Thursday, January 16, 2014
I realize that I am not wired like some people. I have always loved children, and loved to care for them and raise them. I love animals, especially birds. I am very content to be home, and have never once wished for a career outside of it, although I do like making money doing things I love, like raising chickens or crocheting.
Years ago, my mother bought me and my three sisters each a china girl that she felt like represented our personalities. Here's mine:
No, the CHINA girl, not the Raggedy Ann doll!! :) And yes, that's my mother's picture next to the china girl, who is holding what appears to be a book or a box, and is petting a butterfly. And hey, she is even wearing a long dress and a head covering, although I wasn't doing that when mom bought this for me. She knows me even better than we realize!
For the longest time, I thought I was blessed among all women, and that everyone must envy me my large family. After all, the Bible even calls children blessings and rewards and says that children are our heritage. I thought everyone wanted lots of children, and people who were ugly to me about it, or looked down on us, were secretly jealous and just wished they could have the life I had.
I really, really did think this.
That's why it came as a shock to me recently when I came to the realization that some people really DON'T want to have a lot of children, or even didn't want any children at all.
After pondering all that for a while, I decided that's okay. God does give us different gifts, and even though Psalms 127:3-5 tells us that the man whose quiver is full of children is blessed, and James 1:27 tells us that pure religion is taking care of the widows and orphans in their distress and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, there are many ways of doing it. Two Christmas's ago, I was very blessed to receive a lot of presents for my two girls we had not quite adopted yet that still had the Angel Tree tags attached. Many times when I would get a foster baby in the middle of the night, the social workers were able to shop the "rainbow room" at the office and bring me diapers, formula and clothes to get me through the next couple of days until I could go to the store. All these things were donated, and it was a tremendous blessing not to not have to worry about getting them while trying to calm a terrified child.
There are other things I like to do that I CAN understand other people don't care for. I can understand that other people don't like battling snakes and manure to raise chickens. They might not like milking cows twice a day, or tripping over a slobbering Great Pyrenees dogs every time they go outside. Baby kittens might not make their day like it does mine.
And that's okay, too.
What we need is to give each other mercy.
A couple of my children think it's time for me to leave my country place and move into the city where I have less to take care of. Granted, maybe they think that because this place can be a mess sometimes, because it IS more than I can keep neat and tidy on a daily basis by myself. They site that someday they will be left to deal with it after I die.
And yes, I understand that. But please, I'm not even quite 60 yet! And still healthy enough to enjoy it here. I don't think they have to worry about that yet.
Another child would like to live in a beautiful house with a nice yard and flowers and a beautifully set table where we will invite company and serve amazing meals.
She got the wrong mommy, I'm afraid. But I did get her etiquette classes, and we scour yard sales and thrift shops and Antique Alley for dishes and tablecloths and all the pretty things she would like to have. Because, to my great dismay, that girl is growing up, and will likely have her own home before too many more years have passed.
So I will smile at my children and let them talk, while some of them do the things "I" never wanted to do. Like move to Viet Nam. Or Austin. Or Colorado.
Although, given the chance, I might move to the mountains in Virginia and live on a couple of acres and grown fruit trees and berries and have a cute little cottage with ivy growing up it and a wood stove and go barefoot all the time.
I never desired to go to college, but two of my daughters are doing that right now.
So I give them grace to do what they want to do.
Well, okay, sometimes I might gripe. But I don't try and stop them anymore. I try to let them live their dreams like I am already living mine.
I love what I have. This morning, the very first thing I wanted to do was go check on my rabbits. I wrote a blog last week about going to Canton and buying them. The man who sold them told me he thought they were pregnant, and he was right. However, the first rabbit did not make a nest, but birthed her three babies on the ground. I tried to help her, warming the babies up, pulling hair from her belly and making a nest for her, but she did not get the idea and the babies died.
Then yesterday, I noticed the other rabbit WAS making a nest. She was desperate about it, too, using leaves and the grass I pulled up for them to eat:
I even saw her hop in the nest and begin to give birth. And this morning, there were eight fat, round, wiggly babies in the hair I saw her pull from her belly.
I absolutely love this.
I have one son that I can usually bully - I mean, talk - into helping me build things around here. Yesterday, while mama rabbit was busy making a nest, Max and I built a goose pen. Well, Max built it, I directed. It's huge, and I love it for two reasons: my two geese have a really nice large place to live, and they will keep the grass down in an area that is almost impossible to mow.
Luke, Tommy and grandson Beetle (yes, that really is his name, although I hear rumors that his birth certificate is wrong and says Jayden) helped a lot. They helped me get the panels and posts over to the place where I wanted the pen before Max got off work, so all he had to do was pound posts and tie the panels. Once the panels were up and the geese were in the pen:
(that pen right behind them, by the way, is where mama rabbit and her 8 babies are housed) I had the idea of running the pipe where the water from the bathtub drains into the goose pen. That's the black pipe you can see in the middle of the picture.
Then this morning, I set the three boys to work digging out a hole for the water to drain in:
...and now the geese have their own pond.
So, as the sayings go; bloom where you are planted. Live your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you you are doing the wrong thing, unless, of course, you ARE doing the wrong thing. Check out your Bible for that.
And be content!!