Luke 12:16-21 The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, "What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?" Then he said, "This is what I will do, I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come, take your ease, eat, drink and be merry." " But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your soul is required of you, and now who will own what you have prepared?" So is the man who stores up treasures for himself, and is not rich toward God."
All my life I have wanted to live on a farm. Or maybe a ranch is what I wanted, because I certainly don't have a green thumb. Any garden I have ever tried to grow has always been a flop. I put off taking care of it, I forget about it, I don't want to do it. And even when I do put feeble effort towards it, it dies, or grows beautiful plants profusely, but no vegetables or fruits...
But I do love animals, and I enjoy taking care of them. It's one thing I usually do well. Many times in the mornings, one of the first things I want to do is walk the pens and just see how they are thriving.
When we thought about moving last year, it seemed all we could find were houses with no land. I ended up selling most of my chickens and rabbits in anticipation of not having anywhere to keep them.
Then when we ended up not moving, I began to rebuild. I had gotten well on my way to being restocked and in fact was getting enough eggs that I dragged my incubator back out. I was able to load up a tray each Saturday with eggs, which amounted to about 72 eggs a week, and we had plenty to eat. I also found a lady who was selling fertile chicken and duck eggs, and I added those to the incubator.
The rabbits were doing well, also.
And some friends asked me if I would like to raise puppies for them. I jumped at the chance. I set up the pen they gave me and looked very forward to this new venture.
The night the three dogs, two females and a male, one pregnant, arrived, I walked around the section of land the animals were on, feeling pretty good. In fact, I was patting myself on the back...I had this down now. I had a lot of hens laying eggs. I had chicks in the incubator. I had prolific rabbits. I was going to raise dogs. I pictured myself at Antique Alley, selling chickens again, something I really enjoyed doing when I first moved to Grandview. But this time, I would add rabbits and crocheted things. This was going to be great!
Then disaster struck...
The dogs were getting out of the pen. I stayed up until 11 that night, and patched holes. Finally thinking I had it fixed, I went to bed. The next morning, they were still in the pen. I checked on them once an hour or so as I went about my daily housework.
But around 10 that morning, when I went to check, they were out.
One goose was in the yard, dead.
And one dog was in the chicken pen.
I caught the dogs, secured them in a crate, and then went to check the damage.
Almost every hen and a rooster were dead.
As I surveyed the damage, Luke 12:16-21 ran through my mind. I had been prideful. I had been full of myself. And I remembered it was GOD who gives the increase, I can do nothing on my own.
I repented, and I thanked God that he had not required my soul quite yet. I have six of my 12 children to finish raising.
I didn't feel like God was telling me to quit. Just that he was reminding me who was in charge here.
So I sent the dogs back. They were not farm dogs. It wasn't their fault. I would still like to raise dogs, but if I do, I will stick with Great Pyrenees.
I cleaned up the carnage in the chicken pen. I gathered up the four that were still alive, added the rooster I had put in another pen because he was mean, and I began to look around for more hens. I have added four so far, young hens that are not laying yet. Two of the four that were saved were also not yet laying, and the two that were have not quit recovered from the attack, and are laying sporadically. It will come again, I imagine.
I figured the other goose was dead somewhere, but a couple of days later, I found it staggering out of the tall grass, heading for water. It drank and drank, then disappeared back into the grass. It's not recovered yet, but it will be okay.
I have some half grown chicks, and the eggs in the incubator should start hatching tomorrow. The lady with the fertile eggs texted me yesterday to let me know she has some more. I will go get those today.
I have a new litter of rabbits, and built a new pen yesterday for my growing herd of Dutch rabbits.
But I will work on my pride, as well as my little farm. I learned my lesson, and I will try not to forget it. I will remember to give God the glory from now on. I will not "count my chickens before they are hatched", and I will not 'tell my soul' how well I am doing again. When I walk pens in the morning, I will thank God for what He has given me.
And I will enjoy what I have. If we have enough for Antique Alley, maybe I will still get a booth. But I do love just shopping on those two weekends a year, so maybe I won't!
We will see. And be content!