Rewind: My Journey Towards Choosing Joy

Below is a compilation of personal blog posts telling the story of my special horse and I, and the way we learned to trust together.  Please enjoy the stories and pictures.  Stay tuned for more posts telling about my more current experiences with horses, including a trip to this ranch just a month ago! 

“My Hero:” Posted on 2-17-11


Please read about my Hero. A horse who’s owners shot him twice, trying to kill him, but who fought and survived neverless. He lives at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, founded by Kim Meeder.







When I think about the ranch,  I think of forgiveness and acceptance.  Nobody is really turned away, we are welcome there.  I have endured and witnessed great suffering in my life.  Many times I gave up trusting in people, and I nearly gave up trusting in God. At times I would think to myself, “nobody understands. No one knows what its like.” but hero came along and he DID understand. What he had put trust in had betrayed him. He could have just laid down and died, something that I had often longed to do. But he didn’t. He kept going and going, and when he couldn’t go any longer, the angels from cpyr came and rescued him. Hero is like me in a lot of ways. He’s really adventurous, even though he has physical and emotional barriers. I’m kinda  like that too, I really like making new friends and doing lots of different things. Being busy distracts me from pain.  When I first road Hero, it was great! I was so excited. We were both learning together, about riding, and carrying a rider, about trusting. I immediately became attached to this horse, I loved his sense of humor, his trusting spirit, and I loved him because he was different.  He wasn’t just like any old horse, with 2 eyes, he only had one, and that made him extra special.  Hero remembered me. After a year of not being at the ranch, he remembered. It felt so special to be remembered, when so many “friends” don’t even“see” me.  I want to cry just thinking about my experiences at crystal peaks with Hero. The ranch is like a haven for me. I am reminded of the wonderful works of my father in heaven, when I come to the ranch and see his beautiful creation! I am talking and worshiping to Jesus all the time now. He has transformed my life this past year, and I AM living for him. Jesus is my best friend, he is real to me. He talks to me all the time, and I hear him. This passage has been such a blessing to me lately, it reminds me of why we are living, why things like crystal peaks exist.






Psalm 103


Of David.



 1 Praise the LORD, my soul;


   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.


2 Praise the LORD, my soul,


   and forget not all his benefits—


3 who forgives all your sins


   and heals all your diseases,


4 who redeems your life from the pit


   and crowns you with love and compassion,


5 who satisfies your desires with good things


   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.



 6 The LORD works righteousness


   and justice for all the oppressed.



 7 He made known his ways to Moses,


   his deeds to the people of Israel:


8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,


   slow to anger, abounding in love.


9 He will not always accuse,


   nor will he harbor his anger forever;


10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve


   or repay us according to our iniquities.


11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,


   so great is his love for those who fear him;


12 as far as the east is from the west,


   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.






To hear Kim talk about this amazing horse:



To read Hero’s story:




“Riding Hero:” Posted on 7-18-11














 So happy I got to finally go to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch today! It was a dream come true! I got to have a special Session with Kim Meeder, Owner and Founder of the Ranch. She and I had been emailing since before my birthday (in February) trying to figure out a time for me to come to the ranch. I was so privliged to get to spend time with Hero and Kim today. I was like VIP, having a special appointment.  We hung out for more than two hours, caring for Hero’s recent wound to the leg, grooming and cleaning him, training him in the round pen, riding, and taking pictures. Hero was so happy and playful! We were so happy together, reunited at last. AND….I found out that I am in Kim’s new book!!!!!! I just feel so blessed. You can read more about my story with Hero at previous blog post:

Hope you enjoyed the Pictures!

Loves and Blessings!

Choosing Joy: “Posted on 9-16-11


Well, you may have noticed that this blog has a new name! Why you might ask?  It is because over these last few months, my life has totallY changed, and since this blog is a small reflection of my life, its title need to change too.

When I started this blog back in the winter,  living step by step, day by day, was were I was at. It was a start, but that was it. But since then, things have changed!  I am trusting God, but instead of just walking cautiously through life, hoping I’m doing things right, and wanting to RUN, FULL THROTTLE into his perfect plan! Now of course this  change has been gradual, but it really hit me when I was blessed to get to go to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch  on Monday to ride Hero. (to read mine as hero’s story, read my previous blog post: Kim and I were talking about how Hero and I are alike. She said, “Both of you have endured alot, and society would give you every reason to be full of anger, bitterness, resentment, and depression. But both of you, through Jesus’ grace, are CHOOSING JOY!” This really hit me, and made me really happy. I realized that I have come a long way, And that through amazing ways of healing, I have that option, and I have made up my mind to take full advantage of it. 😀

Thank you for reading and I hope you will continue to read about how through Jesus I am finding victory over pain, peace amidst trial, everyday, choosing joy.

Excerpt from “The Strongest and Most Precious Memories of 2011:” Posted 1-12-12


Going to Crystal Peaks with Megan to ride Hero:

The most meaningful summer of my life was wrapped up on this day.  Megan very kindly set a whole day aside to take me to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch for a specially arranged meeting with the founder Kim Meeder and my favorite house, Hero.  This was the perfect day for reflecting and mentally preparing for the new schedule. Megan and I made wonderful conversation on the long car ride there and back, and I felt so refreshed as soon as I got to the ranch. Hero and worked really hard together. We are both learning together; learning about riding and learning about trusting.  At the end of the session the four of us (Kim, Megan, Hero and myself) sat together on the grassy hill cooling off and talking.  Our conversation made everything that I had been worrying about in my life fit together.  In fact, that is when the defining words “Choosing Joy” became a part of my vocabulary. After that day I felt equipped to face the trials that would come with a new school year. Those trials are coming, and am every day looking to Jesus to help me choose joy in the face of pain.

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