Since the day our daughter could talk, she asked for a horse. She is an animal lover. She used to say, “I am a REAL animal lover” when she was younger. A lot of animals have been adopted into our tent over the years. A hamster that liked to bite, a dog on Christmas morning, a chicken that was actually a rooster, a turtle rescued from a parking lot, a snail who had babies, another dog, rabbits that won a blue ribbon, another dog, huge stinky pigs, and a fish just so the child would sleep in her own room. But there has always been one animal that was missing from the collection, a horse.
The tent managers (aka parents) are just like all 40 year olds that end up owning a horse. We are wondering how we got to this point. Of course, we told our daughter she could have a horse one day. It takes a super power to tell her beautiful blue eyes “no.” But we always assumed “one day” would never show up. Surely, she would out grow this horse fixation. Surely, she would realize the amount of time (and money) that goes in to owning a horse. Surely we could delay this request until she is in her 40’s and has a place to board the horse. Surely, surely, surely!
As the horse requests started to come on more frequently after we moved to the country, we made a deal with our horse loving daughter. “If” she was willing to help cover the costs for the horse expenses, “then” we would get her a horse. Before we knew it, she was a Red Cross certified babysitter with business cards, a loyalty card (Every 7th babysitting job is free!) and adorable two-year-old clients.
Happy the horse (he actually came with that name) joined our family in January. Every morning for a month, we have been at the barn at sunrise and sunset, feeding Happy. Three times a week our daughter throws a saddle on Happy and they trot off together through the pastures. They are a beautiful site together. And of course, we all love Happy because he makes us happier.
The 40 year olds in the house (who now own a horse) have learned a lot in this experience.
- Children have dreams and we need to help them achieve their dreams. The spirit of youth is contagious. We all need a little more fairy dust, horse riding and magic moments in our lives.
- Animals teach us about life. Animals are loyal, interesting and social. Life with nature awakens all our senses. The more we experience animals in this life, the more we appreciate creation.
- Responsibility is good for children. Where else will children learn to be responsible Christians? Our tents are full of opportunities to teach responsibility. If we take these opportunities away, we are taking away tickets to success.
- Honor your promises. We made a deal. Our horse lover kept her side of the bargain. We had to keep ours. We all learned a lesson in this deal.
We pray our tent is always a place filled with dreams and life lessons that teach life skills. What dreams are alive in your tent? How can you help make them come true for you and others?
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
From our Happy (the Horse) Tent to Yours,