Look Out--I'm Hacking Again!

I attended Leadership Conference with Shelli earlier this month and several of our demonstrators asked me when I was going to hack into Shelli’s blog again. They seemed to be looking forward to it rather than fearing it, so I figured I’d try it again.

So here I am.

Leadership was awesome—thanks to everyone who went! From what I heard, it all went according to plan and everyone (both demonstrators and staff) seemed very happy with it. Of course, it didn’t go according to MY plan. I intended to attend leadership with Shelli, support her as she made her main stage presentations, and then escort her back to the hotel room where she could rest and relax and prepare for her next appearance.

Right.

That’s not what Shelli does at Stampin’ Up! events, even when she’s recovering from a pretty serious accident. I should have known better. Shelli thrives on the love and support she feels from demonstrators, so Shelli did what Shelli does—gave hugs, signed autographs, posed for pictures, and visited. And although when we finally did get back to the hotel room, she was exhausted, she was also rejuvenated and buoyed up.

And I was resigned. I’ve learned through 34 years of marriage that sometimes that’s what works best. :-)

That’s one thing I wanted to mention.

The other thing was a pretty exciting event yesterday—Shelli got back up on a horse again.

Shhhhh. . . don’t tell the girls. They’re not exactly looking forward to their mom riding again.

But it’s something Shelli’s been working towards. A few weeks ago, I put a saddle on a saddle rack up in our house, and Shelli’s been sitting in it while she reads her e-mail and does other work. That’s a step, and yesterday, she took another one.

We’d invited the grandkids over to ride horses; they enjoy doing that whenever they can. We went to the Courage Reins Therapeutic Riding Center’s indoor arena, and each of the kids had an opportunity to ride a couple of different horses.

And Shelli couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see if she could get on a horse herself. (Of course, she had a little bit of encouragement from the yahoo who was leading the horse. . . ) I suggested she try to mount the horse on the loading ramp, which allows a rider to get on a horse much easier than normal. But she refused. She wanted to mount like a real rider.

It took her a minute to get her leg up in the stirrup and to pull herself up on the horse, but she did. She didn’t put a helmet on, partly because I was holding on tight to the reins and had no intention of letting go and partly because she had a meeting right afterwards and didn’t want to mess up her hair. (So Shelli, right?) We walked down the arena and back, just enough to loosen up her muscles and start getting used to the horse’s movement again.

And that was pretty much that. She dismounted without any mishap.

A huge moment on the road back to recovery. . .

Looking back over the past few months, there are a few things that stand out to me. First, although I’ve always believed in God and Jesus Christ, I now have a whole new understanding and relationship with them, and I know—like I’ve never known before—that prayers are answered. Over and over, family, friends, demonstrators, even strangers have told us that they are praying for us. We have felt those prayers, and they have made a difference.

Second, we all have trials and challenges. That’s simply the way life is. And through those challenges, we have opportunities—opportunities to learn and grow personally, opportunities to serve, opportunities to develop patience (with others and with ourselves), and opportunities to recognize and express gratitude.

Finally, we can trust God. He knows us, He loves us, and He is there for us. We can trust Him.

Those aren’t bad lessons to learn!

Looks like it's going to be a great year for stamping AND riding!