An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Monday, June 25, 2012


We've still been playing our daily game of "chase the goats" around here. We keep telling them that all they have to do is stand in their lush green pasture and eat the grass, but Nooooo, they insist on sneaking through the fence to eat in the horse pasture. Then, not being satisfied with the grass that was on that side of the fence, they sneak through yet another fence to eat in my yard or flower gardens. Their favorite variety seems to be the morning glories that we have waited for two years to bloom. Another strand of electric fence just went on the never-ending list. Goats .... you've gotta love 'em to keep 'em.

Friday, June 22, 2012


The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
~Zephaniah 3:17

I've sunken into a conformed expectation of grief the past couple of weeks, thinking that sad and crying (and hiding on my goat farm) is the only accepted way to mourn a son. It could have been the head cold, or my hermit nature, or the actual reality of the suffocating realization that life does go on when a child dies - take your pick I guess. I think it may have started when the lady at church forgot Trent's name. It sent me into a spiral of thinking that all of this pain was pointless, that even God may have forgotten his name.

So I've settled for numb and sulking, besides coughing and sleeplessness. But then it struck me like a 2x4 to the back of the head this morning: this is God's gift to me. Suffering, served with a pretty bow on top, all to know Him more; to count everything as loss in order to know Jesus (Phil 3:7-14).

I have longed for joy again, the simple kind of joy found in waking up and savoring a cup of coffee on the back porch, or having a horse ride and a picnic with the kids, or just looking at their beautiful faces without my heart breaking because I know the day could come when I may not see them again until my own eternity begins. I find myself lamenting over the fact that pursuing the things of this world don't excite me anymore. I'm not quite sure how to live from now until I see Jesus face to face.

I am a doer, and if I'm not "doing" I think I've failed. So I plant huge gardens, and build a goat herd up until the barn overflows, and start building screen porches, and make a long honey-do list because if I've got so much to do then everybody else around here has to be doing something, too. I fill the time, waiting for the days to pass. At the end of the day I think, "I'm one day closer."

In awe this morning I accept the gift, I quit drinking coffee and go brush my teeth, then head out to pull more weeds and ponder what exactly Jesus meant when He said He is coming soon and His reward is with Him. And I may even dance in the corn rows while I'm out there, farmers tan and all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

To Gain Dominion

I've been in survival mode here for the past couple of weeks. It all started with what I thought was just being tired from vacation, which turned into what I assumed was allergies, and finally turned into a full blown head cold. Days have gone by now of constant coughing and barely any sleeping, which has done little to help with my naturally cheery disposition about life.

If I haven't been coughing I've been out in the garden weeding, all the while chanting, "I will gain dominion! I will gain dominion!"

As the record stands, the weeds are winning.

After reminding the other people in this house that combined they eat more around here than I do, I got some half-hearted helpers, until finally I turned to my old standby: bribery. Yes, my sweet dumpling pies, weeding seven rows of potatoes is worth a little plastic whirling fan. They have two rows to go.

We harvested our first produce: radishes. Mmm-mmm! Radish sandwiches for lunch! White bread, butter, radishes and salt.

And the arial garden views your wondering about .... the latest addition to the never ending list: this old farmhouse needs a new roof. If it isn't a furnace shooting flames or a failing sewer, its leaking ceilings. Another opportunity to watch God provide. After discussing our life insurance policy, I consented to climbing up on the rooftop with Rob and holding the ladder while he climbed to the peak and leaned over to patch the worst spot and then take pictures for the insurance company. I'm thinking I'll go with blue shingles this round ...

A friend of ours died and presumably went to hell this weekend. I'm still trying to process the reality of it, too. I'm sure he wasn't planning on it when he got out of bed that morning. I'm sure he figured he'd get at least another day to really take this God stuff seriously. My mind wants to go numb. It wants to pretend there is no hell. It wants to pretend that sin has no eternal consequence. It wants to pretend that salvation can look worldly and still be salvation because he was my friend. The evidence was too real, though: his lifestyle did not leave any convincing evidence of being transformed by Christ.

I am so ready for eternity to begin. I am so ready for Jesus to come and reign. I wonder how much more; how much more ... how many more.

So I tell my kids again what we have already started to get used to: we're all going to die. When we do, I'm sure we'll be surprised that it was so soon; that it was us.

I've cried myself to sleep most nights again. Tears for missing Trent intermingled with tears for a boy who woke up to no father on father's day. Tears for the reality of a sin-filled world. Tears because I chose to not stuff the pain, but rather feel it and look at it and call it what it is.

And then I go weed again, because weeds are easy. And a leaking roof doesn't matter so much.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Keep Repeating to Self

I don't need another buck. I don't need another buck. I don't need another buck. I don't need another buck.

This has proven to be a buck year with the last of the goat girls delivering two bucklings and a precious doe. These were the much anticipated babies out of Jacob, from Brenda's farm in Missouri. I'm loving the colors! And their conformation! And their sweet, bubbly noses (as the kids say around here), plus those long ears! But since I already have three bucks to breed with this fall, I am resisting the urge to keep a fourth ... even if he is one of the most beautiful bucks to have been born to date on our farm, and we could use some more blacks in our herd, and he comes from tremendous milk lines ... I don't need another buck. I don't need another buck. I don't need another buck.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thousands Elsewhere

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Psalm 84:10

It was brought to my attention the other day that we are in the "thousand elsewhere" part of that verse. Hmmm... I've been pondering that thought for quite some time since. How glorious would it be, then, to have been in God's presence for 483 days?

I woke up this morning overwhelmed with the anxiety of the realization that it has been nearly sixteen months since I have seen my son's face, or held him in my arms, or heard his voice. I have cried a river of tears in those months. The old wooden floor of my bedroom becomes the battleground every morning as I fight for victory; a victory that I often times forget has already been won: a victory for the truth that those who believe in the Lord Jesus will be saved. I try to remember that these trials are only for a little while. I rejoice that I am allowed to participate in the sufferings of Christ so that I may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:13). I set my mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).

Better are 483 days in God's court than 483,000 days elsewhere.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bumpy Brown Toads

I opened the medicine cabinet in the barn yesterday to find a surprise: a big, brown, bumpy toad. I have a hunch that he probably didn't get there by himself.