Home sweet home

Gift giving

Within the last few weeks, I have felt God had dealt my family an unfair set of cards. It feels like no matter what we do in order to better our financial situation, the Lord pulls us back and plops us right back down where we were before. It’s incredibly frustrating, and this last while particularly, I can say I have shaken my fist toward heaven.

My husband is a horse trainer, a horse whisperer more acurately. The man can look into a horse’s eye and tell you exactly where his mind is at–willing, defiant, untrusting, scared, lazy, wild, sweet. I used to not believe him when he’d read a horse, but after three years of watching him train, there is no doubt. Knowing what a horse is thinking, he knows what it needs in order to learn as well as if what is being taught is understood.  He can take horses that other trainers couldn’t train, and train them. It’s such a mind blowing experience to watch.

We recently took two horses to a horse sale. These were horses he had been working with for some time now, and we were excited to finally turn a profit. The sale we chose was one we had heard and watched only good things about. We were confident we could get at least our lowest asking price. With my husband going to start paramedic school in January, we needed these horses gone and the cushion this money would offer.

The sale was a blast. The girls and I had a great time hanging around a bunch of horse folk, and what was better was that Andrew was getting great interest and reviews about his horses.  I knew he was a good trainer, but it was gratifying to have it reaffirmed. As the sale began, our expectations were higher than we had come with.

Apparently November is the worst month to try to sell horses. This sale was like a Black Friday event: people wanted deals, not to spend a lot of money.  Both our horses sold for below our lowest hopes, and unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones going home upset. Most people weren’t getting what they wanted for their horses.

On the 9 hour drive home with our empty trailer, I have never been so filled with regret. It was completely consuming. I felt like we had just made the biggest financial mistake by letting those horses go for so low. Over the next few days, that regret turned to anger, as one bad thing after the next was hashing away at the savings we did have.

JUST STOP! I was screaming at God. Wasn’t it enough that our plans and preparations for the horses came crashing down without warning? Why was now all of our progress being burned away?

Ideas slowly came that calmed me down, and helped me see valuable lessons and perspectives. But it wasn’t until today that I could truly move on.

I had bought Thea and Rose some little Christmas gifts they were to supposed to have received tonight from Santa (but we now weren’t going as we couldn’t afford to fix the car). I was now planning on keeping the gifts for their stockings on Christmas. However, not thinking, I left the toys in a bag on the couch, where Thea found them, “ooh”ing and “awe”ing as she pulled each one out. I quickly grabbed them and stashed them away. The tantrum was instant to follow, and I tried to explain to my two year-old that they were for later.

Durning my scripture study today, I read these words from President Henry B. Eyring: “[W]hatever success I had in my career and family life…was a gift from God” (“Where is the Pavillion?”, Oct. 2012).

It was then that the vision of Thea upset about not getting her toys flashed into my mind; and then I saw myself–there I was, upset at the Lord that we were being thrust backwards financially, feeling that we deserved financial progress, that it belonged to us due to our diligence and hard work, all the while the Lord was trying to say above my tantrum, “Those gifts are for later.” He wasn’t saying I couldn’t have them, but only that now was not the time.

Understanding and peace filled my heart. How grateful I am to be constantly taught by my children the greater lessons of life.

“[Become] as a child…willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19).

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