Wonderful news came to me today. A dear friend, one who is also a mommy to a whole gaggle of kids, is brave enough to take family trips with us; like the one pictured, often sharpens and encourages me, listens, and rejoices and mourns with me; was on the other end when my phone rang this afternoon. For some time she has battled with adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues. She has visited a handful of doctors, experimented with this and that, prayed, and longed to heal naturally. Setbacks came, and though I am sure she wanted to give up and give in to conventional medicine that she did not desire, she persevered.
A little over a year ago, after not improving with one doctor, by God's grace she found a nutritionist that she immediately "clicked" with for lack of a better word. I finally saw my friend, remain on more steady ground than various peaks and valleys. She was healing, slowly, but she was healing.
Two weeks ago, she went to her monthly nutritionist visit who proceeded to tell my friend that there was really nothing she could do anymore for her. The nutritionist thought the improvement was at a point where my friend no longer needed to return. Praise be to God. However, there was one thing hanging in the balance: her thyroid tests.
Today she got her thyroid test results and excitedly called. Her thyroid was once again in normal range - without the use of conventional drugs, by the grace of God. She rested more than normal, she prayed, she refrained from certain indulgences that were not healing, she took supplements, and she ate the most nutritious food that she could find, and I am sure did a hundred other natural things without complaint; and slowly, her body began to heal.
Her commitment and perseverance has been a humbling witness over the last few years, She has endured much through this sickness; she has experienced unimaginable loss. Yet, her hope was secure, whatever the outcome, and in the end, she was blessed. To be honest, she would have been blessed no matter the outcome of the blood results, because put to this fiery trial, she has been refined.
I rejoice with you, my dear friend. I thank the Lord for you and I pray your story is an encouragement to others. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. May this just be the beginning of your wonderful healing story, and the spark to encourage others on a similar path.
Our office window looks out unto our immediate backyard and larger fields. For the past number of days while teaching online, I noticed that one of our "retired" chickens was not doing her normal clucking around. Hollering from the office door, I proceeded to ask any of the kids if they had seen her around. Every day the response was "she was around while doing morning chores." The day would go on, and sadly I forgot to check on her.
We have many chickens, however these many chickens are out in our fields, not the backyard. The backyard is reserved for the "retired gals".
The retired gals are our chickens that are pretty much too old to lay many eggs, but too special to butcher. They have names. They have traveled with us from Arizona, to Tennessee to Oregon, and back to Tennessee again. They have earned their retirement. So in turn, they get free roam of our backyard and first pickings of scraps when they fly out the back door.
There are sadly only two retired girls left- Daddy's girl and Big Frizz. Big Frizz decided to boycott retirement and spend her days with the ladies in the field. Daddy's girl on the other hand has thoroughly enjoyed her retirement and daily visits from the rooster.
So when I had not seen Daddy's girl for a few days, I got to worrying. Today, while running out the door for piano, I decided to check in the barn for her. There she was in a little box, all fluffed up just sitting there. In a hurry, I decided she must be sick, but would have to help her when I returned home.
After arriving home, I went to check on Daddy's girl again and found her in the same spot. When I came near, she gave me a bit of a chicken growl- if you've ever been around chickens, you probably know what I am talking about- "don't think of putting your hands anywhere near me because I am doing my business" growl. I ignored her ferocity and picked her up. What was beneath her shocked me - eleven eggs!
Eleven eggs- all eggs that she had laid! She is 7 years old and she is still laying eggs! And she is laying on them. She is doing what she was made to do, and yet I am surprised.
This old hen has never hatched her own babies. She has never shown any sign of wanting to raise her own brood - until, now, in her old age.
Before getting pregnant with our first blessing, I longed for a child for a few years, but nothing happened. I waited on the Lord and prayed. I cried. I would momentarily feel at peace. Then I would get mad: hurt and dismayed, asking why. I would then pray more. Almost two years passed in this way.
During these two years I was blessed with a wonderful job teaching at a Christian school, I was able to teach and care for children, no, not my own, but blessings none the less. Then one day, in the last month of my second year of teaching, I felt different - life had begun to grow in my womb, we were with child. Not in my timing, but rather the Lord's perfect timing.
As I looked at this old retired chicken, I was reminded of the Lord's ways being above our ways. Who am I to say "this chicken is too old to bring forth life?" Who was I to say ten years ago, "I am young and healthy, I should be with child?"
I have read the story of Sarah and Abraham many times. Yet today, I was like Sarah, I chuckled when I saw this old chicken preparing to be a mother. Oh, when will I learn?
Tonight I will retire humbly to my bed, knowing that the Lord's ways are truly above and beyond measure, better than mine. May my chuckling be brought to praise if I am privileged enough to see this retired hen bring forth life in her old age.
Last spring, a local turkey came and laid almost a dozen eggs in our yard. She sat on her nest day and night. The kids and I counted each passing day, anxiously awaiting the chirping brood. of this mama turkey. Day 18 came, no mama!
We looked all around. There were a few feathers, but nothing extremely alarming. Our plan was to check again in the morning. Before going in for the night, we decided to smash a few potato bugs and found the remains of our devoted turkey mama nearby. Day in and day out, the turkey mama devoted herself to the nest and her eggs. She was taken by a predator, just a handful of days shy of her little hatchlings emerging.
Anxious to not let her hard work go to waste, we quickly put the mama's eggs in an incubator, hopeful, but not certain anything would come of it. We at least knew how much time was left. Now all there was to do was wait.
We waited and waited, and then one morning we awoke to a little crack in an egg. A few hours later, another egg began to crack and this happened pretty regularly throughout the day. Seven out of the eight eggs saved ended up hatching beautiful heritage turkeys. If only the mama could have seen her colorful brood!
Our family raised these little ones and watched them grow. We had not had much success with our turkeys from last year, but this batch thrived. Though we were a bit attached due to circumstances, we also knew these little saved blessings would one day become nourishment for our family.
The, that one day came. Because of fighting between a few of the jakes (young male turkeys), two of the three males had to go.
We prayed together as a family, thanking the Lord for the life of this bird, and then my husband peacefully ended its life. This is always a quiet, solemn moment.
Our five year old is daddy's little right hand gal when it comes to processing. She loves it and turns down a trip out with mom for an afternoon of processing any day. Her heart is here at the farm.
As our little sweet pea helped to process our turkey, she made sure to show me its crop, amazed at all the grassy goodness inside.
Yes, this was definitely a nourished, pasture raised turkey- evidence above.
So as we prepare for butchering day yet again, I am reminded of how the Lord has provided abundantly for our family, such healthy blessings of life.
We have been accused of being romantic farmers, and I suppose we are. The beauty of God's creation is all before us, as is the beauty of His provision. We watched the turkeys hatch and begin their life, we cared for them day in and day out, giving them what a turkey needs to not just exist, but grow and thrive. And we watched them breath their last. A humbling experience that never seems to get easier, but only increases our thankfulness.
My son has captured this beautiful day perfectly with a little snapshot of our small Jersey herd. The big lady in middle is our Blossom- the most gentle and lovingly curious heifer around. Coco, her baby is on the left and to the right is Mo, our sweet little steer that we are trying hard not to get attached to.
The snow is gently falling today. Morning chores were intermingled with sledding excursions down the hill and now schoolwork is being done with a warm cup of tea. Soft flakes are falling as white confetti throughout the air. You get the sense of almost being inside a beautiful, picturesque snow globe.
The beauty of God's creation surrounds us, wherever we may be. Today, at least for us, that reality is easily seen.
And just because he's so happy today, I couldn't resist sharing!
May the good Lord bless your day, wherever this may find you!
A Little Bit About Me
Once a big city dweller, now out in the hills and hollows of middle Tennessee. A child of the sovereign God, a wife to my best friend and incredibly loving man of God, and a humble servant to the Lord being given five of His children to raise, nurture, teach, love, and care for. Besides the Lord, my husband, and family, my loves are a good book, a good meal with friends, Sunday church and fellowship, and writing.