Stepping Back isn't Quitting

There are so many things I want to give my children.  I want to shower them with experiences that will help them grow.  I want to give them more than I had.  I want to pass on some of my loves.  Yet, I find at times I have to check my own motives.  Am I just passing on a love or am I living vicariously through them?

My eldest has loved horses since she could walk.  We used to walk down from where we lived to look at the "ha has" and pet them.  She would squeal with excitement at seeing them. By the age of 4 she was riding pretty regularly at a friends house.  I was thrilled.  I loved horses myself and had taken lessons when I was young.  I remembered the thrill of jumping and running and wanted to pass that thrill on.  She never did jump, but she did ride and even won some ribbons and a trophy.

Suddenly, she was bucked and ended up with a concussion.  Her love for horses hasn't disappeared but theres a new awareness of the dangers with these large majestic animals. There is a sadness that has come with the awareness.  Her father and I had to make a decision to allow her to compete this season or not, and given a variety of circumstances we had to choose to not.  She mourns this, and I mourn this.

I had pictured her learning to ride English this year and jumping like I had.  I pictured her excitement as I remembered the feeling of flying. I pictured her winning new ribbons and trophies.  These things aren't nearly as important as her safety.  I had to make sure I wasn't trying to live through her experiences, and that I am doing the job of a parent protecting her.

There is a struggle within.  When you fall off a horse you're supposed to get right back up again. Get back in the saddle.  Like with life, when something knocks you down you don't quit.  Quitters never win.  But...what about when you need to take a break?  When you need to step back, try different things and wait for the right opportunity?  Even if it feels like quitting, sometimes it's being patient and having wisdom.

Whether it's riding horses or just feeling like life has thrown you down and your mind is in a fog, it's okay to step back.  It's okay to think through things, it's okay to try things in a whole new way. You don't have to jump back into the saddle to be a winner.  God will lead you as you press into him.

My hope is that my daughter will eventually get to ride again and enjoy it without fear and without getting hurt.  Until then we will take it slow, and enjoy the scenery. Who knows what God will teach us during this time out of the saddle.


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