sharks & sand.

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For Thanksgiving break, my family and I traveled to Florida, seeing both my dad’s mother in Jacksonville, and my mom’s side in South Florida.

Ever since I was real little, I’ve had a draw to the beach. I’ve fallen in love with the crashing of the waves, the feeling of sand, the warmth of the sun, and the breeze. I’ve come to love snow out in Colorado, but there’s just something special about water. Swimming underwater during a thunderstorm is one of the coolest things. During a late night walk on the beach, and tears filling my eyes, God placed a burden on my heart. He opened my eyes to seeing how I worry when I don’t need to, instead of going into prayer, I question what God is doing in and through me. The Lord put an image on my mind, that helped me see my walk with Him over my life.

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Life is like the beach, but the difference is where we walk. Do we walk along the shoreline, or next to the bushes/grass at beginning of the beach, or are we swimming in the ocean? Those who pursue Him, will dive headfirst into the waters and swim towards the horizon. But many of us, keep returning to the shore. And I will admit first hand, that I return to the shoreline all too many times.

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Some of us stay on the pier, never touching the sand, never pursuing anything further. Some of us live our whole lives only walking along the start of the sand, either paralyzed by the fear of the unknown, or never knowing they could go farther. As you begin to walk towards the ocean, the sand begins to thicken, seaweed clutters the ground, tangling your toes, and more seashells cover the sand. I think so many of us get to the edge of the water, and love the feeling of water rushing over our feet, but we become too scared to actually head deeper into His waters.

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We become paralyzed by the unknown. We get too impatient with waiting. Instead of heading in, we run back to the sand. Some of us may never try swimming again.

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:9-10

I would like to say I’ve always been one to dive deeper in Christ no matter the trials, but instead I’m one to run out of the water when times get too hard. One who spent many times walking along the thinnest part of the sand, not wanting to get any closer to Christ, staying away from Him. I’ve been one to cry out in my lowest moments, telling Him I’m done trusting, I’m done trying, and I’m doing life on my own. When setbacks happen, when losses occur, and when grief takes over, I run towards shore, rather than sitting in His waters of redemption and peace. There were several years filled with complete darkness, that I filled my life with materialistic things, and others, but my best friend, Elise came alongside me, and steered me back to the water. If I haven’t said it already, she’s a rockstar. (grateful for ya!) I realized that I couldn’t truly live without Jesus.

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“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2

There’re still times where it feels like waves keep pummeling me, but Jesus comes and picks me up. Teaching me that trials will still occur throughout my life, but instead of running away from Him, to draw near and He will fill me with peace. He will never let me drown, never let me fail, and never leave me alone when it feels like sharks are surrounding me. I like to think trials are like sharks, they will always be apart of our lives, but when we face them head-on with Jesus, they will not destroy us, and not consume us. 

His waters of redemption, forgiveness, faithfulness, and patience are never-ending. And as the Sun rises ever morning, it’s a reminder to keep swimming to the horizon, where one day we’ll be reunited with Christ in Heaven.

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Walking along the beach, listening to the album Greater: by Jess & Gabriel (!!!!), and hearing the waves crash, made me realize that I don’t fully trust God. I know He has a plan for me, I know that in my heart, but when trials surround me, I doubt. Currently going through a time where more unknowns for the future and present fill my head, than knowns, but learning to swim in His grace is key to being at peace. Still haven’t quite figured that out yet, but working on it. And lastly, I really missed the beach.

No successful tan lines this trip, but how crazy cool the beach really is.

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God is so so cool for creating imagery to help us see His steadfastness at all times. No matter how lonesome a sea full of sharks can be, He is present.
Praying for those of y’all who’re also going through trials, that you may experience peace, and learn to keep swimming, rather than returning to the shore.

Kyra

12 girls & giggles.

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Over the summer I had one of the most life giving, most giggle filled, most joyous weeks in my life. You’re probably thinking I’m exaggerating, or being a bit dramatic, but this week truly changed my heart and perspective on the Lord, changed the way I engage with kiddos, the way I see myself, and a new lenses on relationships. Over the summer I was a kids intern for my church’s Kids Ministry program alongside another girl named Wynter. During the internship, there was a week where we went to camp, and Wynter helped administratively, and I was a camp counselor.

We were both ecstatic to be at a kids camp for a week, but did not truly know how big of an impact it would be. Growing up, I was such a quiet, tomboy of a girl, I never really enjoyed camp, because I loved to do more ‘boy’ stuff, rather than painting nails, or playing fake fashion shows in the cabin. So coming into this week, not knowing what was all in store, I was afraid of not living up to the counselor these girls desired and needed in the phase of life they were in. I was coming out of a phase of life where everything around me was changing, and the walls of consistency were crumbling. Where I had to graduate later than the rest of my class, relationships near and dear to my heart had fallen through the cracks, and I was getting sicker. Coming into camp I was nervous of how it was going to change me, fearful that more change was going to occur, rather than trusting God’s plan in how He was going to change me for the better.

So with glow in the dark colorful headbands, (protip: put campers names on them, helps when trying to find your kiddos in a sea of other campers & when I didn’t know their names at first) black boards for words of the day, coloring books, hundreds of hair ties, extra conditioner, twizzlers, gummy bears, and multiple swimsuits, I headed off to camp.

Camp wrecked me. Not in a bad way, but wrecked me in a way that I would never be the same again. I ended up having twelve 3rd-5th grade girlies, and the amount of giggles throughout our cabin during the time there was so joyous and life giving. I had my bosses two daughters, my dad’s boss’ daughter, a few others from church, and some new faces. Some girls came into camp with parents being unsupportive of Christianity, almost half our cabin had lost a parent in the past few years, and others, it was their first time at camp. So the phrase, “mixing all the personalities into a bowl” was very accurate for our cabin. Camp didn’t wreck me in a bad way. Like causing me to hate kids, or never wanting to be a camp counselor again. No, camp wrecked me, because through camp I learned how selfish I had been living. God met me in the 5am devotionals before the counselor meetings, before the sun rose, and before my girls woke up every morning bright and early at 6am. God met me during my 12am showers after emotionally exhausting days. God met me when we talked through mourning the loss of a parent. God met me through the sadness, heartache, joys, laughter, and most importantly in the celebrating of half the cabin accepting Christ into their precious, beautiful hearts. God met me in the hard days, when teamwork fell through, when homesickness got the upper hand, when sickness came and hit hard, or when nap times didn’t happen. God met me in the early mornings, and late nights. God met me in the disconnection from the outside world. It was in the times of loneliness, that God wrecked me, showing me how truly lonely my life was.

God wrecked me in the way of relationships. Showing me how I was allowing those close to me, to keep hurting me, not giving time for the wounds to heal, not giving space for forgiveness, and time to learn from the mistakes of how toxic it was in the last months. He showed me how I was uniquely created, and after some of my campers talked through not being treated fairly, how I was also not being treated with respect by some. God showed me that I deserved to be loved respectfully. He showed me that I was living in fear, rather than living fearless through Him.

I never knew that I could make an impact on kids lives. I’ve babysat since I was in 5th grade, but never truly knew how big of an impact I could be. God showed me that camp is where kids from all different phases of life come, to escape the harsh parts of their lives they’re going through, to come to a place, where God has specifically created counselors who have a passion for Him and kiddos to come be apart of their lives. Showing them Christ’s love.

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One camper even told me, she had a horrible experience last year with her previous counselor, and that she expected a great week, so there needed to be a conversation on ground rules before the week could begin (she said at the end of the week I did a pretty good job haha). When each girl accepted Christ into their hearts, there were cheers, celebrating, bible verses highlighted, notes written, prayers prayed, and loads of tears from all. It was a truly beautiful thing to watch these young girls wanting to change their lives, and to start living a life for God’s kingdom.

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Camp definitely made me go outside my comfort zone, and I’m so grateful I got to go. Public speaking has always been an issue for me, making me sick to my stomach anytime I would have to present in front of my class. But Christy (my boss), pushed me hard, and now public speaking isn’t an issue anymore. Wynter and I each had to teach a campfire lesson one evening in front of 100+ kiddos, and I was sick going into it. I taught on Moses’ trials in the desert, how there are times in everyone’s lives where we go through walks in the desert, not knowing our identity, not knowing when this dry season of our lives would end.

I taught on my concussion, and how my memory loss caused me to forget who I was. (That’s a whole other blog post), but the point is, that God meets us in whatever big or small desert phase of life we are in. He comes and picks our faces up, showing us where His well of forgiveness is, cleansing us. At the end of the lesson, my campers and I were in a puddle of tears, tears of sadness, but tears from others because they had finally realized they could make it through the difficulties they’re facing if they put their trust in the Lord. It was a hard night, talking about why God even creates deserts in our lives, but the conversation switched from “why does God create deserts?” to “wow I can’t wait for his well.” 8e163d3d-8b2d-46fb-b460-7328f380ca5c.jpg

It was truly a beautiful thing watching my cabin of littles diving head first into the Bible every morning before breakfast. To see their hearts on fire for God, not caring what others thought, and solely focusing on reading their bibles.

God taught me how to find the joy, laughter and the beautifulness of chaos. When our cabin looked like a hurricane came and wrecked it, we would turn on Disney princess music and dance as we cleaned. fullsizeoutput_32a8Or when we were barely able to make it to breakfast on time, to find the simple joy that all girls were accounted for and that all of them were clean. Or on the days filled with sunburns from hours upon hours in the pool, but the girls had fun, and had  met other campers. Or the days feeling like a hot-crazy-mess, that at the end of the day all the girls came together in a circle, talked about what word was pressed onto their hearts, writing it down on the blackboards, and praying for one another. Or when I felt completely wiped out, having a line form for hair to be braided before bed. Being able to have a few minutes with each precious girl, braiding her hair, and hearing her heart from the day.

Camp showed me that I need to focus on the simple laughters, joys, and love in each day, rather than focusing on the harsh negatives. He showed me that on the emotionally hard days, He is still lending an ear during a 12am shower, or a 5am devotional. My prayer for these sweet kiddos, is that they would wholeheartedly pursue Christ, even in the hard times, and would see His unconditional love. That life throws curveballs all the time, but to laugh in the chaos of it all.

IMG_4229.JPGI challenge you, if you have a passion for touching the lives of young kiddos through Christ, to invest into a bible study, or a Sunday morning service, and if you’re brave enough, to think about being a camp counselor. I never would have been a camp counselor if Christy hadn’t asked, but it impacted my life drastically, and added a perspective to my life that I needed. I would totally love to be a counselor again if the opportunity arose, and these sweet girls have made a forever impact on my life, that I will endlessly treasure.

cups & tape.

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I have been struggling with back pain for over two and a half years now. What started out as a pain in my lower back from countless falls off of horses, has turned constant chronic pain from my shoulders to my hip bones.

In July 2017, and after a month of barely getting four hours of sleep every night due to such pain, and after constant 8 out of 10 pain, I started physical therapy. From the first appointment with Hannah, she started to help heal my back pain.

We started with exercises, and taping to help keep my spine aligned. Unfortunately I had a pretty bad allergic reaction on Christmas Eve that resulted in an Urgent Care visit, a high fever and hives. So we took a break from taping, to let my body calm down. Mrs. Hannah found some hypoallergenic tape, and we did that for a little before another severe reaction in April, which result in the same hives, fever, and urgent care visit.

Over Spring break and right before school started up this fall we tried again with the taping, and my body still freaked out. The taping helped significantly, bringing my pain down to a 3/10, when I became allergic my pain shot back up to a 7-8 constantly.

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So we turned to cupping (like what Micheal Phelps does). It’s incredibly painful, feeling like someone is pinching, twisting and pulling on your skin all at once. (Because that’s exactly what’s happening!!) BUTTT it started to help. Bringing my back pain down to a 6/10. Though my back pain is still there, and hasn’t decreased as much as with taping, the cupping helps. 

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I ended up retiring from horse show jumping in March 2018 due to the pains getting so intense I would be bedridden for days afterwards, or would lose feeling in my legs while riding. Riding started to become a regret rather than an enjoyment. I’m glad I was able to end on a positive note with my Xante and as Team Captain, but I still miss it sometimes. In the mix of this, through multiple x-rays, MRI’s and Spinal analysis testing, it has been discovered that I have Scoliosis, and my lower back does not have proper flexibility; unfortunately these are not what is causing the intense constant pain.

I won’t return to the sport I love, which is such a difficult thing to say, but I have learned how much trusting in others, God, my surgeons, physical therapist and all other doctors has helped me push through it all. I have learned a new depth of community, when bedridden and friends coming to see me, or having support from family members (and Elise, by now she’s family) at doctors appointments.

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We currently do not know what is causing the 8/10 constant pains, and the surgeons are perplexed what the next steps are, but I hope answers will replace all the question marks, and can look forward to having no pain in Heaven someday.

As I finish writing this post, what I  feel being pressed on my heart is to tell y’all: Whether a physical pain from an injury or an emotional pain from heartache; these pains help shape us for the better, but do not define us. That even if we do not overcome them here on earth, God takes away all our pain and sadness in Heaven.

13th grade.

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(hey mom, your daughter is in college!!)

It’s weird to think I’m a college student. I still order the kids meal sometimes, I still call my mom at the grocery store because I can’t remember what kind of white potatoes we get, and I still call my dad anytime I see a car accident, making sure he wasn’t involved.

I live at home, because with chronic illness, you need your village of people near. With food allergies, an old puppy, and how expensive dorms are, living at home filled with endless snuggles with my puppies, endless home cooked food, and free living sounded like Heaven.

At times it still feels like high school, but there’s other times where I realize that I really am in college, and am (somehow) an adult. It’s a mixed world between still feeling like a teenager and an adult. Sandwiched between living at home, classes, and work.

I go to school two days a week (crazy!!), taking 16 credits (double majoring), while babysitting 5 nights a week.

I’ve learned very quickly that I’m blessed with several things; easy classes, a beautiful campus, great professors, and taking classes my first semester that are directed specifically for my double major.

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I was blessed with all my classes being supa dupa easy (yayy), thus being able to balance sitting for two families of five, mountains of doctors appointments, trips to FL to surprise Grandma for her 80th, and (most important) daily naps!!

My campus is absolutely beautiful. I mean, look at that! I get to walk out of my Thursday 7:20pm class (3 hrs long!!) and see that view!

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In the mornings, talking the 15 minute walk from the parking lot to the Health Building, I get to see that! Like holy cow God you are good!!

I never would of thought my college experience would be filled with staying in state, heck, even living at home, but God is abundantly good and proves day in and day out that living at home during college is the biggest blessing, and probably the only way I could do all that I’m doing at once.

It’s been hard to find the positives of all these doctors appointments, but one thing is for sure, God sure does love to create beautiful skies. Making the drives to doctors in Denver, or Fort Collins, or even farther such a beautiful thing, filled with worship music, a good smoothie, and the beautiful sky infront of us all the way there and back.

On top of doctors appointments, I have my precious kiddos. They make exams, and boring homework fun. With babysitting, sometimes homework can’t be done in silence, or being left alone.. actually raincheck, homework is never completed quietly or all on my own. Most of my exams are online, thus making is really accommodating for me to take tests anywhere there’s wifi including with five kiddos laying next to you. But instead of asking them to leave, we make a game of it, when the Video goes to do the intro recording of me, we’ll try and fit as many kiddos into the picture as possible. Making the craziest of faces and finding a part to my day that I didn’t think giggles and laughter could fill, but they make it possible.

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This season of being a 13th grader is already filled with so many giggles and I can’t wait for more. To see all the other ways of growth that happens both academically, medically, spiritually, and with friendships.

focus.

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The way we specifically focus on different things throughout life matters.

We spend so much time focusing on certain areas of our lives, yet do not spend time focusing on other areas, that maybe even more important than the areas we’re currently focusing on so much. Sometimes we spend more time focusing on having a special someone, rather than focusing on our relationship with God. Sometimes we focus more on our health, than other times we forgo our health, and only worry about other areas.

I’ve noticed that at different seasons of my own life, I pour more time into wanting a relationship with God, than other seasons where I barely open my bible, somehow scared that what It has to tell me will be painful. I think God created earthly seasons to help show us how we go through seasons ourselves. That we are not alone, that the earth, animals, those we love, and ourselves all go through times of change.

As my dad and I took a drive through the Aspen leaves (my favorite time of the year in CO!!), taking pictures of all the leaves with the wind blowing in our hair, and the sun warming our skin; I got to thinking about focus.

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Lately I have been spending more time focusing on my health (because.. chronic illness kicks my butt) than I would have been two years ago. And lately I have been spending more time listening to audiobooks rather than music in the car, when I go for a run, or when running errands. There is just something about listening to women/men talking about their passion to pursue God so fearlessly, so boldly, rather than listening to nonChristian pop music. (Am currently listening/reading The Masterpiece by: Francine Rivers and Love Does by: Bob Groff) ((Highly recommend both books!!))

As this season is Fall, it’s crazy to think that we have seasons in life, just like how there are seasons in the year. How we all experience letting go, and shedding off past hurts, or moving on from unhealthy situations, its hard for us to refocus on some areas of our lives, wile other areas of our lives still need to be focused on.

I think God intentionally created different seasons in the year for different parts of our lives. How, there are different times to show different parts of what we’re going through. Spring to represent growth in the flowers and grass growing back, times of doubts/difficulties through rainstorms, and the crisp fresh air showing new change. Summer to represent letting go, finding the positive in our days, and the freedom that fills summer. Fall to represent change in the leaves colors changing, the temperature dropping symbolizing moving on from situations, and the beautiful sunsets showing that the Sun will always rise again, and so can we after a hard day. Winter to represent the harsh parts in our lives through blizzards, the cloudy days, that there are hard times, but the Sun is always behind the clouds, like God is always behind us, and the snow falling showing that growth comes after falling.

I feel like I’m currently going through the season between Fall and Winter. Where as the leaves start to fall off the trees, the vibrant green grass begins to fade, the wind begins to pick up, and the sun sets earlier on. Fall to Winter in my mind is like a snake shedding its own skin. The snake is ready for a change, and starts to see drastic change, even if it comes with loosing the security blanket it wraps itself in. I feel like I’m going through a time where my illness is getting the better of me, causing me to constantly be tired, sleeping more and more, like the sun starting to go down earlier. The group of friends ever closing up due to complete exhaustion and not being able to constantly hangout. It’s not their fault, it’s just a time of change, and shedding. My determination is like the wind, I’m a pusher, and don’t always know when to slow down; pushing myself to keep going when my body is already exhausted.

As we were driving through the Aspens I realized something; I really only focus on the Aspens in the Fall, driving past them in all other seasons. It’s not a bad thing, but it just shows that I focus on different things at different times of the year.

Seasons are healthy, and focusing on other areas at different times is healthy and important too. But the most important thing: I’m learning that God is not a season. He is important at all weather changes, tragedies, and triumphs. That He needs to be my focus no matter what season I’m going through.

mac ‘n’ cheese.

Macallan (Mac, bubba, the Grinch, Big Mac, and mac ‘n’ cheese)

This year on 9/5/18 marks two years since Macallan passed away. I feel like many of y’all don’t know the full story about what happened, or even who he was.

He was an 19 year old warmblood, 16.5 hands high horse, with Cushing’s Disease, who had the sweetest heart, and was my horse for 6 months.

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The first time I ever rode Macallan, we were nearly out of control, and it’s honestly a miracle I stayed on. The first time my dad met him, Mac bit him. The first time my mom met him, I was thrown off four times, and my mom was shocked that Mac was the horse I wanted haha. Pretty great start to meeting the family haha.

Mac was a big step up from my previous seven horses, but he was so gentle with me. I    was this little 16 year old girl, weighing less than 100 lbs, and he was this 16.5+ hands high horse (really big), staring down at me. But what made us work together, and become a powerhouse was our fighting spirits. Macallan had a disease called Cushing’s Disease (or: PPID) which causes hormonal imbalances in the pituitary glands at the base of the horse’s brain. It affects horses by causing mood swings, so Macallan was bipolar. His mood would shift all the time and it was hard for others to know how to handle him, but that’s where Mac and I had things in common. I was the shy, quiet girl who didn’t have a lot of friends, and he wanted to be friends with every horse, but because of his mood swings, he didn’t have many friends.

We both have had to overcome some rough patches in our past, and together we worked as a team.

As we hit the ground running with horse shows every weekend, Mac and I started to become a name around shows. Trainers would tell riders to watch how Mac and I  communicated together, how we would fix our mistakes, and even on the rough days, how Macallan would work even harder when I was not giving 100%.

Macallan helped build my confidence tremendously as a rider, teaching me how I  needed to be a rougher, yet soft rider, learning how to see the distance to jumps, and how to build momentum in the lines between jumps.

As September approached, Macallan and I were both ranked 1st in the state, an accomplishment I had always dreamed of, but never thought I would. We had three more horse shows, and then the biggest show of the season: Medal Finals was the first week of October.

We had a horse show on September 4th, and did really well, walking away with a Champion in the division. We went back to the barn and dropped him off, giving him water and hay, unhitched the trailer, and gave him kisses before leaving.

The next day I woke up to an allergic reaction to swollen ankles/feet, so mom and I went to the local walk-in clinic, where we got antibiotics, and were headed to lunch when I got a phone call from my (now former) trainer Karen.

She asked where I was and asked for me to sit down. She said, “Kyra, Macallan colliced in the middle of the night. Kenny (barn hand) found him this morning and called the Vet, he is currently at the Vet’s. We don’t think it’s serious, he should be back at the barn tomorrow, but if you’d like to go see him and just be with him, I’ll give you the address.”

Side note: One of my biggest fears/hates is when others I care about get sick. No matter if its a simple cold, or if they got injured, I hate when others are hurting, it worries me to pieces and I  go to the work case thinking they could die.

So when Mrs. Karen told me he was at the vet, mom and I quickly drove over to see him. He was hooked up to IV’s, and drips. The vet pulled my mom and I over and gave us the rundown. He had 3 basketball sized knots in his intestines, he was on a list of meds, and that surgery was a possibility, but that she did not recommend it since he was 19 years old. Horses who have collic surgery, and who are older than 18 years old usually do not make a full recovery, and are never the same horse again. But colic surgery costs a minimum of $30,000 and we didn’t have that kind of money laying around. The Vet also told us that Macallan had a 97% of living, and to not worry about collic surgery, but that she was just making us aware of other options.

Horses can’t throw up, so when a horse goes to throw up, their intestines begin to knot up. 97% of horses survive collicing, or have surgery to remove the mass in their stomach. Fun fact, horses intestines are as long as a football field. Vets will walk the horse or put a tube down its nose to their stomach and pump water, to manually help the horse throw up; loosening the mass of intestines, hoping to unknot it.

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We spent the day walking Mac around, pumping his stomach multiple times, and I  took a nap with him. After my nap, I looked into his eyes and saw that his spirit was fading. He was tired of fighting, he had tried so hard, but the time had come for him to leave us.

At 8pm, the Vet said she wanted to try one more medication. I knew by the bond Mac and I had, that he was ready to go, but she wanted to try one more med, and that we would see results in the morning. So she sent us home, and told us to get some rest.

At 9pm she called us up, and told us Mac’s heart rate was at 160, when a horses heart-rate shouldn’t be above 100. So mom, dad and I pilled in the car and sped over to the Vet’s house.

Mac was swaying side to side and you could see the pain in his eyes. The Vet asked me to leave, because she thought I was going to be scarred from seeing him this sick, but I  insisted on being there. I wanted to be with my teammate, through the good times, through the times we soar over jumps, the times we walk out with that 1st we worked so hard for, and the times when we were at our worsts.

As I walked through the door, Mac saw me and his heart-rate dropped down to 90, but the vet said he was in so much pain, and the masses were so big, he was not going to make it.

We put him down that night, pain-free, and I held his head in my lap. I never realized how big of a horse he truly was, until his head was bigger than my lap.

I never thought when I woke up Monday morning that I would be putting him down that evening.

He was truly a once in a lifetime horse. I’ve been asked many times if I could, would I  go back in time and change what horse, instead of choosing Mac, and my answer is: Absolutely not. Macallan made an impact on my life, and I hope I made an impact in his. I never imagined loosing a teammate, but loosing him helped me grow as a rider, as a person, and learned that you cannot take things for granted. He gave me his all every time we competed. He loved me in a way that was so special, and in a way I    never had experienced with any of my other horses.

So on this day, two years ago, its the saddest day, but it’s not the day I  think of when I think of Mac’s and my time together. I  think of all the wins we had, all the bubble baths, all the hot summer days filled with good books and him grazing on grass, the day we had a flat tire on the side of the highway, and Mac had to get out of the trailer for mom to fix it. Those are the days I will remember, not September 5th, 2016.

Mac was my gentle giant, and I am forever grateful for all that he taught me.

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dance in the rain.

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Colorado does not get many crazy thunderstorms, so when they happen, its a rarity. It’s my favorite weather.

The smell. How vibrant all the colors are afterwards. The feeling of walking outside and the dampness.

Tonight as we went to go watch the fireworks over the lake for Fourth of July, it started pouring. I  started to remember what my mom said to me one night when I was a little girl scared of thunderstorms. The sound of thunder made me feel voiceless, and the lightning felt like it was electrocuting right through me. One night I couldn’t fall asleep, I walked into the living room where my mom sat, staring out the windows, curtains pulled back watching the lightning strike feeling like it was electrocuting my body. I asked my mom why she was watching & its changed my perspective. She said: “Kyra when you hear thunder: it’s God talking to you.. lightning: is God reaching out his arms to embrace you, comforting you through the turmoil you’re going through, and rain: is God crying for you, because when you hurt, He hurts.”

Since that night I love thunderstorms. It’s become therapeutic for me, the feeling of raindrops hitting my body, washing away all the ‘junk, dirt, or frustrations’ of the day. Rain is amazing to me. I’ve started learning to love the little things of life lately. Loving the rain, loving the spontaneity of skipping, dancing, and singing with my friends in the rain. Wynter and I  danced around the golf course as it poured, eating kettle popcorn, and laughing as we played tag with the kids. Tonight reminded me that spontaneity is key. That rain is beautiful. And most importantly that God is an awesome God.

He chose to create rain, and then use rain as a symbol of his love, washing away our sins with his forgiveness, showing us that there will be “dry” seasons of our lives where there is no rain for days, weeks, months and even years. But yet God is still present in those “dry” seasons of life, ever present, no matter the season, whether a dry or wet/nourishing season.

And though it was not planned to rain on the 4th of July, and that we came back to the house completely soaked and cold, that finding the joy in the dysfunction of it, making the night even more memorable by dancing with ones who love the rain with you.

letting go & breathing deep.

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My spring semester of senior year was a crazy whirlwind in itself. Between more health complications, heartache, relationships ending, and last minute credit issues between schools.. this past semester has been a hurricane. Through everything that’s occurred, I’ve learned I need to spend more time focusing on bettering myself and my relationship with God, rather than giving my time to others.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with others and caring for others in need. Calling a friend who’s going through a difficult time, or being a short drive away to talking through issues.. but I have neglected to care for myself. I keep giving time that is needed to strengthen my relationship with God to others, running away from Him (NOT a good idea). I feel drained giving my energy to others and leaving none for strengthening my relationship with God or working on myself.

So I decided a few weeks ago to change around the way I do life. I started waking up at 5:45am to be with my Father. I    would put on worship music, and pray outlaid, praises, and prayer requests, anything that came across my mind I    will have an outlaid conversation with Him. I started drinking more water, cutting out all extra sugar, going to bed earlier, stopped wearing makeup, and started spending more time outdoors.

I’ve learned over the past few weeks by saying more “no’s” to time with friends, and more “yes’” to spending time outdoors in awe of God’s creation and having time with Him has changed my world. Small little changes have helped me to stop being hard on myself, and working to be healthier.

I’m learning that God gave me a heart to care for others, and there are pros and cons to that. That I  love to pour all my energy on others, but I  am especially learning I need to be pouring more of energy into Him & I .