Hi! Wow! You just keep coming way out here in the country to sit at our bench with me, and I just keep being amazed at your commitment to our relationship! It's breezy and hot this afternoon/evening. If the wind dies down, maybe we can water down the area around the firepit and make some smores. Maybe. If not smores then maybe some homemade ice cream. Yes?
Of course, if we are out there making smores there will be ducks and maybe some chickens pecking around to see what we are doing. Did I tell you we have ducks and chickens now? Yes, yes we do. We have three ducks, eight plus 24 more on their way home right now chickens, six half grown cats, and one very old beloved dog who thinks he must herd them all. It's crazy loud happy around this place! Oh! There are also all of those cows out in the pastures too. The cows aren't in our yard though so don't get listed in the official count. Our own personal homeplace is becoming full of life, and I love it!
We get to wash the porch off more when our poultry friends visit the porch, but that's a small price to pay for the sweet homey-ness they have added. Never thought of myself as a duck girl, but these things have captured my affections. I like them. I really truly do. They are nice, and when they get to waddling around...oh my, it makes me smile from the inside out. Now if they were being sneaky and/or pinching my children, well, I wouldn't be smiling. BUT, they aren't being sneaky and mean. They are very well-behaved additions to our yard, even if they are a bit on the noisy side. It's a quiet noisy. Sort of. Anyway, they are serving a purpose. They are marvelous guard ducks, and that is a blessing as our dear sweet dog can't hear as well as he used to.
All of these new additions coming in August right when we are finishing up the summer and getting ready to slide into Fall. Pretty sure we will be so busy with our beautiful garden that we won't even realize Autumn has arrived until it's well under way. My Garden? Yes! The garden, the one that I said was the "last try" is growing and thriving! Don't you love that? There are blossoms, pea pods, tomatoes, beets, onions and carrots growing undergroundand along with delicious salad greens. It's not too big and not too small. It's just right. Thanks to Miss Mustard Seed there is a sweet little bench to sit on too. My Beloved, Colonel Redeemed and all of the other children added a rustic fench and a scarecrow named Lolli to keep the rabbits and other nibbling creatures out. After 9, maybe 10, years, a garden spot has been found! Joy Unspeakable!
Ya know? Thinking back to ten years ago when we were making plans to come live on the ranch full time I might have envisioned a few chickens and our dog but three more children? ducks? Six cats? Not even on the imagination radar, especially not the three children. But God knew. He knew. He knew how very much we needed these three children, how we needed their laughter, their humor, their sarcasm, their delightfulness, and yes, sometimes even their questions. He knew that these three children would delight and almost frighten us with the insight and amazing understanding they each possess. He knew that their ability to express themselves so clearly would be a vital necessity to us for we are all walking a busy bit of messiness out here. He also knew that the depth of their faith and spiritual knowledge would both thrill and humble me, their mama. God knew.
When God gave me the layout and design of the house He knew it would house babies as perfectly as it would feed a branding crew. Everything about us He knew. Not only did He know, He planted the ideas of the perfect plans for a home that would house a family of nine and feed many more each year inside of me. Nothing escaped His notice. Everything was included in His design for us. Everything. Spaces large enough to feed many or few, bedrooms with individual bathrooms for guests to stay in, a loft large enough for children to sleep in comfortably when guests are here, spaces for many people to spread out yet still be together, tiny spaces that function perfectly yet still look nice, a kitchen large enough for a family and their friends to cook together and not get claustrophobic, every little detail was planned by a loving Heavenly Father who also happens to be the Almighty God and King of all Kings. He even knew I would love the ducks! That's why He sent them even though I didn't think I would want them. Isn't God just wonderful? Is there any other like Him? No, none.
There were so many little things I planned with future grandchildren and visiting children in mind, yet God knew they would first be enjoyed by three more little children of our own. How shortsighted we were so innocently ignorant as we leaned on our own understanding and knowledge. Thank You, God for knowing. Thank You for leading me even though I often didn't have a clue. Thank You. Just that. Thank You. Thank You for children and ducks and chickens and rocks and trees and woodstoves and gardens. Yes, dear Lord, Thank You for gardens in the perfect spot, gardens with sweet fences and scarecrows. Thank You. Thank You for spaces to retreat and be renewed in the face of turbulent teenage storms and traumatic toddler tantrums. Even though it doesn't seem that great most days, thank You for fingerprints on windows, dirty floors, toys, and tiny shoes lying everywhere. Thank you for army men in houseplants, chicken feathers in my freezer, and toys in kitchen cabinets and drawers where their 17 months old owner left them in exchange for the kitchen item(s) he took out. Thank You for the loudness of children, the silliness of cats, and the spoiled love of an old black dog. Over all of these blessings Lord, thank You for My Beloved and the children You used our love to make, these I love - the ones who share all of this with. Most of all, Thank You for Jesus. Thank You God for You.
Overflowing with Thanksgiving,