258 pages, Kindle; 256 pages, Paperback
Each chapter is usually a stand alone story, although there are some chapters that form a story arc, so it is suitable for read aloud time with children and grandchildren.
Kim Meeder runs a horse ranch dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abused horses, and dedicated to assist the healing process for disabled children, youngsters in juvenile detention centres and women who have suffered trauma. It is a safe place to try something new and become a little stronger after taking the risk of learning to ride on a pony or of touching and learning to groom a horse.
The book contains (at least for me) some eye-opening knowledge about horse management, a living example of what it means to live guided by the Holy Spirit, examples of God’s plans being much bigger than our own, and plenty of take-home quotes to chew over.
Not ever having gone through a stage of horse-crazy, I learnt a lot about communication between horses and horses and horses and humans. It was a real eye-opener on what it takes to keep a horse healthy, food, water, shelter, sufficient space to move about in, hoof care, medications to deal with worms and other nasties. Likewise it was an eye-opener on the barbaric practices to obtain ingredients for beauty products from pregnant horses. Truly it takes an extraordinary amount of painstaking work to bring an abused horse back to physical and emotional health.
Guided by the Holy Spirit
Time and time again through the stories Kim’s first recourse is to prayer. Then she does expectantly wait for answers, and is also responsive to moments when she is invited to stop, listen and look deeper at situations. Willingness to drop everything at a moment’s notice to serve others in need is another part of that responsiveness to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
God’s bigger plans
Two stories in particular stand out for me as examples of this. One is the sudden death of a much-loved horse, and the bigger plan was to teach a youngster about how to open her heart to new love after a time of grief. The other is the tragic house fire suffered by a single parent family, and the bigger plan was to provide not only a better home, but also a whole new set of supportive relationships.
Quotes to chew over
Horses are incapable of lying.
‘I trust You Lord, I trust You, even though it doesn’t make sense. I trust in You.’
Being loved changes us all.
If God is in it, He will provide for it.
Faith like the wind, is invisible … but what it moves is not.
Words from a father, ‘Maybe sometimes I treated my daughter too much like a princess…but that’s only because when I thought of her as my daughter…I felt like a king.’
Just because we’re not where we want to be…doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us.
Instead of asking, ‘Lord, how can I get out of this season of pain?’ ask ‘Lord, what can I get out of this season of pain?’
Everything changes when we choose to release our grip on ‘my plan for me’ and rest in God’s plan for me.
It never was about serving me… it always was about serving You.’
Hope is not only something we should aspire to attain…it is also something we should aspire to give.
It might not be how you think… but the Lord does answer prayer!