It was kind of last minute. Yesterday we got a call from our friends at Calvary Campus. They have a work group from Alabama and were wondering if we could give some horse rides. We decided on the best weather day. Today was that day. About 30 people arrived at the barn. I was kind of taken a back when I rode into the barn. We brought seven horses from the pasture at the old entrance of camp. There were people all over the place! The best way of handling how to sign up all those people was to write each horse's name on the white board with three blanks for writing names after each horse. After getting that written down, I named and described the attitude of each horse for the people. (if a horse was good for new riders or more experienced) The work group seemed to mob the white board to write down their names. We gave rides around camp. Seven went at a time with Shiloh or Shalisha leading (they took turns) and I (Mary Beth) was the drag. The "drag" can be a very stressful job. I'm riding last and looking up the string of horse for any potential problem. I do a lot of praying for safety during this time. It took about 30 minutes for each trail ride. We did go on some trails along the creek. All the horses were very good. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Cameras were clicking all over the place. The people who were not riding were swinging on the thick barn swing, riding extra ponies around in the arena, or using the 2 pony carts like rickashaws and giving the littler children rides. Yes, it was last minute, but it was very memorable for those people from Alabama...and the horses were used. The more they are ridden, the better they are.
It's Christmas Eve and I have one more gift to wrap. I think of all the shopping that's been done. It's been different this year. I think it's because of all the stuff going on with the economy. I've done much more browsing and much less impulsive buying. There are less things in the stocking. When asked what I want for Christmas, I have a small list and these things are well thought out...more that the "whatever" from recent years.
I've been thinking a lot of the most precious gift. Jesus. He has brought peace and hope to my heart...inspite of all that's going on politically, I can have peace that God is in control of it all that nothing is out of His control. I get tired of hearing the stuff on TV. It's about the same type of talk...on and on. Well, whether or not I agree or disagree with it all, I'm told to pray for those in authority over me and I do. Don't spaz out. Don't get angry. Pray. I've not heard a lot of God on the news except that He is blocked out of things. Funny. I've heard more of shootings and trials and war and islam. As I closed my Bible this morning I reviewed a verse. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation to all who believe to the jew first and also to the greek." I know one thing for sure. Even if "God", "Jesus" is not evident in society's trappings. I surely know where He is. In my heart and in the hearts of those who love Him. He is in the random acts of kindness. He is precious on the tongue of the true believers -not a swear word.
I am happy to say Merry Christmas this Christmas. It is hope and peace and comfort and contentment and wisdom. It is knowing that I have a friend that is the great counselor. He helps me confidently go through the talk and the stuff that's going on. He is sovereign. He is in control. That is a Very Merry Christmas thought to end on.
Today I sold Ruthie and Delilah. Ruthie is our miniature mule that we raised from birth and Delilah was a pony. I'm a little sad. I always get concerned about how they are doing and how they are acting. I know I have enough work to do taking care of the 17 we have right now. They were sold to a private party and not though an auction. They were going to be used to lead children in the neighborhood. So glad for this. It lifts my sadness a bit.
I take a deep breath and say I am singing tomorrow. Just one song, "Tell Jesus". I've been practicing all week. This type of singing is new to me. I'm singing with a performance track and not just with a guitar. I'm a bit nervous about it too because I so want to be confident in voice...and I am...here at home. I pray I will be tomorrow too. If your the praying type, then pray for me. Prayer is powerful...and it's what Jesus wants us to do.
I was surprised today. There were 100 hits on this website. That makes me happy. When you click on the view stats and see the blue line shoot upward, you feel gratification. Maybe I am touching some people's hearts. I know I still have tons of work to do though. One thing to change is the art page. I want the pics to be like the photography - in gallery format. I also want to figure out how to let people download music to their mp3. I'm still in the dark there.
I found a new book at the library today. It's called "The Online Professor's Practical Guide to Starting an Internet Business". Now, since I work at SMMM (and love it) I need to keep my priorities. I have a lot of work to do there. I have lots of children to work with. I pray THAT territory will grow. Working on this website is fun...a little intimidating, but fun none-the-less. So, here's something I found in the book:
"More Tips For Getting Started On Line" 1. Make sure the work gets done. Sometimes it's little steps at a time, but little steps get you places confidently. It's much better than being overwhelmed with huge steps I can't manage. 2. Remember to take a break. There is a verse in the Bible that says..."Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10 I love to lay in the grass and look up at the clouds, relaxed. 3. Avoid working when others are playing. I need to work on this one, but I did sit down to watch a chick-flick tonight with the girls. 4. Create a separate work space. Ok. Our house is small. I have a bedroom that's empty while the boys are in college. Up goes the card table while they're gone. There are a few ream paper boxes in the corner of the dining room that contain my stuff. I do what I have to do. 5. Effectively manage your time. I have a calendar, a journal, an address book and a filing cabinets. They are being used, so I really am working on this one. 6. Visualize a path to success. I laugh. I tell my family I have too good of an imagination. I tend to worry...I'm working on that. I KNOW God is in control of all things. If He wants this to prosper, then it will. His will be done. I do like to dream of what could be. Is that visualizing? 7. Maintain Relationships. Being a missionary, our family has many supporters and many churches that pray for us and love us. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering names. I work on it. Then there are all the hundreds of kids that come to camp activities and all that I see for character education classes. I'm a bit overwhelmed here. I find if someone is consistently in my life for a long time and over and over the names stick in my head. Lastly, 8. Don't fear failure - or success. I know we learn through failure to make us strong. I know we can get a big head with success. My Prayer? God give me wisdom in each circumstance. Phillipians 4:11-13 says it all.
Today I taught about cautiousness. When you are cautious you 1) think before you act, 2) follow safety rules, 3) ask permission, 4) talk at the right time, and 5) look out for danger. I think this can be an analogy for working on the computer too. We need to think before we publish. We need to be careful of our words that they are above the spam filter and we don't write things we regret. Following the rules make for unity and ease. There are times we need to ask permission to get into sites, and we need to be on the look out for danger. While your plugging away each day on the computer... be cautious
I've been looking at the view status for this site. There was a day recently when there were 300 hits. I was ecstatic. For days after that it went down, down, down...to having days with nothing. It's like looking at a flat line on a heart monitor. I was pondering the reason why. I've come up with a few reasons. (1.) Meta tags are important. When it has a listing for categories under my blog, I need to use them. I really think the day it was high traffic was when I was talking about the new book about 101 ways to promote your website. If that's the case...and people are interested in that kind of thing, then I need to study up on it and blog about what I've studied each day. Maybe some people don't have the time to study over pages of books. Maybe some don't want to. (2.) I need to put a signature file on my emails and include the website. That way everyone that I email had the opportunity to click on the website. (3) I need to be consistent in putting things on daily, and if I don't have things to put on, I need to at least blog about interesting things...like website stuff. I hope people are enjoying the music and that it is touching their hearts.
...doesn't quit writing, and when ideas come to mind they are written down, researched, internalized, and reformatted for readers.