The night Daisy died, I thought I would never see or care for goats the same way.
Losing her was like losing the reason for keeping goats and trying to build a farm.
It was like we lost a dear, dear friend.
But, following their mother’s painful death, these little girls needed us. Daisy’s orphans – the first orphans on our farm – needed someone to feed them, give them a warm place to stay, and clean up after them.
Naturally, they came up to the house, where we’ve kept many, many a bottle baby. 🙂
And of course, we still have MaltedMilkshake (whom we’re calling Bert, I repeat. 🙂 Or Malty, or Manrico, or…pretty well anything else! 🙂
The Lord Jesus knows just what we need when He provides it.
Daisy’s death was proceeded by the purchase of a star Nubian buck (intended to help build our herd), accompanied by the birth of her twin girls, and followed closely by several more newcommers.
With each birth, each tiny kid and each bewildered new mother needing us, a little more healing is added.
Like balm to an open wound.
Perhaps it seems silly to be so saddened and disillusioned by the loss of an animal – particularly a goat. 🙂
But, goats – despite popular belief – are very intelligent, loving animals.
And Daisy was a particularly loving girl. We also bought her when we were rather young, so we bonded with her more than with our other animals. And seeing her die, in the pain she was in, would have killed anyone.
But slowly, I’m seeing the reason again in our work. The reason why we keep goats, struggle to build our farm – against all odds – and why we do love our animals; instead of seeing them as milk machines or money makers.
Doc was over after Daisy’s death, caring for another gal who’d come down with similar symptoms.
He knows how much we thought of our herd queen, and he knows how hard we try to take care of our girls and keep them healthy. He could see how much we were suffering, and I’m sure our words betrayed a sense of our confusion.
He stopped and talked with us a while.
It always amazes me how things we already know can mean so much, and strike so deep, when spoken by someone else. When we are struggling and hurting, praying with and talking to a friend, a sister, a parent or spouse can mean so, so much. Even if they only say things we already know.
I wonder if the Lord Jesus made it to be that way.
I’m sure He did.
As we talked together around the goat pen, between checking udders, kids, and giving IV antibiotics, Doc stopped, with that serious look in his face, and said that the Lord does not give us hardship to make us weaker. He gives us hardship and trouble to make us stronger. To teach us, and make us stronger.
How often we all must hear and know this when we are in facing a difficult time in our lives!
But it was just what I needed to hear then.
That was on Tuesday, only two days after we buried Daisy.
Sunday we buried her and I was so discouraged. Monday, with the on-set of Princess’ symptoms wasn’t much better.
But Doc’s words on Tuesday seemed to have been sent from the Lord Jesus.
Even if Doc mightn’t have known it, he was the Lord’s messenger to Carra and me that day.
That we can’t give up.
As Doc put it, we must trudge on.
Trudge on, because, though we may loose one here and there, we know we will bless lives, glorify the Lord Jesus, and save so many more along the way.
If we trudge on.
We’ve been sent a reminder too! Though the Lord’s hand in the weather.
We have literally been trudging through the barn yard as many as 20 or more times a day, checking on does, giving everyone fresh water, grain, hay, alfalfa, giving meds, checking udders, helping kids nurse, and aiding does to kid.
These past two weeks have been hard.
The hardest I think our farm has ever seen.
But Jesus knew this was going to happen. He knew it way back before we ever imagined our herd could
possibly be this big – way back seven years ago when we got our first two kids from that small farm in Statesville, NC.
He knew these past two weeks in February 2013 would come, we would face them, we would be drug through them, but HE would bring us through.
So much richer, fuller, and with a deeper knowledge of Himself than before.
Farming is something we hold very dear.
If Jesus ever sees fit to have me married and to gift me with children, I want to raise them in this way.
It is blessed of the Lord, raising the animals and crops He created, providing our own food from off His earth, and learning to love those things around us that seem so insignificant sometimes.
My hope in this was shaken after Daisy’s death.
But now I am beginning to see it all in a new light.
The Light of His gift to me. Every animal, every plant, every moment on this farm is given to us from Him.
He has gifted us with these things.
How we must learn to cherish them, as gifts.
And to hold all things loosely.
To love, but not to cling.
To hold these things as His gift to us, as His will for a season. To see Him as the Life we are leading, not to see Him in this life we are leading.
I still love farming.
With each day that passes, I love it more.
But now in a different way.
Not as something I have to fight for, hold on to, protect.
But as a gift from the Lord Jesus, as His charge to me.
The Lord Jesus had been so good to us, even with all the heartache of this kidding season.
We had ten does all total to kid.
He has blessed four of the remaining eight does to kid beautifully without any complications.
We were there for almost every birth, and helped several.
Rosie was first, when we expected Switch. 🙂
She kidded with a huge (9.6lb) buck kid and a petite doeling (6.4lb) who looks almost just like her.
The buckling is a stunning silver black.
So far we have tentatively named them John Henry and Oreo. 🙂
Even with kids we are going to sell we like to name them – if only for the fun of picking out the names! 🙂
|This is not the best picture, but isn’t cute how the triplets lined up so perfectly!
Has it ever been cold!
We are thankful for the cold – finally we are having a usual winter. But it also has posed a few troubles with the kids more susceptible to chilling and being slightly listless after birth.
We’ve had to put sweaters on some of the weaker kids because of the cold and the wind for the first time ever; its been cute to see them in sweaters. 🙂
Rosie’s John Henry needed one, as well as Princess’ little Miracle and Merciful. Her son, Magnify, has proven himself quite the boy. 🙂
This is one girl we are so proud of!
We are still thanking the Lord Jesus for our first registered doe kidding on our farm.
I feel like we are stepping into a new realm as we start our registered herd.
Its an exciting, new experience.
Spinning Spider’s Thelma Lou was the first to kid.
And she was the one we were most afraid of. She was like a month too young and ten pounds too small when she was accidentally bred by our Spinning Spider buck, Marshall Dillon.
We’ve prayed so much through her pregnancy, fed her well, asked a lot of advice, and waited.
We actually seriously considered aborting the kid when it first happened. But in only a few weeks time we knew we would breed her again.
And what difference would a few weeks make?
We talked it over for a long while, praying about it, and thinking.
If we didn’t abort it, and she did well, we would thank the Lord Jesus and have a beautiful kid.
But there was a slim chance Thelma’s hips wouldn’t be big enough in five months.
And if we aborted, there was a big chance it could have gone ok.
I could never be more thankful than I am now that we prayed and chose not to abort this beautiful girl!
Born as a huge single doeling, in the cold dark evening on February 25th I am proud to say Thelma’s little girl has proven to be one of the strongest kids this season.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for this special blessing!
Goshen’s Plenty WindyBlossom
our first registered kid born on the farm.
And yes, we plan to keep her! 🙂
Joy followed the next morning with a beautiful single doeling.
Little Peace is about two thirds Windy’s size, but a very beautiful, healthy kid nonetheless.
And to a friend on Facebook, Kensey, this little girl looks strikingly like Honey when she was born.
Joy is also Honey’s Mama. 🙂
Joy is so attentive.
Peace was sleeping a lot after birth (so natural 🙂 but Joy did not like that.
She pawed and pawed the sleepy little one, wanting her to nurse.
Maybe that’s why Peace has decided ever since to find a place to sleep outside Mama’s stall.
Switch kidded on the morning of the 27th, about 7:30, with two very healthy bucklings.
No names yet for these two – unless our calling them Thing 1 and Thing 2 is going to stick! 🙂
Switch was our first doe to kid out in the pen with everyone else.
We helped her out with the second kid, but she did the first all alone before we got down there.
They are, in Doc’s words, very stout boys. 🙂
Silver’s blood runs strong!
Isn’t the Lord Jesus so wonderful?
Phoebe seemed particularly disconcerted seeing Switch kid like that.
So disconcerted that that evening she also kidded out in the pen with everyone else, giving birth to
the first registerable buck kid ever born on our farm (also so far nameless 🙂
Phoebe is still a little shy of us. She’s always been that way.
Her freshening has brought her a little closer, but she’s still skittish.
Maybe if she has enough milk for us to start milking her, she’ll come around better. 🙂
I think she’s going to be one of the top in the herd otherwise. She’s a huge yearling, with a good shaped udder, a beautiful face, and wonderful confirmation.
Her buck kid is huge, healthy, and perfectly complete with two little waddles! 🙂
Needless to say, Carra and I are falling in love with Saanens. 🙂
So far, that’s what’s been going on in the barn yard.
Much more’s been happening – at work (yes, Carra and I have been staying home), in my head about my stories, with K and I’s music, and I’ve thought some about gardening…..
But all that for another time!
May Jesus bless you all this first day of March!