Thursday, May 30, 2013

No Pecking Order

   It's weaning time on our little sheep farm. When the lambs get eight weeks old we separate them from their mothers. After we weigh and vaccinate them, we put the females in one pen and the males in another. They do not like this, of course. They cry for a couple of days and nights until they discover that they are safe and that grass and grain can fill up their bellies just fine. My tender heart hates that we have to do this but I know it's the way of life.
   Right now we have four females and four males that have been weaned. It's been interesting to watch them establish their "pecking order". It changes with each new lamb. It's not necessarily the oldest that gets to be leader but often the biggest and always the most confident. Given time, they learn to work it our among themselves. I see this happen with the birds at the feeders outside my window, with our dogs, and also when our grandchildren come to visit. I guess all of creation follows a "pecking order" where the fittest get the best and the rest just hang on.
   I'm not good with the "pecking order" thing. I've never had the confidence to rise to the top. Most of the time I'm just grabbing hold and hanging on for dear life. I'm glad that there's no "pecking
 order" where Jesus is concerned. He loves us all equally. While the world tells us that we need to be more, Jesus tells us that we are enough just like we are. That's why I want Him for my Good Shepherd.
"He tends His flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart, He gently leads those that have young", Isaiah 40:11.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Covering

   The sheep we have are katahdins. They are a hair sheep. They don't have wool. Instead, they have a wool-like covering they shed in the spring. They look a little scraggly this time of year as they are shedding. They can often be seen rubbing up against the fence for a little help in getting this covering off. 
   I wasn't born with a covering but I took one on after the childhood abuse. It was a covering of guilt and shame and self-loathing. After I became a Christian, I began to shed it but it hung on tenaciously.
It clung to me for years, like a bad odor, refusing to move on. It affected my thoughts and actions and image of myself for a long time.
   I'm free of it now. I quit listening to Satan's lies about myself and began to believe God's Word. God's Word says that I am covered with a robe of righteousness.
"I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness", Isaiah 61:10.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Solid Food

   This week it was time to wean our first three lambs, the triplets. They are eight weeks old and over 40 pounds, so it was time. They don't like it at all, nor does their mother. They are letting us know by their constant pacing and their pitiful "baaaaaaaas".  My mother's heart wants to rescue them from their misery, but I know it's the way of life and they need to grow up.
   It's like what Jesus has done to me at times in my life. He has led me away from people and places that felt like a perfect fit and placed me where I feel uncomfortable. I feel too crowded or maybe too loose. I feel abandoned by Him. But I know that He is working behind the scenes to give me everything I need to grow up and eat the solid food of His Word.
"You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong", Hebrews 6:13-14. NLT

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Mother

   This post is in honor of my mother, Rosemary Irene, who passed away August 18, 2010, Not a day goes by that I don't think about her and miss her terribly. She was lovely; a poet, a lover of Jesus, a supporter of anything and everything my family was involved in. She died of a massive stroke after five years of serving as caretaker for my dad who had Altzheimer's. My dad passed away four weeks after mother did. They had been married 66 years. I've written here before how their amazing love story was the legacy they left our family. One of my greatest regrets was not insisting that mother let me get her help caring for dad. In her honor I'm going to post a poem she wrote about their favorite place to visit, the beach:

End of the Day by Rosemary Irene Smith

As we sat on the seawall
At the end of the day
We watched a tireless fisherman
And some children at play.

Most of the crowds were gone
After a day at the beach
The fishing boats were coming back in
And the sky was the color of peach.

Oh' it was a beautiful sight
To watch the waves rolling high
And see the flying fishes
Jump against the sky.

The fresh salt spray
As it blew in our face
Made us forget our cares
And our fast hurried pace.

The bright hot sun
Had already sat in the west
And now we were ready
For our much needed rest.

To our right and to our left
As far as we can see.
Is sand, water and sky
A most peaceful sight to me.