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.

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. 

 

Our Sheep

End of April we bought our first sheep: three pregnant ewes.

What do we know about pregnant ewes? How will we recognise that they are ready to give birth? Will it come as a total surprise? So many questions to which I had no answers.

Here we are on a journey filled with unknowns to us. For a seasoned farmer, rearing sheep has little or no mysteries.

I must educate myself. My first step is to ask our neighbour. That was a good step. Now I know that one of the visible signs is the formation of the udder.

Imagine the following scenario: I’m observing the ewes twice a day to see if I can see the udder forming! I think it is a bit comical! My action is not going to change the course of nature and bring the birth of these lambs.

Last week we noticed slight changes in the udder of two of our ewes. Now I am excited, so I took the time to read various blogs. Thanks to bloggers like Red Hope Farm I now know there are other signs to look for.

I am still awaiting impatiently the births of our lambs. My curiosity leads me to check them for more signs. I force myself to see signs that are barely there. At the beginning of the week, I was convinced one would give birth this week. It was wishful thinking.

My husband had another conversation with the neighbour. He believes we still have a few weeks before anything happens. My excitement has dwindled. It’s been two days since I last checked them. I will wait until the visible signs are showing clearly.

I guess the birth of our lambs will make a good subject for another blog.

A Beautiful Garden – A Beautiful Mind

It’s amazing how easily our thoughts wander away, as if they had a will of their own. I would compare them to the weeds in my garden.

Weeds don’t wait for an invitation to invade a garden, they just do. It takes efforts to remove them, either by physically pulling them out or using weed killer.

A beautiful garden needs careful planning, work, effort and continuous maintenance on the part of the gardener. Seeds must be chosen with care.

I am a novice when it comes to gardening. However, it has become clear that there are many similarities between nature and how to live our life. No wonder Jesus spoke in parables; stories using examples from nature to convey a spiritual truth or lifestyle lesson.

Believe it or not, it takes constant planning, time and effort on our part to cultivate a beautiful mind. The Bible gives us an insight to what type of thought to plant. In Philippians 4:8 we are encouraged to meditate on: things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, anything that has any virtue and that is praiseworthy.

Today I will make every effort to “ Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable” in God’s sight. Psalms 19:14

Time to Reflect

Six months into this wonderful journey of homesteading. What have we achieved? We have:

⁃ Built cages, chicken pens and shelters for the animals.

⁃ Rebuilt several of the fences.

⁃ Welcomed into our farm: a cat, a dog, pregnant ewes, calves, cockatiel, two canaries and chickens galore, quails.

⁃ Set up a veggie garden.

⁃ Painted our kitchen, hallway and living area

We cannot omit the amount of time spent increasing our knowledge about homesteading, farming, gardening, etc. Thanks to the internet and the many homesteaders’ blogs, our learning curb is simplified.

Our biggest achievement, in my opinion, is taking the step into the unknown and making this new lifestyle happen. Nothing can replace the peace and serenity that we are enjoying. Sitting on our hilltop, admiring the surrounding beauty, breathing in the fresh unpolluted country air while taking the time to vocally thank God for His awesomeness, His creation, His love, His mercy and His grace towards us, is something that I deeply cherish.

In retrospective, there is nothing I would like to change. We are grateful for this opportunity given to us.