The Cowboy Rides Away

As I stood in the garage, barefoot, wearing a tank top and boxers, all I could think was, “RED, WHY AREN’T YOU FB_IMG_1499222222133_1503627357478_1503800959570PACKED AND READY TO GO?” I continued to just stand there and watch as the cowboy loaded his belongings into the truck – his clothes, bedroll, saddles, and guitar…when he stops and comes to set a saddle at my feet so that I have a good seat to take care of the horses while he’s gone. “You gonna miss me just a little?” he asks? “Miss you? Who are you?” I laugh as he wraps his arms around me.

The night before, as we laid curled up together on the bedroll, the Cowboy wishing I could go with him… I think to myself, “well, you know, I could. It would take me all about 20 minutes to throw my stuff together.” I laid there quietly contemplating my response…and praying for the right words. There’s only one place the words I was about to speak came from, because they were SO not what I was feeling!

“You know, I could go. But this is your trip. Your adventure. Of course, he interjects that it is  ‘our adventure.’ I think to myself and say out loud…”hmmm, no. This one…this trip that you’ve been called too…this is yours. All yours. You suffered through the horror and the heartbreak. This is part of YOUR healing. You go….and be open to what God has in store for you. OUR adventure will come soon enough.”

As he put the truck in reverse and drove out in the darkness of the early morning, I just stood there under a blanket of stars, wrapped in the comforting warmth that that can only come from the 4 a.m. heat and humidity. Just as I was about to call him and tell him to turn around and take me to Montana with him….an alarm popped up on my phone reminding me to pray for my partner . So, I stopped, opened the app and I kid you not…this was the scripture and prayer for the morning:

He Would Rejoice in Decreasing

The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease. ~ John 3:29-30

Far from being envious of the growth of Jesus’ influence, John the Baptist tells his disciples he like a man rejoicing at the happiness of his friend, the bridegroom. Rather than causing us sorrow or jealousy, our decrease and Christ’s increase should be a source of joy. Let us pray today that our partners would rejoice at the increase of our Savior’s glory in their jobs, relationships, home-life, and every other endeavor.
Father, it is a constant temptation to strive for the increase of our own glory, but we see in your Word that true joy comes when we decrease and You increase. You know my partner’s dreams and goals, and You gave Him the talents and abilities he has. Please give him an undivided heart, one that rejoices at each opportunity to make much of You and less of himself. May he have opportunities to use his gifts through Your power, for Your glory and his joy. Amen.

Well played God, well played.

It was reading the last three sentences that caused me to stop dead in my tracks, tears streaming down my face, and that’s when I cleared my phone out before it dialed his number.

I sent him a text telling him that I missed him already, and that he was extraordinary and had been given everything he needed to set the world on fire. And he is doing just that. And I couldn’t be more humble or proud. I also sent him this quote:

There is “hoping” your life will improve and then there is the fire. A deep obsession to change and become better, to forge a vibrant and abundant life by sheer will, daily struggle, the guts to push yourself and be extraordinary. – Brendon Burchard

What I’ve learned is:

Relationships aren’t all daisies and daylight. They are dry patches of grass and darkness. They are not 50/50 or even 100/100. Sometimes, they’re 10/90, 1000/1, or any other combination of ratios depending on where you are in your journey, life, struggles, experiences, what side of the bed you woke up on. In a relationship, especially strong ones, there should be no ratio as to who does what nor should it be measured. You do what you have to to support the other person. Sometimes, that means standing in the garage in your jammies as the person who holds the key to your heart drives away for another round of adventures. Sometimes, it is about putting their needs first. Sometimes, helping the person you love means letting go of that person so that they can find what truly soothes their soul, sparks a fire in their spirit, and heals their wounds. Sometimes, it is taking a step back and being what and who they really need, not what you think they need. Watching him drive away on this short trip hurt more than when I put him on a plane for the 40 day trip…and he didn’t have cell phone service then!

ShawnI would encourage you to check out Gus’ blog on Heroes and Horses website. After you read it, be sure to check out Heroes and Horses and how they are making a difference in the lives of our combat veterans.

Fast forward…the 4-5 day trip has turned into a 3-4 week trip, which may turn into a 3 month trip, which may turn into…who knows what God has planned for us, but I do know that God is doing amazing things and the Cowboy is finding his center. His balance. His fire. His passion. Where God will lead me to support the Cowboy in all of this while using the fire and passion He’s given me…well, I guess y’all will just have to stay tuned!
Love, peace, and pie!

Honor Your Hero

Thank you to Heroes and Horses for all they do and celebrating our heroes! ! My hero is Shawn (Gus):

My hero is Shawn Dunham. Shawn served in the U.S. Marines during Desert Storm (93-94), and at the age of 35, re-enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served from 2007-IMG_26792013. He was assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry (Fort Hood, Tx) and served in Mosul, Iraq and Al Diwaniyah, Iraq. His primary MOS was 74D-Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist. Shawn was honorably discharged as 100% disabled due to PTSD and injuries (including TBI) he survived from several IED incidents. Since leaving the military, he works to express his emotions through music, learning to write lyrics that help bring healing to other combat soldiers, and those veterans dealing with PTSD and the effects of returning home. Shawn works diligently with non-profit organizations who work with soldiers through music therapy and songwriting. A day doesn’t go by that we don’t give thanks for his service in the military, but that he was able to come home. Each and every day, Shawn proves that you are who you decide to be – not what has happened to you in life. He is no stranger to hard work and his faith, determination, work ethic, humor, generosity, adventurous spirit, and kind heart are just a few of the reasons that make him our hero.

Be sure and check out Heroes and Horses on Facebook, Instagram and their website!