One of the hardest things we have to do in life, is trust.

But it’s also one of the most important.

Trust that as children, our parents will provide for us, the basic necessities.

Trust that as we grow, we have what it takes to survive and thrive in an ever changing, often very tough world.

Trust in something.  Someone.  Bigger than yourself.

For me, it is God.  It is what grounds me and gets me through, not always unscathed, but through the challenges that present themselves day to day.

Trust that there is a reason for everything.

And that when it is your time, for life.. for death.. and whatever may lie in between, you will have what you sincerely need to get through.  To get through to that place He, for whatever reason, has in store for us.

I struggle with that sometimes when I really go back and think of the experience we had with my mother dying.

When I really give myself time to remember what it was like to look into her eyes.. hold her hand .. and try to reassure her it would be ok, as she struggled to breathe, very afraid of both leaving us.

And the process of dying.  Would it hurt.  Was there really a place she was going called Heaven.  The why’s.  The how’s.  Mostly, the why’s, although she only once ever said it.

I can’t imagine.. whether it is death, losing someone in any capacity .. or the life some of us feel we have been given to lead,  that most of us don’t feel challenged in our faith on a consistent basis.

Having had so many that mean so much .. come and go in my life in such a short time, I try and just feel blessed I have the people in my life I do, however long it is possible.


I took the photo above, at our church the other weekend.  The church had been host to an artists conference and there were a few works on display yet that Sunday morning.

Out of everything there.. this one photo stood out to me.

The parallels to life, of clay being molded into something beautiful.  Starting out as a heap.  Slowly being spun.  Not always holding it’s shape, but reminded time and again, turn after turn of the wheel, where it is supposed to go based on the work of the hands.  That it will be ok if it just trusts in what is happening, works with the artist and allows guidance.  The edges are softened.  Eventually, a beautiful pot is made.


I wrote a blog earlier today walking through some of the conversations the Cowboy and I have had this week.  I asked the Cowboy what was off limits.  ‘I trust you’, is what he most often says.  ‘I have nothing to hide.’

I wrote it carefully as I do every entry.  Well, most.  Sometimes when a post seems relatively benign and just for fun and I’m in a hurry to document something, my grammar is terrible and words are misspelled everywhere.  But whatever…

I did everything I could to be factually correct throughout and provide the essentials of one small moment in time.  This one very small part of a much bigger story of my life which will unfold piece by piece otherwise in any true daily journal.

Because it seemed too much for one quick read, I split it in two.  Tomorrow was going to be the lessons learned from all of this.  Most of which detailed my ignorance to what most other people who lead what might be considered a ‘more normal life’ than I do, find acceptable.  Versus what I consider normal.  (Is there a normal out there anymore?  I ask as I am up writing at 4am after having fallen asleep again earlier in the night with my daughter)  And why I have learned through this I need to get back to a place where I know I have to work on being more considerate.  Because the last thing I want to ever do is hurt anyone, especially someone I love.

I pulled the post.  Even though I do plan to save it for my daughter.  Because the lessons all around still apply.  They are tough lessons.  And one I wish my mom were around to talk with about.  (I have several other ‘second moms’.  A story to be told closer to Mother’s Day I think.)

For as authentic as I want to be always in person, in writing, in life .. the whole reason I am journaling ..

I also at this moment don’t believe it is worth dragging out some of the pain the Cowboy and I .. feel the situation we’ve found ourselves in, worth.

I hope that is authentic enough in and of itself.

I need him to trust I will take care of his heart.  And I am fairly certain, until any of us ever heal from previous unhealthy relationships, hurt or pain, losses in life through things like divorce or in death, that it is tough to lay your heart fully out there to trust anyone again.

We are still being molded.  And I want to take the best possible care of the clay we have been given in the trust it will turn yet, into something even more beautiful.

“Not much” …

“Never do I close my door behind me without being conscious that I am carrying out an act of charity towards myself.” – Peter Hoeg

“What are you all up to,” I ask.. as the Cowboy and I and all the kiddos are talking early Saturday via the videophone.

“Not much,” he says.

“The kids are watching a movie.  We had some of those clementines you bought earlier this week, they love ’em.. they really do.  I can’t believe we’ve never had them before.. they’re so much easier to peel than .. a regular orange.  I think we’ll have to start buying them.  They’ve had four each this morning!”

I love clementines.

Because the Cowboy and the kids are so rarely at the house for any length of time, he hates buying perishable food.  So I bought them tons of fruit earlier this week, in part because I wanted it for myself while there.  He fussed at me a bit for it.  But I want them all to be healthy as .. well, a horse.  Use whatever analogy there you’d like.  All I know is fresh fruit does the body better than say, ice cream or chips, for a snack.  And the kiddos are all sick right now with nasty colds.  I’m happy to hear they’ve discovered the awesomeness of clementines.

Lazy day

“What do you have planned for the day?”

I ask, because I know unlike most other weekends when family is around or I am around there is a lot going on.  Everyone, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends are around and want time with the four of them, because otherwise there is precious little time these days to see the kids.

“Nothing.  In fact, I’m not sure we’re going to leave the house.”  He’s got a big smile on his face.  “I’ve got homemade potato soup going already.  We’re just going to hang out together and relax.  I think they need it.”

I’m jealous.

I can hear laughter, music, the keyboard being practiced on, and a whole lot of … well, not  much going on in the background there.

Down time is a wonderful thing.  In fact, one of my colleagues did a story this week on how rarely we make room for down time in this hectic, constantly accessible, on-the-go fast paced life, and a place you can go to literally book a room in a place where all you do is be quiet.  And contemplate.  Life.  Anything.  But the goal is to just be still.

I understand the need for a place to go to find that, away from home because so often we get caught up in what else needs to get done.  Or who is stopping by.  But I also chuckle at the fact most of us can’t find a place anymore to be quiet in our own home.

I know its tough for the Cowboy and many others to believe I appreciate that, given how busy I usually am.

But I do.

It is why, since living a few years in Montana and discovering what the Big Sky does for my soul, I’ve wanted to return to the west.  The wide open spaces remind me (and often I need that) I can be as busy or as still as I want to be.  And both are good.

I called them again on our way to see old friends last night from my hometown.

“What are you all up to?” I ask.  “How is the day going?” ..

His daughter comes into view and she’s got the biggest smile on her face.  “Nothing,” they say.  She hangs out, leaning against her dad and loving watching herself on the screen.  After a few minutes as her dad and I keep talking, she runs off.  I can hear her playing the keyboard again and amidst laughter from the boys.

Here in Wisconsin ..

Grocery store run

.. we are hustling around, running to the store for something I forgot to get when I went earlier this week, going for a run, running errands, returning messages.  And that was just the morning.  The afternoon got a whole lot more busy, and fun.  Full of things to get done, friends and family.  Crazy day.  But a good one.

The Cowboy’s folks and the rest of the family he and the kids would typically be surrounded by, are at the

In fact, I think half the state is.  Everywhere we went when I was there earlier this week, the second question asked after ‘how are you, pard?’  .. was, ‘we gonna see you at the Stock Show?’  The Cowboy usually goes.  His mom I believe is doing a lot of shopping at the trade shows.  His brother is there selling a horse he’s got beautifully trained.  The whole show is a pretty big deal it seems. The Cowboy explains to me, it’s kind of like the little brother to the NFR in Vegas.  It’s busy.  It’s fun.  And we’ll probably go next year, he explains to me.

But this year, this particular weekend, he is soaking up how quiet it is, back at the ranch.

The power of being still

I just spoke with him again.  “We’ve done absolutely nothing,” he laughs as he has the best look in his eyes.  (Which is pretty cool to see across the miles – via the vid phone)

I have a feeling when we talk again later today .. I’ll hear more of the same.

There just isn’t enough time sometimes to do a whole lot of nothing.  Or three children who are willing to spend time doing nothing either.  They grow up too fast and are off in their own directions.  Weekends used to be for that, didn’t they?  Rest.  Perhaps in some households they still are.  The Cowboy has reminded me that on occasion at least, they should be.

Which is why this morning, my daughter still sleeps while I sit at the dining room table, sunlight streaming across the room at me.  The TV is off.  The sound of someone shoveling outside and the hot water heat kicking back on through the radiators is the only noise I hear.  I have my coffee.  A clementine.  The dog at my feet.  And the day ahead.  To do a whole lot of something, or a little bit of nothing ourselves.