Unless the Lord Builds the House…


Gwendolyn, sleeping inside tonight because the ice storm would have destroyed the makeshift shelter we have up for her. That is hay. And a cow. In my bathroom.

You may realize that I’ve borrowed this title from the post I wrote several months ago, when I was writing about how it seemed like our farm story just kept (as I put it then) “morphing into a series of miraculous happenings.”  It seemed like every time I turned around, God was doing some new amazing thing… providing in some new incredible way, blessing us with some new wonderful gift.  And now, it seems that we’re going through the exact same thing, only in reverse (see here and here and here and here and here for a few examples.)

Tonight we came home to find only 9 of our 21 chickens still living after an attack of some sort.  Most were laying hens, a few were hens we were planning to breed this spring – some to sell and some to keep as this years meat birds – and one was a sweet little pet who actually belonged to my friend Michelle.

I told my mother-in-law yesterday that there isn’t much that could happen around here that would surprise me anymore and at least in this case, it’s true (but I’d REALLY rather not test that theory so with all my heart I take it back!!!)  I feel sad and angry at myself for letting the chickens free-range, but I don’t feel overwhelmed or distressed or any of the other things I’ve been feeling lately.

I feel like, as strange as it is, this is also a part of God’s plan for us.  I have no idea why we’re going through all of this, but it’s going to be wonderful to come out the other side and look back, and, as a friend mentioned, do and experience all the things we’re supposed to do and experience because we went through this.

Not terribly long ago I was reading a blog written by a woman who often seems to be experiencing some sort of crisis or another on her farm (disease, flooding, coyote attacks, etc.) and I (perhaps foolishly!) told Jon that I would love to learn to be the sort of person who can pick up and carry on in the midst of crisis – who doesn’t simply give up or become so overwhelmed by the hard stuff that I can’t function.  Because that’s been a struggle for me in my life – I tend to get overwhelmed easily and give up in the face of struggle and conflict.  In so many ways, I think all this is helping me to become resilient and, in some ways, strong.

So, once again, I find myself thankful for the struggle.  And thankful that this is the particular way He has chosen to teach me whatever it is He is teaching me (which I can only guess at, right now.)  He is still doing some new amazing thing, providing in incredible new ways and blessing us with wonderful new gifts.  He is gentle with me.

And because it feels like I’ve written almost those exact same words about a hundred times in the past few months, I have to ask…

Is anyone else sick of reading these types of blog posts?  Because I sure am sick of writing them.  :)

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2 Responses to Unless the Lord Builds the House…

  1. I, too, believe that struggle makes us stronger, but in the face of it, it still seems as if I am forever tempted to resign it all and move to town. Horrors!
    Several years ago we lost 18 of 24 hens in one horrific massacre while we were out of town and the chickens were still free range. I immediately wanted to sell the survivors and never deal with that kind of sadness again. Of course I didn’t – just built a stronger coop and became more vigilant in their care. I offered silent prayers for forgiveness for my carelessness; we learned and moved on.
    Love your blog!

    • Rina says:

      Thank you, Debbie! It seems like so many of the difficult things we’ve been going through can be linked somehow to mismanagement. We’re learning a LOT. Some very hard lessons, but very very worth it.