Sunday, March 20, 2011

Redgate Refuge

To say our house is smaller than most would be an understatement.  We live in a 1920's farmhouse.  I can't say that it's my ideal house, but it feels more like home than any other place I've lived.  About 6 years ago my job required that I travel extensively.  Mostly in the US, but I also spent a good bit of time in Mexico.  And the one thing that kept me going during that grueling travel schedule, was knowing that my little farmhouse would be waiting on me.  I would fantasize about sitting on the front porch with my husband drinking coffee and watching cows in the pond yard.  I could not wait to step off that plane and jump in my car to take I-40 home.

Over the years, our farm has been refuge for many animals.  When the recession began in 2008, we began to notice more and more dogs were being dropped off in the country.  Six of those lucky devils ended up finding a home at Redgate Farms.  I used to imagine that our 2 dogs would sneak down to the end of our lane and "coach" the strays on how to win us over. 

Then there was the arrival of our cat, Meow.  Neither my husband nor myself are "cat people" but this cat sat in our pasture for weeks and watched my husband work.  She gradually found her way to our porch and into our hearts.  She has now befriended our dog Izzy and likes to lay with her on Saturday mornings.

The farm has also been a refuge for friends in times of trouble.  Sometimes for weeks and other times just an overnight stay is all that is needed to heal.  Friends will visit during hunting season.  Family will vacation during the summer.  But there is one common thread upon leaving....they are changed.

I feel so blessed to have this farm.  It restores my soul and connects me to God through nature.  Whenever I am hurting, I grab my bible and start walking.  I find a rock where I can sit a spell with God.  I feel safe and warm in this old house.  The yard is usually cluttered with farm equipment.  There is always something that needs "fixin" or "mendin", but it's through the "fixin" and "mendin" that we are able to share this REFUGE with others.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Calving Season

Growing up in Atlanta, I never dreamed as a little girl that I would live on a farm.  I am constantly amazed at the joy I receive from farm life.  One of my favorite times of year is calving season in the Spring.  God gives us special little surprises when we least expect them.

I never get tired of that spark of excitement when we discover a new calf in the pasture.  This past Sunday's events surpassed any birth that I've seen in the past 5 years.  I was sitting in our living room and see my husband shoot passed our storm door, arms waving in the air.  His words were barely audible as he went by.  The next thing I hear is the four wheeler firing up.  As I step outside to see what the commotion is, he tells me that our cow Baby has just had a calf.  He happen to look at the top of the hill of our farm and actually saw the calf drop.

I jumped on the back of the four wheeler and away we went.  Baby who is very used to us and the four wheeler was paying us no attention at all.  She was diligently cleaning the little calf and nudging it gently.  What an incredibly wonderful sight.  Now, many may think what happened next as silly, but I'm so thankful that I still get emotional from life's little miracles.

As I watched Baby and her calf, I began to feel incredibly privileged.  We shared these first few precious minutes of life with the universe.  Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart was filled.  We sat on that four wheeler cheering on this little guy as it tried to get up and stand with many failed attempts.  But finally he made it.

We are living in a time when we barely remember how we got from point A to point B while driving because we are so distracted with life's worries.  We live in the future always preparing for tomorrow.  We miss so much that is happening right in front of us.  Many are so stimulated by TV, cell phones and computers that it takes an act of God to excite us.  We keep a schedule that can make our heads spin most weeks.

But Sunday, we were there.  We were totally in the moment thinking of nothing else but the blessing of being able to experience God's miracle of life.  I hope that after reading this that you will not take for granted the joy of little blessings.  The everyday miracles that happen right in front of us.  Enjoy them and feel the emotion they create inside of you.