I am a planner. I like when my schedule is set and known. I make lists. I check off my lists. It makes me happy. I am much better at being flexible then I used to be but it is often still a struggle where I have to remind myself that I am not in control…and that it’s ok.
Having a husband, six kids and a daughter in law, our own business, a farm, and 72 animals, yes my plate is full, as is my heart. It’s a joy and life I could not imagine being any fuller. But simultaneously, my plans, or any hint of plans, have been sufficiently thrown out the window.
Having kids is hard enough, animals add a whole different kind of crazy. They especially don’t care about your plans. Several chickens decided that sleeping in the tree is a better option than the coop. One night one didn’t even come home, we still don’t know where she was, but she returned home the next morning. We created a ramp for the chickens to go to their new much nicer coop but they won’t go in to it. The girl goats decided to run through the electric fencing IN to the boys pen. Another day the gate was left open and the goats were hanging in the back yard early one morning trying to break a window in the barn. The boy goats got in to a sparring match one day and nearly knocked themselves in to unconsciousness. We came home to bloodied heads and stumbling goats. The pigs keep burying their fencing line and escaping from their pasture. I’ve moved the fencing twice and added blockades but they don’t care. They’ve been meandering through the farm at will, digging craters of what used to be grass wherever they please. Every day presents a new unexpected challenge that tests me. None of this was in my plans.
Although we are striving to live a simpler, more intentional life, being here on the farm doesn’t mean that the realities of the world can’t touch us. In addition to our crazy animals, we have been thrown a number of other unexpected detours this past few weeks too. The old adage of “one day at a time” feels far too long for my weary soul. I’m in the one hour, maybe even one minute, at a time mode. In reflection, I see how many of my plans were changed. But I also see how many opportunities came that I never saw coming. I’ve had to dig deep to find the peace that I know is real. I’ve examined every choice and every action.
My resounding security is that our family, our home, our farm and our animals are where they are supposed to be. While I may not understand why life has thrown me so many detours this week, I’m always searching for the good in the midst. Because you can’t plan everything in life, so sometimes you just need to hang on, and see that maybe those detours have a different purpose. Perhaps those detours were meant to cause us to slow down, to cause us to look around, to be sure we are where we are supposed to be. So difficult as it may be, I am trying to embrace our speed bumps, and learn to continue to slow down.