Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Angels at My Goat-Milking Stanchion

God is real. God is good. God is a God of miracles.

Today I want to share a miracle that just came to pass in my little backyard, on my rickety old goat stanchion.

My friends on facebook know my day didn't start out the greatest yesterday. See Exhibit A, below: 

Exhibit A. The dirty oven baked pyrex dish and (former) lid.
It was all good. It gave me a laugh and my friends a laugh.

That event, however, led to another and another and another. Almost comically, so, you know? I feel like this has been my theme song this week. ("Hey, hey, hey, what can I say? It's just been one of those, one of those days. . . its all going just so perfectly wrong.")

Some of those other perfectly wrong things include my phone dying. I am still working on figuring out if I need a new battery or a new phone.

Our bunnies are out of their usual feed and I need to run to the store to restock.

The check we need that should have come several days ago is still not here.

My husband is on day 7 of an 11 day stretch working 15 hour days.

My baby girl has been more restless due to teething, I assume. Last night, though, she got a sniffley cold and nursed all night so I got even less sleep than I have been getting. (I have unsuccessfully been trying wean her down to fewer nursings a day.)

Due to this fact, I slept in late and woke up only to nurse my babe again and to hear a goat screaming at me from her shed. Her scream sounds a bit like a grown man coming off anesthesia drugs while yelling out in agony from a broken leg.

I remembered several other things that I needed to take care of but would not be able to do without a phone. 

*Sigh.* *Another very big sigh.*

I sent a message to my mom and sister on the computer to ask if they could come help me get things in order. They were able to make some calls on my behalf but weren't sure when/if they could come by today.

I trudged over to the sink to wash the milk pails I hadn't gotten to the day before to the serenade of my screaming goat. "HEY! YOU! COME HERE! LET ME OUT!"

Amelia and her baby Miss Daisy; our sweet Nubian goats. <3 
I got a prompting to pray before I went out to the door. So I knelt by the side of my bed. I was directed to pray only for the things I was thankful for. Even in the difficulty I could clearly see God blessing us. I could nurse my sweet sick baby to comfort her and to give her body the nutrition it needs to heal. I have beautiful, wonderful, curious children to care for who I love dearly and who make me laugh and see the beauty in life all around me. My husband is a good man. He seeks to live his life in accordance with God's will. He is capable in mind and body to work long hours to provide for our family and he hopes to bless others through that work. I know God has provided what we needed in just the moment we needed it in years past and I know He will take care of us now. I am living in a wonderful town, close to my family. I can see the stars and the milky way each night. I am grateful for modern technology which makes my not having a phone not that big of a deal. I have nutritious food to eat. Dishes to eat my food on. I have a bed to sleep in, a home to live in. I have the means to plan for and accomplish many dreams. I am living my little farming dream right now. I have many close friends who I have made on my journey who I love and who love me. I have been given gifts and talents that bring me joy. I feel God's direction in my life daily. I know He cares for me and I feel myself enveloped in that love. I am richly and abundantly blessed.

Atley and Jocelyn headed out the door with the obligatory treat offering to appease our sweet goat while she is being milked. We're out of barley, but we have beet pulp, black oil sunflower seeds, molasses and more alfalfa for her to munch on.

Getting her set up in the stanchion, hobbled, and her udder and teats cleaned goes smoothly enough at first, but as I begin to milk her, the milk is hardly coming out at all. Amelia isn't having a let down or is intentionally holding back, I don't know which. Jocelyn is sitting behind her and begins to scream when a few wasps start to circle around her and land on her dress.

Amelia doesn't usually begin to kick until the end of a milking when she is out of her favorite treats (the barley.) We don't have that at all today. Additionally, I know she feels the stress Jocelyn is feeling and she begins to let us know she is not pleased to be there. She begins to kick so hard the back of the stanchion is lifting up off the ground. Panic and overwhelm starts to set in. So I turn to The Peace Giver.

I quietly but vocally pray, asking God to protect us from the insects who would do us harm (the wasps) or would compromise the quality of milk. (The flies are out in full force as it is later in the day than our normal milking time and the sun is beating down on us. If a fly gets into our milk bucket, we can't drink it.) I also pray that angels might be sent to help us all - including Amelia - to have a spirit of peace. I pray that they can help us to finish the milking at hand. 

The Spirit guides me to go onto Amelia's other side and wait for her to cough up some cud. She starts to chew it and I start to milk. The milk is now flowing at full speed. Several times, I notice Amelia beginning to rear up her legs like she is preparing to kick, but it is as if her hooves are glued to the platform. They never lift for the rest of the milking. I milk her out completely in only one bucket. (I always have two buckets in case one gets compromised with a hoof in the bucket, flies, etc.) Even applying udder balm to her teats - a practice she thoroughly dislikes - goes more smoothly than it ever has.

This miracle is not lost on me. I shed tears of gratitude for the angels God has sent to help me to complete this task.

I bear witness that God is there. He is in the small details of our lives. Gratitude can open the windows of heaven. Angels are real. God is good.

I bear witness to this truth, in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!

What miracles have you seen? How is God working in your life, today?

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