Beyond the Brickwall

on Friday, November 6, 2009

Still walking through a bit of a 'foggy' season ... a little like this re-run ...!

"Can you come and help me get these sheep in please.”

The voice broke through my semi conscious state although I wasn’t quite sure if it was part of my dream or reality. I forced my eyes open real wide and tried my hardest to determine the origin of the request.

“They’re eating your flowers out the front.”

The consequences of sheep in my newly planted blooms was enough leverage to care less if I was dreaming or not and my feet hit the floor and traveled to the bathroom much quicker than usual. I tiptoed past my sleeping baby trying not to wake him so I wouldn’t have him on my hips, like a sack of potatoes, scurrying after these lambs and donned my knee high back gum boots not even contemplating the fashion statement I was making as they accessorized with my Winnie The Pooh singlet nightie.

“They're around the front” was the next instruction which guided me as I shuffled down the back steps and honed in on the flower munching critters.

They nervously glanced my way and promptly ran in the opposite direction, lamb tails bobbing above the dust they stirred up on the driveway. I didn’t halt my journey toward the sheep enclosure until I knew that the last escapee was again unable to eat any forbidden fruit. This was rather an abrupt start to my day, but lately, not an unusual one.

Only a few weeks ago, we approached our four-month-old beef steer while the children were riding our dairy calf to see if he would accept a little pampering. As usual, he refused, very reluctantly got to his feet and limped toward the river. His tender hoof had been concealed until now his lack of movement considered lethargy from the searing heat. Hopefully his leg was asleep from lying on it but I know it was more.

That evening we locked him up with our usual routine so we could absconder his morning milk from his mom and tried to assess him a little closer. Although I was now armed with the knowledge that his feet were pussy and smelt real bad, this information meant nothing to me having only owned cattle for a little over a year and not being knowledgeable on the symptoms for cow ailments. Our neighbor deciphered his symptoms with a label of “foot rot.” Visions of vet bills and dead cows flashed in front of me.

The pain the little fellow was obviously in, planted a seed of worry in my mind and a well known wrinkle reformed across my forehead. The manner and technique of the young vet catching the ailing beast was a little unsettling although, without doubt, he knew more about this than us. So he was left to dig and scrape the rotting flesh away from between the frogs of his hoof, blood oozing over the earthen shed floor. This left Mark to restrain a kicking and bucking animal.

Our baby cow did survive this episode as did Mark, and we came away from the crisis now wiser in cow disease, and the administering by injection of various drugs through the concrete hide of bovine. This was just in time to be able to treat our milking cow that was showing signs of the same fate.

Each day brought similar hurdles which seemed to be chipping away at my cope-ability and sanity. Living in my own strength, I was frazzled and I entertained the idea of climbing into bed, pulling the sheets over my head and pretending none of it was happening. But I had six little people, and one big one, relying on me to be positive, cheerful and to meet their needs; I had to move forward and make decisions, not decisions happening by default, and most importantly, I wanted to live a life enjoying and knowing the depth of Christ. So I chose to trust; to live in God’s strength.

My circumstances didn't change but when focusing on how awesome God is and staying constantly in His company gave life balance; the full truth. The greater concern is not just ridding myself of these problems, because they will come. I resolved to not let my attitude sink to a poisonous level, to guard my mouth and heart from soaking all in a barrage of poisonous words and to respond from a place which knows and remembers Hiz goodness by giving perspective to what is true, noble, pure, right, lovely, admirable, excellent or praise worthy.

Yup, I forget constantly, I loose sight of Him but He graciously taps me on the shoulder and reminds me we are forever friends and He is big enough to carry us through. His grace allows me to live through the valleys and live in an increasing quality of life with Him now, not living my life at the bottom of a brick wall.
written 26 Sept 2000


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Very, inspiring! You draw me in...create in me a keen interest in the fate of your baby cow!!! And then, having grounded me in everyday realities, you lead me gently to see transcendent truths! Bravo! This was terrific! Love to you, my friend! Janine XO

Renata said...

Great reminder. Yes I can relate to chasing creatures out of the garden in my pj's & then crying tears over the mess they've made. I've often thought that I couldn't go on another day if I couldn't rely on God for strength!
What a great post!

Brian Miller said...

the views from the mountain top allow us to see the next valley we will walk through to get the next mountain. great post. keep the focus.

Terri Tiffany said...

wonderfully written! So true, isn't. I'd love to pull the blanket over my head tomorrow morning but I can't. :( Just keep moving forward and know that Jesus is beside me.

K said...

SO impressed with your attitude and how interesting your unusual life is

Insanity said...

Poor cow. ): You seem pretty grounded in your beliefs. Does that really work? Like help you?

Warren Baldwin said...

I remember the first time I tried giving a shot to a calf - you are right, the hide is like concrete.

Neat story about the calf, but especially your application of it. You are a conscientious mom! Your kids are fortunate to have you looking over them, just as we are all fortunate to have Christ looking over us.

Beth said...

Lovely post full of memories of my grandparents farm. I always loved the cows.

Naomi said...

I too love cows! ;) And the way you apply Christ's attentive care for us to this story is special... We can do all things through Him...

Heather of the EO said...

That was beautifully written and just what I needed. Thank you!

Theta Mom said...

Great reminder! SO nice to see you again, too. ;)

Debs said...

I absolutely love this!!! I'm a bit partial to farming myself ;-) God always has valuable lessons in all I do with the animals etc. Great stuff!

Sista In Arms Lxx said...

I love reading your words Sandra, what a wonderful devotional book your blogs would make ! Lxx Food for thought hey Lxx

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