I have a girlfriend moment here – a couple of weeks ago, God blessed me with an email from someone in the body who read my blog and liked it enough to ask permission to link to it. I sat and stared at the email and cried. Joyous tears mind you. This email was from a writer I admire. Someone who’s own speaker’s classes I’ve yet to attend because of finances, but want to dearly.
I was simultaneously thrilled and scared. He read my blog? oohh – The holy spirit left my brain and Deana kicked in. I can’t write now.. what if I write something stupid and he sees it.
Yep – me at my most real – fearful and neurotic.
Then God kicked in… somewhere deep and still and said “write baby girl, write.”
I know what Joy would tell me, if I’d shared this with her, “Well aren’t you full of yourself today?” Which is her way of saying “get over yourself and focus on God.”
So.. My eyes are back on the author and perfector of my faith.. I had a blog here for today, and the rapport step was just supposed to be the opening. Then I decided I liked the opening, but not the blog. So.. I’m leaving the opening for now. I hope you don’t mind.
I have a feeling, I’ll be looking at riders next year. Not the focus I was planning – but it’s the message that keeps finding me.
You’ve heard of hanging chads right, well this is a hanging rapport step. I learned about Rapport Steps from a workshop I went to last summer. After listening to our teacher take us into her stories in such a way that I felt like I was really there, I laid down everthing I thought I knew about speaking, put myself on hiatus and became a full blown student.
I hate it when I listen to a speaker and they use a story that obviously isn’t theirs, it robs them (in my eyes) of authenticity. Her stories were real and they made a real difference. I want to learn how to use my own experiences as rapport steps to stay authentic.
As a writer and speaker I know that rapport steps are supposed to be written last. I originally wrote this one to open a very specific message. Only when I finished writing it, I realized it didn’t fit with that message anymore.
As I’ve said before,I’m a teacher and I’m also student. I have been blessed to speak at various retreats and events over the years and right now I am on an intentional hiatus. Right now I’m putting myself thoughtfully and with purpose at the feet of people who are gifted in this area, traveling to do so when needed, so that I might learn from them. I have talent as far as speaking goes, and I get to use that talent, for God, in my own church at times. I also feel led by God to stretch that wall farther out. I want to be better. Not much of a sales pitch right now, I know. But I’m not selling anything so it’s okay.
I really wanted to write a really spiritual blog for the end of the year, after all everyone else is – instead dear readers, I leave you with a hanging rapport step as well as my heart. The heart of a student. The heart of a woman who knows the true rider first hand. A woman who sat by the fires of life only to have him appear out of the darkness, pick me up and carry me off.
I love cowboys. Real cowboys make me weak in the knees and render me speechless. All that hat tippin, and the way they drawl out “Maaa’aam.” So polite and so tall. Who needs Armani suits and Hollister cologne? Give me a real cowboy any day; all rough and tumble, scarred hands and polite hearts, a love for God, family, the outdoors, and for this great country.
Cowboys bring out the wow, with a capital W.
Don’t worry – my husband already knows that real cowboys can make me swoon when I least expect it. He’s kind of okay with that now. He wasn’t always, but he’s learning to be.
Living in Oklahoma, you’d think that would be a given. Loving cowboys that is. But it isn’t a given if you are from up north and never met one before. I’ve only lived in Tulsa for 15 years and I didn’t meet a real live cowboy until just six years ago. His name is Dale and he goes to my church. His wife, Janel used to teach Bible studies when we first joined Our Savior, and when I met her she was engaged to this tall drink of water cowboy who helped with her ranch. She was smitten. Jo, as we call her, is from Montana, she’s a rancher and it only makes sense that she would marry another rancher. Everyone was dying to meet him. And meet him, we did. That’s when I found out that cowboys can make me swoon.
They were having a cowboy BBQ at her ranch complete with a bon fire and the whole church was invited. As we were walking up, Jeff and I could see someone squatting down over a dug out pit in the ground, stirring a pot of cowboy chili so we went over to introduce ourselves.
Dale saw us approach and stood up to say hello. I think he’s about 6’2, but I’m not sure. I just know he’s tall. Dale shook Jeff’s hand and I stuck out mine to shake his. He looked at my hand and then this cowboy slowly turned to look at me. Instead of shaking my hand, he bent at the knees just a touch, touched the front rim of his hat, with his right hand, bowed his head ever so slightly, looked me in the eyes, held my gaze, and drawled out this “Maa’aaam” like I’d never heard it before.
My whole body just went limp. My hand that I’d stretched out to shake his suddenly found the collar of my denim jacket and didn’t know what to do. My eyes widened trying to take in the whole picture. My cheeks turned bright pink, and my mature grown woman’s alto voice, cracked and giggled like a school girl. All that came out my throat was an estrogen blush of a whisper of “oh my!”
Ah yes, that was definitely a day and year to remember. And if I forget, Jeff won’t. He hung his head and buried his face in his right hand like he does when I’ve done something crazy – it’s the “Let the world just swallow me right now” sign he sends from time to time. Dale turned and winked at him and when he saw him later he said “Sorry man.”
Later at the bon fire, I saw Dale ride in from out of the darkness, pass Jo, reach down and in one swoop pick her up and place her on the horse behind him and off they rode.
What woman doesn’t want a rider like THAT?
Side note: Dale and Jo got married the following year, and we were all there. They still go to our church and have two beautiful children. Raising young kids and teaching horseback riding keep Jo too busy to teach, but they are still our friends. And I still like cowboys – riders make me swoon what can I say? With good reason, but I’m ahead of myself.
This video clip is “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”, with Brooks and Dunn and Reba at the CMA’s.
I love the message in this song – it came out originally with the movie “Flicka” – and it stuck with me all these years.
The whole Cowgirls don’t cry thing, isn’t all that true – but the riding part? Definately.