Archive for July, 2010

Ten Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

I recently finished reading the fiction series by Karen Kingsbury about the Baxter family. Her writing about family relationships is amazing and so thought provoking. I learned a lot from her 10 novels in the series and would recommend them to everyone wanting to see how a faith filled family lives everyday life. In the final book “Forever” the character sent each of her children a letter giving them her advice on marriage. In the busyness of everyday life it is easy to forget these simple steps to loving each other and I wonder how many couples would find their marriages filled with abundant love if they followed this advice. To read the entire story, look for the books in the Redemption Baxter Series and the First Born Baxter Series.


1.  God has you here to serve one another. Love acted out is serving.

2.  Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you’d lay your life down for her. Continue to date her and admire her. Share a hobby — find something you can do to have fun together.

3.  Laugh often.

4.  Be patient. Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.

5.  Spend more time trying to fix yourself than your spouse.

6.  Keep short accounts. The Bible says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are angry.” Make it a habit to forgive.

7.  Determine up front that divorce is not an option.

8.  Learn about love languages. Not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back rub and your spouse wants a clean kitchen. The love languages are fairly simple: acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation. Learn them. Love is better received when it’s in the language that person speaks.

9.  Words of affirmation are a love language for all men.

10.  Men are born to be leaders. He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. If you love your husband, build him up. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.

Blessings to all,


Pint-Sized Joy!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

It was her second visit to the ranch. When she arrived she bounced into the barn to say hi and asked if she could bring Noah in. Her enthusiasm was contagious.  Since I was cleaning some stalls, I told her it would be better if she grabbed a brush and lead rope and took Noah out of his paddock and cleaned him up outside. Her smile was huge as she agreed with my plan. Her grandmother was just walking into the barn so I explained what we had decided. The little girl who had just turned four ran out of the barn calling Noah’s name.

Noah and his friend

She was such a sweet child and the last time she’d been here she had overcome all of her fears around the large horses and had fed them carrots. Her greatest joy had been grooming Noah, our little miniature horse. With much fear and hesitation she had learned to lead Noah around the yard. At the end of her first visit she had given me a hug and told me she loved little Noah. My heart had melted with her words. Here on the ranch she had found a new friend and all she had talked about was her new four legged friend.

I helped her take Noah out of his paddock and away from his donkey friends. She immediately started grooming him and giving him kisses. She told him how beautiful he was and that she had missed him. There was no sign of the fear she had overcome at her last visit. Noah of course kept eating grass. When she finished brushing Noah, she took the lead rope out of my hand and announced it was time for his walk. I chuckled with his grandmother and asked her where she wanted to go. She quite confidently started leading him down the driveway and said “Home”. I walked beside her and explained that Noah lived here with his two friends, Matthew and Nicholas, and he wouldn’t be happy if she took him home with her. She stopped and looked at me, then at Noah and said if she couldn’t take him home, could she visit him again? I told her that he would be honored to have her visit him regularly. So once their walk was completed and Noah was led into his stall, the little girl gave Noah a huge hug and said “I’ll be back soon.”

When she walked back to the car she had the biggest smile on her face. She wasn’t sad to be leaving but overjoyed that she would be able to come back. She was about to get into the car with her grandmother when she stopped and came running back to me. Her face was very solemn as she looked up at me and asked, “Can I hug you?” I was choked up as I bent down to her level and said “That would be the best thing ever”. She squeezed me so tight I was amazed at her strength, then she let go and ran back to the car and got into it. We were waving as the car drove down the driveway.

I looked up at the darkening sky and said, “Thank you Lord, for giving me this opportunity to bless that child and receive such wondrous love”. As I walked away, I hoped our pint sized horse would continue to bring that little girl joy.

May the love of Christ be with you always,

Trish & Gary

A Morning Blessing

Monday, July 5th, 2010


Yes, that is a fawn in the horse stall. Isn’t she the most beautiful baby?

I was driving in the golf cart alongside Whisper, our thoroughbred race horse, who is training to go back to the track. Normally I follow beside her as she is ridden down the lane way at the center of the ranch on the way to the race track in the woods, but this morning I was day dreaming and ended up following the driveway to the back barn. When I realized I was not with the horse, I chose to go the other route to the race track, behind the barn and down the east perimeter fence line. As I drove past the manure pile and headed down the hill at the back I noticed something round and brown lying on the grass about 20 feet out from the wire perimeter fence. I thought for a moment it was a strange colored turtle, but the shape wasn’t right. As I drove the golf cart some 10 feet away from this brown object that was all curled up, I noticed the white dots patterned on her back. It was obviously a baby deer. So far she hadn’t moved and I didn’t know if she was dead or alive. I stopped the cart and stepped out. She picked up her head, took one look at me and ran. As she ran towards the wire fence she gave out the most heartbreaking cry. Somewhere between a calf bellowing and a high pitched squeal. I watched her bump into the fence with her head, then run along side it towards the woods. Then she collapsed in a heap on the ground about 50 yards away and curled up again.

I had a lot of knowledge about baby horses and the habits of mares and foals since I’d spent five years breeding and foaling well over 40 mares, but I had absolutely no knowledge of deer and their babies. I looked around wondering if Mom was somewhere in the woods looking at me but I couldn’t see her. I thought about my five Jack Russel’s and the doberman who would either chase this sweet baby to death or possibly grab her and kill her if they found her. It was obvious to me that the mother had fawned the baby within our ranch grounds and she had jumped out over the fence but her baby could not follow her. She was probably no more than a few weeks old. I didn’t know if her mother would come back for her but I felt she was not safe out in the open when our dogs were running loose.

So I jumped on the golf cart and drove beside her again. This time when she jumped up and tried to run she cornered herself beside a large log lying next to the fence line. I was able to pick her up in my arms and firmly hold her while she struggled for a few moments and bellowed a few more times. It was such a disturbing sound and I knew she was terrified. I spoke softly to her and stroked her head as I carried her back to the golf cart.

I rode with her to the front barn to put her in a stall because I still had to go to the track to watch Josey gallop the mare. As I drove to the barn, I continued to pet her and talk to her and she settled comfortably in my arms. I looked down at her perfect spots and I knew God had given me a once in a lifetime opportunity to hold a wild animal. I was sure I’d never again feel this overwhelming sense of wonder of something as beautiful as the fawn I was holding. As I gazed at her small black, slightly pug nose, her tiny split toe hooves and her big brown eyes, I was totally besotted. Then I looked at her coat and the perfect rows of spots dotted on the soft brown fur. It was like God had taken an artist paint brush and put each spot in a precise pattern along her back. I was in awe of the total perfection of this creature. Though I see the beauty of His work daily around the ranch, this was like an awakening. It was as though He wanted to gently remind me of His amazing creations and His almighty power by dropping this little one right in my lap. And I was so thankful. It was a precious moment, a blessing. I thought about those who don’t believe in our Creator. I thought about some young people I know who believe in the Evolution theory and all that science has to offer in their small explanations. And I wondered how anyone who could look at this tiny perfect creature and her tiny perfect spots could truly not believe in a huge and Almighty God, and the love He has for all of His creatures.

I wanted to keep her so badly but I wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do. In my mind I was figuring out where I could build a fenced in area for her to grow up and wondered if she could just go out with Noah and the donkeys once she was older. I’d seen lots of photos people had taken of deer with their horses. I put the baby in a horse stall at the barn and drove back out to watch the horse gallop. Once we were finished with Whisper, I checked on my own little Bambi and saw that she was lying down curled up in a ball again. I went into the house and looked up on the internet to find out what to do with her.

First, the article said put her back where she was so that her mother would come back for her, unless something had happened to the mother. It said they will leave their babies for up to 12 hours at a time to go off and eat and the babies are not supposed to move from the spot where they are left. I had to wonder how the mother could possibly communicate that to her baby and how something so young would listen to her. With horses, the mare was always near the foal or at least could see it. So this was a totally different set of rules. But I was still worried about the fawn’s safety on our side of the fence because there was no way she could jump out until she was a few months older. So I would never know if she would be left alone where the dogs could find her again. I saw there was a number to call at the bottom of the page. I spoke with a woman who helped explain their natural habits. She said the fawn needed to be returned to the spot I found her although I could put her up to 50 feet away. She needed to stay in the same vicinity because the mother would be coming back for her as long as she could find her. She said the fawn would not move from that spot. I told her my concerns about my dogs and that I thought it might be better to put her over the fence and into the woods on the other side. I didn’t think my neighbors had dogs that would go over there and at least this way the baby wouldn’t be stuck on my ranch. So the woman told me to put her over the fence and check on her until night time to see if she was still there.

So Gary and I went out to the stall prepared to put her back. As I went into the stall she jumped up and again tried to run from me. She hit the wall a few times until I was able to put my arms around her again. She cried another few times then settled down. Gary took my picture holding her as I stroked her back again. I really wanted to keep her but I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do and that her mother was probably frantic by now. The woman I spoke to said the doe had probably been watching her baby from a spot in the woods. So after taking her picture we rode on the golf cart back out to the place I had found her. While I held her in my arms Gary climbed over the fence and found a spot under a tree that was only about 40 feet from her original location. As I was about to pass her into Gary’s arms, she turned her head, and with her big brown eyes she looked at me and licked my arm. My heart melted and I gave her head a kiss. I prayed God’s blessings upon her and passed her to Gary. She bellowed again as he held her and squirmed to be free. I was a little concerned that she would run when he let her go and her mother would never find her but once Gary set her down under the tree and hopped back over the fence, she just sniffed the ground and her surroundings, circled and settled back down to wait. We wondered if she would be safe there but figured we’d come back and check on her in a few hours. Another interesting thing the woman at the wildlife number had told us was that fawns have no scent so predators cannot find them. I wondered if that is why my dogs had not found her where she’d been lying that morning.

Several hours later we decided to see if she was still there. Once we got to the spot we could see that she was gone. “Did Mom come back or did she wander off?” I said. We climbed the fence and smiled when we saw larger deer prints all around the tree. Sure enough her mother had returned to pick up baby and they had gone off together. I was happy and sad at the same time. I wondered if I would ever see her again. I wondered if she would tell her Mom about her exciting ride on a golf cart and how she’d spent an hour in a horse stall.

I felt so blessed that God had given me that short time with one of His precious animals. I knew that it was a moment in time that I would always remember and I wondered if it was a moment the fawn would remember too.

There was a message to me from the ranch that day. It was a message about God’s precious love.