Tag Archives | Life
miracles, miracle zone, God, Jesus, prayer

What Do Miracles Look Like?

Living Among Miracles

Post #6 Miracle Series

If you are new to this blog I hope you will go back and read the first five posts on miracles. It will help this one make better sense.   Here are the links:

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

What does life look like from the middle of the Miracle Zone?

That’s a great question!

From first inspection it may looks like a lot of trouble. Often your are in the middle of the most chaotic  time of your life.

If you’ve followed this series you’ve heard me speak of the many miracles I expereinced to get to to where I am today. A miracle phone call with a total stranger offering me a job, miraculously in the very town where my newly pregnant daughter lived; emails miraculously dropping an amazing home and land for my horses in my lap; and over night a roommate to help pay the bills.  You’ve heard how a little daily devotional provided just the right words at just the right moment.  But you may not have picked up that the further into the miracles zone I traveled, the deeper I sank into depression and confusion.

This leads me to the hardest part of this story.

The hardest part of all my stories. But a part I think I need to share.

The part about depression.

That deep sadness that no one can really understand unless you’ve walked a thousand miles in those shoes.

Even in the middle of undeniable miracles, I was depressed.

I lived under a dark cloud of sadness.

Even though my daughter and her husband lived 20 minutes away, and I had a friend living in the same house, I was lonely.

I had left my home, friends, and rest of my family in Hotchkiss and Delta, and the only people I knew here were my daughter, son-in-law, and his family. And I didn’t want to bother them 24-7.

The Cave

miracles, God, Jesus, prayer

My Emotional Cave

Men are suppose to be the only ones that go into their cave.

But when trouble comes my way that is my M.O.

Do you know what M.O. stands for? It’s the abbreviation for the Latin phrase, “Modus Operandi”, or mode of operation.

Going into an emotional cave is defiantly my mode of operation.

When I’m stressed, hurting, or struggling with anything, I disappear.

Physically, and emotionally.

I shut down and tune out the world.

Others tend to look unfavorably on my behavior, but it is my way of surviving the really bad stuff life throws at us.

I go into my cave because I’m struggling to make it through whatever is going on. It’s where I go to focus on who and what can help me not only survive the current issues, but to thrive afterward.

God.

So in the midst of the Miracle Zone with whirling emotions, traumatic transition, and vast internal emptiness, emotionally I ran to my cave.

But it can get extremely lonely in that cave.

Thankfully I had the hand of God reminding me to pray, to cling to Him, to refocus my attention off myself and onto Him.

And onto others.

Others struggling with hurts so huge no words can define them.

Man Down

A tragedy changed my prayers and my life while in my cave.

I watched in horror as an amazing family struggled with loss, despair, emptiness, worry, confusion, anger, misery, heartache, and heartbreak.

The family were friends of my daughter and son-in-law, but just acquaintances of mine. So I witnessed their tragedy through the eyes of my family and a heartbroken, amazing, mutual friend.

We prayed they would find him that day.

And the next.

And the next. . .

And I mean prayed Hard.

While his family, his wife, and his son worried, worried, worried. . .

Will we find him? Can we find him? What happens if it snows again? What happens if the avalanche runs again? And when it did, what happens if the snow melts too fast? What happens if it doesn’t melt?

They needed a few miracles of their own.

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God Watched Over Our Friend

Every day they watched the mountain . . . and waited.

We cannot fathom the depth of despair that family went through.

But they faced it with incredible courage, grace, and dignity.

And unbeknownst to her, his wife pulled me out of my cave.

With her hurt and pain she reached into my emotional coma and pulled me back into life.

She was yet another miracle in my miracle zone.

Thank you.

Thank you for being the woman you are. A role model for grace under fire. Love in the midst of indescribable pain.

Courage and light in total darkness.

I tip my hat to you. And thank you for the amazing way you handled yourself . . .  and all of us.

Thank you for being such an inspiration and reminder of God’s care.

You and your entire family are still, and will remain, in my prayers!

You helped heal my heart, my emotions, and my life.

Thank you for being my personal miracle.

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

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ANNOUNCING:  I am booking speaking engagements for 2015 based around these and other personal growth experiences and would love to come to  your area!  Please contact my assistant at 970-778-0689 for more info!

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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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

memorial, family member, love, cattle, cowgirl, cowboy, cutting horse, Colorado, mountains, high school rodeo, family member

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”.

 

Memorial, family member, love, Colorado, mountains, Dad, Mika, foal, colt, filly, best friend, great horse, Banana, treasure,  kindness,

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.

 

memorial, family member, love,horse, cowboy, cowgirl, Colorado, mountains, Mesa Verde, Indian

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 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

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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.

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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.

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