Tag Archive | Riding

New Year, New Existence

“It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.”

– Charlotte Brontë, from Jane Eyre


My dear friends,

It is the new year. It is officially 2018. It has been for eleven days now.

I cannot explain to you in language capable of understanding the change that I have undergone these twelve months past. I know without doubt, inspection, or clarification that I am not the same young lady who stepped into the 2017.

It is a new year. A new year it certainly has been. I seem to be slipping away from my old self more and more. The funny thing is that it does not feel bad. I have never felt so free to shed my old clothes. To wrestle out of my old skin, squirming and wrestling my way into new life. A new year has made a new me.

I will not bore you with a post of many words or an obnoxious sob story about how much I accomplished last year.

Quite on the contrary.

A new year calls for new things. Already, before my very eyes, I have begun to shed old habits and develop new interests, thoughts, and opinions.

A new year calls for new theology.

I have begun to understand the truth about and depths of God’s eternal love for me. As a young Christian growing up in America, I have always known of God’s great power, Divine nature, and unspeakable authority; I have never truly studied His never-ending love. Directly, I see a change in the way I live. I walk with a new faith in a God who loves unconditionally. A God who is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness. A God named Jesus who loves me above all others. He goes before me, and I do not fear, for He will never leave me nor forsake me. He said before leaving this earth, “Lo, I am with you always.”

A new year calls for new heroes.

In this short time, I have found new mentors, confidantes, and friends who are beginning to shape me into someone I did not even know I could become. I have engrossing and delightful conversations with Jane Eyre on rainy days. Dietrich Bonhoeffer sits with me in my bedroom, and we discuss theology and discipleship for hours. Elizabeth Bennet comes to tea, and her courtship with a certain Mr. Darcy is always our favorite topic. I have begun to make the acquaintance of Mr. Sydney Carton, and although he is quite the alcoholic, his troubled yet sweet, pleasing soul is the thing I best love about him. All these friends have gathered around me, and with them I am becoming quite the lover of stories, universal truths, and moral genius.

A new year calls for new adventures.

Before my very eyes life-changing quests and heists are being laid in front of me. I have just been told that this very summer I shall be at Oxford University studying literature and creative writing for two whole weeks in the Oxford Summer Program. How excited I am for this I cannot express to you; only my Father in Heaven can truly understand how ecstatic I am to step onto the cobble-stone streets of a university that is perhaps over nine hundred years old and one that I only thought lived in my dreams. May is the month of my high-school graduation. I have already begun working toward my Associates degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

A new year calls for new interests.

I have begun to fall in love with art, literature, and writing. Riding horses is taking a new turn, as well. As of yesterday, I am riding a horse named Harry who is such a sweetheart: willing to please, amiable, bold, and everything a horse ought to be. He’s practically an angel, and my instructor says I will learn much from him. I cannot wait. Claude Monet is a favorite with me now, and I hope I may get to visit an art museum in the coming year. Austen, Brontë (Charlotte, of course), and Dickens are my new favorite authors, and reading their books is like diving headfirst into another world. I am currently reading A Tale of Two Cities.

A new year calls for new resolutions.

Now, I come to you, my dear readers. Meine lieben Freunden (that is German for, “my dear friends”)! I know I have ceased to blog consistently, yet that is something I wish to change in the coming year. I am seeing in myself someone new. I know that this blog must also become new and change alongside myself. Therefore—I will not promise anything—but my goal is to write a post every two weeks and end the year with twenty-four (give or take) posts. As for my German, that is another matter entirely, yet it is on my resolution. I do intend to learn to speak fluent German. If it is good enough for Dietrich, it is good enough for me.

My friends, I know with every fiber of my being that this year is going to be one of the best I have ever had. No, the best year for all of us. Every year is a good year. I feel like everyone seems to look back when they enter a new year. They always contemplate and spend hours in reverie over the past twelve months. I know because that’s what I did last year, the year before that, the year before that, and—gee, come to think of it—the year before that. Obviously, I’ve always looked back. By no means am I saying that to look back is unscrupulous. Nay, on the contrary. It is looking back that gives us the courage to move forward. However, this year, I have seemed to put more emphasis on going forward. I am becoming a new person, a young lady blossoming into a young woman (heavens, not yet), and an encourage-er looking for kindred spirits to encourage.

Let us not become exhausted and worn over looking at our blunders, flaws, and mistakes from last year, but let us look ahead. It is the dawn of a new day, the rise of a new era. We have begun something new. Let us face it eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder. We will not cower or turn away.

To encourage you all, I have found a lovely little poem written by that good friend of mine Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which he wrote only a little while before he was executed by the Nazis. It was composed in January of 1945 while he was in prison in Berlin:

New Year 1945

With every power for good to stay and guide me, 

Comforted and inspired beyond all fear, 

I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me, 

And pass, with you, into the coming year

 

    The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening;

The long days of sorrow still endure;

Father, grant to the souls thou hast been chastening

That thou hast promised, the healing and the cure.

 

  Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving

Even to the dregs of pain, at thy command,

We will not falter, thankfully receiving

All that is given by thy loving hand.

 

But should it be thy will once more to release us

To life’s enjoyment and its good sunshine,

That which we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us, 

And all our life be dedicate to thine.

 

  Today, let candles shed their radiant greetings;

Lo, on our darkness are they not thy light

 Leading us, haply, to our longed-for meeting?

Thou canst illumine even our darkest night.

 

When now the silence deepens for our hearkening,

Grant we may hear thy children’s voices raise

From all the unseen world around us darkening

Their universal paean, in thy praise.

 

While all the powers of good aid and attend us,

Boldly, we’ll face the future, come what may.

At even and at morn God will befriend us,

And oh, most surely on each newborn day!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Be encouraged, my dear friends! God is always with us and goes before us. Whatever we are walking into, let us take heart. God is with us and will always hold our hands in His.

One thing I am planning on doing this year is taking you all on my adventures with me. Hold on tight, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Auf Wiedersehen,

Emily 🙂

P.S. I did create my cosplay for Star Wars, and wore it on opening night. Best. Moments. Ever. I’ll share with you all in the next post; I’m off to bed! 🙂

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The Peace of God

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:7


Hello, my friends!

I do believe I promised a post explaining where I have been for the last million years and all the lessons I have learned.

Well, ok, not ALL the lessons (because that would mean I would never get this published), but just one.

Or two.

Maybe three.

Just kidding – probably just one!

Anywayyyy,

I have been having one heck of an epic summer, and I hope you have been too! We moved last year to a location known as “a high desert” and I have never lived anywhere more “hot” in my life. Today it was 102° and last week there was a reading of 106°. It’s crazy hot, but it sure makes you drink lots of water, which is a habit I have been trying to acquire for many years.

Cosplay. The dreaded word that’s been ringing in my ears just like that magic bell Polly and Digory rang in Charn (the one that woke the witch and cursed Narnia for hundreds of years)! AHH! Guys, I have failed all of my cosplaying assignments. There is no Elizabeth Swann/Will Turner costume and I have not even seen Dead Men Tell No Tales yet (*emoji with face of utter frustration*). I am learning to play the Piano Guys’ new song Themes from Pirates of the Caribbean, so that covers my multitude of cosplay sins…right 😉 ? I never finished Village Belle and never saw the film (everyone probably knows why), and even my little Spider-girl project for Homecoming I never told you guys about did not happen (but I did see Spider-man: Homecoming and I thought it was really awesome). Grr. I have become so overwhelmed with school, work, and the reason my summer has been out of this world awesome:

Horses.

Riding is all I seem to have done this summer, and it has been the ride of a life time.

I have trailered out to the cross country course a couple of times, went out for my first exhilarating gallop (lol when the tears start flying, Stephanie 😀 ), gave my best shot at a race across an open field,won two red ribbons at my first jumper show, have ridden three different horses, fallen off three times, and got carried away atop a runaway horse (kids, do not try this at home).

After the show, I felt completely worn. My body was incredibly sore, I was so fatigued, and I felt like sleeping for at least three days. When it came time for my next lesson, my eyes kept dropping down, the horse tripped after a grid, and I could not remember the simplest instructions or make those roll back turns. Trying to blink back frustration, I realized what was wrong.

My sickness relapsed.

Those “little” issues I talked about two posts ago (click HERE for that) were back, now they were coming in strong especially after all the hype and pressure of training for the show, the show itself, and other horsey activities. It was taking a toll on my memory which is something that has always scared me, so I did (and still am doing) something drastic.

I decided I would have to hang up my riding boots temporarily and focus on my health, because without good health I wouldn’t ever ride. That was for sure. My family has been so supportive of all my needs, and I constantly find myself thanking them for all their help! I love them so much and thank God for them everyday. Thanks, guys! It was pretty hard trying deciding to do it, and I cried a little. I was having so much fun and there were only two days (roughly) out of the week when I was not sitting atop a horse or at least at the barn.

It’s been totally strange not being at the barn all the time, but if it was not for this little hiatus, I do not think I would have had the ears to hear God or what He was trying to get my attention about. Thus, immediately after my decision was made, I decided it was time to really dig into the Word. I had been already, but now that horses was off of my mind constantly, I could probably have more of “an ear to hear” like those Jesus talked about when He spoke in parables.

Horses was totally from Jesus this summer, and He used them in incredible ways to teach me how to pray, how to seek His face, and how to be conscious of His omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent presence. Although I had become so close to Jesus during my horsey streak, I began to feel disconnected after I decided to take a break. So, I returned to that over-sized lime green moon chair and studied. Sinking and settling deep in that chair with my diffuser exhaling plumes of sweet-smelling lavender, listening to George Winston’s Summer album, and sipping roasted dandelion root tea, I learned the importance of peace.

The peace needed to hear God’s voice.

I felt so calm, so at ease, and so ready to listen. It was so quiet that the quiet was all I could hear. The lavender oils filled my nose and made me sigh and relax my shoulders. The George Winston music made me want to start laughing just from complete joy and love of life. If you want to know what the dandelion tea did, just look up the benefits of dandelion root tea – there’s a lot of benefits.

God had had enough of me just “getting it” and then rushing off. He wanted my time with Him in the mornings to be full of peace and rest. A time to embrace calm before the start of a bustling day. Quitting horses (temporarily, of course) has given me the opportunity to re-focus on the Lord and all that He’s given me. Though He drew me so close to Him during my awesome times at the barn, it was time to focus on everything else He was doing. It was becoming just about horses, but there was so much more about me that I was missing. Piano, writing, this BLOG (you guys are like yasssss), school, my beautiful books (almost done with Emma), my brand spanking new set of GenEd College Courses, our summer cross-country road trip (which I will get to in just a minute), and my awesome sister Ally who plays Nancy Drew PC games with me, cheers me on at my shows, and makes friends with all the local ducks turns thirteen next month:

Jesus has just shown me how to wind down and refocus.

Here’s to the peace of God!

“And He said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.'”

– God, from Exodus 33:14

Peace out,

Emily XD

P.S. That cross-country trip I was talking about is happening this FRIDAY!!! I am super excited. We’re going to Chicago, New York, Boston, Connecticut, and other eastern destinations I have never laid eyes on before! I’m super excited, and I created a travel blog called The Toiling Traveler so I can blog about all of my travels! I am going to be taking pictures this trip and blogging about everything – super excited for all the yummy east cost foodies, too! Yippee! Go ahead and check it out, like my first post, or follow the newborn blog and get to hear about my awesome journey! Totally stoked! 🙂

P.P.S. Here’s George Winston’s Living in the Country from his Summer album – take a serious breather and just let the melody sweep you up and away:

P.P.P.S. Here’s some horsey pictures for you guys! Hope you like ’em! I made them look really cool with BeFunky photo editor, lol!

Epic shot of me and Sunny @ the water jump – my sister Ally took the pic! Thanks, Ally!

 

Me and Sunny @ the cross-country course

 

Fun picture of me and Sunny over our widest oxer!

 

Me and Sunny @ the show – 2’6 class – movin’ up there!

 

Me and Sunny (Sun Bun) after a great ride – it looks like she’s smiling LOL!!

 

P.P.P.P.S. Ok, last P.S., but has anyone seen Star Wars VIII Trailer, The Last Jedi? I have, and this is the one cosplay project that will NOT go overlooked – check it out if you have not yet:

Ok, guys! That’s all for now!

Hope to see y’all over at The Toiling Traveler!

Hugs,

Em 🙂