Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ripping Weeds... Last Year's and This Year's

Last weekend was a particularly PMS-y weekend for me... and I think the one who ended up the worse for wear at the end of it all was poor Jason.  Not only did I unload a whole bunch of pent-up frustrations, I had a bad attitude and a "woe-is-me" complex to boot.  I still owe him a real apology.  Sometimes us women get away with a lot by blaming it on our hormones.  Every feeling and frustration I was having was very real, but the way I handled it all was pretty crappy (my kids tell me that is a bad word and I shouldn't say it, and they are probably right, but I can't think of a better adjective right now).

Anyway, after I unloaded, I felt better. And I might as well just spill it all to you all too.  I had been a bit resentful and grumpy about the impromptu farm that was developing in my back yard and my living room.  The chickens were starting to get big and louder and stinking more quickly.  My morning routine was being mucked up (literally and figuratively) by the blasted pigs running out of food.  Now, I had agreed to all this... but kind of hoping Jason would be able to handle it all on his own and I could just float around sprinkling chicken feed or apple peels when I wanted without actually getting dirty or lifting anything heavy.  Well, this fairy princess had a bit of a wake up call, and I had started to resent the fact that I was having to *gasp* help my husband.  And of course, instead of talking to him about it, I bottled it up and started adding other little tidbits to my festering... like hating 4-H meetings and creating epic battles with cougars and neighbors when we ended up getting the goats Jason insisted we would have in a year (yes - I resent the future when I'm on a roll.  And my future is always dramatic and far removed from reality).

So, in a teary, snobby attack, while we were both trapped in the truck on the way home from buying more chickens, I snapped.  I unloaded... said I never ever wanted goats, I didn't really want any of the other stuff we had and I was sick of it all.  I probably threw in more, but it didn't matter anyway... I had done another fizzing pop attack, and all Jason could do was put up his deflector shield and shut down.  Or snap back.  I can't remember which....

because that was a year ago.

I started the above post and never finished.  Today, seriously, just today... we have a backyard farm consisting of five pigs (two more than last year), four quail, fifteen chickens, two (down from three) bantams (poor broody Blondie was a raccoon snack, but nine of her eggs are in the incubator), fourteen rabbits, four ducks, and three (soon to be four) sheep.  Throw in a dog and cats and red worms and meal worms, and I think we qualify as a serious farm.

The sheep arrived today.  I made the mistake somewhere around the time we decided not to get goats of making the statement to Jason that if he could get all the fencing for super cheap, he could get all the sheep he wanted.  Today, I agreed to four, and I was the one who greeted the farmer (we both apologized for our dirty hands before we shook) and opened the gate to let the sheep in.

Sometimes, I walk around late in the evening feeding the animals, collecting eggs, and watering the garden and other plants, and I breathe more deeply.  It's hard work, but it is calming.  I am never caught up, but we are both more relaxed.  Oh, yes, there are times we stress out and get behind.  I don't like it when raccoons eat my chickens and make my baby girl cry.  But I have made a big effort to not have the attitude I pulled out in the truck last year.

Last year, right before I wrote that post, I had had a good day in the dirt.  I had found the time to rip weeds out and put down bark on the only part of the property with flowers.  The part I felt was "mine".  I was feeling crummy about my attitude and needing an outlet for my stress.  I know the analogy isn't new, but I was praying for a new attitude when I felt God speaking to me... through the dirt and the weeds and worms. The weeds and thistles were my crappy attitude.  God wanted to rip that part of me away, to uncover new, fresh dirt that could be worked and transformed.... planted with the fruit (flowers) He wanted in my life.  It's not pretty in the weeds and the dirt, with creepy crawlies and hidden bug eggs.  It hurts to rip all that off and start over.  But it helped change my outlook. And God promises He will do His good work in us (Philippians 1:6), which is what He promised to me that day.

That was last year.  It felt so good to have something looking like a flower garden.  
It felt so good to get rid of the weeds and to have a fresh start.  

This year, I have added on...

And ripped more weeds.  And added more bark.

These days, whenever I get out in the dirt and peel away the nuisance weeds, God reminds me of the work He wants to do in my life.  I remember that first day, ripping weeds, mad and grumpy and feeling sorry for myself.  I remember God showing me I was the one who was the problem.  It had nothing to do with the animals or my husband.  I'm far from "landscaped", and there are times I let the weeds creep back in, but now I crave those times to get in the dirt and rip weeds and remember the promise God made to me last year.  This year, my husband helped me rip some serious weeds, and we turned a little piece of our weed-ridden hill into this....

And then we hurried off to feed the animals.... all of them.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to fulfill His good purpose.  Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like the stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.  
Philippians 2:12-15

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