Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Comfort and Joy

Sometimes those two little words which signify every person's true desire in life, can be so very difficult to obtain, and even harder to hang onto.  In this season of Christmas, when we would hope that all could be merry and bright; the opposite is many times, the case.  The holidays can be a time of reflection, soul-searching, stress, depression, isolation, and even desperation.  


If each one of us could take a look around, really see all that we have to be thankful for; I truly believe that comfort and joy isn't all that hard to find.  Take Patch for instance; doesn't have anything except for the basics in life...a warm bed, food for his belly, another cat to occasionally scrap with, and a family who sees to all his needs.  We have someone who sees to all our needs as well.


The other morning I watched this beautiful rainbow appear, a double rainbow actually, after another thunderous shower had ended.  A beautiful rainbow...God's promise that the world will never again be destroyed by water.  There's comfort in that.




And joy...this beautiful face gives me joy every single day.  Without fail.  I can't imagine life without my dogs.  They give me unconditional love, complete acceptance and laughter.  Simple pleasures that give me reason to return that love.  We always love where we are shown love...it's more challenging to love when it's undeserved.


Our beautiful horses bellied up to the bar.  Another source of joy, laughter, amazement, beauty and love.  For them, I am so grateful and feel so very blessed.  Horses are one of God's greatest gifts to mankind.  I believe this with all of my heart.  They are also a source of wisdom for me.  If we will but humble ourselves for a bit, and quietly observe; they have so much to offer and teach.  People are arrogant if they don't think we have much to learn from the horse.


A couple of weekends ago, we were fortunate to get to go share some joy in the form of singing Christmas carols for the families in our church neighborhood.  A friend brought a team of his beautiful Shire Draft horses and his hay wagon.  It was wonderful!  I've always wanted to go caroling, and now I've finally done it!  It was a brisk evening and the rain held off while we sang under the starry sky.  If that doesn't put a person in the Christmas spirit, I don't know what will.


And this was my view from behind while riding up front with Duane, our driver.  Add to the experience of singing, the scent of warm horses - perfect!!  This is Ellie Mae and Gracie.  They are beautiful and very patient girls who perform their jobs flawlessly.



This was November's full moon.  It was so beautiful that I had to pull over and take a few shots, however my camera wasn't able to capture the amazing visual that I was able to see.  Still pretty though.


My dear, sweet Annie...how I love this dog.  She has always been a momma's girl, and I adore her and am so very thankful that she came into our life.  We weren't looking for another dog when we had the opportunity to adopt her into our family, but I'm so very, very glad that we did!  She brings me comfort and joy every day of my life.


I think my lens may have been foggy, but this is the scene from our front porch yesterday morning.  Our first snowfall of the season.


Ruby loves the snow!  She gets so excited and races around barking and biting at the snow.  We can learn a few lessons about enjoying the simple pleasures in life from our dogs too.


The backyard view yesterday morning from the deck.  Big, fat, wet flakes, but it was peaceful to watch while enjoying my morning coffee in front of the wood stove.  There's something so serene about snow.  I'm hoping for a white Christmas this year...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!

Another shot of the beautiful Shire Draft team.  Ellie Mae and Gracie.


My view while singing Christmas carols under the starry night sky.  Crossed that one off my bucket list!  

My hubby and I went into downtown Portland last Sunday.  We parked the car and walked all over downtown looking at the beautiful Christmas window displays, did a little shopping, but mostly looking, had dinner at our favorite little Italian place and cruised the public market.  Some people have so much talent.  The items that were available are ingenious, delightful, cozy and beautiful - just depends on what you're looking at.  I got a new hat!  And some new incense.  My hubby got me a new pair of boots!  We even looked at and tried on riding helmets, which I know absolutely nothing about.  I found one that I like, it fit my head comfortably and didn't make me look too much like a bobble-head.  But, I'm going to peruse the internet and see if I can't find it cheaper.  I'm not doing much riding this time of year, so I've got time.  I've never even tried on a helmet before that.  I'm not accustomed to wearing anything other than a baseball cap or a sun visor when I ride, so this will be different for me.  Oh, and I got a parking ticket!  First parking ticket in my life...$45!!  What a drag, a few more bucks and I could have had the helmet...oh well, guess I'll be looking more closely next time for those pay boxes at the end of the blocks.  Live and learn, I guess.  Anyway, the weather was horrendous, wind was blowing wildly all day long, rain coming down sideways and we got drenched!  We had a blast!!  When you live in the Willamette Valley, you grow accustomed to getting wet, and you learn to dress for it.  I'm sure I provided some entertainment for the waitress at the restaurant when I removed my hat... :)  Give joy where you can my friends!!

There are so many ways to bring comfort and joy into our lives.  I'm finding that I enjoy Christmas so much more when I decide to relax and enjoy everything; forget about "having" to do anything and just be thankful, recognize my multitude of blessings and enjoy the people and the animals that I love.  When I count my blessings each and every day, my attitude becomes one of overwhelming gratitude to my Father, from Whom all good things come.  

I wish for each and every one of you this Christmas season...comfort and joy!

Fah rah rah rah rah rah rah rah rah!  
Name that movie!!!  :)


24 comments:

Cindy D. said...

YES!!!!
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

I don't really know what else to say, but you understand right?
:)

Kate said...

Lovely post - we all have so many things to be thankful for.

If you get a riding helmet (I hope you do - you know I'm a big riding helmet booster - mine saved my life and helmets do make a difference ) get one of the ones with the adjustable knob at the back - Troxel makes a fairly inexpensive model that I'm fond of.

Annette said...

I agree with Kate on the Troxel recommendation. Comfy helmets with a bit of style. Love that shot of the appy butts.

Michelle said...

Lorie, would you be willing to email me the second to last photo in this post to put in the church newsletter? It wasn't that light when I got there....

Michelle said...

Lorie, would you be willing to email me the second to last photo in this post to put in the church newsletter? It wasn't that light when I got there....

fernvalley01 said...

Wonderful post! And a great reminder! Merry Christmas my friend

Paint Girl said...

A very wonderful post! I love your pictures!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Carolynn Anctil said...

Ellie Mae & Gracie are very handsome ladies! I miss the smell of horses. *sigh* Patch looks so cozy. There's nothing like a sleeping cat to make me feel like curling up next to one. There is, indeed, much to be thankful for.

Blessings,
Carolynn

C-ingspots said...

Cindy D. - Yes! I do know what you mean!
Kate, the one I really liked was made by Aegis. Mesa trail rider w/6 vents, and it did have one of those knob thingys. But I did try on some Troxells too. The really nice one was a Charles Owen Wellington Pro, which I loved!! Then I looked at the price and put it back on the shelf. Yikes!
Yes Michelle, I'll send you the picture.
Thanks everyone for you comments and Christmas wishes!!!!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

A Christmas Story! I love that movie!

I love this post too! Your photo of the rainbow is wonderful. I think the same thing whenever I see one and I feel grateful as my heart turns to God.

You have much to feel comfort and joy about with all your lovely furry friends around you. I know how you feel.

Merry last-few-days-leading-up-to-Christmas!

aurora said...

I've been such a crab @ss this season (for no good reason) thanks for the much needed reminder, of comfort & joy. You have such a nice way with words, and your photos are wonderful. I can almost see the pot of gold in that second rainbow shot, pretty sure I would have run over & looked!!

C-ingspots said...

Me too Cindy!!! We'll be popping some popcorn and watching that movie this weekend! And of course, It's a Wonderful Life! :)

Aurora, Thank you. I'm guilty of being a crab ass a lot actually...stress can get the better of me at times, but I'm learning to chill. May you have a wonderful Christmas with your family! Kiss those beautiful horses of yours for me, will ya?

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Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Beautiful...

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Jen

Strawberry Lane said...

Wonderful post! You said all the important things that make our lives more meaningful. Appreciating nature that surrounds us is the greatest gift we can have. We are surrounded by blessings. Thanks for the reminder.

Lori Skoog said...

Comfort and Joy! Yes! This was a terrific post.

Kimberly Taylor said...

Wonderful post and amazing photography. Ellie Mae and Gracie are so cutie. Looks like they are so aware of what happening around the.

Wishing you all human and equine a very Merry Christmas!

Greetings from Saltriver horsemanship
family.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Just wanted to stop in and say thanks for visiting our blog and following! So glad we have crossed paths :D

allhorsestuff said...

Sweetest Lorie!

Firstly, I'd love to thank you for your wonderful words of support at my place. It's been a long haul of rehab with my mare...still going too.

Loved this seasonal post of what you described so perfectly ad " what er all dream and desire for" comfort and joy. True that.

Your horse drawn carol ride was great, singing and the scent of warm horses...nothin' better than that!

Sorry your Portland trip was blustery and included a ticket!

I , of course agree wirh protecting your noggin' from a fatal joggin'. I've seen a couple of those now with Lifeflight involved....body parts broken and all...but the head was protected. It's happened to two of my best riding buddies.
Helmets are like breathing for my riding friends.

Tipparary ( sp?) Is the one I love...accidently wore it home once! Troxel with the comfort dial, is another Goodie others mentioned.

You're awesome,.and I pray you well in this NEW year! Lord bless your heart, dear!
KK

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I thoughtI posted a comment earlier but don't see it. Wear you helmet dear friend. I Don't get on a horse without it.However I do need a new one after Sage stepped in mine. Another subject, I found that to every cup of flour you add 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and you have self rising flour. Finally remembered to look it up.

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