Joyful Times!

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Thank you, all, for your compassionate, kind, and thoughtful responses to my Tough Times post of Monday. Many emailed, too, to let us know they were praying for us. I know they say misery loves company, and that’s true here, but in a good way. Your sad stories of life and loss on your farms made me feel not so alone. Thanks to you, and thanks to God’s mercy, we’re all despairing much less now.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28

The kids and I spent some time this morning thinking of all the good and joyful times we’ve had on our farm lately. Here’s the list we made. God is good to us!

  1. Khaki Campbell ducks learning to forage and scratch for food.
  2. Khaki Campbell ducks and young Muscovy ducks growing wings and learning to fly. Each morning they come out of the barn en masse, trying to take flight. Thirty-nine ducks flapping wings and running up the slope makes an awesome scene and chorus. Read B.’s post on the subject, where she identified the “basics” of flight that our Mama Muscovy seems to be teaching her flock. Funny!
  3. Just weeks away from home-grown duck eggs and duck meat!
  4. From evening and morning goat milking, bringing in lots of yummy milk for cheese! So far, I set a batch of feta to age for a month, and I made a two pound loaf of queso fresco, which must age for 3 days. I am ever so grateful for the sweet milk our does give willingly, and for how they’ve bonded with me and the rest of the family.
  5. Back in kefir again! This means kefir with local blackberries or plums, and kefir cheese … for probiotic potato salad!
  6. Impossibly adorable and lovable goat kids with long ears, who love to climb, jump, play, get scratched, scratch back, and nuzzle you when held.
  7. Witnessing the miracle of goat births, even when the outcomes are less than desirable.
  8. Getting a dog, a farm dog to protect our goat herd and bird flock! We’re picking out a pup soon, one of this litter from OlympicDogs.

You were so good to share your tough times with me on Monday. Please, in the comments today, share your joyful times. Let’s grow this list so all may see God’s goodness and mercy.

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Comments

  1. says

    I love your list!

    I’ve been sad lately that we don’t have our rented barn with the goats and chickens anymore. I literally ache for some farm animal contact.

    What I’m thankful for right now:

    having access to an abundance of affordable raw grass fed cow milk and CREAM!

    being able to share in a grass fed beef with Raine to stock our freezer.

    And abundance of local farm fresh produce at our farmers market

    Our backyard garden (even though it’s struggling through weeds and weird weather)

    A loveable corgi to cuddle me – even though he’s not a barn animal, he’s still an animal and I get my four legged fix from him. ;)

    OH! and some delicious soap that just came in the mail. We ARE a blessed people!

  2. says

    Wardee, I just read your post on Tough Times and my heart goes out to you all! I’m sure I wouldn’t have done any better and that I’d have done it all just like you did. Three quick thoughts…

    1. The trend among homesteaders is to be “self-sufficient”, but things like you mentioned in your original post is why I always say that we must be “God-sufficient” rather than self-sufficient. Even if we have skill, experience, and do everything right, God is in control and we don’t always know why things happen the way they do (and I know you know this, but wanted to encourage you in this).

    2. Every homesteader will have a learning curve, but honestly I think the fact that most of all this “experience” skipped a generation is a big part of the puzzle piece. So many of our parents opted for a more modern, urban lifestyle and didn’t pass on what they learned growing up. I know my own girls have missed out on things that I didn’t realize were important until years later. Like hunting and fishing. As you know, educating the next generation is one of my passions. And if that means learning together, so much the better!

    3. If I could add to your grateful list I’d include that your daughter will never forget this summer and how the two of you rejoiced when the baby goats came home. She will have experiences that will allow her to move forward in her homesteading (should she so choose) at a young age. What a blessing!

    Each year I’m grateful for all I’ve learned and how much more homesteading knowledge I have under my belt than the year before. I want to glean from the past while keeping my eyes forward to the future! Hang in there!

  3. says

    I love evenings here. When the sun is starting to set (which is amazingly beautiful) and the ducks and chickens are all out roaming searching for their before bed snacks. It is so peaceful and I feel such a sense of well being. My girls laugh at me because evening chores take me forever since I spend so much time ‘looking’ at the chickens.

    A few days ago we had a rain storm and watching the ducks and chickens forage after the storm was amazing. The rain must have brought up some nice treats for them because they were going quite nuts with their foraging.

    Another think I love is being in my house with the windows open and hearing a bunch of quacking right outside. That always brings a smile to my face.

    I have also been very pleased with the feedback we have from the other people we have been raising meat chickens for. The compliments on the flavor of the chickens has been wonderful. It gives me a lot of pleasure to know that the care we give the chickens is benefitting others too.

    And like you Wardee, I am very much looking forward to duck eggs. We are still a couple months from that but I still anticipate it.

    Yes, God is good!

  4. says

    Amy — wonderful advice, thank you! And I so agree that self-sufficiency is not the answer. We’re meant to work together and depend on God.

    Tara — Glad you got the soap! :D I’m glad your corgi fills in while you mourn not being able to milk goats and have chickens.

    Millie — Your place sounds amazing, with the sunsets and the calm after the storm. How wonderful that the birds you’re raising are ending up so tasty!

    Everyone — I forgot to link up B.’s post, where she describes how the Mama Muscovy duck is teaching her little ones to fly. Astutely, B. identified all the flying basics she’s seen Mama teach her flock. I find it amazingly funny and smart of my 11 year old.

  5. says

    God lead me to check my band account on line this morning to discover that charges were coming that I’d not spent… now that is not a blessing but… he lead me to check… the charges haven’t gone through yet so maybe I won’t even have to do the whole police thing. So alls good account closed and I wouldn’t have known to do this if God hadn’t lead me to check my account! Thank you God.

  6. says

    When I was younger, I found this 1001 Things To Be Happy About book, which was these little vignettes. I think this is why I do my “Best Moments of the Week” posts. I started doing it about a year and a half ago with daily posts of the best things about my day and it’s stuck. If I’m ever down (and have the wherewithall to remember), I like to go sift through the entries, remembering all the happy things. They might not necessarily mean much to anyone else, but for me they’re like little warm hugs each. With my posts, I hope to make my own 1001 things!

  7. Miriam Snyder says

    I am thankful for:
    My two little girls and the soon to be born baby in my tummy. It is such a joy watching them be on the farm, chasing chickens around the yard, loving the kittens (sometimes a bit too hard), learning to gather eggs, learning where food comes from and how much work it is to grow/raise, picking berries (and eating them till their faces and hands and clothes are red or purple! The list goes on. I didn’t do most of these things as a kid and it is a blessing to see them experience it.

    I am thankful for a husband who loves God and shares my desire to have a bit of land to grow food on.

    I am thankful for the migrating birds we get to see and hear, being where we are.

    I am thankful for our goats and the learning we have experienced because of them. We have got to pray as a family for our animals and for wisdom and see God answer. Sometimes we lose an animal and even in this, we are able to teach our oldest girl about life and loss and God’s care for us in what I feel like is a good context for learning.

    I could go on…God is good. Thanks for the reminder.
    Miriam

  8. Charlotte says

    Blackberries are coming here in England!

    We have 5 new chickens settling in

    Spoke to my mother-in-law this evening, she lives many thousands of miles away in E
    Nigeria. She is elderly and we are thankful for our brother and his wife who care for her, and for each day she continues to be a warm and loving presence in our lives.

    DS2 seems to be on the mend (had been unwell for some time).

    We have made a bumper batch of soup and stew this morning! All in the freezer now and will provide two ‘ready’ meals a week for the next month or two.

    A friend has asked to leave two bee hives with us for a few weeks and may leave one here permanently for us to build up and maintain! This is so exciting, I hoped to begin bee-keeping next year, but here a great opportunity has arisen for me to start now!

    We pray to be truly thankful for all these blessings and to become more God-sufficent as has been said.

  9. monica says

    I had read your tough times post and felt the anguish of all your hearts and cried.

    I am thankful for Jesus.

    I am thankful for my God who loves me so much, that he doesn’t leave me as i am, but when I allow him, he grows me and heals my hurts, mending all the splintered pieces of my heart.

    I am thankful to be a wife to a man who sees beauty in me even when I don’t see it myself.

    I am thankful to be a mom to 2 beautiful children, who challenge and help me to be a better person.

    I am thankful for thunderstorms, for they place a peace in my spirit.

    well, those are just a few things :-)

    abundant blessings to all of you,
    monica

  10. Toni says

    This is so great! I first read it late Friday night, and went to sleep thinking about those things I am thankful for. It is important I think to cultivate and nurture a heart of thanksgiving! I love your ‘best moments of the week’ Joy…May I borrow that concept for our homeschool this year? Abbie and I came up with some things and second on her list was sisters which was neat to see since they have been a little at each other lately! Some of her others were…
    trees, snow, sun, rain, house, Bible, grace, Jesus!

    I have awesome kids and wonderful husband who loves building things, whether is it outdoor projects or helping to ‘build up’ people into what God has called them.

    blessings of our home and land with lots of trees

    grandparents who are ready to help and bless us when they can

    friends who stand with us in prayer! (big one lately) And being able to sense their prayers!

    I know this one is gonna sound off here, but I am even thankful for those hard, tight times too. Recently I came across this verse in Psalm 119:71-72…
    “It was good for me to be afflicted, that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”
    Some things that we’re going through now the Lord has been speaking to me about finding and focusing on what He says about it! Hard times cause us to look to Him, to stop and count our blessings(like this blog post), cause us change our perspective!

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