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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

100 Little Peepers

Since our incubator incident from a few weeks ago resulted in only one hatched chick, which didn't survive twenty-four hours, Cole and I shifted gears on the chicken farming and called the people who know how to hatch out chicks: we ordered 100 pullets from Sunnyside Hatchery. Just a quick shout out for Sunnyside Hatchery~ these chicks came to us so healthy and strong, Sunnyside's prices are fabulous with no shipping charges, plus they have very friendly customer service~ so, if you need chicks this spring give them a call.

For several years now we have raised chicks for resale to the nice people who search Craigslist. These peepers will live their happy little lives in our basement for the next 4-6 weeks until they are well started and ready for new homes. In return, our chickens will have their feed bill paid for a few more months and we will continue enjoying all those farm fresh eggs.

A Winter Walk

I wonder when it is that you start living again after your eyes have been opened to eternity. I wonder what you start living for after your eyes have been opened to eternity. When you have seen the brevity of life, the short number of our days, and have tasted of the glory of God, I wonder how to get back to what I've considered as living for most of my life. I can't get my focus to be back here: back to buildings and dreams and plans that won't last. But I don't know how to live eternally minded and still function doing the day by day things that need doing. So I take Traci's advice, which she tells me was originally my advice, and just be where I am; be where God has me. I take the walks, I love my daughter, I see what God has put before me. I look for the little details of His hand and trust His leading. It's all so simple that way.

Monday, January 30, 2012



I don't even know how to fully grasp the concept of God's glory, but my brain continues to go back to it. Somewhere deep within my soul the longing to see this glory rules over everything else: over any of this worlds glittering objects, over the pain of grief, over my own ways and thoughts of what it should look like. In John 17:24, Jesus says: "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."

What a narrow, shallow, short-sighted concept of God we have. As the one year anniversary of Trent's death looms over us I have given in to depression and defeat. Micah, in his simple faith-filled, child's perspective suggested the other day: "Mom, just don't think about Trent so much, and then you won't cry all the time." Which turned into the round-and-round debate of who would I miss more if they died: Trent or Cole, Trent or Micah, Micah or Cole, etc., etc., etc. Children, with their child like faith; brothers, who will forever be trying to triumph over the other one, even in death.

What a simple suggestion: just quit thinking about Trent and go on living until Jesus comes back. He is with God, after all. I forget that too often. I see only with these earthly eyes. I don't see the Master's plan from before the creation of the world, like God does. I don't see the "little whiles" in the same time-frame as He does. I only see, from a mother's breaking heart, that the turn of the calendar means I have lived nearly 365 days without my first-born son.

What I long to remember is that Trent has been with God those nearly 365 days. I long to remember how long eternity is, how short our lives here really are; to remember what really matters is that God saved him through Jesus Christ. I long to remember how this Savior has drawn me closer to Him in this past year than at any other time in my life, that He has revealed this glory greater than I could imagine, and that this is only a shadow of His glory that will be revealed when there is no longer a curse of sin to veil it. I long to remember the souls that have already been won in this battle: the lost souls, the complacent souls, the hurting souls, the souls in desperate need of hope.

I remind myself over and over and over again that God is sovereign, that the plans He has for us are good, that those He foreknew He chose before the creation of the world for His purposes, and that those purposes will be fulfilled at exactly the right time. I try to keep it all in perspective so that my eyes will continually be pointed heavenward.

But they are so often pointed here. Here, to the empty woods, the socks still in the sock basket, the spotted goats and the puppies that will never be seen. Here, to the battles that continue to rage. Here, to the defeat that sinks me so quick. Here, to the brokenness and pain that cannot be spoken of but will one day receive justice as well.

So I go to my knees again. I go the the promises found in the Bible again. I seek this God that sometimes seems so far away. I commit myself into His hands, His plans, His purposes. I trust that in His time I will see that glory firsthand.

By His grace, yet again, I will strive to live like today may be the day I see that glory. I will live anticipating it so that I might not be found disappointing to my Savior when He returns for His children. Oh me of little faith, how will it be when I see this God face to face? How will I answer for not drawing deeply from the well of living water, free for the taking, an abundance of grace for the asking, grace without even asking, a hand leading, a Spirit guiding? How I long to be found faithful on that day; how I long to be trusting Him on that day.

"You believe at last!" Jesus answered His disciples. (John 16:31)

Friday, January 27, 2012

All In A Farm Week

What an exciting couple of farm weeks! Within a matter of days we welcomed 16 new critters to our farm, of which I was privileged to assist in 11 of those births. The excitement continued this week on Sunday evening, while I was in the middle of making a third batch of goat's milk soap, when Cole and Micah went down to the barn to start chores. Cole came racing up to the house to anounce that there was a new baby goat! Being that Belle was overdue I expected her, but was surprised to hear that Susan had delivered a little buck. Oh-wise-goat-farmer that I am, I hadn't expected her to deliver for at least another week, so she wasnt even in a kidding stall. Cole found the baby just born and still wet outside the barn door, and by the time I could get my snow gear on and run down he had them settled into a stall. He is of the Narnia line, so we donned him "Caspian".

After finally finishing up my soap, giving up on Susan to deliver another baby, and kissing my kids goodnight I finally sat down, exhausted, to eat a very late supper . . . only to race up the stairs to get the kids out of bed because Lady's water broke. The naughty dog ran away in the excitement and busy-ness of Thanksgiving guests last fall and had a rendezvous with the neighbor dog before we realized she was missing; luckily the neighbor dog was a lab mix, too. Sixty three days later and we found ourselves surrounding her in the living room, anxious to see the first little black puppy face appear in another miracle of birth. By 1:00 a.m., after four new roly-poly pups were born, we assumed she was done so all headed up to bed. We woke up the next day to two more pups: three girls and three boys.I chanced a day away to go get groceries for my own kids, guessing and hoping that Belle wouldn't be delivering on Monday. On Tuesday morning (before the coffee was even done) I was getting ready to head down to the barn, and on my way stopped to rescue a stunned cardinal from the cats.

Once at the barn I found a suspicious looking Belle and decided to bring her up to the basement "just in case." By the time I poured my coffee and went down to check on her, she was about ready to push. Cole and I welcomed two new beautiful baby does to the farm! Hurray Belle! We needed some more girls this spring: 7 bucks and 3 does, and one of them a beautiful spotted girl besides! Cole named them Princess Leia and Padme. No more babies are due until March . . . except the order of 100 pullets which will {Lord willing} arrive next week.

Monday, January 23, 2012



As I was making the bed a while back God impressed upon me that I was the "lucky" (as in the definition of lucky meaning favored) one. Grief longed to consume that morning; the impression had been preceded by many tears, prayers, and waiting for strength to start the day. As the tears continued, the blessings that come with suffering began: I realized that I can't even get out of bed in the morning without the thoughts of heaven and eternity; I can't begin my day without coming to terms with God; I no longer consider my days my own, let alone my dreams, ideas, or my very life, but wait for God's leading.

"Lucky" is having your eyes opened to God, no matter the cost.

I spoke to a young man the other day about Jesus. My walls had been built high and strong, and I had vowed there would be no break in them for my own protection, but then this young father broke all protocol and walked over to where I stood alone. After the small talk, I asked the all important question, "How's your walk with God?"

We've all learned the game, the game of Sunday smiles and every body's saved; life will go on forever anyway and there's always tomorrow to ask and decide. But life doesn't go on forever, and tomorrow may never come. The facade of the game is shattered, and I can't stomach the rules of it any longer. A bit of digging revealed the truth, to both of us. Game over. Now truth can begin, truth can be said, fears are revealed, honesty is given words, genuine prayers can be lifted for a brave man who is walking the line of no decision being a decision that one day he will wake up to the realities of.

I talked to a mother a while back. She wondered how you get to where I am; I wanted to ask her where it is that I am. Please tell me, because I don't always know.

Where I am is clinging to God. Where I am is battling, moment to moment, for grace to believe, to trust, to hold-on. Fighting for breath, literally; fighting for reality; fighting to see beyond this world to a sovereign God who holds it all in His hands, including me. Where I am is on my knees, begging for strength. Where I am is in the Bible, constantly repeating the words and promises, trusting in them. Where I am is looking intently for God's glory, now as well as future. Where I am is believing in the One who gives and takes away. Where I am is waiting for Jesus to return and make this all right; waiting for the curse to be lifted and for the tears to be wiped away.

As the tears flowed down her face, all I could ask her was if she trusted God with her teen-age son's life. That's all that I'm doing; that's where I am.

I have been reading Uncle Tom's cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. When I remembered part way through that the little girl dies I almost quit reading, but I am so glad that I have continued. As much as the book is about the atrocity of slavery, it really is a testimony of the gospel at it's core. After Eva's death, the author says:

"Thine is the victory without the battle - the crown without the conflict."

Some battles are won even before they are fought; other battles continue for years. I think of Trent's short life: he was a child his whole life, he never tasted of the cares and concerns of adult trials, or battled the battle's of years worth of sins. His was the "crown without the conflict".

I realized the other day that I could potentially live another 50 years . . . waking up every morning for another 50 years to fight for the victory of this battle. I thought of the blip of our lives on the screen of eternity. How would you even begin to measure eternity? And where would 12 years, 50 years, even 88 years fall on that line? In the grand scheme of things, isn't it the other side of eternity that matters? Isn't it where we are on that side that we should be more concerned about rather than our short time here?

Another line from the book was said by Eva's father, St. Clare, shortly after his daughter died. He had been indifferent to the gospel his daughter continued to share with him, until he had to come face-to-face with who this God was and what eternity held. He said, "I am braver than I was, because I have lost all; and he who has nothing to lose can afford all risks."

Eleven months ago I held on to this world and it's trinkets with a tight grip; I have been forced to let go. Actually, it was God's mercy that released my grip; it was a direct answer to prayers that Rob and I had been praying for right before the accident. Prayers for God to wake us up to Him; prayers to draw us closer, to know Him deeper, to live our lives for Him, to use our son in a mighty way for the gospel. We are braver now, because we have lost all. We see eternity clearer now, we see God clearer now, we see our short days clearer now and are counting the cost of how we live them. There is nothing in this life left to lose; we can afford all risks that hindered us before from trusting God, knowing God, telling others about God.

St. Clare asked Uncle Tom at one point, "How do you know there's any Christ, Tom? You never saw the Lord."

"Felt Him in my soul, mas'r - feel him now!" was Tom's reply.

I feel Him in my soul; feel him now. I long for the day I will see Him with my eyes; see what Trent see's; know what Trent knows. Fifty more years here does not thrill me; the sooner I see my Savior face to face the better.

Second Thessalonians 1:10 says that those who have believed will marvel at Jesus when He comes in His glory. Marvel at Him. First Peter 1:5 says that God Himself is a shield through faith. As the waves of grief consume, the panic attacks, gasping for breath, flashbacks of hospitals and policemen, I envision that shield of God Himself surrounding me. The enemies arrows are poised and thrown, but the shield of God protects. I hold on to God's grace that He continues to give; His eternal encouragement and good hope (2 Thes 2:16). Eternity is where my eyes are focused; eternity is what I continue to look forward to.

Friday, January 20, 2012

More Spots Today!

More spots today! Lucille delivered twins this morning~ two more little bucks, but oh-so-beautiful!

Niece Hannah is spending the week with us to help with deliveries, and God answered our prayers that she would get to witness one. Due to below zero temps last night I decided to bring Lucille down to the basement as she was showing signs of delivering in the next "2 hours-to-2-weeks" (with just a few smirks of disbelief I might add).

But this morning as I got up to put wood in the stove I was so glad that I had brought her in! I barely had time to get up the stairs, wake 4 excited kids up, and get back down to the basement to catch a baby. And, right behind the first baby was a second baby, in the same sack. Hannah was going to catch a baby, but it all happened so fast that there was no time. She did get to help dry them off and watch them stand and nurse, though.

Another doe is due today, and then one more *hopefully* next week or so. Off to do another goat check . . .

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Babies, Babies, Babies

Just more goat pictures . . . 'cause their so cute! Years of selective breeding, culling, and dreaming have finally resulted in a basement full of beautiful spotted goat kids, although that dream still includes a finished barn so that they can be in the barn instead of the basement next year.

This is exactly what our goat dreams looked like all these years.

Dixie is the one-teated, older doe from a previous post, who had the triplets. Poor momma! She will forever be feeding! Two bucks, and one little doe: Ele May, Eli, and Levi.
Asha is the proud momma of the spotted bucklings. I had asked God for one beautiful buck from Asha to keep for breeding back this fall to the other does (due to her unbeliavably beautiful udder~ a goat milkers dream), and He gave me two gorgeous boys. One will be available for sale if anybody is interested in a handsome boy (now, later? I haven't decided yet): Barnabas and Boaz, after a dear friend.

I downloaded some birthing videos for those who are interested on Youtube, click here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stuff . . .

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,

because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

perseverance, character;

and character, hope.

And hope does not disappoint us,

because God has poured out His love into our hearts

by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

Romans 5:2b-5

The camp called yesterday and left a message asking if Trent might want to come to the youth retreat in February. I know . . . just let that sink in for a bit. Just another goofy grief thing that seems to never end. Umm, no, Trent won't be able to make it this year, he has better plans. I laughed, I banged my head on the table, and then I cried. A book will be in the mail soon . . .

It's been a week of "haunting"~ making enchiladas for movie night again, pulling into the grocery store parking lot just as an exact snowmobile-coat-clad-patron walked by, vivid dreams, the ushering in of the "seconds" with the birth of the new goats. I figured once the firsts were over we'd be on the easy side of grief; I guess I was wrong.

Cole tripped on the china hutch yesterday, which refreshed more eleven month old memories. The day before the accident Trent had been running through the dining room, tripped on the leg of the hutch, the door flew open and out came crashing down numerous long-stemmed glasses that we use for our fancy birthday suppers. He was going to tell me and apologize the next day. I never got around to making any fancy birthday suppers the past year to realize they were missing.

My brain has refused to think this past week: complete overload. So I let it rest, and I rest, and I function on auto-pilot to keep cooking, and doing chores, and raising kids, and waiting for eternity to begin. Words could barely even break through as the balm that they usually are. I stayed where God had me; I trusted His leading. I indulged in ignoring the computer; I indulged in loving my kiddos; I indulged in letting life be simple.

This morning God led me to the Romans passage to wrestle again with suffering, hope, joy, glory. My brain doesn't understand justification through faith leading to peace with God at this point. My brain just wants to stay fuzzy in it's vitamin D lacking winter hibernation: sometimes it feels safer there. But on my knees I know this God; this God of big words and bigger truths. I long for this God, to really know Him, and realize that suffering is a huge part of it.

The suffering is what causes us to look for hope.

It's a grasping at this point; barely holding on by the fingertips as I strive to live moment to moment some days, but it's still there: hope. Hope in the glory of God, hope in the glory yet to be revealed, hope in an eternity to see it clearly. Hope worth rejoicing in, even in the suffering.

A Bit Busy

It's been a bit busy around here lately with lots of new little kids! Triplets yesterday and twins today~ three more does to go~ I'll be back to blogging soon~ Lord willing!

Smile Baby!

We have three windows in our living room, which means that at a certain point of the day there is an opportunity for some great lighting worthy of bribing a kid or two to stop doing their math and smile . . . or not smile. She's cute either way:))