Demaris is our prayer warrior. She at a very young age discovered the power of prayer & uses it faithfully. I am so blessed by her & this gift has taught me much, if we pray believing what answers we find! When she was about 5 years old she decided she wanted a horse so being a believer she prayed daily for a horse in the simple way children do,"please Lord help me to get a horse" everyday, week after week, year after year. I remember hoping she wouldn't be disappointed. One day while I was perusing books at our very small, very old library something wonderful happened. I was looking at the children's books & I looked up to see an old women with white hair watching us; my children & I. Soon we were introduced to Miss Kitty & an unconventional friendship started to grow, she was much older than I, she was from New York, she had only sons, she had horses & my list could go on. I still am amazed that God in Heaven orchestrates things so that "all things work together for good" so smoothly without our being aware. Out of this friendship Demaris began a journey of learning about horses in a very real way. Miss Kitty soon had Demaris coming over to her house to help with her horses & then she approached me privately about allowing Demaris to keep Smoke one of her ponies for the summer. I don't think Miss Kitty had any idea what she did for Demaris that summer! They wrote a contract saying Smoke would live at our house from Memorial Day - Labor Day, I still can see both of those white heads bending forward almost touching as they signed the contract that Demaris thought should be written. For a whole wonderful summer we learned about horses & had weekly Miss Kitty visits. I was pregnant then & as my belly grew so did Demaris grow from being a child to a girl. I saw her falling in love with an old pony & I watched her heart get captured in away it never had before. Soon summer gave way to fall & somehow Miss Kitty became part of our life, Labor Day came & Smoke still lived at our house. One day Miss Kitty asked Demaris what she would think about keeping Smoke, what if he lived with us until she outgrew this pony who for now filled her days? So another contract was written & again I saw the white heads touching as they signed that most important paper that truly answered years of prayer. The paper is put away in a green folder slowly aging. When winter came our Miss Kitty left us, out of this life her very wonderful spirit flew leaving us quite empty. As if she somehow knew to finish what she needed to do & to answer the prayers of a little girl were enough, she taught us all we know about horses & more than that about the gift of giving & simple friendship.
So seasons change & we grow. Demaris has also grown. This summer I saw her slowly changing from a young girl to somebody she is going to grow into very quickly in the next few years~ the women called Demaris. She is a beautiful girl who loves & feels things deeply. She still prays. I also see her holding onto the little girl she used to be & I ache for her. Change is hard for all of us. She has grown physically taller & looks older. She has begun middleschool & that brings a whole slew of new things. I saw her this past summer clinging to the old Demaris, the world of playing, tea parties, ponies & things in her control. Her relationships are changing, friendships are becoming ones that will last a lifetime. The muscular legs are becoming shapely & the white hair is still long & beautiful. Recently she was out with Smoke carefully brushing his mane that in winter is as white as her hair. He is growing older too. The girl & her horse. I wondered what her mind was thinking as she slowly pulled the brush over his winter coat. Later she came in & asked to talk with me alone. As my children do sometimes. We locked the bedroom door as my heart raced & my mind ran crazy with thoughts I looked over at her & she was crying. She then shared with me her fear. How she loved Smoke but she was too big to ride him anymore, How no one loves Smoke like she does. How bad she feels that she is not so into him anymore. I knew then that this was so much bigger than Smoke. This was top of the mountain she has been climbing all summer~the girl becoming a young women. I held her then as she wept & I got teary too because I know so well this road of growing & how suddenly we are out of our element & how everything seems different. Having 6 other children go through this stage of life I realized again how God is a God of wonders. He sent Miss Kitty to us for the season she was here, He gave Demaris Smoke because she prayed & she needed a pony so badly so that her faith could keep growing. I told her that Smoke knows how much she loves him & how Miss Kitty knew that someday she would get to where she is today & then she could pass the baton on to one of her siblings if she wanted to. Today Demaris says," no", she is still holding on to the pieces of her that are young & how she use to be. I told her that as long as Smoke is living he will be part of our family. I know God is working. I thank Him for that. I know Demaris can't go back because life is like that it keeps us in forward motion. I am excited to see who Demaris will be & where her paths will lead. Somehow a small horse named Smoke is part of who Demaris is. She is still young enough to hang posters on her wall saying " I Love Smoke" & that makes me smile. Again I am humbled by the children & people the Lord has blessed me with.