First things first! It's a BOY! This last week, we adopted a 2-day old baby goat who had been rejected my it's mother. We are now deep in the work of caring for a newborn goat, including round-the-clock bottles, and all of the peeing and pooping that accompanies a small animal. Frank, the new kid, is thriving, and loves to eat, sleep, poop, and play. We are having a good time caring for him and bonding with him, even through all of the hard work.
Funny story, when we adopted the baby goat, the owner told us it was a girl. We brought it home, named her Greta, and tried to find a new routine. The next morning, we discovered Greta was in fact not a girl. She was a he. So we started again, named him Frank, and never looked back. He's adorable!
Late night feedings provide some time to think while everything around you is still and quiet. One night, as I was rocking Frank after his bottle (yes, we rock him after his bottle to help him get back to sleep...spoiled much?), I sat there thinking about rejection. This sweet innocent baby goat was rejected by it's mother. Heartbreaking. But he is just a goat. A loved and beautiful goat, but still, a goat. The same thing happens to people. To beautiful humans...kids (and adults) are rejected by their parents. Heartbreaking. And all I could do was pray. I rocked and I prayed for all of the children in this world who don't feel love from their mamas and dads. For those who are rejected by the very ones who are to love them no matter what. I prayed that God would comfort them, and put people in their lives who would show them and tell them constantly how precious and special and loved and wanted they are. I prayed that deep in their hearts they would know love and acceptance. Just so much thinking and churning in my heart, all because of a sweet baby goat, Frank.
In other news, this week held two big days for me. January 23, 2017, I celebrated 15 years cancer free! So many emotions swirling. I am filled to the brim with gratitude for the healing I received, and for the joys life has brought me as I have been able to LIVE! And also, thinking about so many others who are deep in their own battles with cancer. Those who are losing their hair, feeling sick from side effects of treatment, and who are having to completely change what their life looks like in order to fight the battle. Then there are those who have lost loved ones to the awful disease. This very week, some very precious and dear friends have had to say goodbye to their 15-year-old daughter, taken by brain cancer. Alyssa won, and she is now in Heaven with Jesus, smiling and pain-free. But her family is deep in grief, planning a memorial for a sweet girl gone too soon. And their faith inspires me. I remember times we would go and stay with them, and our babies Alyssa and Natalie would play together. I can remember lots of giggles with that sweet girl. And she has her victory now, after three years of hard battles. Heaven is sweeter because Alyssa is there. So many emotions. Ultimately, though, gratitude. I am thankful for my healing and my life, and I am thankful for the strength the Lord provides when we are in the battle, and also for the precious HOPE we have of Heaven. We will see Alyssa, and so many more, again someday soon.
Then January 27, Nathaniel and I celebrated 16 years of marriage. It sounds so cliche, but I truly do love him more today. He has my heart. I can't imagine doing this life with anyone else. As I said on Instagram, "The day marks 16 years that I have been married to my very best friend. On that rainy January day in 2001, I said, 'I do', and today, I still do. We've had some better and some worse, some richer and some poorer, some sickness and some health. We've laughed until our sides hurt, and wept in each others arms. We've birthed children, grieved the loss of our children, celebrated the lives of our children, and are now parenting teens and tweens together." My life is better beautiful with Nathaniel by my side. He is strong, yet tender. Serious, yet hilarious. A hard worker, yet fun-loving. And smokin' hot!! Praying we have many many more years together!
So that's the news around here. It's been a big week! God is good, and He is faithful. My life on the homestead is beautiful.