A Mother Hen

The Bible is full of gems from nature. Jesus describes God’s nurturing love as that of a hen gathering her chickens under her wings.

“How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings…” Matthew 23:37

The Bible is full of gems from nature. In this scripture Jesus describes God’s nurturing love as that of a hen gathering her chickens under her wings.

It’s amazing to observe a clucky hen. For three weeks she will sit on the eggs with such dedication, awaiting for these to hatch. During that time, she will only get up for feed and toilet time. In other words, she is placing the needs of her future babies above her need. She looks like an enchanted bird, vulnerable to any predator, until one tries to remove her from the nest. Best to have protective gloves as she will attack you.

As these baby chickens hatches, she will continue to nurture, protect, take care of them. This she will do for several weeks. She will gather them under her feathers, keeping them warm and protecting them. I tried to lift our broody hen’s feathers to see the babies and she put up a fight.

Watching our broody hen, and pondering on this passage of Scripture, I can only say: How awesome it is to know that God cares for us, nurtures us, protects us.

Our journey – July 2018

Our Journey- July 2018
The highlight was the birth of our two first lambs.

July has come and gone at a blink of an eye. Too quickly for my liking, but isn’t it always that way when you’re having fun?

The event that was a highlight this month was the birth of two lambs.

⁃ Bastille, born on the 14th

⁃ Antoinette, born on the 16th

I had watched for signs that would indicate their arrival, however, we had recently been told they weren’t ready so I relaxed and stopped observing. We woke up on Bastille day(14th July), my husband looked out the window and low and behold he could see extra feet near Coffee our ewe. Coffee had given birth to the most gorgeous black headed lamb I’d ever seen. We named him Bastille.

The next day, Caramel’s udders had dropped, which we were told was a sign that she would soon give birth. Next morning our little Antoinette was born. As a contrast to Bastille, she is totally white and a complete little lady.

Baby lambs are so cute. I could watch them all day; their curiosity, the way they frolic in the paddock with not a worry in the world, their playfulness, it’s all so beautiful.

On our journey occasionally there are some unexpected twists and turns. This time it happened towards the end of the month. We found one of our calves in a pretty bad shape. She looked as if she was dying. We did what we could to care for her, but had little expectation of her surviving. By evening she was back on her feet and has been well ever since. I believe she may have suffered from grass tetany, although I have been told that it is unusual in young calves.

As we watched her almost lifeless, we were confronted with thoughts of discouragement. Why are we homesteading? Is it really worth it?

I didn’t dwell on those thoughts for long, as I believe it is worth it. Life on a farm will include the occasional loss of an animal. It is part and parcel of the lifestyle we have chosen. I am convinced that the positives of living on a homestead outweighs the negatives. We truly feel blessed.

My Shepherd

“The Lord is my Shepherd,

I shall not want” Psalms 23:1

There’s something special about watching animals grazing. I find it soothing, therapeutic. My whole being relaxes and I find myself submerged in the peace they radiate.

It reminds me of Psalms 23, the Psalm about the Good Shepherd.

As I surrender my life into the loving hands of my Heavenly Father and Creator of all heaven and earth, I too can relax knowing that He provides my every needs. He cares about us, He loves us. Nothing is hidden from Him.

He is a good good Father. He is a good good Shepherd.

Patch and Rosie – Our Calves

Last May we welcomed two beautiful calves, Patch and Rosie. Straightway they won our hearts. Now, three months later, they are even more precious to us.

Feeding them daily until they were weaned was a great experience which allowed us to build a caring relationship with them.

They say “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, that goes for animals too. We weaned Rosie and Patch three weeks ago, and still, at the sight of a bucket they will come running to us. While they enjoy their feed, we get to handle them. At first, we could only touch them while they were eating, however, with time they are desiring more contact. The other day, Patch decided to lay down at my side, allowing me to continue rubbing her long after she finished her treat.

Our desire is to enjoy our animals, to treat them with respect and as organically as possible, just as they deserve. The first step we took towards that goal was adding kefir to their daily feed. Kefir is something that we have added to our diet about 7 years ago. Kefir grains look similar to miniature cauliflower head, they are a bacterial fermentation starter, producing probiotics in the milk and making it more digestible. Kefired milk looks similar to a yogurt and has healthy benefits for us. We researched to see if it would be a good idea to feed some to our calves, liking the information we found, we fed some to our calves. We were ready to stop if we didn’t like the results. However, as we suspected, both Patch and Rosie thrived, they had no scouring and looked healthy. Our neighbour commented on how good they looked. We supplemented them with kefir up to the time they were weaned.

This week we have added a mineral lick supplement. We are also looking at ways to improve organically our pastures.

Patch and Rosie are our first calves. God willing we should shortly buy another two. This time we are looking to get steers. Any information we can receive from our readers to help us in this endeavour to rear them up organically will be greatly appreciated. We have a lot to learn, and are willing to receive any information that will help us maintain a healthy herd.

The Space to Write

Everyday Inspiration, Day Six: The Space to Write

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Idealistically I would love to have just one place where I get inspired and write. With me it just doesn’t work that way. Some ideas form over time.

My inspiration may start sitting in my favourite spot in our paddock. It’s where I like to speak with God, to contemplate God’s creation, to meditate and at times to write. A thought, an idea may be born right here. 

33527ED2-2C1B-45B8-ACBC-BF51184EC0C4.jpegBetween the birth of a thought, it’s completion and publishing on my blog, there can be various days or weeks. It often looks so different than my original thought.

My favourite place to sit down and write is in a coffee shop. My husband sitting on the other side of the table sipping his cappuccino and reading a newspaper. I’m relaxed, nothing disturbing me except the occasional comments from my husband. There, my thoughts take form on my iPhone. It flows so easily. 

Before I know it, it is ready to be proofread and finally published.

I would like to give my audience the opportunity to visit my contact page and to submit some suggestions for my future post. This would be greatly appreciated and helpful.

 

 

My Family

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. – Desmond Tutu

It’s been a privilege to enjoy the company of my two sisters and their children. One of them lives abroad, therefore visits are few and far between. Although my other sister visits regularly, to have both over at the same time was a blessing.

It is amazing to see how we do things together. Somehow, all our ideas blend, whether in the kitchen, or whatever else we do. We may start off with a basic meal plan for the day, yet once it is set on the table we have a totally different menu, using the same ingredients. A much better menu.

Our vision for our homestead is to give respite, a time of rest and recharge for our family. This time round, it was meant to be about respite for my sisters, but towards the end of their stay, they took full charge of the house as I became ill. They were a blessing to me.

The above quote is so real. We don’t get to choose our family. We are God’s gift to each other. No matter what one of us is going through, we all feel it. There’s always someone who will step in at the right time for the need of the moment. I couldn’t be more thankful to God for a wonderful family.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Everyday Inspiration, Day Four: A Story in a Single Image

The thickness of this forest can confuse the mind. 

At first instinct, the path to take is straight on.

Let your mind latch to the miriad of thoughts. “What if my first instinct is wrong?” “What if it isn’t as clear as it seems?” “What if I should take another path to reach my destination?”

I am now confused, unsure. “Why did I allow myself to listen to these thoughts? I am now clouded with doubts, unable to discern the way out.”

This photo depicts Life’s journey, in that we are faced with choices, if we listen to the first instinct choice that comes from deep within, not from the crowds of thoughts that bombard our mind, we are most likely going to take the right choice.

Traveling on this road called life, if we could only learn to take captive our thoughts, what a difference it would make. We are responsible to make the choice to refuse to entertain thought that would cloud our ability to make the right decision.

Thought based on II Corinthians 10:5 “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”

Abundance

The other day, while sitting near our top dam surrounded by our sheep and calves, I was overwhelmed with emotions. My eyes became tearful, I started singing Psalms 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want”. The words of that psalm felt so real. 

I have this sensation that God knew the deepest desire, need, want of our inner being, one that we ourselves had no idea was there, and through His providence He orchestrated for it to happen. 

We are blessed beyond measure. ”I shall not want”, this means ”I have no need”, “I lack nothing”.  I would even say, ”I have in abundance”.

By abundance, I am not talking of material things. One can have all the material gains and still feel empty. I am referring to an inner state of abundance. I have no need, no wants, I feel my cup is overflowing.

I Write Because…

A couple of months have passed since I started blogging. I am not a professional writer nor do I have great writing skills. What I do have is a new chapter in my life called homesteading and I want to write about it, share our experience with friends and family.

I want to, captivate my audience, arouse the reader’s curiosity to the point that they will want to read more.That takes effort, practice, inspiration and skill. How better to achieve that than to sign up to a course on blogging. Twenty blogs of every inspiration.