I gave birth to four boys in a time frame of five years. It didn't bother me because I knew the Lord would send me twelve children and if he wanted to have the six boys born first...well, I was good with that. Then baby number five came along, I was having a lot of trouble with this pregnancy, a torn placenta causing lots of bleeding and some silly JKB factor that said Shane and I had incompatible blood (I think our blood is very compatible). My midwife would not assist me with this one at home and sent me to the doctor. Because of this trouble I had to have six different ultrasounds, during one of them, with four little boys gathered around the screen, the doctor asked if I wanted to know the sex of the baby?
I looked out the window and said "Well, you can tell me if you want to but my husband only makes boys." to which he promptly responds "then, my dear, you have some explaining to do..." I sat there dumb founded, not sure what to say next. I had two more hunting buddies to go and now there would be a girl in the works?
As the pregnancy progressed and, ultrasound after ultrasound showed her to be a girl, I began to see us in the kitchen cooking and cleaning together. I planned how we would sew and garden, and can the produce while the boys were hunting. I could raise this one to be like me!
It was a very sweet thought until the first time I held that little pink bundle in my arms.
I looked into those innocent eyes and realized, for the first time, that I didn't want her to be anything like me. I suddenly felt very inadequate to the task that lay before me.
It was easy to raise boys because I didn't have to model manhood, I only had to tell them about it. But, this ~this was a whole new ball game and any false step could mean her ruin.
So it was, nine years ago, I fell to my knees and like Moses poured out my excuses for why the task was too great. And the Lord true to his character said " I chose the least worthy so that I will be glorified."
And so I have walked, not perfectly, not even close. But God is faithful and when I look at the Kings daughter and the daughter who came after her, I see Him glorified. Her mind is pure, she has the heart of a servant. She desires to be a wife and mother and even today prays for her children yet to come, that she may raise them to be lovers of Christ.
I can say of her "The King's daughters were among thy honorable women.....The King's daughter is all glorious within." Psalm 45. To God be the glory.
Happy Birthday, Bethany, may the Lord bless thee and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. I love you.
This is an old story, in fact it happened last year in July. It is so humbling, however, that I have to keep it. I am in the process of getting rid of my old email files and it needs to go somewhere so I decided to put it here. Grace at the time was five.
Yesterday was rough........
Andy and Grace have birthdays coming up next week, so this week while I was in town I took them with me so that they could chose their gifts. We went to Wal-Mart and I had a LOT of shopping to do because we were out of everything. Grace was good for the first 45 minutes or so and then she started getting fidgety and hyper. As we were getting ready to leave she was walking backward jabbering at me. Farther down the isle I could see a lady who, well, she was rather large Okay? She was one of those gals that, bless their hearts just have a shelf sticking out behind them for a bottom. So anyway, Grace is walking backward and headed right for a crash with her and I am trying to get a word in edge wise to tell her to watch out.
No need! She turns around about a half a inch before she hits the lady and stops dead in her tracks...face to uh...yeah, you get the picture.
Grace blinks hard twice and turns to me with eyes wide. " Whoa mom, did you see that?!!!? I just about ran into a Biiiig Butt!!!" Dancing down the isle she leaves me standing there smiling at the now angry owner of the butt and wondering if there is a special crown in heaven for mothers of little girls named Grace?
On a totally unrelated subject ~ A few weeks ago Shane put in electricity in my BARN!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! No more trying to light the lantern while half asleep to make labor checks!!! Only there was one problem...the children kept leaving the lights on out there.
I started chewing about how it costs money and they needed to shut them off when they were done. Of course everyone said "It wasn't me!" and played all innocent. As the problem continued and no one would fess up my sarcasm and anger grew.... I'd chew and they still declared their innocence. So I say.." Oh, well I GUESS I have a duck out there that is afraid of the dark right? Maybe SHE keeps leaving it on. Huh? Or MAYBE the goats are having a party and cannot see!"
........Oh be careful little mouth what you say.......................
Last night Shane called me outside to see the disco lights in my barn, they were on,off,on,off,on,off ......yes, you guessed it.......standing on her back feet with the switch in her mouth was my little Nubian ~Mia! And yes, when she was finished she left them ON............. It was a pretty humble mom apologizing to the children for not believing them about the lights. As they walked off laughing hysterically I wondered ..........is there a special crown in heaven for women who raise goats? Or, maybe a special jacket, like a straight jacket?
Well, here's to a new day..........I think I'll go back to bed.
But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands.
In the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name and
sanctify the Holy one of Jacob and shall fear the God of Israel.
The Lord has a lot to say about hands. He talks of lazy hands, wicked hands, innocent hands, feeble hands, clean hands, workings hands, little hands, warring hands, talented, compassionate, angry, clapping, praising, violent hands....and I could go on for a long time about what God has to say about our hands.
Our hands are our blessing and our curse. I think of Tammy, she will never know the blessing of using her hands, she will never feel the soft touch of baby skin as she changes a diaper, nor hold a spoon and lovingly prepare a meal for her family. Yet neither will her hands or her feet for that matter ever be allowed to lead her into sin. The Lord has protected her hands.
In the above verse the Lord takes something out of my hands
~ His children~ How often I forget that they are a work of His hands~ not mine. I can control their environment to the best of my ability and am commanded to teach them from the scripture BUT they are His work. There is much comfort in that. How much better for a perfect, all knowing and ever loving father to form and shape them than for me a disgraced, wicked sinner to even try?
So, Lord, let me see the works of Thy hands and I will sanctify your name with fear and with praise.
I felt it this weekend.... winter is loosing it's grip. The snow is receding around the house and the sun shone warm in my hair as I leaned against the hay stack. Breathing deep I took a moment to thank the Lord for his provision through another winter and pray for peace in the up coming summer. Spring, a time of renewal. It always leaves me with an itch to get outside and stir up some dirt, or to sit on the old tire feeder and let the animals come gather round to see if they might mooch a treat or no. The sounds of their nickers or clucks and the babies chewing on the bottom of my skirt always bring a swelling in my heart. Simple people have simple pleasures.
I think back over the winter and realise that it hasn't been too rough to get through. We haven't had the heavy storms that sent us shoveling just to make it to the barn. We are a little short on snow in the mountains because of this but our reservoirs are still in pretty good shape due to the year before. We will have plenty of water to irrigate. My animals will once again munch on grass and clover that makes both their moods and their milk sweet. The garden will grow and life will begin afresh.
It's not surprising that our Saviour provided for our salvation in the spring of the year. Nature it's very self cries out with a celebration of "all things new". It brings hope and happiness to even the faintest of hearts, and promises better days and better things ahead. I envision Heaven in a perpetual spring. No sadness, No sorrow, The warmth of God himself lighting up everything around. Beautiful! I am thankful that, through no merit of my own, I can call it home. I find myself homesick, longing for the day I can trade my ashes for beauty.
The winters in life can be very, very, hard. I think we must be very careful not to view the present troubles through the worlds spectacles. We must see through the eyes of faith... one has only to look toward the cross to know that spring is coming.
It has been heart warming, heart wrenching and nose rendering to watch my boys try their hand at trapping. The whole mess started a year ago when we played a line right out of Old Yeller...."Coons been in our corn!" someone cried. And so they had. Broken stalks, half chewed ears... what a mess.
We called in the Hunters Ed instructor, Jim, who was also a trapper to help us out. He showed up one balmy summer day with traps and stories that made every body on the place that bore testosterone go star-y eyed with plans. "Every part of the critter was worth something to somebody...there were people who trapped for a living..." And so the sixteen hours of class that were required to become one of the elite.... A TRAPPER! Began.
They all passed the test with flying colors and since that time have have been on the prowl for critters. I, however, am beginning to see why Mountain Men were a solitary people.
The first thing that seemed askew was Cody took all the money he had been saving for Ferrets and dumped it into traps. "Now wait a minute boys, this was suppose to make money, not spend it." I say. They roll their eyes and forgive me, after all ~I am female.
Then, bless their hearts, they discovered that second hang up~ they live in Idaho... All their traps froze open. Critters of every make and breed made off with the bait and kept their hides. January this year just wasn't going to cut it.
Holverson boys, however, do not quit! No, their minds simply returned to that balmy summer day when the stories ran like warm honey and on they trudged into February. The traps were working by now and they discovered a nice place for trapping. So again the line was set down the canal. Shane and I were too busy with the goats kidding to go and check their set up or unfortunately to listen to their plans.
Saturday morning after chores the boys disappeared like clock work down into the timber surrounding our house. A short time later reappeared and stormed through the door. "Somebody stole our traps! Three of them!!" Was the indignant ejaculation.
I, between gags, suggested it was a skunk that had done so...backed up in my theory by the stench that was now suffocating every living soul in our domain.
"No, mom, these were clipped clean."
"Clipped? what did you tie them with?"
and in true country boy fashion they say.... "Twine."
"Oh, boys ( yes,I was whining)a wounded animal would be able to chew through twine, you needed to wire them, never use twine. Now get out side and hang your clothes on the line then come back in here..."
"Naked?" they ask. "Only if your skin doesn't stink too~other wise you just stay out there!"
Upon further inspection it was decided that they did in fact catch several skunks( I'm not sure who it was that needed the further inspection) as different drag marks could be seen going into another hole and the air and ground saturated with skunk "essence". Cody, not about to lose three $6 traps drops to his belly to peer into the hole and well.... no traps but a second set of his clothing now hung on the line. Later that afternoon they all returned to the scene of the crime, bearing more precious traps and a whole roll of bailing wire. Setting them up around the smelliest hole they could find, they hoped for revenge.
Monday morning the routine repeated its self ~ the stench reaching my nostrils long before their bodies came into view, complete with a skunk. Only, not one of the thieving skunks.
I banished them to the far corner of our property to do the skinning. There was unanimous agreement among them. They would not try their hand at removing the essence this time, for fear of doing it wrong and spilling the contents. ( mom was mad enough) It didn't matter they broke it anyway. And yet another set of clothing retired to the clothes line.
Time will tell if the stolen traps will ever be recovered, a skunk pelt remains submerged in a bucket full of an old trappers potion to remove the smell. After a good washing in the same "trappers potion" the clothing has now passed the sniff test and is fit to be put in their drawers. The air has cleared somewhat within and without our home and in my minds eye I picture Jim, stretched lazily in front of a crackling fire, smoking a pipe and giving a chuckle every now and then at the thought of four teenage boys just learnin' to trap.......