Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It Must be the Weather

Here in the great state of Texas, we have been enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures.  We are smack dab in the middle of February and yesterday it was 80 degrees.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Eighty.  Eight-oh.  It has been beautiful, and the warmth and sunshine have me pining away with plans for our vegetable garden, and also some new rosebushes for the back yard.  I'm wise enough to know that despite the beautiful weather, it is not yet time to begin planting.  But oh how my heart longs to be out there in the dirt, sowing seeds that will grow into delicious and healthy food for my family.  Since I cannot actually do it yet, I just dream about it and work on my famous lists.  Soon enough, spring will come and I can plant our garden!

I guess it is the beautiful warm weather that has encouraged the wildlife to be out and about more-so than usual.  I've already shared about the possum in the henhouse, and also, the deer that wanted to wrestle with Nathaniel in the car.  (We are still in the rental car, but cannot wait to have our beloved Honda back from the shop!)  As crazy as it sounds, the funny wildlife stories don't stop there!  It is only Wednesday, and we have already had two more crazy experiences here on the homestead.

On Monday afternoon, Natalie was out taking photos when she heard lots of squawking from the side of the barn.  She went out the gate and around the corner, and what does she see but a bobcat clutching one of our hens in its jaws!!  She had grabbed a pool noodle and began to chase it away, hoping to save the hen.  When it saw her, it dropped the chicken and went towards the back fence, but as it got to the treeline, it stopped and turned to stare at her for a while before finally heading back into the woods. Did I seriously just type that my 12 year old daughter chased a bobcat with a pool noodle?!  We can laugh about it now, but when I first realized what had happened, I wasn't too happy.  When Nathaniel got home from work, because of course the bobcat had come when he was not home, he took the gun out back and located its path.  Unfortunately, the path was littered with feathers, and we now know that it was the predator who enjoyed devouring our large rooster, Uno, just a few days before.  Despite the serene homestead that we all picture, with chickens pecking the grass, cattle grazing in the field, and mama's shelling peas on the back porch while the children play tag in the yard, the homestead can, in fact, be a dangerous place!

And just this morning, Levi came bounding in the door after feeding the dogs to tell me that there were two raccoon fighting on the banks of our tank. They had come out of the tree line squabbling, and had fought their way over to the tank where they both fell in.  The cool water did not dissipate the fight, and they fought their way out of the water and back over into the trees.  A funny sight for sure!

So I guess it is just the warmer weather that has all of the wildlife out and about, and feeling frisky.  I love these warm days, but I could do without some of the crazy that we have been experiencing, ha!

"The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise."  Isaiah 43:20-21


Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Just wanted to hop on and share from my scripture reading today. 

"Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God's people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.  Do not repay evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

I'm meditating on these words today. 

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Romans 12:9-18

Love others today.  Love them well.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's a Jungle Out There...

...though around here, it's not the jungle you imagine.  Last week held a couple of encounters with wildlife that we were not expecting!  It all started on Wednesday evening as the sun was setting and it was time to lock the hens up for the night.  The dogs were barking like crazy, which was an indicator that something was up.  I went to the back door to see what the fuss was about, and the dogs were both barking at the back gate.  I opened the door and called for the dogs to come in for the night.  They weren't interested which is very unusual for them.  They are always more than ready to come inside and snuggle up on the couch or on the floor with one of the kids.  This night, they were too focused on something back in the chicken pen to even listen to me.  I sent Nathaniel and Natalie out to investigate...I am not a fan of varmints.  Natalie thought it was nothing, and pranced right into the chicken house to gather eggs for the night, but it was only a second before her flashlight was bouncing and I knew she was QUICKLY headed back towards the house.  I yelled from the back door, asking what it was and she let me know "It's a possum!!"

I, of course, suggested the gun as a great solution, but my husband, in all his wisdom, knew that would not be the best idea.  Instead, he used a rake to literally scoot the possum out of the hen house!  He expected the animal to "play possum", which would have made the scooting easier.  Instead, the possum decided he would try to escape Nathaniel's raking attempts.  All of this is happening in the dark, with the kids each trying to use their flashlights as spotlights on the action.

Once the possum was out of the hen house, he ran underneath the barn.  Crazy animal!  He had also successfully scared half of the hens off of the roosting poles and out into the chicken yard, which meant Nathaniel and Natalie had to round them up.  You see, chickens cannot see in the dark.  This is why they head to the roost at dusk and stay there until sunrise.  Thankfully I was able to step outside with my flashlight and watch the two of them wrangling and chasing the chickens back into the hen house.  One of them was terrified, and when Natalie grabbed her, she screamed like a girl.  The chicken, not Natalie!  I truly thought it was someone else screaming out there, but it was just the hen screaming for her life.  I guess she thought she had been gotten by the possum!  Haha!

Fast forward a mere twelve hours, and there was another encounter.  No, it's not the possum as one might think.  We wondered if it would return the next morning, but it didn't.  The second encounter was with a deer...and in the car!  Nathaniel left for work in the dark of night as usual, but called me once he arrived about 7:30AM.  It is unusual for him to call me that early, so I knew something was up.  He went on to tell me that as he was leaving for work, not even 100 yards from our driveway, several deer had run across the road in front of him.  He had seen them, and was able to slow down and allow them to cross.  There had been three hop the fence of my parents' farm, cross the road in front of Nathaniel, and then hop the fence onto our property to head on into the woods.  This is not altogether unusual...we live in the country and both properties have tanks which the deer love for drinking.  Anyway, after the three had passed, it seemed there were no more, so Nathaniel went on only to be blasted on the side of the car by a fourth deer!  It decided to ram right into the car hitting the passenger front panel, then banging down the passenger side of the car, leaving hair and hide in the cracks, as well as quite a few nasty dents.  Nathaniel had checked the car, deemed it drive-able, and had gone on in to work. He was just calling to let me know.  Typical man!!! 

Most importantly, Nathaniel was safe.  The only damage was to the car, and now Nathaniel is driving a loaner car while ours is in the shop for a fix.  The deer bent the panel so much that the passenger door wouldn't even open.  Seriously, paying the insurance deductible is not my idea of a good time.  I would much rather enjoy dinner out, or a manicure, or some other fun.  But I am so very very thankful that my man is safe! 

So yes, lots of experiences with difference wildlife this last week.  It really is a jungle out there!

Monday, February 8, 2016


You know how I said this world was a mess?  Well, I meant it.  It still is.  Since I wrote that post just last week, a young boy of 11 has gone to be with Jesus, ending his earthly battle with cancer.  A mother lost a son, sisters lost a brother, brother lost a brother.  My precious friend Alyssa is facing her third major brain surgery today, at the young age of 13.  She is a fighter, and a lover of people.  She is nothing short of amazing.  I have a family member in the hospital with an infection.  He's improving greatly, but will still spend several days battling to rid his body of the infection that had moved in.  He's strong and he is blessed by a loving family. So much pain and struggle.

I find myself uttering lots of little prayers to God lately.  Not longer prayers surrounded by quiet, but small, silent prayers lifted throughout my days.  God hears them just the same.  And the pain and struggle around me send me straight to the Father.  He is the one who comforts and provides hope through all of these situations.  Our family prays together also.  I am hopeful that my children understand that when things seem to be spiraling out of control, and when the mess keeps getting messier, that they will always.always.always turn to Jesus.  I want prayer to be their first response in good or bad.  Every.single.time.

What about you?  Is there suffering and pain in your life or in the lives of those you love?  I hope you know where hope and comfort are found, and that you are talking with the Father, the Great Healer, the Comforter each and every day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


This world is a mess.  There, I said it.  It is a big.fat.mess.  So much so, that there are days that I simply want to curl up in a ball and weep over the ugliness of it all.  The pain, the struggle, the sickness, the heartache.  It's overwhelming to say the least.  The darkness looms all around, and often it seems there are no easy answers, no way out, no light at the end of the tunnel.  A mess, I say.

My heart has been heavy lately over the many troubles swirling around me.  Friends with a child facing a third brain surgery for cancer.  So young and absolutely precious, yet having to face such big questions, big surgeries, big pain.  I cry out to God for her healing, and for peace and strength as they maneuver more hospitals, more surgery, and more medication.  Another young boy, who had completed his treatment and is now facing new medical challenges.  A scary time for the whole family, as well as those who love them.  Our earthly bodies struggle. 

We don't even have to watch the news to know there is trouble all around.  Murders, fires, car accidents, explosions, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts, politics, campaigns, disease outbreaks, and on and on the list could go.  It is a jungle out there.

Add onto that the burdens and challenges of everyday life that many of us face at different woes, job loss, anxiety, parenting challenges, busy-ness, health, dental woes, etc. It can feel absolutely overwhelming.  At least that is how it makes me feel.  Overwhelmed.

But it only takes a minute to find a perspective shift.  One that helps put my heart and mind in a better place.  The peace we can find, even through the yuckiness of this world, is that we are not alone.  There is one who is always with us, always walking beside us, always loving us.  And though the waves come crashing down around us, though the flames seem to be growing wild, God is with us.  So for today, I am clinging to this verse from Isaiah 43:  "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have summoned you by name;  you are mine...I will be with you."  

Lord, we need you now.  We trust You to always be with us, through good and bad.  You never leave us.  You love us...we are yours.  Amen.