Have you ever read someone else’s blog and thought Gee, how do they keep it together?
Like honestly. Has any other blogger, other than me, woken up with a headache and just wanted to sit in the sunshine with a lemonade and online shop for the day? Have they missed garbage day and just about drowned in recycled cans? Have they ran down the road in their pyjamas after their runaway cat? (bunny slippers optional).
I have done all those things.
…..minus the bunny slippers. I wear a cow onesie for all the neighbours to see thankyouverymuch.
While blogs are meant to share certain aspects of life, I don’t think we should be deliberately cutting out the bad. Because this is life. And trust me, there is always something bound to go wrong.
Although right at this second, I’m drinking coffee on the back deck with a sleeping puppy. For a brief period of time there is peace on the farm. I say brief because when I awoke this morning (with a MAJOR headache I might add), I discovered that she had chewed the couch into pieces. So there’s that.
I often see Mom blogs talking about the realities of raising children. The good, the bad, and the poopy. Well lemme just lay it on the line. As a farmer, it ain’t much different. At least your 1 year old didn’t chew the new couch into hunks.
So, now that I’ve given you a dose of reality let me share with you the farm.
Moving day started out with Hiccup, our goat buck, runnning away. Ahh, there’s nothing like racing around looking for your goat to make moving day special. We moved him and our first coop of chickens over first thing in the morning, and then went back to the old place to await the moving truck. There is no barn at the new farm so we had our coops and goat shed professionally moved. While doing that at our old place, Hiccup was busting out of the fence at the new place and galloping down the road. I went back an hour after we had moved them to check on everyone and found no goat. I tracked him down the dirt road for awhile, until the tracks went into the woods and I lost him. He was gone from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It was so bad that I even had to post him missing on social media. Embarrassing. Finally our new neighbour showed up and asked if we were missing a billy. They had caught him and had him locked in their barn for save keeping. That was one way to meet the new neighbours…….
When the coyotes showed up a week later, Hayley hid in the bedroom. She’s been sleeping inside at night because her dog house isn’t here yet. (Hence giving her ample time to chew the couch). We awoke at 4:00 am to coyotes on the back deck. Hayley hid. Bowser (our general farm dog) was ready to take them all on (that’s the Akita in him I suppose). Dan fired a few shots out the door to scare them off then went out to check on everyone. Bowser was eager to check fence lines and the outbuildings. Hayley was forced out the door. Just to clarify incase you’re new here, Hayley is a 100 pound livestock guardian dog. Who is also a bit of a weenie, apparently. Bowser is a 10 year old general farm guard dog who often hints that he wants to retire.
I’m also currently living in 2 houses. I have 27 meat birds at our old house still, as well as piles of junk apparently. There’s something else you never hear bloggers talking about. The sheer embarrassing amount of junk one collects. Well I’m here to tell you I’ve got mountains of it. Good gracious! Our old house was large. Very large. And we filled it. Stuff was put into places and then never looked at again. We took a drastic downsize in this move and the amount of stuff that is being pulled out is somewhat overwhelming. But we power on. Thankfully we didn’t move very far. About a 5 minute drive away, so feeding and caring for animals in 2 locations hasn’t been too difficult. Just inconvenient.
And, last but not least here’s what happened with buying the farm.
It didn’t happen.
Truth be told, when I said “pray for my mother”, y’all took it a bit too seriously, because she got her wish. What looked like a done deal, the right path, the road to El Dorado, was slammed shut in our face. In a moment of desperation, and what can only be God’s timing, this place opened up. Looking back at it now, we were so desperate for a farm that we were making the other place work. We pushed too hard, all the while claiming it was God’s will. I’m a Christian so I believe in God’s will for my life, His timing, and His grace and mercy. I know what He has put into my heart to do, but it was being unable to do it that burdened us everyday. My ministry is farming. It’s how I connect with people, share God’s goodness, and see God work every single day. How can one farm and not believe in a Creator? Farming is living on hope. A lot of things can go wrong in a short amount of time, but farmers push on anyways. There’s always hope. Hope for the next day, next month, next growing season, next spring, next time. Hope brings you through the everyday wear and tear of being a farmer. I need to cling to a power other than my own because I can’t do this alone. I’m not a farmer without the Creator’s guidance.
But we were pushed to the most uncomfortable of situations. We lost the farm we were going to buy. It looked like we were going to stay at our little homestead for another year and we were ok with that. We put in more fencing, planned for next year, and tried to figure out how we could make the most of our 3 acres. And then God asked us to give up farming.
Those were some long dark days. We didn’t sleep, food had no flavour, and we both wrestled with the reality. We had no farm to go to, and had neighbours that were causing issues and stirring up trouble. The path was very clear, we were staying on our 3 acres and we had to give up the one thing we loved more than anything else on earth – farming. We just really didn’t want to. And we struggled with it. A lot.
Finally in a moment of defeat I said “Lord, you win. I will give up the farm”. I felt like Abraham having to sacrifice his only son. The son he had prayed for and begged God for. The son he thought he would never get. As I sat there under the oak tree in my yard and made that decision with acid burning in my stomach, I felt like I was standing over Isaac holding the blade. Not knowing why, but doing it anyways.
And just like God stopped Abraham and gave his a spotless lamb caught in a thicket, He stopped us from selling all our livestock. I sent Dan a text and said I was done fighting God and I was going to sell the farm animals. Dan replied back: Don’t, we have somewhere to go.
Just like that. In a matter of 5 minutes everything changed.
It’s a rental, which we didn’t see ourselves going to. But it’s well below our budget, and turned out to be perfect. There isn’t a barn on it, so we moved our coops and shed. We pulled out the 900 feet of fencing (that we had just put in, ahem) from the other place and strung it up here. Most farmers have a fear of rentals – and for good reason. Our landlord has said we can live here forever and we believe him. This isn’t just a random guy off the street, this is someone we have known for a long time. We only got the place because He knew us, and he wants us to work the land. The land hasn’t been worked in years and has mostly become overgrown with juniper bushes, weeds, and cedar trees. Perfect for goats. I don’t know how long we are to stay here, or if we will ever move again. I’m just trusting that this time I’m doing the right thing.
We’ve moved, organized, thrown away, laughed, cried, worked ourselves to exhaustion in the hot sun, and gone to bed happy every night.
And dreamed. Some days it’s hard to keep our feet on the ground.
Also, it has been implied that I may just get a cow for Mother’s Day. So there’s that too.
And that’s where I’ve been for a month. In the lowest of lows, the highest of highs, with an overflowing recycling bin.
Thank you Jesus.