I am – by nature- a lazy person. I work hard to overcome that dark side, but it gets the best of me from time to time.
I remember studying the above scripture and realizing that this was not a passive request. In fact the verse preceding it almost lulled me into thinking this would be an easy venture:
28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Rest, I like that word- I like what it entails, it’s what I long for when my life is in a state of unrest. When I reach those points when I do feel “heavy laden” I want to drop it all, and lay down. But the instructions are to:
1st: Come unto me. That’s active. I need to move to get there. How do I do that? Well, prayer comes to mind
I’ve learned that I can speak with my Father in Heaven through prayer and that many times He speaks back through the scriptures. That means that I need to read and that takes energy.
Then the clincher is in verse 29, “take my yoke upon you”. That means that I need to abandon what I’m holding on to completely. Then I need to learn how to hook myself up in a yoke.
Then the next part of that verse, “and learn of me”. I’m going to come back to this.
Then the next verse, ” For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ” Wait a minute. What happened to my burden?
So here are my thoughts on this….
“Learn of me”. Learn of my Savior. From what I understand the Savior is my advocate, He atoned for my sins and is wanting me to return home to heaven when my earthly mission is completed. Jesus loves me and cares about every aspect of my life. So when I make the effort to come into His yoke I’m bound to someone who has my best interest at heart. He wants to help me through my burdens. So when I yoke myself to Him I can know that His goal is to help with my load. My burdens.
He is not accepting the weight of the issues I perceive, I am accepting His role in my life and maybe coming at them from a perspective that will make them easier to bear. Perhaps they’re not even something to worry about anymore because they aren’t as important as once I thought they were.
It seems, if I’m understanding this right, that by accepting the Savior’s invitation to take His yolk my life would be much easier. But as in all things, nothing good comes for free (or at least most things….I’m sure there are exceptions- like cheesecake!)
I have to say that the work developing a relationship where I’m ready to take my part of the yolk is worth building. The Savior already did His part of the work, He’ll take me any time and any way, He wants me there by his side. I like the song “Jesus Take the Wheel”, It makes me think that when I’m yolked alongside Him that he’ll be steering and guiding me through the rough roads. All I have to do is continue moving, keeping my stride up so I can get through them.
This blog has been 2 years in the making. I’ve expressed these thoughts with friends and family and they have percolated and stewed until I have felt comfortable in sharing.
I hope they are of some comfort to somebody out there.
We get to have David and his family around for a week or so while the house that they’re in is being shown to sell. It’s wonderful hearing “Hey grandma” all day long!
Since David and Camden are here it’s not a full-time job, it’s actually quite nice, no diapers (unless I’m feeling very generous!) and I get to go play with them. We have played A LOT!
I think being a grandma is a health enhancer. It makes me move more – think faster – and nap harder! I’ve always considered myself pretty active. This is just bumping it up a notch.
Bill will always run circles around just about everyone! People in their 20s have a hard time keeping up with him. I certainly can’t, but I’m not too far behind. I wonder sometimes if I feel inadequate because I’m comparing myself to the 30-year-old Kristie. I’m not sure what I should be expecting from myself right now.
I do take naps – not daily, but a few times a week. I love teaching early morning seminary – but I don’t love waking at 5:00 am! I take our dog for a walk – we average a 5K (3.1 miles). I try to practice yoga daily, either by teaching or taking a class. I make breakfast every other morning (pancakes – see https://kristiesmusings.com/?cat=9) I usually make a lunch for the family as well. There’s the normal housework, shopping, and child taxying as well. I homeschool, so that means I’m struggling to stay on top of assignments. I try to be in bed by 9 – it usually ends up closer to 10 though.
I don’t list all that in a braggy way (or perhaps it’s not that impressive- I don’t, after all, have a “job”)- but just to justify a nap now and then. Adding the grandkids into the mix means I’m busier and have less nap time.
I have some extra ‘helpers’ – so I don’t know why I get tired. I do have to watch all the stools that my helpers need to stand on in order to reach whatever it is we’re working on.
Being grandma is always fun – no matter which grandkids I have the privilege to be near. I’m blessed to have so many and blessed to get to see them all now and then. My ones in Hawaii are going to be a little more challenging to visit – but we’ll make it work!
This is not a statement of weakness, any more than a snow skier saying they fell on the slope or a basketball player missing a free throw.
It’s what happens when riding horses.
My earliest memories revolve around riding horses. I actually started to help with the training when I was around 5 and my mom would lunge them with me on top. I don’t think she would have done that if she felt the horse were unsafe, but it was a good learning experience for me.
I started showing once we moved to Colorado. I was about 10 years old. I know I did some Western Pleasure before that, I had the fanciest polyester suits you ever saw!
I wish I had pics of me in one of those!
Buffy was my first real horse, my own horse that nobody else was allowed to ride. I trained her up from the ground and we broke records in arenas all over the state and some of those records – I hear-still hold.
She was my best friend when I needed one through my parent’s divorce. I don’t even know how many times I came off of her, lots, we’ll just say lots. She had a lot to learn and so did I. We kind of grew up together.
A tragic accident left Buffy with a broken leg. I finished out that particular season on my mom’s horse, Rocky. But after that, I was on my own.
For my graduation gift, my dad gave me CJ. He was actually a grandson of Buffy, which made him even more special. Another horse I got to train from the ground up.
By the time I was a senior I had trained numerous horses for other people, my first payment for training was a saddle blanket that the lady wove herself. I used it in many parades! I’m sure I had been bucked off dozens of times by this point, I was rather good at rolling out my landings.
CJ and I worked together very well. By this time I wasn’t as interested in competing, but more just riding for pleasure. He was such a willing horse! In this picture, I’m pregnant with our first child. Shortly after this was taken CJ went to my sister as we couldn’t afford a horse and a baby at this time.
I would ride every chance I got. I was blessed enough to have parents who continued owning and showing horses. both mostly with team roping. So when I visited them, I also visited their horses (not much different than now!) I wanted my kids to have every opportunity to get on so they would feel comfortable.
Then I was able to get Tigger. This huge gelding stole my heart! He had so much power and energy, I love that in a horse, it keeps me from getting too comfortable. He would do anything asked of him, sometimes with a bit of coaxing.
I had to say goodbye to him when we decided to move from Colorado and continue our education.
I led you through that long history of me and horses because I think it has bearing on me getting thrown last weekend.
We were visiting my dad and [as always] we headed out to the horses!
Most of our time was spent on these two tame beasts.
So here’s when we get to the good stuff. Dad told me about Romeo. A 4-year old that he had bought and sent out to several trainers. 2 sent him back after just a few days saying “no way”! One claimed to have ridden him but the results weren’t trustworthy and a little questionable.
This made me rub my hands together and beg to ride him. To my dad’s credit, he said no, not unless Bill gave the thumbs up. Bill said to use my own judgment. So I did.
Day 1 was mostly groundwork, mounting, and walking around (no pics from day 1).
Day 2 started the same, groundwork to begin with. It was suggested by dad that I should probably work him a little longer on the ground before hopping up. And now in retrospect, I can see how that might have been a good idea.
But when I got on him he was mellow as can be, we walked and then broke into a trot – new ground for us. He started pitching, but I rode him through it and calmed him down, and then tried again. He did fine until I urged him into a canter.
I feel like this is a good time to explain the photography. Danni was using my phone and it had 3% battery left. The LCD screen was black, so she was just guessing and clicking, I think the photography adds a special flare to the events!
I’m a little embarrassed about this shot, holding the saddle horn – yikes! But I’m pulling him in from his fit and actually could have (in retrospect (so many good ideas in retrospect!)) calmed him and been alright.
But no – I decided to ‘cowboy’ him by pushing more energy into the situation. It’s not a bad thing necessarily, I’ve been able to use this method on some horses – after I’ve gotten to know them a bit. But some horses won’t have it and will rise to the challenge, playing the game wholeheartedly! Horses like Romeo. He just let loose!
You’ll notice I’m still holding the reins with my left hand. Something I have always been taught not to do, but still do it anyway. I have been drug around an arena because of this bad habit. fortunately I did let go upon landing.
I didn’t know at the time that my 190 + lb body careening onto my right hand had caused a radial head fracture. I just knew that things were a little sore.
My phone must have died, or Danni was too traumatized to continue pictures, but I want it to be known that I did get back on him! Looking back through my years of riding I can’t recall a single time I didn’t get back on. The time I lost 4 of my teeth with Buffy, the time I broke my foot working a friends horse, the time I came off into a barbed wire fence (Buffy again – man we have some good memories), the time I rode a crazy paint on the gravel road and he threw me hard (one of my friend’s dad bought him and he never gave him an ounce of trouble!), and many many more times that have probably been knocked out of my brain.
I’ve never not gotten back on, even if it was just to sit and converse with the horse for a few seconds, or ride around the ring a few times (like I did with Romeo). That is a lesson for both horse and rider. The horse needs to know that while he might have shook me off for a bit, it’s not a permanent thing and maybe next time it won’t be worth the effort.
The rider needs that assurance too. It’s used as a cliche now, but getting back up on the horse has given me so much confidence and strength. Now, if I was in excruciating pain and knew that I would die if I didn’t get medical help, that might be an exception.
No regrets! I have to deal with this little elbow issue (I’ll blog more on that later). But the falls are worth the rides! Feeling the breeze on a galloping horse outweighs tasting the dirt. I hope to have horses in my life full time soon, I yearn for it with every essence of my being. Right now I ride often in my dreams. Knowing that I want horses in my future is one of the reasons I’m working very hard to get my body into good shape.
I hesitate to tell people that I got bucked off when they ask about my wrap and sling. So many people are already afraid of horses. It could be due to studies like this:
According to new research, you are 20 times more likely to be injured doing an equestrian-based activity than you are riding a motorbike. And even worse, horse accidents equate for 25% of all lethal injuries in children’s sport.
or stats listing the 3 most dangerous sports as:
1: Horse Riding
Many people have a soft spot for horses. Some see them as a pet, while others ride them for fame and fortune in competitive racing. Regardless,our equestrian friends can weigh over 1000 lbs. and can unexpectedly throw their riders around like rag dolls. Horses also bite with their teeth and butt their strong heads, but by far their most dangerous habit is kicking their hooves. The incredibly powerful muscles in their legs can deliver a force that has been known to kill humans.
According to Riders4Helmets.com, an estimated 7 million people ride horses per year. In 2005 alone, over 78,000 riders visited the emergency room as a result of horse-riding related injuries. Always make sure to take proper precautions when riding a horse.
2: American Football
3: Bull Riding
I admit I have been blessed with no serious injuries. My children have all ridden now and then and know the basics enough to enjoy themselves, and hopefully, have the brains to stay away from the Romeos out there.
I will try to post about my gym experience at least once per muscle group. Today was leg day. I love leg day!
This week I decided to up my workouts!
Between teaching or attending, I did 6 yoga classes this week, and I may do a solstice one tonight. One of those classes I attended was a Kundalini practice. For some reason, I had in my mind that it was mostly breathing and chanting….man was I wrong – it kicked my butt! I enjoyed it though.
I planned on getting to the gym 3 times with Bill, but I forgot that I was subbing for a class during one of those appointments, so I only got in two days. But two very productive days.
I’m estimating 13 miles of power walking (maybe 2.5 of “running”).
Fasting happened, but not very well. And yesterday Bill & I traveled to Nashville IN and back and along the way I ate 1/4 of a peach pie and 4 truffles. They were good – but I’m paying for it.
For about 2 weeks we’ll be on the road for a trip out west. I wish I could go into a coma-like state until we reach our destination, that would really help me not to snack….
Back to leg day: here’s my workout I actually change it often to give my muscles variety, but this is a nice overall sampling.
Squats are a great full lower body movement. It concentrates of the Glutes and quads. Sometimes I do them without the rack, but because I like the form the rack allows, I use it quite often.
It’s great when the cable machine is open. I do 3 types of exercises there, glute kicks, and inner and outer thigh pulls. It can take some time, and monopolizing the machine for that long can be pretty rude if the gym is full. I got lucky today!
This is a pride thing for me. I like to work out with the weight that was left on it – usually by a guy. I learned long ago that women don’t want to put their feet wide on the press, that can build up muscles along the sides of our legs. I want long toned muscles, so I keep my feet closer together.
I take the opportunity to do calf raises while I’m there. Our Downtown YMCA doesn’t have a calf lift machine, that makes me a little sad. But there are plenty of ways to hit the calves!
You’ll notice the jump rope beside the machine. I’m trying to work jumping into my regime more. So much good can come from jumping! It takes a while to get used to the rhythm, but I try to stay on my toes and ‘stay light’.
Dead Lift is one of those movements that sneak up on me. They feel so easy and free-flowing as I do them, then- BOOM! the next day I’m feeling it big time! It’s basically done by hinging from the hips and letting the weights come to the ground then hinging back up.
Today I did a few rounds for quads on the extension machine. I’m very very careful with that because I love my knees and want them to last me forever!
Then I went to the seated flex leg machine for my hamstrings, I can go crazy on that baby!
Bill is a very modest man. He doesn’t like ‘showing off’ his physique by wearing ultra tight shirts or shorts. In fact – most of his time in the gym he’s wearing a sweatshirt. I get to enjoy all his hard work though. He’s been hitting the weights for about 25 years.
I really really enjoy my smaller size, and I may relish in it too much with all the yoga pants. But that all may come back to haunt me after all my lazy travel eating!
Ever feel like your legs won’t move? Or that sitting up is just too much? (I mean really – my abs hurt on my sternum! There are no muscles on the sternum!) I’m not so bad that I’m incapacitated, and this is a good springing off week. I just need to find a good workout to do in the front seat of a van.
I think we should get some sort of award for squeezing maximum fun in a relatively small amount of time!
Harrison and Elsie are stationed at Ft. Mead, Maryland. They have been for a couple of years and we have not made the trip up to visit them – until last week! It’s a good thing because they are heading out to Hawaii for four years. (yeah- we’ll make sure to get out and visit them there as well!)
We made our way to DC to explore some galleries and museums.
We spent just a fraction of the time Bill would have liked at the Gallery. But kids don’t enjoy looking at artwork that much!
We were blessed enough to somehow not have crowds or lines. So we didn’t get the ‘full’ experience (thank heavens!).
The Smithsonian could have held our attention all day!
We learned so much about birds, bugs, gems, and of course, dinosaurs!
Sometimes I hear a rumor about a food truck in Muncie but haven’t caught it yet. But the food trucks there were amazing. We all found something we loved.
We had to see all the air & space travel ships. Of particular interest, the toilets (didn’t get a pic…)
We took a trip to Sandy Point beach to play!
The above image is the closest picture I got of a family photo of their family – at least they’re all having fun – even if we can’t see the kids’ faces.
Danni loved just swimming and floating around the water, we really need an ocean in Indiana!
Personally I’m more of a beach girl than a water girl, I was very content to sit and read and watch!
I always enjoy this view!
Of course we all came away with a lot of sun! Some suffered worse than others. But now we are all ready for summer.
A day of rest. Our sun weary bodies made it to church, then we hung out and just enjoyed each other’s company.
It kind of looks like I play favorites with my pictures with Georgia, not so, she just likes to hang out with me more than Dano.
We decided to go visit some family!
Bill’s mom, Ruth, grew up on the same property that her brother still lives on in Brandywine MD. The property has since been subdivided and many family members reside on it now. Sonny and Dorris live right next door to the house he and Ruth and their other siblings grew up in.
We get a few weeks of rest before our next adventure out west!
The day after we left for our trip to visit Harrison & Elsie and the kids in Maryland David and Camden had their baby. The day after that she was life lined to Riley’s hospital in critical condition. It was almost unbelievable that within a couple of weeks 2 grand daughters arrived in this world and all thought everything was fine only for both to be put into critical care units soon following.
Camden’s family lives in Indy and we knew they would be very helpful and attentive to them, so we went on with our trip (more on that in the next blog!).
The amazing doctors at Riley’s ran every test possible to try to figure out why this little infant was struggling. They thought it might be metabolic, but all tests came back negative.
A doctor told David & Camden that sometimes babies come out and their body is so used to having everything done for them in the womb, that it can revert back to those expectations.
After a week of testing and making sure she was functioning on her own they were able to bring her home yesterday!
Tawnymara and Dallin still have a couple of weeks to go before they can walk into their home with Emery, but they’re not complaining, Emery is a super star!
It seems like daily we get reports of more tubes being taken out and of her recovering at an amazing speed. She’s beating the time table projected. Tawny brought up yesterday;
“. . . she’s doing amazing! I was kind of skeptical about her seemingly flawless recovery, especially since her surgery was so rough and all the doctors expected a “roller coaster recovery”, until I remembered that her baby blessing said she’ll be able to recover from her surgeries with no problems ️ – what a manifestation of God’s power! “
While some might be concerned about the huge scar these surgeries will leave behind. Tawnymara and Dallin will have no problems raising Emery to think that she’s special and imbued with super power (which I quite think she is) and Emery will end up feeling bad for anyone without the cool scars on their chests.
Something occurred to me today. It was brought on by a comment one of my yoga students said to me. She was sharing about how her kids (15 & 17 in years) were chit chatting away late into the night and how it made her feel so happy to hear it.
I had told her that I missed those days. Then while in child’s pose my thoughts went to David and Tawnymara. Both with their newborns in critical care, both with unanswered questions and uncertain futures, both with amazing supportive spouses. I knew – without a doubt, that these two had been chit chatting with each other, I’m sure very late at night – or in the early morning hours. I know they have wept with and for each other.
The other siblings have also been so involved and aware of all the events and contact has been daily. I’m so grateful that this sibling bond is strong enough to be used in times like this. I’m so glad they love each other, serve each other, weep for each other, and make each other laugh. That’s them fulfilling their calling as brothers and sisters.
This realization was so touching and powerful tears came to my eyes and my heart was swollen with gratitude for this relationship they have with each other.
I can’t thank you enough for your part in all this. Prayers ascended have wrought miracles transcended!
On Sunday Tawnymara’s & Dallin’s bishop came to the hospital along with Dallin’s huge family to bless baby Emery. It was a beautiful blessing with some pretty great promises, one being that she would live to the age of baptism.
Emery was in such good form that they took off her oxygen patch and they were moved to a different floor on Monday where they could relax a little more and enjoy each other.
That was very short lived.
They were told that no surgeries were scheduled for Tuesday and they could go ahead and get her in. Unexpectedly soon. It was heart wrenching that their time of cuddling and loving on her was so small. But it was promising to get things going as well.
The surgery was scheduled to start at 7:30 am and go until 1:00 pm.
What I understand from it was that she was on a heart by-pass machine. They patched some things, combined some tubes, and stuck a camera down her throat to keep an eye on things.
The surgery went over by over 2 hours. There were issues with her blood pressure and she had to be put back on the by pass machine for a bit. But she came through.
Her intubation tube will reside in her for about 3 weeks with that camera. Her chest will remain open for a few days until the swelling goes down and they know they can safely close it up- probably Friday.
Seeing her with her eyes open and looking around was disconcerting for me. For some reason I thought she would just be ‘under’ until they had her sewn up and the tubes out.
I know she’s sedated, but I fear she’ll cry or squirm and hurt herself worse. I think I’ve used helpless to describe my way of feeling throughout much of this.
I need to start using blessed more. She’s doing so well that they’re pulling back on the Bp meds! She was expected to crash last night, but she made it through like a champ. So SO many good things happening right now. The next 2 nights will be touchy, then 3 weeks of recovery in hospital, then home! She’ll get a break until around 3 mos for her next procedure.
This is not something I would ever wish for for my daughter and her husband. But throughout it there has been an outpouring of love, support, and care that I haven’t witnessed before with our family. It’s humbling to know how many people have been cheering Emery on and even crying tears of compassion on her and her parents’ behalf.
I know this is only the beginning of Emery’s journey, but now it has begun with gusto! She has more friends than she’ll ever know. And hopefully her story can give others strength as they go through their own trials.
I just texted Tawnymara to send some love – her reply, “It’s going to be a good day”.
She never ceases to amaze me!
This calm and joy and positiveness I attribute to the love and prayers friends, and friends of friends are sending by the bucket loads! I’m humbled by your love, truly! Heavenly Father is acknowledging and sending peace.
This morning I was in a yoga class, at the end the instructor had us connect with our heart. My hand went to my chest and I felt my heart beating. The miracle of it all. And of course my mind went to the heart that’s somehow still beating in this precious girl’s chest.
I have been good at staying away from the ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’ that generally creep in when a trial besets me. But I wanted nothing more than to let her have my heart! I know it’s not possible, I know it wouldn’t work. But I broke down and wept at the unfairness of it all.
This baby’s heart is so messed up – it really is a miracle that she is alive! Arteries and veins are backwards, valves are leaking, tubes are incomplete. There are a whole bunch of technical terms that make my brain hurt.
Tawny sent me a half dozen photos she took of me with Emery. When I received them yesterday my heart filled with gratefulness for all the precious time I got to have with her. Then I realized I didn’t get any with Tawny and her baby. Grrrrr, what was I thinking?
Thankfully I have news and images fed to me whenever I ask through Dallin’s mom, Rebecca, she’s my connection. Tawnymara shares often as well, always with a smile even when the news sucks.
This morning she shared that the arch (big purple arch in the image above) is not strong enough for the Dr.s to do what they initially planned. All the while she reported it with a smile and found the good in it, like now they know better what direction they need to go. Surgery will be bumped up to Monday or Tuesday.
Today Emery will get a name and a blessing. That’s when the infant is blessed by the priesthood. It’s not necessary for entrance into heaven. because we believe all children are born innocent and don’t need baptism until they are the age of accountability (usually 8). But it’s nice to hear the individualized blessing for the child, and have her name known for our records of the church.
Emery’s bilirubin is great so she’s off the light and enjoying snuggle time with the family.
More updates to come as they happen! Thanks so much for your bouee-ing powers being sent our way!