Tag Archives | happiness
miracle, blossom, God

How Mother’s Day Brings Joy and Tears To Many Of Us

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day means different things to each one of us. In all honesty it means different things to me. It brings my incredible joy, but makes me cry, sometimes at the same time.

I lost my Mom almost 25 years ago. I was 29. She was my rock. Without her I had no direction, nothing solid behind my back, no wind beneath my wings. I lost my best friend and most avid supporter.

Mother's Day, Mom, family, love, happiness, joy, together

Mom and Mika on the beach in Mexico. Our last trip with Mom

One of my most cherished memories was going to see her and jumping up and sitting on her dryer in the kitchen. We visited while she cooked, cleaned, or just puttered. We talked about everything in the world with me sitting on that dryer.

Flowers For Mom

She loved flowers. She had them all over her kitchen and a huge flower/garden spot out behind the house that fed us when I was a kid. As us kids left the home the garden grew smaller and the variety of flowers grew much larger. She shared her love of flowers with me. If she would have only shared her green thumb so I could keep them alive and blooming!

Missing Mom

Mother’s Day makes me melancholy for Mom. I miss her terribly. I still buy her Mother’s Day cards and put them in zip-lock bags and pin them with her flowers to the grave. It’s killing me to not be close enough to do that this year. I know I’m not the only one that can’t take my flowers to my mother’s grave. My heart goes out to each and every one of you experiencing the same thing.

Mother's Day, love, flower, blossom, family, kindness, joy, happiness

A Flower For Mom

Mother’s Day Joy

But Mother’s Day also brings me incredible joy! When I think of my daughter, Mika, and now my coming grand daughter.  I know Mom is looking down on us and is thrilled!

The joys of a mother’s heart are sung in the words of her children and grand children.

The other day Mika and I were talking about how her life will change after the baby arrives. She was unsure about so many things. My only real words to her were to not worry, mother-nature takes over and we all do fine. I added that she won’t remember what her life was like before the baby. This confused her. I tried to put into words what happens when you hold that baby in your arms for the first time. But I can not articulate the depth of emotion it creates.

Afterward, I thought more about my comment. I remember my life before my daughter, but it took on a new purpose, balance, and love after she was born. It as thought she filled all the empty spots I didn’t even realize were empty.

Do you agree with me? Can you put that love into words? Please share in the comments section if you can. Not just for me, but for all mothers, daughters, dads, and sons out there.

How Important Family Photos Are

As I wrote this and was looking for pictures of my Mom I realized what is missing in my new house. Why I don’t feel comfortable here. Suddenly I realized I have no photos out. They’re all packed. I have no photos of my Mom, Dad, Mika, family. No one. Since I don’t know how long I will be living here I didn’t unpack much. Most of my things are in storage. But after writing this I’m headed to find my photos and get my family around me again!

We need that love around us! It’s our protection from the daily buffeting we take from the world. That love is our harbor of protection.

Photos may not be our loved one in the flesh, but they smile that person’s love back into our lives.

Is Your Mom in Heaven?

I wish each one of you a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope each of you can feel love and be loved this Mother’s Day. It’s a special day to reflect on love, life, new birth, and even death.

There is a special place in my heart for each of you with a Mom in Heaven. We experience love on a different level.  I’m wrapping you in my arms and hugging you right now! I know our Moms look down on us from above and still send us their love. I can feel it! Can you?

Parting Blessings

May God Bless and keep each of you!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Copyright © 2014 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:  Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

 

 

 

[Read More]

How To Be Happy in 10 Simple Steps

Do You Want To Be Happy?

Everyone has the desire to be happy. But have you ever really thought about how to be happy? What makes you really happy? Some people find their joy in a new “thing” or “toy”. But as soon as the new wears off they are unhappy again. So how do we actually find joy? How do we learn to be happy and content?

I believe it’s a choice. Everything in life is a choice. Do you choose to be happy? I do!

An interesting thing happened last night as I was looking back over my blog posts and answering comments. I found the following post that I had written back in November, right after the County didn’t renew my contract.  Who knows why I never published it. I think it’s because I hadn’t added any photos yet. But as I read through it I realized it is as relevant today as it was back then. I hope it is a good reminder for all of us. I know it was for me!

happy, happiness, joy, love, unconditional love, family, God, Jesus, horses, cowboy, cowgirl. barrel race, dogs, family

My family makes me happy! What makes you happy?

Being Happy in the Middle of A Mess

Have you ever ended up in a mess?  A financial one, a broke down vehicle, a family conflict, or some other kind?  I sure have!

Right this moment I’m in the middle of a mess. Like many of you, my businesses have been hammered by the economy, and now, my part-time, fill in the gap, contract with Delta County was not renewed. So I am in the middle of a mess. But this is not the first time I’ve had to scramble.

For a few days I was excited to see what God was up to and was ready for the changes.  Then, when the bills started to pile up, reality set in and I started to sink. All I could see were walls closing in and zero light at the end of the tunnel.

But again, this is not the first time I’ve been knocked down. Because I’ve been there before I know there are several key steps to climbing back up out of that dark pit of despair. Since I’m not the only person that is, or has been down on their luck recently, I thought I would share with you my secret to climb back up, getting back on this horse, and riding  again. They are fairly simple. But are fundamental to long term happiness and success.

10 Simple Happy Steps

Step 1:     Pray.  Pray with earnest.  But don’t pray “Gimme prayers”. Pray prayers of thankfulness.  Prayers of praise.  Thank God for caring enough about you to move you into the next great thing He has planned for you.

Step 2:  Be thankful.  Remember all your blessings and verbalize them in thanks. On my darkest day I walked outside and saw my view and remembered how incredibly blessed I am to have a home, in a spectacularly beautiful location, with horses in the pasture, a car, a truck, and a horse trailer in the driveway, and most importantly a great God and family that loves me.

Step 3: Realize this time is precious. You have been given the blessing of time to reorganize you mind and your life.

Step 4:  Stop, slow down, and write down what your highest and best dreams are.  Remember you must have a road map to get someplace, and you must start with an end in mind.  So decide where you want to be and what you want to do.

Step 5:  Then decide what comes first, second, and third.  Write it down!  Because when you’re stressed you won’t remember what you thought of, five minutes after you thought of it.

Step 6:  Break down what comes first into several smaller, do-able tasks for today.  Write down what you need to accomplish today.  Keep it short to allow for interruptions. But make it count on your road-map to your future.

Step 7:  Do the same thing for tomorrow, and the next day, and the first week.  Then give yourself a roughed out road map for the next month.  Again, be flexible, nothing should be set in stone.

Step 8:  Breath.  About here you may be panicking.  Stop, pray again, and practice deep breathing.  Speak this till you see it, “Father, thank you for caring for me and my family. Thank you for providing far more, and far better than I could have ever imagined.”  And then BELIEVE IT!   Get it deep down inside yourself.

Step 9:  Get that faith down deep inside you.  Trust God for answers.  And if you don’t have God in your life toolbox, get down on your knees and ask Him to come into your life, guide you, and show Himself to you.  Trust me, He will.  And you will be blown away!

Step 10:  Wash, rinse, repeat!  Do these steps over and over until you climb your way back up that ladder and step out on safe, solid ground.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

I should have kept my own good advice handy!  I was in the middle of the move when I hit Step #8! Yet, instinctively I continued to pray, continued to trust God, and am climbing my way back up to safer, more solid ground!

I wish you an incredibly blessed day, week, month, year, life!

Go with God my friends!

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

[Read More]

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

 

 

[Read More]
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.

unconditional love, dog, horse, God,  Jesus, cowboy, cowgirl, cow, bull, cattle, ranch, cattle ranch

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,

God, Jesus, unconditional love, dog, puppy, devotion

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.

God, Jesus, unconditional love, dog, puppy, devotion

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.

God, Jesus, unconditional love, dog, puppy, devotion

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.

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

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.

unconditional love, dog, cat, God, Jesus, cowboys, cowgirls, cow, bull, horse, love

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

 

 

 

 

 

[Read More]

How to be Happy Not Stressed

Be Happy

Third in a series on how to be happy not stressed the midst of chaos or a disaster.

When I wrote “Be Happy” I wanted to sing, “Don’t worry. . . be happy!” That is a wonderful dream isn’t it?

But can we live life, dealing with stressful issues, and not worry, but instead be happy? I believe it is possible.

Catching You Up

In the last post I was sitting on the ditch bank watching the new, expensive, culvert being installed, playing games with my shadow rather than worrying about how much this beaver dam situation is costing us. When I looked up and saw my little band of broodmares standing at the gate to the river bottom watching us.

Mares at the gate

I elbowed my niece, Lisa and pointed out the mares. We talked about how funny it was they were watching us. About that moment I realized the best mare in the bunch was lame. Needless to say I headed her direction. When I reached her, she had badly injured on her front leg.

The road to the barn was cut wide open having a new culvert installed so I had to walk the injured mare a mile through three pastures to get her back where I could clean the wound and doctor her.

Normally I would have been a stressed out mess. Worried sick about how to get her back, how badly cut she was, wondering what had happened and how would I ever find where she had gotten hurt so I could make sure no other horse got injured in the same manner.

But today, after finding peace in the midst of chaos and stress with the entire beaver pond, new culvert, road gashing experience, I decided it did no good to worry and stress. I had no choice but to go slow and enjoy the walk as we worked our way back to the barn.

So rather than rush and hurt the mare more, we slowly strolled through pasture after pasture.  Because we were moving so slowly I saw my pastures from an entirely new perspective. Here are a few photos I snapped we walked.

Tall, pond grass

Tall Grass blowing, Be happy not stressed, stress management, happy, joy, relaxed, stress, Colorado, mountains, river, horses, cattle, cowboys, therapy, walk, backhoe, mud, beaver, beaver dam, anger, stress, kindness, worry, injury, finance

Tall, pond grass, blowing in the breeze

Spiders have been extremely busy!

Spider webs in the sunlight, Be happy not stressed, stress management, happy, joy, relaxed, stress, Colorado, mountains, river, horses, cattle, cowboys, therapy, walk, backhoe, mud, beaver, beaver dam, anger, stress, kindness, worry, injury, finance

Spiders have been busy! Webs glistening in the sun

One spider web blowing in the breeze

One web blowing

A weed with webs becomes a thing of beauty

Weed, spider webs, & light, Be happy not stressed, stress management, happy, joy, relaxed, stress, Colorado, mountains, river, horses, cattle, cowboys, therapy, walk, backhoe, mud, beaver, beaver dam, anger, stress, kindness, worry, injury, finance

Weed becomes a thing of beauty

Zanny excitedly greeting her new friend over the fence

Zanny running, Be happy not stressed, stress management, happy, joy, relaxed, stress, Colorado, mountains, river, horses, cattle, cowboys, therapy, walk, backhoe, mud, beaver, beaver dam, anger, stress, kindness, worry, injury, finance

Zanny running

The horses coming from the pasture – the colt has a passenger!

Pete with Bird on his back, Be happy not stressed, stress management, happy, joy, relaxed, stress, Colorado, mountains, river, horses, cattle, cowboys, therapy, walk, backhoe, mud, beaver, beaver dam, anger, stress, kindness, worry, injury, finance

Hummm a passenger!

The little bird rode almost the entire length of the pasture.

Pete and bird close up, Be happy not stressed, stress management, happy, joy, relaxed, stress, Colorado, mountains, river, horses, cattle, cowboys, therapy, walk, backhoe, mud, beaver, beaver dam, anger, stress, kindness, worry, injury, finance

Passenger rode all the way

The trek to the barn became a relaxing stroll of one enchanting moment to the next, rather than a stressful, worry filled, walk. The mare did fine as long as we went slow and my stress level stayed low because I took the opportunity to enjoy the time rather than fret.

Now, do you think you can be happy and not stressed when you face a challenge this week?

What are YOUR stress relieving strategies?

Please share in the Comments Section below!

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.

If you enjoyed this post or any others please hit the “subscribe” in the top or side menu bars and sign up for notification when I post a new update on the blog or the books!  Thank you and God Bless!

[Read More]
Colorado Back Porch Sunrise

What is Country Living in Colorado?

What is Country Living in Colorado?

My kitchen window looks out on gorgeous river bottom meadows with mountains as the backdrop. Country living in Western Colorado is awesome! It really is the good life! I am incredibly blessed.

 Just like this photo – sunrise off my back porch!  It is beautiful.

Colorado, sunrise, mountains, horses, ranch

Sunrise!

Riding at sunset

I love to jump on a horse and ride through the fields. There is nothing like a ride as the sun is setting. The shadows are long and the warm yellow light filters through the branches like flickering golden glitter. You feel the warmth on your skin and smell the meadow. There is no sound except the quiet swush, swush, swush of the horse’s legs through the tall grass. It’s glorious!  The peacefulness washes away all the worries of the world and I find my true self.  No one to impress, no one to listen to, just quiet, peace.

Black Horse, Kristi Ross, country living, mountains

Little Kristi and her wonderful Black Horse

This is my first “big” horse. His name was Black Horse. I loved him and he loved me! The outside of a horse truly is good for the inside of a man (or a woman)!He carried me all over the country here in Colorado and dedicated his life to making mine better.

Living in the country here in Colorado allows that incredible luxury. We are so spoiled. But we often forget to appreciate what we have. No matter where you are today I hope you pause, look around you, reflex on your blessings, and enjoy where you are and what you have. No matter how great our how little, let us rejoice today.

I treasure my family, my home, my kitchen windows, my horses, my country living, and I thank  God for those blessings everyday.

What is special for you today? Do you have a great family? Or a lovely home?

What do you do for peaceful quiet time?

 

[Read More]