Cowboy Church … a friend asks:

I get a very lengthy text the other night .. from a girlfriend. It was late, and the same night I posted what happens while a child walks in on two consenting adults.

“You and the Cowboy appear to be doing well, despite the stressors of life and long distance, and I am so happy for you.”

(We’ve known each other for what seems a very long time, brought together by both of our mothers having passed away of the same type of cancer. Lot of lessons in life to be learned when a parent passes away .. thoughts for another post sometime. Anyway, this discussion is much lighter hearted.)

She goes on to say, “You give me hope that there are indeed good relationships to be had, despite any previous not so good ones in my past. I am content to wait for my own cowboy to ride/walk/run into my life! Anyway… I am responding to your fabulous blog that I have so enjoyed reading. Humor me here. Two hilarious things happened this week that I feel I simply must sure with you, especially in light of your topics this past week. Ironic, with the timing really. First one, I was speaking with a patient who was a self proclaimed cowboy. In reading some of his past notes, he indeed is a true cowboy here in Wisconsin, but I came across one note hat spoke of his “priest at cowboy church.” I am as green as they come and am sure I would still call a lasso, a lasso. But is there seriously such a thing as cowboy church?”


Last summer I had just been informally introduced to the Cowboy, when he started a week at Willow Creek Rodeo Bible Camp. In fact, he just reminded me that was the first time I was willing to give him my number. I figured if he was an instructor at a bible camp.. it might be safe to at least share my number. Until then we had only talked a bit via Facebook.

“Sure,” he says this morning as I show him the text. “There is a Cowboy Church. I’m not exactly sure how it got started. But it’s real.”

He reminds me, we’ve actually talked about this before.

He gave my daughter a Cowboy Bible, in fact, for Christmas. It’s just a little pocket bible she can carry around with her to hopefully use, and if nothing else, remind her He’s there for her and so is the Cowboy. He’s got them around the house for his kids, as well.

What is Cowboy Church?

We’ve looked it up to see if there’s any great explanation of where it started, why and how many there are. There’s quite a bit of information out there.

But without sending you on a wild information chase ..

Its non-denominational. It’s usually held not necessarily on Sundays but usually at a horse event, such as a rodeo, horse show, roping. Whatever. And it can be in the stands, the arena or at a horse trailer.

The Cowboy believes it exists out of the reality 1) many cowboys/cowgirls and their families either live far from town/church and are busy tending to the ranch on Sundays to make a usual church service so at one time, it may have been born out of necessity and/or 2) if you rodeo, you’re gone most of the time and not near your own church. You’re traveling, or getting ready for the competition on Sunday afternoon. So you gather on the road. Someone is usually leading the group, either a certified pastor or just someone who is comfortable in that role..

Cowboys and cowgirls, get together, give testimony, sing songs and worship.

The Cowboy says he went to a lot of rodeo bible camps when he was a kid..

As an adult .. he appreciates the opportunity to give back.

Rodeo Bible Camp

So .. my dear friend, if my own past serves as any sort of a lesson, go with your gut. Allow yourself to trust someone again, especially if he seems like a good guy. In fact if you haven’t already, now, may be a good time to give him your number. You never know when that Cowboy may come riding in … get back on that horse. (take that however you want.) And if nothing else, let him take you to church.

Proclaiming proudly …

I’m not sure if I feel like celebrating .. or breaking down crying over the fact my baby girl is not at all a baby anymore.

“I got my first zit,” she excitedly tells the Cowboy over the phone last night.

I’m not even sure we’ve shared that yet with her dad.

I hope so, though.  Because in a very weird way, it feels like that is a major milestone.  And I know she’s been on the phone with him at least a couple times in the past 24 hours.  I tell her we’ll get her some things so that she can start taking better care of her skin and face.


This discovery comes not long before we head out the door.  And because we had some time to kill before going to a movie .. we stopped at the mall.  I haven’t gone for myself in a very long time, so I was curious to stop in a few stores that I used to like to frequent.  See what might be new for spring.  And while I didn’t see anything that appealed to me, my daughter did.

Not little girls shoes ..

“Is it okay if I try on this pair of shoes?” she asks of an adorable pair of red kitten heels.

I laugh and say, “I’m sure it is.”

I didn’t think they would actually fit her.  Last I knew she was maybe a size 4 shoe at best.  And measuring below my shoulders.  What happened in the past week?

“C’mon.. let’s go,” I say.  A bit flustered at how much she’s grown.

“Mom….” she says as she sees a coat on the way out she really likes.  She asks me to hold her jacket while she takes off her ski coat and tries on a misses black leather jacket with a fur collar.

“I LOVE this jacket, mom,” she says.

Great, I’m thinking to myself.

“Okay.. well, when you can save up, we’ll look at getting it for you.”


It’s all part of a wonderful series of changes happening right now.  Changes she is celebrating and wanting to talk a lot about.  Very different from what I remember wanting to do when I was growing up.  I dreaded any changes.  Rarely were those things talked about when I was a child.  Not at home.  And not amongst friends.  Or relaying to the world.  Especially a zit.

But she’s pretty happy about it.  So I guess I’m sharing it too …

A day late because my girl who is growing up .. crawled into my lap late the other night as I sat on the couch catching up on the video phone with the Cowboy.  After sharing the big news about her zit, and hanging up to go put her back to bed.. I decided, it wasn’t much longer she’d want to curl up on my lap, or that I could hold her.

We both fell asleep there …