gary

Lisa makes the most darling cookies ever. Look at those sheep! 

To be honest our Easter Sunday morning started out a bit rocky. The kids found and opened their Easter baskets while I was up in the bathroom getting ready. And this made for a frustrated bunny, mad at her honey. 

I didn't have time to iron the dress I had picked out for Hattie so she wore a plan b outfit. And we had to fly off to church early because I was reading in the service.

One of the other readers was my friend Gary. I think Gary is 80 years old. I'm not totally sure his age, but he reminds me so much of my grandpa Phil. And I just love this guy. You would too. He is a man who says, "Good morning, how are you?" as you are passing in the hall and then he stops his feet, and listens to your answer and always has something kind and encouraging to say before he moves on. 

The first time I met him was in church during the greeting time. He asked what I did and I said, "oh, I'm just home with the kids." And he took my arm and looked me in the eyes and said, "don't you ever say "just" when you say that. There is no more important job on the planet than what a mother does day after day for her kids. And our world needs good kids being raised by good mothers..." 

I had tears rolling down both cheeks by the time he was done speaking into my life.

So on Sunday he was the reader right before me. And during the rehearsal he got to the part when the Romans put a crown of thorns on Jesus' head, and Gary started to get choked up. He had a hard time finishing his reading and kept wiping his nose and his eyes, over and over. And then during the service itself, he cried again. It was at the same part where the Romans are mocking Jesus, beating him, flogging him. Both times it felt like Gary was reading the account of someone he knows intimately well and of the terrible things done to his innocent friend. Watching him struggle through these familiar scripture wiped the cliches away and brought the enormity of the story back into my heart. 

It was the best part of my Easter. Gary raised the bar again. He loves Jesus so sincerely and with such powerful belief that I prayed to God, 'help me to love you like Gary loves you.' 

And that's a sweet part of the faith. There is always more to grow. We will never fully arrive. Until my dying breath I will be learning and feeling new things. And my goal is to spend my life pouring into this relationship so that I might know the depth and breadth of God's love, like Gary does.  

easter sunday in pictures

Look at these darling mason jars Mimi made for each grandkid. Isn't that so adorable! 
Alden and Hattie didn't actually wear these outfits on Easter Sunday. This was just the trial run day...
and of course everyone got to hold Miracle. :)

he is always near

I went to bed last night at 8:30 and was asleep by 8:31. I set my alarm for 12:30 so I could wake up, put my barn coat on top of my bathrobe, and head out the barn to feed a hungry lamb.

If you're ever looking to add a little something to your life, set your alarm for the middle of the night and go walk around the block. It's quite something. I have to seriously psych myself up because it's cold and quiet and for a girl with an overactive imagination, this could be bad.

But it's not. Truly. Because every single time I have walked out to the barn God has given me a special gift. Every time. And I know he's near. The first gift I felt grateful for was the huge moon we have had this week so that the whole farm is covered in moon shadows. That moon has served as one giant spotlight, lighting up my path, illuminating everything around me.

One night my gift from him was a big owl in our oak tree calling out. The owl who-who-whoooed, and then I who-whoooed back to him. Back and forth we talked and talked. I was certain he was asking me what I was doing up so late. And I was telling him that I'm sort of amazing. He agreed. Another night it was a low sky with stars that hung so bright and huge that I was reminded 'who is man that you are mindful of him?'

One night it was coyotes howling in the distance. I know that sounds unnerving but the cries made for a very pretty song. And I figured at least I knew were far away by their distant barks.

Tonight my special gift was eight deer lit up by the moon, right in the middle of our field. They were amazingly close, looking at me and standing perfectly still. I starred at them in the silence for a long time and they looked back at me...that one lady who comes out for late night walks in her bathrobe, winter boots, pajama pants, barn coat, husband's work gloves, hat with the over-sized pompom and two baby bottles in her hands.

***

When I consider your heavens, 
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim in the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, 
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
-Psalm 8

happy easter!





Here are three favorites for you as we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. I hope you have the happiest Easter. Jesus is alive. The story is true. He is risen indeed!

Miracle moves back to the barn

Huge news in the world of Miracle. On Monday afternoon the vet told us he should be reunited with his mother with hopes that he might nurse from her. We all felt sad at this idea as the imprinting seemed to have happened both ways, but we also knew it was the best for the little lamb. Plus, changing a lamb's poopie diaper isn't actually as charming as it sounds. There's a lot of wool. And a tail. An honest part of me was relieved that Miracle might go back to the barn where no one needs their diaper changed. Three in diapers in the house was a little much.

So we brought Miracle out to his Mama, Fluffy Cloud. A few things before you watch this video. 1) Fluffy Cloud looks very ratty because while she is eating her hay each day, her next door neighbor, goat Darcy, will reach over the wall of their stalls and eat her wool off. It looks worse than it is. Basically, if we could get Darcy to do an even job on Fluffy Cloud, we wouldn't have to sheer her in a month or two. And that would be awesome. 2) The other baby goat that appears at the very end is Miracle's twin sister. And she's huge! Like double the size of Miracle. I have so much to tell about her, but until then, just know that we have named her Big Sister. 3) This is basically two full minutes of lambs sniffing each other. So I won't be offended if you skip through it.
All of this happened on Tuesday morning. And now it is Thursday night. Rory summed it up best when he said, "well Fluffy Cloud fully accepted her baby back. But her baby won't accept his new living arrangement." And it's true. He is so sorry for himself. We can watch him on our LambCam from the house (a webcam Rory set up so we can always see our animals. It's seriously the best thing ever.) and for a whole day he lay with his head pointed to the corner, the corner where we walk out of the barn. He was flat out depressed and clearly enjoyed his life of diapers.

Also, he wouldn't nurse off of his mama. Still won't. So every 3-4 hours we walk out to the barn and bottle feed him. But we're trying to get him less attached. It sounds so harsh, but the truth is, he is a lamb. And his best life would be with other sheep, walking happily out to the pasture. The worst thing would have been if he had been unaccepted by the other sheep. That would be unsafe for him and then really bad news as he gets older. So his best life is out in the barn. It's just hard to tell him that.

But Big Sister. Oh man. I will leave you on this high note because it warms my heart so much. While watching the LambCam I have seen SO MANY happy moments when Big Sister is trying to make friends with Miracle. I sit at the computer and give words to what everyone is saying and here's what I imagine:

Big Sister: Hey! Where have you been! I missed you! I was born and then you were born and then you were just gone! And now you're back! You should try jumping on your feel like I am. It's so fun!

Miracle: Go away.

Big Sister: Our Mom is awesome! She's so nice! She feeds me whenever I want to eat! And she snuggles with me at night. You're going to love her!

Miracle: I miss my family in the house.

Big Sister: You mean the farmer? Oh he comes out here all the time! You'll see him plenty. He's always near. He gives us HAY! Have you ever had hay before?!! We go bananas for it! Really, you should stand up and jump. Here, I'll nuzzle you and try to get you to stand.

Miracle: I don't like it out here. I want to go back where I was. I was so comfortable.

Big Sister: Well, if the farmer brought you out here, then this must be the best place for you. He'll never leave you, but he probably just wants you to be what you were created to be. A jumping, frolicking, happy sheep! Oh it's gonna be so great! Mom said that in a couple weeks the farmer will open up those big doors and he'll lead us out to a pasture. A green pasture! And we'll just eat all day. Maybe just lay in the shade. And for sure we'll frolick. Oh come on, stand up and jump with me! I'll nuzzle you again.

Miracle: No. I just want to be sad. I'm just sad and alone and confused and...so sad.

Big Sister: Well you're not alone. And it's fine that you're sad but I don't think you will be for long. The good news is that you are a lamb and you are now back where lambs belong. So I will just lay down here beside you and stretch my neck out reeeaaaal far and lay it on your body. Because you're not alone. And the farmer is here all the time. You'll see. He'll bring us all food in the morning and at dinner time. And often he just comes in to work on things. You still have him. And you have me. And Mom and Bubble Gum and Sugar Cookie and December. And we clearly have a very special life ahead of us full of blue skies and new grass and warm sunshine so lets just...go...to...sleep...