Anyhow, let me explain how this title came about.
Most mornings, after having spent some time with my farmer man with coffee and conversation as he prepares for his daily trek to the office for his "real" job, I get busy taking care of the menagerie of animals we now have on the farm.
First, I take care of the guinea pig, "Scooter" because he is inside and quite demanding about being served first. Then it is on to any animals we may have inside at that time. This time of the year, we are hatching so it could mean checking the incubators or hatcher, turning eggs or making sure the newly hatched guinea keets or chicks have clean water, plenty of food and clean bedding.
Then it is time to head outside!
A stop by the call duck pen to chat with "Sam", "Bogey" and "Bacall" change out their pool if needed and make sure they have plenty of food.
The Jubilee chickens are next of the list. We currently have three new chicks! Again they are checked to make sure they have clean water and plenty of food too.
Time to head "down the hill" to the coops, barn and the pond.
First things first, I turn the lights on in the barn and stalls and turn on the radio. I love listening to praise music while I work so our radio is set to 88.3 WAFJ, a local Christian radio station. I also believe that music is beneficial to the animals as well, so why not make it praise music!
Right now, we are still bottle feeding our rescued llama cria, "Lleia", so she is fed first, then I greet the sheep boys, "Paddy", "Olaf", "Luigi" and "Tater". They are very vocal about expressing how hungry they are! When "Lleia" is finished with her bottle, I get all the sheep and the alpaca's food together. The "alpaca posse" meet me at the gate and I great each of the boys by name. There is "Patrick", "Primo", "Krusher" and "Socks". They are fed and the noisy sheepy boys are next. "Paddy" is fed in the alpaca stall because he is slow to eat and the other three boys are fed in the sheep stall. Meantime, our wonderful livestock guardians, "Hoss" and "Mishka" are patiently waiting for a special treat of a dog bone and "Lleia" is offered her own pellets outside the stalls where she can nibble on the new food as she wishes.
While everyone is happily munching away, I wash out buckets, refill with water, refill hay holders, etc. Once everyone is finished with the morning munchies, they are allow supervised time together. You see, "Lleia" is a llama, a girl llama and my alpaca are boys....and two are intact so since "Lleia" is still young we can allow her time with the boys so she learns to behave like a camelid, BUT only supervised time together. We don't want the boys hurting her or trying to breed with her.
So, now everyone is out and about, milling around, grazing. This gives me time to feed the ducks and geese who are at the pond that morning and sip on some coffee before starting the morning clean up.
With alpaca, they use a community bathroom so you can easily scoop up their poo. You ask why would you want to scoop up their poo? Well, the more poo you remove from the stalls, walk ways and pastures the more parasites you remove that could cause your animals to become sick, so we scoop poo!
The funny this is, it is during this time, poop scooping time, that I often find myself singing along with the radio or praying as someone or something pops in my head. It is a quiet time for me. It is a peaceful time for me. It is praise, poop and prayer time for me!
The Bible says "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17.
I fully believe that no matter what job you are doing...whether it be raising your children, climbing the corporate ladder, taking care of aging and elderly parents, flipping burgers or even scooping poo, we are to do it to the very best of our ability and we are to do it with thanksgiving.
Wait...thanksgiving for scooping poo?? Why yes!
You see, a little over three years ago, I had a major back surgery. I had a titanium disc and three screws placed in my spine due to an injury...a fall in the barn. Three years ago I could not scoop poo. Three years ago I could not take care of the animals or even myself. I could not even shower by myself! It took over a year before I was considered healed. Then I had to rebuild all the muscle I had lost from four months of not being about to do much more than lie on the couch in pain and then three months of no lifting, no bending and no twisting after the surgery. It was a long, hard, very humbling process that took over 18 months.
So now, I am SO grateful that I am healed. So grateful that I am able to tend to the animals, take care of myself, take care of the farm and take care of my farmer man....who took such good care of me and the animals and farm when I could not. I have SO very much to be thankful for.
Since the surgery and my complete healing, we have added quite a few animals to the farm. In fact, in almost exactly one year, we went from no pasture animals, no pasture and no guardians to four sheep, one llama cria, two livestock guardians and four alpaca, barn stalls....and a lot of pasture fence....with more fence to go!
When I spend my mornings down at the barn, whether it be working on taking care of the animals or just spending time with them, I am reminded how important each of our jobs are and how blessed I am to be physically able to work with them and enjoy them.
I pray that you take a moment to really count your blessings. I mean it...count them! Make a list of the things you are grateful for. We are all so very blessed, but often with all the "poo" of life, we lose our focus. We focus on the "poo" that happens to us and we focus on the "poo" that we cannot control. We focus on the "poo" and lose sight of the bigger picture.
You know the saying, "Into each life a little rain must fall" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow? Well, in the farm life it goes more like "Into each life a little poo must fall"! The difference is what you do with that poo. You can wallow in it...ewww, you can step in it.....ewwww, you can ignore it....if you want flies or you can remove it.
And you know what, poo is a good thing! Wait what?
You see, if you take that poo and you compost it with some other stuff, it makes the most wonderful thing you can add to your garden!
So, as life hands you poo, and it will......don't wallow in it, don't step in it, don't ignore it, use it! Use it to make something wonderful and new. Learn from it and grow!
"When Life Hands You Poo, Make Compost!" I think I just found the saying for our next farm shirts!
I hope this encourages someone today. I pray that no matter what "poo" you are dealing with, you look beyond the poo and see the compost. <3
P.S. After all the pasture animals are tended to, then comes the chickens, guineas, turkey and finally the rabbits. Didn't want anyone thinking I forgot them!
Now off to tend to the animals! Have a blessed day!