Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lessons on riding and such...

I have a love/hate relationship with Claire's riding lessons. Love to watch my girl smile and capture it on film (can I still say that in this digital age?). Hate my fear of her falling and the way my heart races the entire time she is in the arena.

Last night, the love was winning. Claire had missed a few weeks due to sickness...and oh, her 11-year-oldness interfering with her desire to obey...but we won't talk about that. Anyway, she was so delighted to be back on her pony, Marki, and apparently he felt the same way! Her instructor, the incredible Miss Rosie, stood near my viewing perch for a while last night and told me about Marki. He was abused by his previous owners in a horrible way and came to her skittish, malnourished and hard to ride. She turned that around with love and care but still she said, this horse doesn't like her students. When they ride, he runs off with them and refuses to do what they ask. Except Claire.

Rosie said Marki is completely relaxed with Claire riding him (I'll have to trust her since I can't get past my own racing heart rate to observe those sort of fine details.), and she believes it is the pure love Claire gives him. He just knows this little horse whisperer of mine is not going to harm him in anyway!

Ah, but there are lessons to be learned. Claire wants Marki to jump. She loves to jump but Marki...not so much! (Yes, secretly in my heart I am completely siding with Marki in this battle...completely!) Last night she would guide him to the jump and he would refuse. Turn his head. Step away. Duck his head. Dance around. Over and over she tried and again and again he refused. Rosie was giving the instructions...Claire had to be firm. Claire had to be in command. Claire had to MAKE him take the jump! And he did. Finally!

I couldn't help but get tickled. I was sitting there watching and thinking...ah, yes, getting Marki to jump is rather like getting my 11-year-old daughter to obey. I lead her. I guide her. I coax her. I beg her. And still many many times, she refuses.

And just as I started to feel proud of my analogy (cause it was good, don't you think?), God brought me back to attention. I watched my girl with this horse she loves. She never yelled. She used the gentlest of "kicks" (if you can even call it that). Refused to even hold a crop because she knows that will spook this once-abused pony. She gently kept repeating her instructions. She kept loving that horse. She remained consistent in her instructions. And he obeyed. He obeyed.

And all of a sudden, I knew this wasn't just a lesson about parenting my daughter. This was a lesson about how God parents me. I dance around obedience. Obeying this time. Ducking my head the next. Hoping that if I skirt away from the tough jump, God will forget about it and let me off the hook.

So today, I am thankful for a Carol-whisperer God who is always consistent. Always loving. Always looking out for my good! And always willing to wait, until I obey.


Kristin Sidaway said...

I love the pictures!!!! I know you are so proud of your children. I love your "God Lesson" too. Thanks for the smiles.

GreenGirl said...

Love the photos! The girls are sure sweet on their horses.

Redding said...

You know I love you. Thanks for makes my day.

mmsdawg said...

Her horse is names after me!!! Of course, I am not male...hmmm. I love reading about your children.


cindi said...

This story brought a tear to my eye as I understood every word you were saying. GOD bless you