12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Bible Journaling, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

Scary Time

The past 2 months have been the scariest time of my life! The unknowns of walking with my hubby who faced a breakdown for major stress. What is it called so much now hit by many, many folks? Yep…mental health. What we faced was much more than just depression. It was a chronic mental state I have NEVER witnessed before let alone watching someone I love so deeply be affected by simply believing in lies and allowing the spiral effect that led to his breakdown.

He Guided Me

“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” Ishaih 42:16. Holding onto this verse over and over as our adult kids and I waited patiently for the Lord to heal our loved one. Many days of darkness just scared us to the core of what we were seeing and hearing from him. His unrationalization of simple things. Not being able to do simple tasks and little things set him off into fear and flight. I felt I had a new colt in training and trying to find the spot of calmness and peace became a moment by moment test and trial.

Talk about unfamiliar territory…we were in the middle of it!

The Unfamiliar

Mental health is scary because of the stigma I held in my own head. What I saw in movies, or read in other stories, or even the many I have ministered to in the past. I never really took the time to understand why the brain reacts to trauma, how it happens, and the symptoms that appear because of the trauma. When someone is stressed for a long period of time and not dealing with it by taking time to truly rest-stress symptoms will appear. Warning signs really. For my hubby it was more tired, short-tempered, anxiousness over small things, overthinking small things, little eye contact, not really listening, not doing the FUN things once done before, never taking time to “take a break”, and many more. Becoming familiar with symptoms or signs of depression and anxiety would have helped me be more in tune to him needing help sooner.

Smoothin’ out the road

YES, the Lord smoothed out the road! HOW? With many who came alongside us and helped us. First, learn what he was facing was ok. One therapist stated it’s ok to not be ok. Next, support therapist, support groups in our area, books like Turning Toward Joy, this was huge for us to find joy again. Learning from the Giants wonderful book by John Maxwell. And another one good for Dan was Experiencing God’s Forgiveness. If you have a loved one who has gone through abuse, addiction, divorce, or the many other life issues and has had difficulty forgiving someone especially themselves, this book is great! 

We also sought out natural ways to begin healing the brain. Fight the moods, anxiety, and of course the joint pain that comes from being on meds.  Being on meds to stabilize his state was needed. But along with that, we are doing supplements as well. In time, we hope to eliminate the meds as they have many side effects where natural supplements do not. Be proactive if you are facing the road of depression or know you may head into a season like winter. Taking some of these has made a world of difference. For me as well because with this trial I learned I need to take of myself as well in the area of mental health. 

Here are some I found out from Jonathan Otto’s series on depression. Wonderful experts who have seminars on the very issues we faced. 
MSM 
Anti-inflammatory supplement so important to take daily,  Glucosamine with Chondroitin Turmeric. 
And from Global Healing, Lithium Orotate

Connect with natural healing doctors in this area as they can best help you and your situation. Everyone is so different it is always best to consult with your own resources in the medical field and natural medicine. 

Hope in the Unfamiliar

Hope is on the way. One of my favorite songs and so true. The Lord will lead you. He will show HIS pathway to better health and out of the darkness that floods our world in the area of mental health. He has all the answers! Seek HIM…be in the Word daily, ask for prayer warriors as days can be hard for you to think, and most of all know, you are loved by a Mighty Savior who sees YOU and knows what you are facing. HOPE is on the way. He made a promise…He will do these things and not forsake you! Amen to that mental health!

Peace to you,

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and KEEP IN THE WORD

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

A weekend celebrating…REST

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you REST.” Matt. 11:28

On March 22 our ranch and 3 others are SPURRING other ranches and folks in ministry to come for a weekend of rest. A time to fellowship with other like-minded ministries and take some time to learn, worship, and enjoy all the Lord has blessed us with.

Goofy SPUR team

We are also very excited to have Troy Meeder from Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch come to speak and lead worship. Troy and his wife Kim have written many books. Average Joe is Troy’s book focusing on men and living a life for Christ. Troy is an adventurous guy, to say the least, and if you have a man in your life let me tell you they will be blessed BIG TIME with this read! My hubby Dan loved it and really learned much from his words. Even a little convicted too, which for any of us is a good thing.

We can’t wait to see how both men and women will be blessed by his speaking God’s word and giving us all a boost to get through yet another year of ministry serving kids at risk, trauma kids and adults, and others in need of hope and healing.

Troy’s wife Kim

Kim has written several books. Her story will truly grab you by the gut! Her childhood trauma left her with Hope…Yes, Jesus was truly her rescuer during a horrible situation no child should have to go through. The book Hope Rising will leave your heart full! Full of how truly our amazing Jesus is in the midst of such trials of life…all from a back of a horse. Another one of her books I highly recommend is Bridges Called Hope.

 

Kim’s style of writing is inspiring and as she paints a picture with each word you feel like you are right there. Kim and Troy have been gifted to express their journey and help others by embracing God’s truths. In the midst of very difficult situations, they have a God who loves them and will never let go! You will be blessed as you embrace each story. 

How Ranch Ministry Began

Troy and Kim started their ranch over 25 years ago. All from their love of horses, their personal journey in life with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the gift of the beautiful property overlooking the sisters, the Cascade Mountains which the Lord had a perfect ministry platform for. Their story became a vision and boost for other ranches like us to carry out the call using our horses to serve our communities.

Just Answer the Call

It’s not easy when the Lord asks us to step out and do the uncomfortable or what may seem like the impossible. But when you do, it is absolutely the most amazing ride you will personally ever be on!

For More Information…

Be A Blessing

If you do choose to purchase one or all those books above, you will be a blessing to our ranch ministry as well as Chrystal Peaks. In advance, thank you! Every little bit helps us meet the needs of so many in need of healing and hope!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Bible Journaling, Empower, Hope, The Boys

We sure get ourselves into a rut when we focus on the worst part of ourselves. We can even try to hide from connecting with God because we have deep feelings of shame or guilt. The best gift we can give ourselves is who we are to Whom knows are deepest soul.

Do you ever find yourself pretending to be someone else? Hiding from the world who you really are? I can tell you from experience this can be exhausting.  But there is Hope.

Being in the presence of Jesus with all of our junk with our guilt, shame, naked before Him we come into the very presence of grace, love, and forgiveness. Only if we are willing to choose. Only if we are willing to come before this Throne of Grace will we experience the Hope.

In a similar way to our Jesus, horses bring out our true selves. Horses don’t pretend and are not self-conscious. They don’t worry about how their hair looks, if they are too fat or too thin. Horses show up exactly how they are full of grace and pure honesty. They are not ashamed to be afraid or to show contentment.  

The Gift of Being True To Self

When I am in the presence of our horses, I can take a deep breath and release the pressures of the things I am holding in. By gazing into their beautiful brown eyes, these giants who have reason to fear me, brings me peace. Just like Jesus. 

“Do you give the horse his strength, or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” Job 39:19  The Lord does this and yet the horse contents to gentle this strength to befriend us. They can help bring us into a closer, deeper relationship with our Creator God by simply experiencing the picture of who we are and Who He is.

Often we can be such a klutz in how we approach our Lord.  Just like the horses, He is available offering us the greatest gift EVER…Himself and just as we are. 

We can choose to overcome any false truth about ourselves when we experience the Bigness of our God!

May each of you find the Truth and open the Gift! Unwrap whatever you feel is keeping you in the box. Trust this truth… He is worth it and so are you!

God’s blessing upon you all.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Bible Journaling, Hope, Ministry
As Advent is now approaching this word just fills my soul! Promises. It is a word that when you hear it you either feel a sense of hope, or you immediately remember a promise that was broken and the sound of the word makes you upset, angry, or maybe abandon. Your trust for that person or group of people has left you with a permanent mark. As a result of either experience, let’s look at the promises fulfilled and bring us to a place of trusting once again in Someone Who never forgets a promise. Advent is a time of recalling the promises of God. Promises to remember what God had told His people long ago would happen. The whole Old Testament is filled with the promises of God. A promise to Abraham he would Father as many descendants as the stars in the sky. Genesis 15. A promise to the Israelites they will be taken out of slavery and see the promised land. Exodus 12 A promise to HIS people He will send a Counselor, Peacemaker, a King, a Savior. Isaiah 9 In the New Testament, we begin with a Promise fulfilled in the birth of a Child, Who has come to save the world. God sends the Perfect Promise. Jesus. Yes our God keeps His promises and it truly is what gives me hope every day! I put tabs on my bible with the words PROMISE so on those down days, I can quickly go to them. Humans not so much. Humans simply cannot do what God can do. We promise breakers. WHY? Because of our selfish ways, our own agenda, or simply life in general. We cannot fulfill all the promises that our family and friends would love for us to do. In ministry, working with teens especially, making promises is a NO NO! First, they most likely already came from a place of abandonment. Consequently telling them I will do something or give them something when I am not sure, just leaves an open door for lack of trust. Instead, I trained myself to respond, “I will try” or simply “that will not work for me I won’t be able to that.” Being honest and open breeds trust and a stronger relationship in the future. This goes for any relationship. Young or old…do not make a promise we simply do not have the capability like God to see the future. With our Lord Jesus coming as a baby, God’s promise and plan was being fulfilled. Imagine all the people in the Old Testament that heard about this prophecy of a Savior coming, but it didn’t happen in their lifetime. Some lost hope in the wait. Some even left the faith altogether. But for the ones who hung on, without sight, without the story of a baby in a manger Who is called King of Kings and Light of the World, those individuals are rejoicing in heaven with HIM. They may not see Jesus or read about Him in the what we call the Bible now, but they are experiencing the same Hope we will soon have. We too have not seen the Lord Jesus in the flesh, but we have this side of the cross where we know what happened and what will happen due to His Holy Word. We have the story. We have the facts. We have the proof. We have Jesus, who came as a baby, walked the earth as a man, and died on a cross to save us from our sins. We are on this side of the cross with the WHOLE picture. I know there are folks who have had promise after promise broken and they have given up hope…TRUST. I get that. I have had people do the same to me. But…they are human. Jesus is not. He is God our Savior who paid a price. The price of dying a horrible death for my sins. Every time I get angry, or gossip, or hurt someone I picture Jesus being beaten. His painful death. I know there are folks out there that don’t think they sin. They feel they are good people. I don’t think anyone who says that understands when they hurt someone by words or actions that is a sin. Or when they have told a “white lie” it is still a lie. There is not one human being who can say they have held the 10 commandments perfectly. Not one. We are not perfect and without sin. Hence we need of a Savior. A promise kept that has everlasting, eternal rewards. I can’t wait to meet my Promise Keeper! Can you? This advent season whether you are alone, or have a family, take this time to research all the promises in the bible. I can make one promise because it has come true for me and thousands of others. You will not be disappointed or feel abandoned. Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not dismay, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my right hand. **If you’re pondering a gift idea for your child or grandchild, think about the gift of HIS Word. Dayspring has many fun ways to open the child or teen into God’s love for them. Ideas to inspire daily reading and prayer! I encourage you to check it out! Links are on our blog. (which help our ministry) Living on the Promises of God today and every day! In Jesus name, Love deeper, talk sweeter and walk-in HOPE, Lee **The picture in this post is of a young teen who was building trust with the horse. She was understanding through the horse’s response how trust in a relationship begins with herself. She must be consistent, patient, kind, and be a partner, not a boss. This teen 3 years later experienced a trial of a loss so huge! To get through such a trial took trust and faith in Jesus Christ, promising her Hope!
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Hope, Overcome
This year we are celebrating 20 years that our son Mitch got his second chance at life. A living related liver transplant gave sacrificially by his dad. We are in awe every day of how our God works, especially in offering us second chances. Our extended family, our niece, is about to receive that same gift of life.  Anna is her name and she will be undergoing a kidney transplant in the weeks ahead. Presently, she is doing dialysis three times a week and building strength.  She is also beginning the stages of undergoing the testing as well as hoping one of her brothers will be able to step up and be the donor. (Just typing this is giving me the flashbacks and chills!) Think about this for a minute what transplant really is all about. It takes two. Two lives. Two organs, one good, one bad. Two hearts. Two fears. Two hopes. And MANY praying!   Transplants have become one of the leading surgeries for giving someone a second chance. I love the picture this paints! One life is sacrificing themselves for the other to have a life. In some cases when looking at cadaver donors, there are many lives that can be saved from just one person who has died. I am still overwhelmed by that! One donor saves up to 14 people! But it took a sacrifice. The family member of that person who died is allowing for a very different celebration of life ceremony. Can you picture that? They may be gone physically, but they are living and active in many others. WOW! Only our God can do that! For the living related transplant like we endured and our niece will undergo, is still the same sacrifice. The one giving is susceptible to problems, health and otherwise. Yet, many of us would not hesitate to do what it takes to help a loved one, no matter what the cost. Like my husband, like whoever is CHOSEN for our niece. A very special gift indeed.   You see, I believe the Lord works through all these things. He has a specific plan in place and purpose for each one who is undergoing times of trial. For Anna and her family, they each are given this opportunity to trust and believe our Jesus. To know HE has her in the palm of HIS holy hands. “For I hold you by your right hand…I the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid, I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13 How amazing it that VERY promise for the God who created her, and who knew this day would come!  The God of the universe is holding her hand. That is just plain powerful! AND…comforting!  Below is a song I hope will encourage any of you who need a second chance. You may not need a transplant physically. But you may need one spiritually. Today is the day. Our Jesus can be your Jesus. And HIS promises can be promises you can claim. We have witnessed over and over HIS faithfulness and HIS promises have all come true! (You can read our story in my March 28th post, Mitch’s birthday.) This song is especially a blessing to me in all seasons, but in a trial, HE does show HIS faithfulness! Listen, I think you will find it true for you too.    From time to time, we all need to undergo a transplant of our hearts and mind. We all need to exam our lives and ask God to give us a transplant, a second chance, and a new hope. Taking time each day to OPEN HIS word and read about how your life can be changed and renewed will empower you to face the trials ahead.  We believe today in a God who will heal Anna. We choose to put our faith in the Great Physician and put our hope in HIS HOLY HANDS! May the peace of our Lord be with you! Love deeper, talk sweeter and be thankful for your second chance, Lee    
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Bible Journaling, Healing, Ministry, Peace
In the midst of going through a really difficult time, have you ever had anyone tell you “thank God for this situation”? Or “God has a purpose for your suffering right now.” Have you in return wanted to just belt them one? Or simply be just so angry you walk away and think to yourself, “they have no idea what I am going through.” I can tell you I have been on both sides. I know the feeling of going through something so difficult I thought my world was falling apart. And at that moment, it seems NOTHING anyone says will comfort me. But I also have been with people suffering through tough things and in the right timing, I have stated the above. WHY? How can I be so thoughtless? On the contrary, it is bringing someone to the place that they are not in control and to bring them to the place of Jesus who IS. The Bible tells us, “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose for them. “ Romans 8:28 When looking at this verse and going through trials in our lives, it is important to fall back on the word of the Lord. NOW, if someone I knew was not a follower of Jesus Christ, I would not share such thoughts at that time. They simply would not understand. But for one who has given their heart to Jesus, it is in times of trials we see that God does have a purpose for everything that HE allows. We, of course, cannot see it at the time. That is where faith comes in. Hebrews 11:1, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for, it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” We have NO idea what God is up to and all we can fall back on is FAITH…because that is what HE tells us to do and we wait and HOPE. The Lord promises, Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in HIM.” Psalm 34:8 Do you see that? WE who hang onto to Jesus during a trial are called BLESSED! He is good no matter what. So, therefore, now here is the hard part…GIVE THANKS! WHAT? Give thanks for this incredible trial! Are you nuts? Let’s go back to what the Lord says, “give thanks to the Lord for HE is good.” Psalm 136:1 Imagine your in the hospital room with your dying child and your head is bowed, tears flowing, rocking yourself in sadness, and your saying out loud: “I am giving thanks to you Oh Lord, for YOU alone are good. You alone are Master; You alone are the Great Physician. I give this child to you. Thank you for allowing this as I know you will cause all things to work together for Your good. I will trust in you alone and by faith will wait on You.” Praying aloud, giving God the glory in the trial will give you peace as you place it all in HIS hands. Is it easy? We are not promised easy on this side of heaven. Will all things go away in that trial? Probably not. Will your faith be stronger? Mine was. Will you look back on the trial and see God’s GOODNESS and FAITHFULNESS? I did! Can you share with someone else that same trial you went through to help him or she hold on during their trial? They too will TASTE AND SEE that HE is good! I believe we all go through trials to share with others who face trials that God fulfills all His promises. It sometimes takes your story and sharing it with another for that person to get through their trial. Don’t be afraid to share. So many are hurting and need to hear that God is GOOD even when they can’t see it! God’s blessings upon you. Love deeper, talk sweeter and share God’s love and HOPE! lee
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Empower, Hope, Overcome
I had a session today with a young teen. It wasn’t as joyful as I thought it would be as her story was filled with pain and no hope.  Pain that many of us would rather not see and if you could hear her story would bring you to tears. The pain of sex trafficking. This teen had been trafficked for over 3 years. She is 17 now. Marked for life. Memories that will not be easily erased. During our session, she was struggling with fear. Fear of what she will become now? Will the pimp come after her? Will she ever have a “normal” day… EVER? As she played with the horse each fear came upon her. This huge horse was like all her fears in one big body. Yet…she could move the horse. She could back him up. She could move parts of his body with only a look. She could even have him dance around her and with a simple bend of her knee, he would swoop his neck around and trot right into her! She was overwhelmed with a moment of feeling like she was in control and this new friend with 4 legs wanted to be her partner in a loving, respectful way. For the first time, she experienced a healthy relationship based on trust and love! Tears began to flow. Tears not of sadness but of hope. HOPE that life CAN be different. We ended the session with her taking some essential oils that we love from Rocky Mountain Oil. She would go through the oils and place them on the horses back and feet. She would use different oils she liked. I decided to let her choose an oil, offer the horse to sniff it, and if he liked it to rub it wherever she wanted. She chose his back and his feet.  She chooses Peppermint, Lavender, Aligning (which is a wonderful blend great for alignment) and I asked her why those places and she responded, “because he carried me through and I think this will help him feel better.” I gave her an empty bottle and told her to pick 3 of her favorite oils and put a few drops in the bottle. This bottle would be what she could use whenever she needed to feel like she needed to be “carried” again. Each drop represents tears. Tears are ok. I went on to tell her how our Jesus holds our tears in a bottle. I put her oil in this little silk pouch with the verse, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in a bottle.” Psalm 56:8 NLT. I also like these pouches as well. She walked down our long driveway with a bottle of HOPE which will empower her to overcome her past and begin a new life.
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Healing, Hope
Mark 5:21-39 This bible passage is overwhelming me right now! It’s our son’s 20th and here is why. Imagine Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue PLEADING with Jesus. A man whom all Jairus co-workers hated. Why was he pleading and pleading fervently my NLT states? Because his daughter was dying. He didn’t care what people thought. What consequences would come from him approaching Jesus? He just wanted his daughter well. Have you ever been there? Have you ever gone before the holy throne Pleading fervently for some hope, answers, rescue? We have. But sadly at the time, I wasn’t a believer. I was only going through the motions. Church on Sunday, pray before meals, doing the church motions when needed, but no REAL relationship with Jesus. Until I had a crisis. My child was dying. My child was in need of healing. I pleaded fervently, but sadly the Bible states in John 9:31 “We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but He is ready to hear those who worship Him and do his will.” I was a sinner. I am a sinner now. What is the difference to Him hearing my prayers now versus then? The Lord woke me up during that time. He used this crisis to draw me closer to Him. He allowed this time of suffering for our son and us to say, “to Whom do you serve?” I was serving only me. No relationship with Jesus. Not admitting I needed a Savior. Not forgiving ones who hurt me or confessing I am nothing without Him. Our son did get a miracle. He did survive. But I believe it was not because of my prayers. It was because of the many who were believers. The many who sat and pleated fervently before the Lord as they were worshipping Him and doing His will. Jesus says to Jairus, “don’t be afraid, just have faith.” Faith is believing. Faith is not just doing the motion and never repenting. Going about our own ways, not God’s ways. Choosing what is best for us, instead of asking the Lord what is best. That is a clear sign of a person not doing God’s will. Faith is encompassing His word and truth and allowing the truths to make you change not run away, get angry, or worse yet only take what “feels good”. “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1. Another word, faith is trusting full heartily the Lord is in control of the situation and YOU and ME! Faith is letting God do HIS work, HIS way and our job are to let Him and repent. Jesus healed the young girl just before He met Jairus’ need. Jesus asked for what from the girl? FAITH… that is what made her well.! Now, look at what came next. This was huge for me. Jesus asked ONLY Peter, James, and John to go with Him. Not because they were special, but because they had FAITH and believed this girl was not dead and Jesus was in control. The crowds laughed. But in a few minutes, only believers witnessed the miracle. She was asked by our Savior to get up and she did! It is only by grace that it took another 3 years before I was reading my bible and the passage consumed my heart. “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 23 But I will reply, I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws. It was at that moment I fell to my knees, and confessed, and cried out, “no more Jesus. I am yours. I repent of my selfish ways. Make me new, and change me.” THREE years AFTER the crisis. What took so long? PRIDE. I am thankful to this day for 2 things. ONE that He used such a trial to wake me up. I do thank Him now and then for our son getting sick to the point of near death to save me. (another hard thing to do is thank the Lord for a trial, but realizing He will do something amazing in it) TWO, for the believers who were praying for a miracle. It was there pleading fervently that the Lord heard. Not mine, not my husband (even though he met Jesus a week later in recovery that saved him. It didn’t take him 3 years) But believers. I know this may seem hard to understand or even for some to be offended. But I believe the bible is true. The WHOLE bible even the parts that are hard to hear or read. The parts that make us realize who we are in Jesus’ eyes. A sinner, in need of a Savior! If you’re offended, I get it. I was there. It is good to be offended like the Pharisee’s were. BUT, don’t continue to be a Pharisee like in the passage in Matt. 7:21…You have the choice to change all of that. Our son is 22 today. It has been 20 YEARS. He was given a second chance. WE ALL WERE! How amazing is our God! God loves you! Love deeper, talk sweeter and open your heart to where to go from here, Lee
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