed, or turn loose altogether if you really get into a storm. When tied on hard and fast you are committed, and must put a lot of faith in your horse.

In the early days of the cattle industry, cowboys developed a saying for their most trusted horses, “He’ll do to tie on hard and fast with”.

As time went on, the saying was expanded over the range cow country to include cowboys you could really depend on.

Over the years, I have dealt with thousands of men in my work, many of whom one wanted only to have a dally that could be slipped quickly if necessary. These experiences have made me somewhat a judge of character in men, and I just want to affirm what you already know.

Mike will do to tie on hard and fast with!

Love, Dad

dadnote

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below.

~Laura~

Who’s planning your future? – Five Minute Friday

Well hello friends! Sorry I’ve been so absent lately. Spring in the ranching world is busy, busy, busy!! I’m excited to be back and thought the best way to jump back in was to write, not over-analyze. That’s where Five Minute Friday comes in for this post. It’s such a  fun way to simply write without over thinking or editing.

Come on over to Five Minute Friday to check out what others have to say about the word prompt this week: FUTURE.

Setting my timer…now!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What about 5 years down the road? Got the next years plans all laid out? Or do you have any idea what you’re doing tomorrow?

I like to plan and live by a schedule. It’s my happy place. Now I’m not talking super rigid but at least an idea of what my future holds. Yet I live in a world where I’ve had to come to terms with most of the time not having a clue of what tomorrow will bring.

Don’t get me wrong I still make lists and have my planner (a beautiful blue one that makes me swoon) but I’m learning to be more flexible with my future plans.

My husband on the other hand is NOT a planner of any kind. He completely flies by the seat of his pants. I’ll ask him if we can put a specific day on the calendar to work a certain bunch of cows. His response is always, “lets just wait and see”.

Aargh!! I can’t even begin to tell you how tough that always is to hear. Especially when you’re the one who has to cook for the crew. Yet I know God put us together for a reason.

He helps me learn to swing at what’s thrown at me and I’ve helped him look to the future a little more. Even if it’s just a week ahead for now!

So in all this looking to the future let’s not miss the Lord’s guiding hand in our lives.

So are you a planner or more of a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person? I’d love to hear your thoughts on plans, schedules and looking to the future!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

3 Practical Ways to Learn to Trust God

The day started out bright and sunny with so much promise. Loping along on my little horse alongside my brother and dad. The day was beginning to unfold and there were many adventures left to be had.

I was living every little 6 year old girl’s dream. Well, I’m not sure every little girl dreams of living completely off the grid in a tiny, chicken wire, stucco house but it was the one of the biggest highlights of this gal’s young life.

We lived well over an hour from the nearest town and spent every day of the summer horseback. It was glorious.

On this particular day we were out checking fence lines. Life wasn’t the hurried mess we often find ourselves in in this day and age. It was just a day of glorious adventures with my family.

I was never one short on words, especially when I was young. So the questions flew out of my mouth almost as fast the wind blew through my hair. Dad always humored me well answering my questions and making me feel completely loved and safe with him all the time.

We were miles and miles from home as the clouds started to roll in. In the wide open country of SE Montana you could see storms coming from many miles off. Dad decided it was best if we headed for home and hustled a bit in doing so.

The sky was growing darker by the minute, the wind was beginning to howl and the temperature took a drastic turn south. My little girl heart just knew to stay close to my dad as he would know the way.

It wasn’t too long before the rain started to pick up and the drops got larger. I lowered my head and trusted my horse to follow my dad’s. Suddenly something hit me on the top of the head. Then another and another. Ouch, it kind of stung. I had spent enough time outside to immediately know the hail had arrived in full force.

They started small but quickly grew in size and amount. My dad pulled his horse up and my brother and I followed suit. There was a cutbank we had been running alongside and my dad spotted a badger hole. He took a quick look inside and then had my brother and I stuff ourselves in there the best we could. He leaned over the hole covering his head the best he could and shielding us from the pounding hail.

Okay, I have to admit, I’m not sure which I was more scared of at the time. The hail outside or what might still be inside the hole with my brother and I! I just closed my eyes and trusted my dad.

Dad had to know we were scared about going into a badger hole. But, he knew what was best for us and we had to make the choice to trust him or not.

3 ways to learn to trust God.

Get to know Him:

We need to spend time getting to know God. We won’t trust someone we don’t know. So we need to get into His word and discover the heart of God. Once we know Him personally it makes more sense to trust Him.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:9 (ESV)

Learn from past experiences:  

Just as I had learned to trust my dad from him proving himself trustworthy in prior experiences the same can be said for God. As we go through life we’ll have opportunities to put our faith in Him and learn to trust Him more each time. We need to recall those past experiences and thank God for them often so our trust in Him can grow.

Oh Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You plan them long ago, and now you have accomplished them. Isaiah 25:1 (NLT)

Tell Him about our fears:

When I first went into the badger hole I was too scared to tell dad I was scared. Guess what, it added to my fear!  Once I told dad I was scared he was about to help reassure me. When we keep our fears in the dark they grow even bigger in our mind.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

We go through so many things in life where we aren’t sure what’s scarier, what we feel on the inside or what’s happening on the outside.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Christmas is the Story of Jesus’ Love

I shared my Christmas story of Jesus’ love for each of us over at Crystal Stine’s this week and would like to share it with you as well. Please check out Crystal’s page for many more Christmas stories from talented authors this month.

Do you like to celebrate? How about decorating?

Oh my goodness how I love to celebrate and decorate! I’m quite drawn to shiny objects. My kids always joke if I was a fish I’d be the first one caught since I’d be so drawn to the shiny lure.

So you can see why Christmas is right up my alley.

My family has always gone all out for Christmas. I know what you’re thinking. We must have had tons of gifts, thousands of decorations and went to loads of parties. But, not really.

We always had some gifts, decorated a little and got together with friends and family but we had SO much more.  Continue reading “Christmas is the Story of Jesus’ Love”