Love and Life
beloved horse, loved one, God, Jesus, miracles

Memorial to A Loved One

Tribute to A Loved One

It is with a heavy heart I write tonight.

We lost a treasured member of our family.

horse, beloved horse, loved one

Chili at 29 years old!

She came into our lives because of prayer and many miracles.

She was Mika’s horse for 8 years, but after Mika’s second year of college and a new horse, Chili adopted me.

If you’ve never been close to a horse you can’t grasp the depth of their love.

Their dedication to their loved ones.

Even their jealousy and depression.

Chili was dedicated to Mika. Had lifted her up when she was down, taught her things, and loved her. But when Mika got a new horse, Chili stopped coming into the barn and mopped around like a lost puppy. She slowly grew depressed and resentful towards Mika.

Out of pity I started walking out in the pasture to scratch her and love on her. It took me several months to gain her trust but eventually she decided I was ok and she would allow me to be her human.

From that point on she would follow me around like a dog. When I stopped she would almost push me over for attention. And without saying a word beg me to scratch or rub her.

And she enjoyed a good massage as much as you or I. Because of her troubled past she had knots in her neck muscles. She would press her neck against my chest and stand there. If I didn’t start rubbing she would put her head and neck over my shoulder and push down until I gave in and started rubbing.

I’ve had several amazing horses, but she was a one of a kind.

She would love on you till she almost knocked you down, but you always had to watch her because if you didn’t scratch her enough, or something didn’t sit just right, she would kick you.    Hard!

You could never ignore her that’s for sure!

Chili Was Our (First) Miracle Horse

She was a walking miracle.

And it took several miracles for her to walk into our lives.

She was flipped over backwards in a freak accident when she was three and shatter her withers. And a freak set of circumstances kept her alive.

When she lived through the initial accident, her owner at the time prayed over her every day for three years until she was healed.

Seven years later God brought her into our lives again through prayer and miracles.

Consequently she was a walking miracle in my opinion.

She was a tremendous competitor and an incredible teacher for my daughter. She taught her about being competitive, but also about collection, flexion, suppling, how to control every body part seperatly, or together, lead changes, rate of speed, showmanship, horsemanship, and animal husbandry like no other horse I had. She taught her about barrel racing, western pleasure, working cowhorse, and how a little horse could have a giant stride. A combination very few horses could do.

She was unique!

loved one, beloved horse

Mika and Chili

Therapy Horse

And she was the best therapy I could buy.

When Mika had surgery after blowing both her ACLs in different basketball games I would come home from work and . . . no Mika on the couch, no Mika in her room, no Mika in the house.

She was at the barn. Laying on Chili with her knee in this huge, bulky, brace thing.

When Mika had surgery on her spine, as soon as she could move, guess where I found her. . .

Yep, on Chili.

They were best friends.

She was my daughter’s confidant.

And then she became mine.

She knew when I was having a bad day and would lean a little harder. Force me to stop thinking about whatever was eating at me, and scratch her. Love on her.

Her healing love was . . .

Unconditional

Tender

Innocent

Inspirational

Lasting

Life changing

She helped me look at adversity with new eyes.

She should never have accomplished what she did without any withers.

Oh, I almost forgot, and a broken coffin bone!

We didn’t even know she had that until she had something wrong with her foot and the vet took an x-ray that revealed that the tip of her coffin bone had been broken off long before.

But she was a trouper and we would never have known if something else hadn’t happened and we had not taken that x-ray.

And if you’re a “horsey” person and are thinking, “Well why didn’t she have a pre-purchase exam? They would have found the broken coffin bone.” Yes, but with the broken withers she would never have passed the vet check. No vet in the world would have passed her. So why waste the money. Or the vet’s time.

I saw her true value even though to the world she was considered, “damaged,” “crippled”, and of no value.

But to us she was priceless.

To me especially.

She taught me about life.

About going on and striving to do your best no matter what the circumstances.

No matter what “life” has thrown at you, keep going. Keep trying. Keep striving to be and do better.

That your true value is what’s inside.

What you can share with those around you.

How much courage you have to go on in the face of adversity.

And how to share love and joy no matter what.

She did that for me, Mika, and anyone that had the privilege of knowing her.

She was, and to me, still is, and inspiration. And I promised her I will finish her story. She is my inspiration.

beloved horse, loved one, God, Jesus, miracles

Kristi and Chili just before Chili decided to buck!

I love you Chili.

You took a piece of my heart with you.

Go with God sweet mare. I’ll see you on the other side!

Did you have a beloved pet or animal you lost? Please tell me about them in the comments section below and create a tribute to them as well!

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Have a Great and Godly day!

Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015, Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our contact address is:
kristi@kristiross.com

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miracles, family, horses, grand children

3 Simple Step to Miracles In YOUR Life

For First Time Miracles Zone Readers:

This is Post #11 in the Miracles Series

If you are new to this blog I encourage you to go back and read the previous 10 posts in the Miracle Series so this one makes better sense. Here are links to each of them:

Post #1  How To Experience  Miracles in Your Life

Post #2  Who Wants Miracles In Their Life?

Post #3  What Happens When Miracles Don’t Look Pretty

Post #4  How Tragedy Can Create Miracles

Post #5  When Miracles Bring Transformation

 Post #6  What Do Miracles Look Like

Post #7  Are You In Need Of A Miracle?

Post #8  Where Can You Find A Miracle

Post #9  Miracles Keep Coming

Post # 10 How To Step Into The Miracle Zone 

Can You Truly Find Miracles?

Is that even a remote possibility?

Absolutely!

You can find them every day. All you have to do is look with your spirit.

No matter what your circumstances are, miracles are happening all around you every day.

My year of miracles started last November when I lost my job and two of my three rental properties had been damaged and were in need of expensive repairs. I was broke.

No, I was . . .  BROKE!

And I was broken.

My spirit was broken.

I was trusting God and making the best of a bad situation, but I was broken.

I knew in my head God would turn things around, and I spoke those words no matter how down I got. But my heart was crying out every day in anguish.

But now, as I look back, that is when my Miracle Zone began.

I’ve walked you though many of my incredible miracles and I won’t bore you with them again here. If you need a refresher the links are above.

With the next posts I want to bring you current in my miracle walk, but challenge you to start living your life in the miracle zone.

December Can Be Hard

We are all  human. And most of us with a little age have lost at least one loved one.

And that can make the holidays difficult.

Having lost both my Mom and my Dad during the holidays it makes this a challenging time of year for me.

Normally.

But this year is different.  This entire year has been about one miracle after another. And while I do miss Mom and Dad, my life has been transformed over the past year. I had to walk through some dark and lonely times. But God was working in me, in my circumstances, and in my family.

This December, my most treasured miracle of all, and why I believe God shut all the doors in Delta County, and opened ones in Cortez and shoved me through them, is my precious grand daughter Rossi (and for those who have asked, her name is pronounced Ross-E, like my name). I live fifteen minutes away and see her almost every day.

miracles, love, family, holidays, happiness

My Miracle Family! Rossi, Mommy Mika, and Daddy Hardy

 

miracles, love, family, grand children

A Living Breathing Miracle!

miracles, family, horses, grand children

My Miracles

I took these photos Thanksgiving weekend, in the pasture where I live, and it was an incredibly special afternoon!

The love and joy was overflowing and the beauty was breathtaking. And none of this would have been possible if I had not trusted God and kept moving forward this year.

It’s All Attitude Baby!

Many miracles led to that afternoon of photos.

And I’m humbled and honored to have experienced each one.

But I could just as easily have missed all those miracles.

I could have been so wrapped up in the difficulty of the various situations I would have missed the amazing miracles happening all around me.

But thankfully this year has opened my eyes and taught me in an intimate way to do a few very important steps. Steps that I encourage you to do from this moment forward.

Steps To Miracles:

  • Seek Out Joy!
  • Open your heart, pick your head up, and look for the amazing blessings that are right beneath your nose!
  • Look for the miracles in your life. But look with your heart more than you eyes

Even in the midst of my holiday blues there are still miracles all around me!

Because I LOOK for them!

I go out expecting to experience a miracle every day!

Every day I’m excited to see what miracle  God is going to bless me with today!

So my question for you today is, would you like to learn more about walking in the miracle zone? Will you open your heart to miracles? Will you join me on this incredible walk?

Please let me know what you think about this in the comments section below. Thank you!

Is 2015 YOUR Year Of Miracles?

If you are interested in learning more about Walking in the Miracle Zone I would like to invite you to join me  in Your Year Of Miracles, a training I have participated in that opened my eyes to the miracles in my life.  I hope you’ll check out this free event and consider joining me in the program in 2015!

God Bless!

Are you enjoying this series?

I certainly hope so! Do you know anyone else who might also? If so, please copy and share the following link via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.    How To Experience  Miracles in Your Life

If you have anyone you want to share it with, please do so soon because we only have a few more Miracle posts to go.

Never want to miss a new post?  Click THIS LINK TO SUBSCRIBE: www.kristiross.com/subscriber

I PROMISE to Never give away or sell your email address so you can subscribe with confidence!

Have a Great and Godly day!

Copyright © 2013 & 2014 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Kristi Ross
21795 Road W
Lewis, CO 81327

 

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Love and The World Coming To An End?

What? Love and the World Coming to an End?

I know you’re expecting Miracles Post #3 today, but I just saw this video and wanted to share it with you.   Talk about speaking truth.

This young man will touch your very soul.  If he doesn’t,  I will be worried about you!

During an interview about his viral video, #Princeea born Richard Williams, said he was thinking about death when he wrote the words.  He asked himself if he died this week what would he want his last words to be about.

The video talks about all the wrongs in our world today. But the ultimate message in the video is LOVE.  “Not the love in your favorite song, but real love.”

Love Matters Most

And that is why this video is interrupting my posts on miracles.

Love matters most.

Not love of money, certainly not empty physical, or as Prince Ea calls it “tweerking”.  But pure, true, meaningful, emotional, love.  The kind that God says if everything else disappears, will last.

Your Call To Action

I don’t ask you to do much.   But today I ask you to please take 3 minutes and 51 seconds and watch this incredible video.  Then please share the video with everyone you know and love!

I just did.  Will you?

Then take a few moments and tell me what you thought of the video in the comments section.   Please.  I want to know your thoughts and opinions on this.  I do not listen to rap. I’m a Christian and Country music lover. But this is too powerful to ignore.  At least I think so.

What do you think?

Thank you #PrinceEa  may “my God” bless you!

Click on the following link to view this incredible video:    Why I Think This World Should End – True Love by #Princeea

 

love you, God, love, heart

You have my heart!

 

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miracles, moving, God, Jesus

Who Wants Miracles in Their Life? Miracles Post #2

Miracle Series Post #2 – Link to Post #1

miracles, God, Jesus, family, moving, heartbreak

Was I really going to give up all this for a job? And a Grand Baby?

Miracles Start Rolling In

Sitting in my car at that gas station the realization that “God sure has a great sense of humor!” started to really sink in.

With my daughter and her husband’s announcement of their pregnancy, instantly I knew God had been working behind the scenes for months. My miracles were rolling in.

Miracle #1, a new job, miracle #2, that job was in the town where my only child lived, and miracle #3, she was pregnant with my first grandchild.

Suddenly, we all knew why God dropped this job in my lap!  But we had no idea how all this transition was going to work.

For years I had said, only slightly jokingly, that if Mika, my daughter, ever had a baby, I wanted to move closer so I wouldn’t have to battle the mountain passes in the winter. With their baby news, accepting the full time position and relocating was now my only option.

But I don’t travel light. I come with dogs, cats, horses, and a house full of huge, heavy furniture! Try finding a rental place for all that, on a budget! A Tight budget at that!  Good luck!

Experiencing God and His Miracles Can Be Confusing

I’ve always heard that when God moves everything is peaceful.  Well, in my best redneck language – Bull!

God was orchestrating all this. I knew that. But I felt like I was in the middle of a giant blender, turned on full speed, being sucked down towards the blades about to either be drowned, or be chopped into a million tiny pieces!

When the director first called and offered me the job I was headed to Cortez the next day to house/barn sit for Mika and Hardy while they went to a cattle convention. He and I agreed we should at least meet and see if we even liked each other. That was Tuesday and we would meet Friday morning before I headed back home.

Friday came and our meeting went great. He offered me part-time or full time, whichever I wanted. I wanted to pray over it and let him know.  He agreed to let me think about it and let him know on Monday. Keep in mind this is before we knew about Mika being pregnant.

As I drove out of Cortez the next day, I passed the little church that Mika and Hardy go to. The Pastor does Cowboy Church once a month for the community so he knows many of the ranchers in the area. Something told me to turn around and talk to him. But he wasn’t at the church. Sitting in the church parking lot I called him and asked if any of his members had a rental property.

He said yes, one of them did.

Rather than wait till I had made my decision about the job I decided to called the number the pastor had given me and talk to the family with the property for rent, just in case. They had 25 acres and a nice home for rent just a couple miles from where I was at. But the property actually belonged to their nephew who had taken a job in New Mexico. The Aunt and Uncle weren’t sure how much the rent would be but they thought $700 or $800. I thought I could rent my house for that so I turned around and met the people at the property. I figured I was right there so it wouldn’t hurt to look.

It was a beautiful little place with an older, but nice home, some out-buildings and pens, perfect for my horses, and a couple big metal sheds for vehicles and storage. All on 25 acres of high desert grass and cedars. I would like to have had some pasture, but it would work fine. I asked for the nephew’s number and told the Aunt and Uncle I would be interested in renting the property  if I decided to take the job.

Miracle #4 – Or so it appeared!

And Trouble Begins

The next few days were horrible! When it came right down to making the decision, I didn’t want to leave my life and start all over.

But I still needed the job and the reality of commuting was sinking in. Plus, Mika was being very difficult about the whole thing. She was just so moody.

Finally, I asked the director for an extra couple of days to make my decision. I don’t even remember all the excuses I gave, but he was incredibly patient with me and told me to take my time.

Boy did I.

That entire week I vacillated back and forth, yes I was going, no I wasn’t, yes I was moving, no I wasn’t.

But then came Sunday and the baby announcement.

Instantly, I was committed to moving and as soon as I hung up the phone with my daughter and son-in-law, I called and left a message on the director’s phone telling him I would take the full time position. As I left the message I felt relieved that God had led me to a rental place long before the job decision was made. I hung up from the director, called the property owner and asked where to send my deposit money.

The guy stuttered and stammered around and finally said he had called a property manager and they had told him the place should rent for $1800 a month.  He felt so bad that he would rent it to me for only $1400. WHAT?!  That was still double what we had agreed on. He told me he knew that, but since the property manager said that’s what the place should rent for, that’s what he wanted.

Faith Flew Out The Window

Needless to say, I did not rent the place, and my faith in the entire situation was shattered!

The house situation made me wonder if this job thing really was of God? Or was it all my imagination?

But I had a grand baby coming. And I had made a commitment to the director and would not go back on my word.  So house hunting became my obsession. Over the next two weeks I had several near misses but as my start date at the new job loomed closer and closer I had no place to live.

Finally, out of sheer desperation, I was considering living in a motel. The day before I was going to reserve my room I saw a one room cabin advertized on Craigslist for $400 a month. I figured it was cheaper than the motel and would buy me some time. I could leave the horses at the ranch for a little while and the cabin would let me get there and get to work. Then I could figure out the rest.

I called the number. The owner and I had a wonderful visit on the phone and I spoke for the cabin, sight unseen.  We exchanged email addresses and she was to email me her address for the first months rent.

During our conversation I found out she was a horse person, too. They had come to Colorado several years back and built their dream home and horse facility but then had to move to a lower altitude for her husband’s health. The cabin was on a corner of that property. She wished I could rent that place, with a large custom home on 40 acres of lush pasture, with a six stall horse barn, runs, paddocks, and a big hay barn. Basically my ideal property. But it was already rented. Too bad.

Living In The Midst of Miracles

Please remember that when all this started I had prayed, “Father God, you got me a job out of the blue, if this is really of you, I need the perfect place for me and all my animals.”

I had prayed for the perfect place, not a one room cabin. But at least I would have a roof over my head and a place I could cook my own breakfast. I breathed a sigh of relief and got serious about packing.

Please keep these things in mind as you travel through life:

  • The path to miracles can be cluttered with trouble.
  • Prayer should always be your navigation map!
  • Pray diligently, and then relax and trust.

Never Doubt Miracles

The next morning sure enough, I had an email from the cabin owner. But rather than giving me her mailing address, the email said, “Good morning Kristi. It was delightful to visit with you last night. Ironically, right after our phone call, a neighbor in Colorado emailed me photos of my place. The large horse property I told you about. The photos show the current renter is not taking care of the property.  I have it rented for $1400 a month, but if you would consider renting that property instead of the cabin I would take $900 for it. It’s a terrible mess, but I’m hoping you would consider that place rather than the cabin. And if you would help clean it up we would wave the damage deposit.”

Are you kidding?!? YES!  Of course I would! When can I come look at it?

Three days later I rented my dream place!
Miracle #4 – For Real this time!

To Be Continued . . .
Come back tomorrow for #3 in the Miracles Series!

Copyright © 2013 & 2014 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:  Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

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miracles, love, God, family, horses

Why is Love Important & 7 Simple Love Steps

What Is Love?

Why is it Important?

Have you ever considered those questions? What really is love? And why do we all desire it?

This coming Grandchild has me contemplating these very questions.

Have you ever paused to really consider love? If Love is just an emotion, why is it important?

But it’s an emotion that we all yearn to have, to feel, and to share.

Living without it is empty.

But why?

Could it be because we are hard wired to need love to be complete?

I think so.

Love From the Beginning of Time

Since the beginning of written history spiritual texts have discussed how an individual is only complete when they love. Love of God, oneself, and others.

Every sacred text talks about how we were created to love and be loved.

The following are some of my favorite written words, and they are about love.

1st Corinthians 13:1-13   It says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

What Does Love Really Do?

Love fills in the holes the world knocks in us. Scientifically love can lower blood pressure(1). It draws more blood to our nerve endings making them more sensitive (2).

I love my horses. They bring me peace.

Love, horses, family, God

Love these horses

My dogs, they bring me joy.

Love, God, horses, dogs, cats, emotions,

Deaf Brutus and Blind Pepper

My silly cats, they entertain me.

Kinesthetic communication, horses, dogs, cats, communication, emotions, happy, sad, Colorado, mountains, ranching, cowboy, cowgirl, horseback riding, rodeo

Lover

Love, God, cat, dogs, horses, family

Irrigating Cat

 

But my heart belongs to my loved ones. Many times they are my reason for continuing on.  I am so thankful God moved me closer to them. No matter what the world throws at me I can handle it because I am near my loved ones.

Love, God, family, horses, dogs, cats

My family doing what they love

Love is a treasured gift

It breaks my heart to see couples or families fighting, bickering of trivial things. We need to remember love bares all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

That is an incredibly powerful emotion. It can incite powerful emotions. We must cling to it no matter what.

I’m afraid love is often taken for granted. Therefore, I would like to start a list of simple, but important ways to keep love growing. I encourage your participation in this project. Let’s see how many we can come up with!

7 Simple Steps to Keep Love Alive and Growing

  • Tell your loved one(s) you love them. We need to hear it.
  • Show them you love them by doing simple kindnesses. Men, hold the door for you lady, open the car door for her, bring her flowers or a small gift, take out the garbage, keep the car filled up for her, and make sure it’s in good running condition.
  • Ladies, appreciate your man. Tell him how much you appreciate the little things he does for you like putting gas in the car, cleaning the gutters, mowing the grass, taking out the trash.
  • APPRECIATE EACH OTHER
  • Realize how lucky you are to have someone that loves you and that you love.
  • Be sure to smile at each other and practice a 30 second kiss every day. No peck as you pass kisses. But a real kiss. You never know when it may be the last kiss you give that person.
  • Even if you don’t think you are a hugger, you can become one. And there is nothing more wonderful than a real, loving hug from your loved one, because it’s usually followed by a great kiss!

So, that’s my starter list.  Can you all add to these?  I hope so!

Let’s see how many loving ideas we can come up with! Simply click in the comments section below. Don’t worry about giving me your email address, I will never sell it or give it to any one!

I love YOU!

I am blessed to have you here and in my life!

Thank you!

References:

(1) Gump, B.,State University of New York. Retrieved 8/28/14 from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117439
(2) Ortigue, S. http://www.syr.edu/news/articles/2010/ortigue-neuroimaging-of-love-10-10.html

Copyright © 2013 & 2014 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

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What Jesus and Easter Offer Us In Today’s World

Jesus

Jesus, God, Easter, unconditional love, horse, cowboy, cowgirl, ranch, rodeo, horse show,

He’s Alive!

Jesus and Easter

Have you ever thought about what Jesus and Easter really offer us? Especially in today’s world? This question could take us years to cover. But I would like to share some very personal thoughts about it this morning.

This Holy Week has been especially touching for me. As you now know I have been a bit hyper-emotional recently. This week has been no different. I mentioned earlier, it started with the Blood Moon on Passover and then moved to Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper, then Good Friday.

42 Years Ago

The love and intense emotions I experienced this week actually started 42 years ago. I still remember sitting in the children’s choir and deciding I had to give my life to Jesus. I clambered in front of all the little kids in my row and went to the front of the church and accepted Jesus as my Savior.

That childlike faith of a little girl has grown over the years into a life foundation.

Desperation

But the reason it is so vital, and allowed me such deep emotions this week is because 21 years ago, during a very dark time in my life, standing under a tree in my back yard I actually told God “If this is the best you can do for me, I don’t want you in my life!”

And I turned away from God.

Lock, stock, and barrel. Done.

The following 3 days were the darkest, emptiest, saddest, loneliest days of my life. I experienced No Hope on a level no words can really describe.

Having grown up in the church  I had never lived without the love of God.

But to consciously  make a choice to walk away from that faith and walk completely in “the world” opened my eyes to what people with no spiritual base experience on a daily basis.

That was the turning point in my life.

That old saying you have to get to the bottom before you can start to come back up was absolute for me.

No God.

No love.

No future.

No hope.

Resurrection

But then came the third day!

I was spiritually dead for 3 days.

But that third day God reached down and touched my heart. He brought me back to life. And set my feet on the path to today.

Without Him I am nothing. I can say that from experience. I was Nothing.

In reality I walked away from Him. I turned my back on God.

But, thankfully, He never left me.

So now, may I ask again, what does Jesus and Easter really offer us today?

It offers us life and love on a level that fills us to overflowing so it splashes out on those around us!

Love, indescribably, uncontainable love!

And Joy that is infectious!

What do Jesus and Easter offer us?

  • Life, full and eternal.
  • Peace, that passes all understand.
  • Happiness that no words can contain.

A Prayer For You

Wherever you go today, go with God my friends.

Father, in the name of Jesus, carry us today, to a higher place. A place in the cleft of your heart. That place of pure spiritual connection. Thank you for sending your Son to be our lamb.

In Jesus precious name I pray.

Amen

P.S.

Here is a link to the song, “He’s Alive!” A favorite of mine!

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:  Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

 

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unconditional love, God, Jesus, dog, cat, cow, horse, cowboy, cowgirl, death, funeral, life

Unconditional Love Dogs Give Lives Beyond Death

Unconditional Love

What really is unconditional love? Have you ever considered that? What constitutes unconditional love and where do we go to find it? I see it every day in so many forms. My constant source is God and His precious son, Jesus. But His creatures give it to me as well.

The outpouring of emotions readers shared this week on my Facebook Author page when I posted the story about Capitan, the dog that found his masters grave and stayed by it for seven years, touched me so deeply it made me pause and consider that depth of devotion. That kind of unconditional love.

It’s our deepest desire. To be loved unconditionally. To be treasured, cherished. But like so many of us, I’m a casualty of love. Twenty five years single has proven that. Thankfully, those long years have taught me just how wonderful God’s love is, and how healing His animals can be for the human heart.

Dogs Love Us

My horses love me, but I’m not sure it’s unconditional love. Unlike our dogs. There is no doubt in my mind that they love us unconditionally.

I see it every time I look at my own blue heeler, Pepper. Her unconditional love for me is evident every moment she’s near me. There are times she drives me nuts because she wants to touch me. But that is her way of knowing where I am, now that she’s blind.

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Miss Pepper

Even when I’m not around. My friend Lark  says she stays in my bedroom, usually on my bed, and waits for me to come home.

I accidentally ran over her head and popped her eyes out causing her to go blind but she still sees me as the center of her universe.

She is an inspiration to me everyday. She faces life not as handicapped and blind, but cheerfully, and as excited as a child. She’s happy to get up, go outside, run across the pasture with me, even when she goes to fast and runs into something. She is happy to be alive, and with me.

She would rather wait hours in the car for me than sit at home alone. She truly gives me unconditionally love!

But she is not alone in that unconditional love. After finding out about Capitan, the dog in Argentina that has sat by his master’s grave for 7 years, and tracking down the original story and his real photos of this beloved pet,

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Capitan ran away from home and has sat by his master’s grave for 7 years. (Story and photo credit La Voz Del Interior)

I found many similar stories.  Here are just a few with links to the original stories.

Kirby

Little Kirby is another dog whose unconditional love for his owner carried him miles away from every adopted home, back to his owner’s grave. Sharon Ratteree inherited Kirby when her daughter was killed only two weeks after adopting him. Kirby filled the gaping hole in Sharon’s heart after the tragic loss. But it seemed no one could fill the hole in Kirby’s heart after Sharon died. He found an escape from every enclosure, at every new home, and would make the trek back, no matter how far he had to travel.

The good news is he has finally found a home with another local resident Susan Wood. Susan saw Kirby’s story in the news and contacted Dave Willis, Sharon’s Grandson, who decided that Susan would be a perfect match for the heartbroken dog. Kirby now fills a void in her heart, after her own 18 year-old terrier died in 2007. “I had a big old empty spot, so the Wills’ family made it possible for Kirby to jump into that spot and take over,” said Susan. This little dog filled a new gaping hole, and is once again a happy dog.

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Kirby’s Mom’s Grave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciccio

In Italy, Ciccio walked to Mass every afternoon when the bells tolled with his Maria,  until she suddenly died. He followed her casket and attended her funeral at the same  church. But he kept coming back. Everyday when the bells tolled.  Now he lives at the church and attends every mass sitting at the front, where her casket laid, waiting faithfully for his master to return.   He has so touched the locals they have a Facebook page for him. I hope you will follow the link and “Like” it. His devotion is too great to ignore.

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Ciccio, still mourning at mass

Hawkeye

Many of us cried in 2011 when the news carried the touching photos of the loyal Hawkeye, at the funeral of his beloved Petty Officer 1st Class, Jon T. Tumilson. Tumilson, a U.S. Navy SEAL,  was among 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents shot down their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, Hawkeye paid his last respects by walking up to the casket, laying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh. Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, took the photo for family members that could not be at the funeral and for others that could not see the dog’s actions.  It has touched the hearts of all of us. We salute this brave soldier, and his incredible dog.

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Hawkeye     (Photo Credit Lisa Pembleton)

Cat’s too

Apparently even finicky felines are devoted and have unconditional love for us.  Another Italian pet, Toldo, a gray tabby, followed his beloved master’s, Iozzelli Renzo, casket from their house to the cemetery.

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Toldo (Photo Credit Corriere Fiorentino )

He returned later the same day with Iozzelli’s widow, Ada to the grave. The next day Ada and her daughter found a sprig of acacia on the grave. Ada believes it was the cat’s first gift to his beloved master. Since then the cat has delivered everything from small flowers and twigs to plastic cups and paper towels to the grave. He safely travels back and forth because everyone in the small mountain town knows the cat and where he is headed, though not everyone is happy about it. Ada said some people think having an animal in the cemetery is a desecration.  But the cat doesn’t seem to care, he just keeps sharing his unconditional love.

Link to More

I could go on and on, but instead I will give you this link to read about several more amazingly devoted pets. I hope you take a few extra moments to love your pets today. You obviously mean more to them than you have any idea.

God Bless you all during this especially Holy Week.

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:  Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

 

 

 

 

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Life Lessons Learned During A Move

Life Lessons

As I wrote a response to a dear friend and follower this morning I realized some of the amazing life lessons this move has taught and is teaching me.  I’m always looking for lessons – on the ranch, with the livestock, working with my family, at work, or at play. But this move has been so different and difficult I hadn’t taken the time to break it down and really examine what it has taught me.

Ranch Life

Life on the ranch had it’s stresses, but each day I found such joy in the simple things we did there. Like the day we had to replace the broken culvert and I played in the ditch. (This is a link to one of the original posts)

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Backhoe setting up

 

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and then I notice the lame horse on my river bottom.

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Mares on the River Bottom

And as I led the mare back to the barn to be doctored we walked through the amazing field covered in cob webs as the sun was sinking.

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A Field of Cob Webs

That could have been a very stressful day. But instead my family and I were able to turn it into a fun-filled, amazing day that took three blog to tell the story!

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My family! Mike and Lisa Stroud, my niece and nephew

Reflection

As I compare that day to how I’m handling this move I’m not pleased. That fact is causing me to reflect on my inner self. Do you ever do that? I believe it is vital for growth – all growth. Personal, spiritual, emotional. We must look at, analyze, and work on our inner self. If not, we remain stagnant, unchanging, and miss the real joy of life.

We can blindly believe everything in life happens “to us” but in reality we call in every situation we end up in.  Personal reflection allows us to examine why we call it in, and how we handle all the “stuff” we do call in.

Oh of course there are true accidents in life, and sometimes we are thrust into a situation we have no control over and must find our way through it. Those times call for more prayer. Lots more prayer. . . and more love. But for now, back to the move and the life lessons it has, and is, teaching me.

Moving to Cortez

For years I have said I wouldn’t be able to handle being four hours away from my daughter if she ever had a child. God heard that comment and Heaven and earth moved to make sure I will be here for that blessed event! And I am growing more thankful everyday.

But OH the upheaval that has happened, and is happening in the transition!

It’s funny how stress and lack bring out our true colors. It was odd how every one around me seemed mad and, excuse my vulgarity, bitchy!

Now in retrospect, guess who the mad and bitchy one really was?  Yep, yours truly!

When we are too tired, too stressed, and trying to do too much, we cannot think or reason properly.  This leads to problems on every level, especially in all our relationships.  Relationships that need to be protected and nurtured, not bashed and bruised.

As I pondered the grand scheme of all this I think I’ve uncovered some fundamental life lessons lurking under the chaos and stress. Here are a few that quickly come to mind:

Fundamental Life Lessons

  • Stress and Lack bring out our true colors. Therefore –
  • Remember to be gracious and kind no matter how jumbled you feel inside.
  • Ask forgiveness every day, possibly moment to moment.  From our Heavenly Father and our precious family members that are being emotionally and verbally abused by our stress outpourings
  • Always remember relationships need to be protected and nurtured not bashed and bruised.
  • Self care is vital! Do not push your body beyond it’s limits, especially when it’s already too tired. Injuries only slow the process down.
  • Make to do lists. Without them you just run around trying to put out fires and don’t get as much accomplished.
  • Be sure to take time and say a prayer every morning for guidance and to help you accomplish everything on your lists.
  • Have a partner you can bounce things off of, and actually listen to them. They aren’t muddled in the head and are probably thinking far more clearly than you right now. Listen to them!
  • Eat, sleep, and be happy.  These are not just from a fairy-tale, these are fundamental necessities of a good life. Pause and eat good, healthy food, slow down in time to let your body relax so it will be able to rest. And always, always, always look for moments of joy, sights and sounds that make you happy, and family that you love.
  • No matter what else you do, or think, the most important life lesson is:  To Love! Treasure every moment, live it fully, and experience it with love. Deep, heart-filling, love.

In Conclusion

I hope some of these fundamental life lessons have rung true for you. If so, please let me know in the comments section below. Oh, and please spread the word if you enjoy this blog. Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy I know and I bet you know someone that would enjoy the stories and ideas we share here.  Please help me get the word out!

Thank you and God Bless!

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
For Use Requests and Permissions our mailing address is:  Kristi Ross, 21795 Road W, Lewis, CO  81327

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Memorial, best friend, great horse, Banana, treasure, kindness,

Memorial to a Treasured Family Member

Memorial to Banana

We lost a treasured family member last week and she will be greatly missed.  She taught my family so many things but the most important one was life-long dedication to those we love.  She loved us, and saved my Dad’s life.  She deserves a memorial.

Even before Banana saved Dad she was a treasured family member.    I was telling Mika a day or two after she passed how when she came to us, she was a bit fractious, but once she bonded with us, “she would walked through fire for us and killed a mountain lion on the way.”

She had the biggest, kindest eye and when she saw you coming she would meet you at the gate and follow you wherever you went.  She couldn’t say a word but you knew she loved you.  The look in her eye, the tilt of her head, the way she worked her ears to hear your every word, the way she would walk up to you and wrap herself around you.   You knew she loved you.

She came to my family as a show horse, but became a member of the family by lucky default and I will be forever thankful.    She was incredible.  One of those once in a lifetime horses that changes every one fortunate enough to have known her.

Her outstanding athletic ability showed every time we did something with her.  Her back that was too long for a great athlete, but she didn’t know that.  When she was young she was incredibly physical.  She could stop like crazy, spin till she made you dizzy, and she was beautiful and such a great mover you couldn’t help but watch her.

 

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Banana in one of her normal stops in Las Vegas at the Silver Dollar QH Show many years ago

 

She had amazing intelligence and could out smart any cow.  But her most endearing feature was the love that emanated from her.  You knew “Nana-Ba” loved you and she knew you loved her.  There was never a question.  It was just felt.

She was one horse you could always trust.  She went down the horse-show road with my ex-husband and I and had tremendous success.  After the divorce she stayed with Mika and me and was retired to the pasture.  But she was the horse you pulled out when you needed one you could count on.

When Mika outgrew her first barrel horse, I had Banana ready to take Mika to the next level in competition and Nana loved it!  But a couple weeks before they were able to go to their first barrel race stray dogs ran Banana through a fence.  Even after the wounds were healed she was still slightly lame so she was re-retired to the pasture.

A few years later when Mika hit high school she wanted to learn how to cut so Nana came back in from the pasture and taught Mika the basics.

 

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Nana teaching Mika how to cut

 

Soon her old soreness showed up again so back to the pasture she went and this time  she raised us an adorable little filly, Reva.  Who is now Hardy’s number one mount and also “eats cattle”.

 

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Banana, baby Reva, Mika, and my Dad

 

Notice her eyes?  She never missed anything and would look right at you like she understood every word you said to her. It was as though she looked right into your soul.  And the love and caring she showed to every person involved with her taught us all so much.  Her dedication to us was incredible.  She would put herself between you and a dangerous cow, or a fractious colt.  She used her own body as a shield to protect you from any danger.

I mentioned earlier she saved my Dad’s life.  She did.  When Dad was getting up there in years he still thought he should take the colts to the mountain.  The last time he did he had yearlings and was going to ride Banana and lead the colts up the mountain.  He had saddled Nana at home and when he got to the mountain, at 75 or 80 years old he forgot to tighten his cinch before getting on.  He stepped on, tied a colt off hard and fast to the saddle horn, and started up the dirt road to the top of our summer mountain ground.  Not far up the trail the colt decided it didn’t want to lead and pulled back.  The loose cinch allowed the saddle to slip and in a flash turn completely under Banana’s belly with Dad hung up in the stirrup.  My Step Mom watched in horror as Banana spread all four legs out and straddled Dad.  Kay said she stood rock solid against the thrashing, fighting, frightened colt and protected Dad as he extracted himself from the stirrups, dropped to the ground, and finally crawled out from under her without a scratch.

We had always loved her but from that day on she was treasured for the unique individual she was.  She was amazing.  Not only did she protect Dad, but she protected the other horses in the field with her as well.  She was the official coyote chaser.  Any coyote that came in the pasture learned very quickly they were not welcome and would not be tolerated.  I never saw her kill one, but they certainly didn’t hang around long when she took out after them with her head low to the ground, ears pinned back tight, nostrils flared, eyes squinted, and running straight at them.

Just thinking about her makes me smile and sigh an incredibly peaceful sigh.  She had so much wisdom and talent but was so gentle and kind.

As she grew older she didn’t handle the cold well.  So a couple of years ago we let her go to Hardy and Mika’s little nephew, Kelby, and live in a warm canyon south of Cortez.

 

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Nana and Kelby

 

I traveled down the canyon to be with Hardy’s family last Christmas.   I stepped out of the truck and hollered, “Nana-Ba,” and she threw up her head, eyes bright and eager, and ears turned right to me, as she loudly nickered her greeting!  If anyone ever tells you animals don’t have emotion, don’t believe them.  She was as thrilled to see me as I was to see her.  That life long love was still as strong as ever.

I’m glad she had a little boy who loved her the last months she was here on earth, but I certainly missed seeing her sweetness everyday.  And now my heart will never be whole again.  She took a little piece of it with her in her passing.  Those of us fortunate enough to have known her, loved her, and she loved us in return, deeply.

I hope I have learned your greatest lesson and gift, Nana.  To love, and remember, to the very end.

Good bye Nana.  You are still loved, and greatly missed by many.

Go with God and I’ll see you on the other side!

Do you have, or did you have an animal that touched your life?   If so, I encourage you to give them their memorial in the Comments section below.

 

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Make A Difference

How To Make A Difference

Can one small act or comment can make a difference for a lifetime?   That is the question I have been considering for the last a few weeks.  One simple act, or one simple question.  Can that honestly make a difference for a lifetime? I believe it can.

Let’s Share a Story

A few Saturday’s ago I had an appointment to meet with a gentleman and discuss the all natural health products that saved my life from cardiovascular disease and arthritis.  We were also scheduled to talk about how much he is going to charge me to print some children’s books.  Needless to say I was very excited for our meeting and arrived a few minutes early to gather my thoughts. The meeting was scheduled at a favorite coffee shop so I ordered a cup and a quiche and sat about waiting. Five minutes. Ten. At fifteen minutes, I refilled my coffee, called his cell phone, and left a message checking to see if I was at the wrong coffee shop. While I was on the phone a friend from high school walked in and up to the counter. As I ended the call he walked by my table headed towards the door and I said, “Good morning, Tony.  How are you?” He stopped and we visited a bit. After a few minutes I invited him to sit down. And I am so glad I did!

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My Friend Tony Bohling

A Shocking Revelation

Tony shocked me with several things.  First he remembered a question I asked him when he first moved to my hometown and came as the new kid to fifth grade.  He said he remembered it so vividly because he was the new kid and I was nice to him.  But the question I asked has stuck with him all these years and caused him to contemplate it over and over.

Do you remember anything from when you were what 10 or 11 years old?  What was this profound question, I asked?  Tony said, “The question you asked me 40 years ago was one that God kept in my mind to one day help me see exactly what “…are you Christian or Catholic?” really meant.”  That question was from an innocent little girl who had no idea the tremendous magnitude, and potential pain, of that statement.

But the question stuck with Tony all these years and has made him contemplate spirituality and religion many times. He now leads the men’s Bible study at the local Christian Church.  He is filled with the Holy Spirit and credits that little question all those years ago for helping him sort through, and eventually find a deep, and abiding relationship with Jesus. The question did nothing more than provide a thought, that then he and the Lord built a relationship on, together.

So, back to my original question, can one small question, comment, or act make a difference for a lifetime?  Apparently it can.

Thank you for sharing this Tony!  You have impressed me with your commitment to, and love for, the Lord.  You taught me so much during our little visit.  I can’t wait till our next one!

My question for you, dear reader, is do you think one small question, comment, or action can honestly make a difference in someones life?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.

If you enjoyed this or any post, I encourage you to click the subscribe button on the top or side menu bar.  You email will NEVER be shared!  Be sure to find and click on the email from me to confirm your subscription.  If you don’t find it in your inbox, please look in your spam.  Sadly, sometimes it ends up there.  🙁  Thank you and God Bless! 

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