Acceptance · Blessings · Cows · Musings · Poetry · Tolerance

Don’t Let the Dung Pile Too High

cowpie“Without oxen a stable stays clean,
    but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” Pr 14:4

 

If you have kids, you’ll have noise, sleepless nights, messes, and trouble.

Either accept that or don’t have kids.

You’ll also have laughter, delight, and a full heart.

If you want a spouse, you’ll have growth-pains, compromise, heartache, and headaches.

Mine has the hives right now ;).

Either accept that or stay single.

You’ll also have laughter, growth, partnership, and fulfillment.

If you want a oxen, you’ll have mooing, early mornings, and loads of dung

You’ll also have a large bountiful harvest and gratifying work.

But I’m not saying let the dung pile too high 🙂

LESSONS FROM THE STABLE

  1. If a clean barn is your priority, either be about cleaning it ALL the time and doing little else, or ditch the cows.
  2. Quit complaining about what are actually godsends.
  3. Gain a healthy tolerance for messes and accept them as part and parcel of the blessings.
  4. The Bestower of blessings sends them along with obligations.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/bestow/

Africa · Anxiety · Childhood · Cows · culture · Faith · Family · Farming · Fear · Goodbye · Grief · Memoires · Military · Parenting · Prayer · Relationships · Separation · Spiritual · travel

Together Forever – Thwarted

goodbyeI.

Today the Rancher separated the 3 calves from the mothers to wean them. They are across a fence from each other. The mothers moo forlornly for their young who are frolicking carefree in the next field. Even while they chew, the heart-sick mother’s moo. It’ll be a long week hearing their pathetic bellowing.

Curly

II.

Precious family friends bid farewell to their dear son today. He joined the US Army. They dropped him off at the recruitment center, were able to stay only a few minutes, and that was goodbye. He was instantly distracted with protocol and procedures, his eager heart racing as information and orders were flung at him in rapid fire. His life will never be the same. Thank you for serving our country Dustin.

usarmy

They must be reeling. Was it a silent ride home. Unspoken fears. Is anyone even able to  complete a sentence? What a long ride, everyone engrossed in their thoughts… Their world now plays in slow motion, pauses and rewinds erratically. They are transported to a new existence without him.

Parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles are all breathing deeply and sensing an undefinable loneliness. Their faith and love hold them strong. They know he will be strong. They know he will be used to be a source of encouragement and strength to many. They know he will hurt, and grow, and serve, and grow. They pray they will see him again. The tears flow freely.

 

It will never be the same.

III.

lufthansa

It’s midnight and I sit in my airplane seat athwart the aisle from an excitable lady who speaks loudly to anyone who will listen. She sits and stands several times, each time taking down her massive luggage from the overhead bin, retrieving an item or other, then asking the next person walking up or down the aisle to return it for her. Each time she held her hands in Namaste at them and bobbles her head in gratitude. She would settle in and get comfortable but in no time, she was up again. This was going to be  a long trip!

It was my first time in an airplane and here I was flying clear across the world. I looked out of the narrow window at the twinkling lights way, way below. The engines whirred in the background and my ears hurt from the pressure. I saw my face in the reflection and I remembered my dear family at the airport, noses and hands plastered to the other side of the cold glass when they’d taken me as far as security allowed. I’d touched my nose and hands to each one, and we mouthed our farewells. So close, yet so far. My mind swirled with mixed emotions as I clutched my blue carry on-luggage with BOAC written on it in large bold letters. My dad had owned that bag for close to twenty years and took it on all his oversees travels.

I couldn’t believe I was leaving. Where was I going? Weren’t there colleges back home? How does one even navigate an airport. I would be navigating 4 international ones in twenty four hours. How would I know if I was flying the wrong way? What was I doing? Who’s great idea was this? I had turned back to see them for the last time. Some were crying, some where covering their mouths in shock, some staring in disbelief. I pulled down the white plastic window cover and tried, in vain, to get comfortable in the small seat. I fiddled with the the seat belt and watched the safety videos studiously.

Dustin leaving today make me think of what that drive home, twenty four years ago, must have been like for my family. A couple of quick decades and a child is ready to take off on their own into the big wide world? What on Earth!

Did they say much in the crowded car? Did dad try to break the silence with bad jokes that fell flat and they returned to the strained silence? I remembered my parents’ words: Find God’s people and you’ll be okay; you are strong; the Lord is with you. I knew they were praying and that was like their collective arms around me, blessing me, sending me out into what was unknowable to them but part of a beautiful plan of an all-knowing God for my life. And He could be trusted.

What was it like to pull into the gates at home? I know how it’s been when I pull into the property for the funeral of a family member. Even the air feels different. It’s just not right. A huge piece of the whole is missing. What was it like for them to walk into my mostly empty room? I’d given most of my stuff away and packed my essentials into a green and black plaid suitcase dad gave me. Did their hearts feel like my sparse room? It’s like an empty shell after a critter molts and leaves it.

In the words of Ritu Ghatourey, “Goodbyes make you think. They make you realize what you’ve had, what you’ve lost, and what you’ve taken for granted.”
And life is never the same…
Anxiety · Authority · Christian · Cows · Daughters · Death · Faith · Farming · Fear · Health · horror · Humor · Maturity · Mishaps · mothers · Spiritual

If You Believe

black cow

If you know anything me, it’s my feelings about cows. You can find contributing factors here: https://thukumainen.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/wild-about-cows/. And to think I am married to a man who calls himself a rancher. Very sad. I posted that blog a year ago and my feelings haven’t changed much.

Shortly after that, Emma who’d grown up on a dairy farm shared how she was washing dishes in the sink one sunny day while her kids played outside. She was watching them dreamily in the sand pit through the open kitchen window. She’d just picked up the last glass from the warm sudsy water when she heard a sickening bellow. She looked up to behold her 3 year old daughter sitting on the bottom rung of a gate to the field while one of their massive cows came running across the field. “Oh God,” she moaned gripping the side of the sink. There was no way she could even set that glass down before the cow got to her baby, let alone get out there to rescue her.

In slow motion, it seemed, little Layla hopped off the gate she was sitting on and authoritatively stuck a stubby little hand straight out in front of her and yelled, “You stop!”

The colossal brown cow skidded to a screeching halt not ten feet from Layla. The cow lowered her immense head and pounded the dry ground. She seemed to be reconsidering her actions and she mooed, projecting slime all over the place. “No! Bad cow!” commanded the little girl, hands akimbo and stomping her miniature pink cowboy boot in defiance. That cow sniffed at the dirt and slowly turned her head before walking away.

Emma barely heard the glass shatter, muffled by the soapy water, as she tore through the door.  She ran pell-mell to her baby in the field, tripping over broken branches while her apron fluttered like a flag in the wind. She grabbed her like she would never let go, sobbing fitfully.

“Mama sad?” asked Layla quizzically placing dirty little hands on her mother’s tear-stained face.

“No, baby. Mama’s very happy.”

__________________________________________

This week I have encountered many people who are going through various degrees of apprehension for one reason or another. It has astounded me, I don’t remember it being this unbridled, almost epidemic. Many posts I’ve visited have entailed details from anxiety ridden writers expressing hopelessness about the world’s plight and our leaders’ wanton disregard for us. Sitting in prayer groups, I’ve prayed for people dealing with fears of flying, fears they can’t put their fingers on, and fear of the future.

It seems we are being pummeled by angst and asphyxiated under its weight.

Are we paying too much attention to current events? More importantly are we basing all our trust and hope on the shifting sands of circumstances? Are we listening too closely to the primal internal voices that are gifts for our survival, but which we have amplified with the megaphone of attention?

The resulting degree of stress is ravaging our health, our wellness, and our souls. It exudes from our every pore so that we contaminate people around us. It’s affecting our children and grandchildren and shortchanging any chance for joy and a vibrant life. It grows like a cancer and stifles our very lives.

Can we, like little Layla stand up to these demons and gain control of ourselves and our reactions to our stressors. We can drop and allow them to trample us mercilessly and fling us up in the air. We can turn and run like lightning with the massive cows in hot pursuit. Or we can stick our little hands out in their face and scream “STOP!” This lion must find a heart.

See that day, Emma learned and then taught me about authority that is vested within us. It is the authority of a thirty pounder against a thousand pounder. Within me is mastery and dominion over my reactions to circumstances. But I must learn to wield it. It is a spiritual weapon that I can brandish to quell the enemies of my soul.

Jesus died that I might have life, and life abundantly. Peace and His presence are two things He has assured me He will never withdraw from me. Hope and joy are mine to enjoy despite the worst possible circumstances in life. Otherwise what is our faith for? I’ve tried many others and they are all sinking sands. He alone has seen me, and countless others over the ages, through thick and thin VALIANTLY. His are promises that we will not be shaken if we stand upon the Rock that He is.

If you don’t know Jesus, He is a simple invitation away. All you have to do is believe He is the son of God who died to save you and who came back to life so YOU might have life. His presence in your life is the authority to speak over your perspective on life’s circumstances and command your fears to be still.

Here’s a great truth: You can’t think two thoughts at the same time. And tough times call for soul talk.  In 1752, Katharina A. von Schlegel penned “Be still my soul, the Lord is on your side.” What a great mantra. It has amazing words. Enjoy Kari Jobe’s rendition of it.

Ages before, King David said, “Why so downcast oh my soul? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God,” Psalm 42:11. Sometimes I say, a thousand times, “I trust you Lord, I trust you Lord.” I’ll sing a song or meditate on and recount a piece of scripture. Scream it if you need to or just think it, though your knees are knocking.

And should the circumstances do you in, you have a blessed promised eternity awaiting you. One of complete rest and bliss in His presence. Death will be your final enemy and you WILL overcome it victoriously. You can’t lose!!

So put your hands on your little hips and stomp those sparkly cowgirl boots. Silence that bellowing cow and speak your truth.

Image retrieved from https://i.pinimg.com/564x/09/3f/5b/093f5b9a471196711493b2115f47cd8c.jpg

on 10/9/17 7pm.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/believe/

Cows · Farming · horror · Humor

Wild About Cows

Wildly afraid, that is.

I grew up surrounded by savage lions and buffalo among other very wild animals. Cows are in a class all their own. They are terrible beasts that will devour their prey mercilessly at the least provocation.

I grew up with them. That might be part of the problem, considering I weighed forty pounds and they, about a thousand when we first met. The only thing they do that’s more disturbing than just standing there, staring unashamedly, is to gallop wildly, lunging their crazy heads while their massive bellies heave powerfully. They fling long strings of snot in practiced circles, bellowing in demonic tones, and charging me at a ground shaking twenty-five miles an hour.

“They wouldn’t hurt you,” my husband says flippantly. “Oh look at them run, aren’t they just cute!” coos my neighbor. These people are deceived.

My chicken coop happens to be in one of the fields that our cows graze in. I fastidiously save all my kitchen scraps for them in exchange for delicious eggs, a daily expression of appreciation for all my love. Based on my feelings towards my cows I watch them closely and only feed my chickens when the cows are at the far end of the field, a few acres away. I normally unlatch the main gate, latch it behind me, and stride as lightly as I can, my neck craning back and forth, much like my cocky rooster Rocky, across the twenty or so feet to the coop. I keep a stern eye on those monstrous beasts in the distance. Occasionally one will raise its head and consider the distance between us then return to its sumptuous feast of plain old boring grass. No kitchen scraps for you.

Today was a gorgeous fall day and I was in a great mood. I spied the cows in the far field and grabbed my mulch bucket and mealworms. I opened the gate as quietly as I could then looked over at the monstrosities in the far field. They didn’t even have the courtesy to look up. I unlocked the chicken coop and dumped the scraps, to their grateful delight. I looked at the regular spot for eggs. There were none. I tossed a handful of mealworms and they thanked me profusely by fluttering their wings. This took me all of twenty-five seconds.

I wished the chickens a happy day, turned to leave the coop and was met by a horrific sight. Time stood still as I beheld 2 massive bovines bounding at me not fifty feet away! At the same time, I realized that I had left the main gate wide open. I quickly locked myself in the coop and called Jesus incessantly. I had to divert them or I would have real trouble on my hands if they ran out of that gate. In a split second I scaled the ten-foot coop and fence, grateful for all the times I watched my son at parcour. He would have been proud of mama.

Once over the fence, I started grabbing weeds and desperately stuffing them through the holes in the chicken link fence to distract the cows from the open gate. This worked very well for the 2 by me. In my peripheral vision I caught sight of a third, gamboling straight at the twelve-foot gate.  To my dismay, the gate was open towards her. I took off like a mad bullet, energized by her maniacal lowing as she kicked scads of turf 6 feet into the air, determined to beat me through that gate.

I will never, ever, be able to explain how I got there before her – Jackie Joyner style;  grabbed that frigid green pole-gate two inches in front of her slimy snout, and backed up to lock its chain in place. She about screeched to a halt like they do in the cartoons, wild tail straight up in the air and blinked disbelievingly as I let out the most feral Tarzan-like bellow in her face!