“Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours.”
~Rich Mullins

May 11, 2014

10 Things We've Learned From Mom

This quote from Abraham Lincoln rings so, so true in my life. Ultimately, I owe who I am to God, but His number one instrument in shaping my character has been my mom.

For Mother's Day, Jessie and I thought for a while, and came up with some of what we believe are the most important things we've learned from Mom over the years. There are so many more things, but we tried to keep it to the top ten.


"Be thankful for work! Just imagine if you couldn't......."
Mom is an incredibly hard worker, and is constantly reminding us to appreciate work. It'll be 110 outside, and we'll be out there trimming trees....if anyone starts complaining, she says, "Imagine if you fell and were in a wheelchair - do you know how bad you'd want to be able to trim trees and clean horse stalls? Be thankful for your healthy body and enjoy the work!"

"Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do 
I have another puzzle for you 
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-da-dee 
If you are wise you'll listen to me 
What do you get from a glut of TV? 
A pain in the neck and an IQ of three 
Why don't you try simply reading a book? 
Or can you just not bear to look?"
Just like the Oompa Loompa's in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, Mom has always, always given us books over movies. Growing up, we didn't even have a TV, we can count on two hands the times we've been in a movie theater, and yet we've read hundreds and hundreds of books.
And we wouldn't have it any other way.
She made us book-addicts! Completely addicted! We were the children who would sneak books into bed and read with a flashlight late at night.....or "go to the bathroom" and take a book and be gone for five hours. 
Books stretch your brain. They fuel your imagination in ways that movies never will. 

Ever since we were little, Mom and Dad would give us allowance, and at first it was just $1 a week. The very first thing we were supposed to do was give $.10 to God. Always. No matter how little we made.
Mom has carried this principle over into her business in a huge way, and we all firmly believe that God has blessed her for it. 

Mom and Dad have been married for 21 years this year. It definitely hasn't always been easy....any one of us girls will tell you that. But the one thing that has kept them together is the commitment that they made before God to never, ever give up on each other. To quote Fireproof, "Never leave your partner behind....especially in a fire." The tough times are the times that grow and strengthen a relationship, and I know each one of us girls will walk into our future marriages knowing that it is a life long commitment. 

Anyone who knows us knows that we have animals...............lots of them. Mom raised us to feed the animals before our own breakfast, to keep the barn clean even if the house wasn't perfect, and to always care for the creatures we've been given before we make ourselves comfortable. Our animals are dependent on us for care, and if we don't do our part, it's a serious problem. Some of the times we've been in the worst trouble are over forgetting to feed or care for an animal.
On the flip side, she has also taught us that ultimately, people are made in the image of God...animals are not. If someone is starving, we'll shoot an animal to feed them. 
But if you're not starving, and the animal needs care..............get out there and do it.

One of Mom's goals in homeschooling us has been to teach us how to learn. She has always been a firm believer in learning how to learn on your own and not having to have all your information fed to you. School was important, but many times, she'd say, "Cancel school.........today you're going to learn how to build a website. Google it, call who you need to, and get it done." 
Or, "Cancel school! Today we're studying how to birth out a miniature horse."
Or, "Cancel school! Today we're doing our geography by walking around the zoo studying where the different animals come from."
Or, "Cancel school! Someone is coming over who needs some help/encouragement/fun/a-shoulder-to-cry-on and we're going to be there for them." 
All three of us girls have developed multiple skills that we certainly didn't have originally! Music is the biggest one.....we are not a musical family. At all. Like, picture the most opposite of musically talented, and that's us! But through years of practice, sometimes forced practice!, we've all become extremely competitive piano players. 

At the same time, she always stressed that you have to put everything into trying to do the best, but if you don't win..........go congratulate the winner. You can only do your best, and then the rest is up to God! Never be a sore loser. Always tell the winner how happy you are for them. And mean it.

Mom has a somewhat unknown nickname..........The Interrogator. If you meet her, within 10 minutes, she'll know quite a bit about your life story. But she has a way of doing it that's non-intrusive because she is honestly, sincerely interested in your life.
Our house is Grand Central Station. Quite literally. On almost any given day, there will be a minimum of 2 cars in the driveway, and I think one of the main reasons for that is Mom's ability to touch people's lives. She has made our house a place where people can come and talk to someone who cares. 
But it's not all serious heart-to-heart talks. It's craziness, fun, laughter, and a real family who has struggles and problems and fun and everything that happens in life. 

Whatever you do, do it all the way.
When we went to Worlds for the first time in 2012, we weren't expecting anything big. We were just there to have fun, meet people, see gorgeous horses, share God's love, and have some awesome family time. Then Mom and Design won. Everything. World champion, reserve world champions, and the reserve World Grand champion. It was surreal!
Looking back on it afterwards, we all said, "You know, we really should have seen that coming." Because anything Mom does, she does all the way. She puts her all into anything she does in life.

But putting her all into it doesn't always mean winning. She put everything she had into training Beamer for Nationals 2013, and he bombed on her. Completely failed......showing is so hard for him. She was crushed, but came back and kept working, and kept working, and at the local show this spring, Beamer brought home the blues!

Last but not least, she always makes us laugh!! 
Burp dances......putting the clothes in the dishwasher.....forgetting where she hides things......twisting her words.....dancing around the kitchen playing air guitar on the broom.........tap dancing on the deck in English boots.....

♥ ♥ ♥ WE LOVE YOU, MOM!!!!!!!!!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥


  1. Amazing Tribute! So Touching! So True! Your Mom is so Blessed to have you, as you girls are so Blessed to have her <3

    1. Thank you, Helen!! We are so blessed....miss you!!! ♥ ♥

  2. Love, love, LOVE this post!! Your Mum reminds me a lot of mine! She sounds amazing. Happy Mother's Day to her!!

    1. I'm thinking our mom's are pretty similar ;) I told my mom the saying that your mom says about "lifetime on the hips"......she thought it was awesome :) :) :)

  3. Aw so sweet of you girls! And your Mama would say she is one blessed woman :-) And she is, but she is also a wonderful Mama that loves her Savior, and allows it to flow out of her. Not only to her family but all those she is around. I chuckled at the part of how your Mom gets to know people so quickly because of the questions she asks. I have always loved this about her! We are kindred spirits, no time for fluff, let's just open ourselves up and know one another. She is awesome, as well as your family. Love you all! Mrs. G.

    1. You two are very similar :) :) I know she misses talking with you!! Love you all, too ♥ ♥ ♥

  4. You have a beautiful and talented mother! Enjoyed reading your sweet post!
    I've nominated you for the Beautiful Blog Award at my blog.

    1. Thank you so much, Bethany!! And wow, thank you for the nomination!! I will definitely be answering your questions ;)