Really Listening

I always have too much on my mind. Maybe that’s to be expected, since I homeschool my daughters, run a freelance editing business from home, and well, just ’cause I’m a mom. I know I need to make sure I make time to just listen. So I often take a walk. One-on-one with each daughter, whenever circumstances allow. With no computer screen enticing me to waste a valuable 10-minute window, no editing deadline staring at me, and no chore screaming my name, with just a daughter by my side and my hiking shoes leading the way, I tend to hear—really hear—what my daughter has to say.

On one such walk, when she was only 7, my blond-ponytailed daughter gazed up at me with limpid-blue eyes and informed me she was going to some day own horses.
As we ambled around the equestrian parkland near our home—her favorite place to wander for hours—she assured me her horses would make kids happy, especially the kids who didn’t have money to pay for lessons—the kids whom she would be giving lessons for free.


Over the next few years, she learned about the amazing therapeutic benefits of time spent with horses, and her dream deepened. She would own a therapeutic riding ranch.


At 9, she put legs to her dreams. She became an entrepreneur, with a monthly customers and 3 retail locations, so she could start raising the money to someday own a horse. All of this effort and, mind you, we owned a .2-acre plot of land, with no possibility for any equine neighbors. But her dream grew on.


She volunteered for 3 years at a rescued horse ranch, where her dream took deep roots, immersed in the very setting she hopes to create herself one day.


Then God called our family to a new life, in a new home. From the mid-Atlantic to New England. From two tenths of an acre to fourteen. From a home where her dream seemed impossible, to a home where her dream could materialize. This spring, she’ll be putting wings to her dream. She’ll be adopting her own rescued horses, and the really hard work will begin.


How thankful I am that on that chilly day when the small 7-year-old hand tugged on mine and my precious daughter poured out the details of her dream, I was listening. Really listening.


 Meet Kayla here. (
Please consider following her KanineKookies FaceBook page and consider sharing it with any dog lovers you know who may like to encourage a noteworthy, hardworking young woman in her efforts to help others through therapeutic riding. The dogs will love the cookies, and all proceeds will go towards helping therapeutic animals and the people whose lives they will touch. Learn more here.


If you have future entrepreneurs in your family, have them check out Kayla’s short blog posts about entrepreneurship. She gives some simple tips that may help them get started, from why it’s important to do a cost/benefit analysis to how to order business cards for free. 

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