Beautiful lush green pastures, brown faced cows, rich creamy milk...i tell the children it's like living in a calendar page. We love it and we feel so blessed. But there's another side to the picture perfect scene. We just lost a third of our cows to an incurable disease, a disease we thought they had been tested for before we bought them. A hard blow for my men, both big and small. A hard blow to our faith, to our trust in God, and to our pocketbook. Those cows were not bought on a whim, and they weren't bought without seeking advice. So what happened? Did we hear God wrong? Were we actually outside His will when all we wanted was to walk out what we thought He called us to? I don't have the answers to those questions but i'm convinced of one thing. Our children are worth it and our Heavenly Father is still good. And i know that none of this took Him by surprise. I don't want to "over spiritualize" here, as the reality of it all was pretty rough on us for a bit, but the fact remains, it's this kind of stuff that shows what we're made of. Either we trust God and let Him refine us through the whole thing, or we start panicking and lose all peace. We're not on the other side yet, but i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is bigger than cows, money, and raw milk permits. (which we're STILL waiting for!!) I saw my man grow up some more in the last 2 months and if the way i feel about him is any indication, i can only imagine how his Heavenly Father feels about him. He's one fine man! ;)
We also had the unbelievable joy of leading Eric to Christ last week. That has a way of putting everything into perspective. He had come to us several months ago and after Marlin asked him a few questions, he encouraged Eric to keep praying about the work God was starting in his heart. We felt that while God was clearly moving, Eric didn't feel that weight of sin at that point. Last Monday night, he came to us and wanted to talk. We had been watching some fantastic lightning behind beautiful white thunderclouds, and Marlin made the comment that maybe Jesus is on His way. Unknowing to us, that struck some serious fear in Eric's heart. So we talked again and Marlin gently pointed him to Jesus Christ, explaining that there isn't anything we can "do" to become a christian, but that we need to accept. We talked about sin, got on our knees and Eric was a broken young man. His mama was a mess too, although i didn't let on, but what a privilege!! He's still a child, (he'll be 11 in November) and i know that Jesus will lead him gently. The time will come when he will be called to a deeper surrender as his understanding grows but what a wonderful Saviour to surrender our children too. After Eric went to bed i told Marlin that Emily has been quite a challenge lately and i think it's high time she gets saved. Maybe she's under conviction? Should i ask her? Marlin told me to relax, God will lead her the same way He led Eric. You'd think i'd get the point but i tend to get over zealous and think in terms of "one down, 6 more to go." Ah well, it's a good thing i have a solid leader, don't you think?