Thoughts from the Barn

I really enjoy my daily trips to the barn. I'm down to only 2 goats and a few barn cats nowadays. They are always happy to see me when I arrive. The cats want their food and the goats eagerly wait for the daily treat of grain. How different it is today than it was a few years ago when my barn was filled with goats and daily milking and busy children helping to do the barn chores. Now I'm the one who does it all and am happy to have it small and manageable.

Most days I haul water to the goats, rake out their stall, feed them, talk to them and they talk back :) and it is peaceful and pleasant. It is a nice time to do the chores and think and ponder many things.

One thing I've learned over the years is that it is so easy to grow way to big on a farm. It is easy to take more and more on, but harder to keep up with and manage it all. The maintenance and up keep can become overwhelming. I don't really ever read or hear that end of it when I read homesteading blogs.

After almost 20 years on our homestead the barn needs some repairs, the chicken coop needs a new roof (we don't have chickens right now, but we don't want the coop to fall apart either), fences need repair, the driveway needs new gravel, and so on. I'm sure I'm not alone in having a long list of things to be done on a homestead.

A few years ago I decided it was time to simplify my farm animals. My kids were getting older and they had their own dreams and I put my energy towards helping them emerge into adulthood. We moved to the country mainly because we felt like it would be a wonderful place to raise children, and it certainly has been.
I had to realize as they were growing up that they had their own dreams and desires (just as we did when we moved to the country). And they needed to be able to follow those dreams and see where God wanted them to go in their lives. It was just the next step in the journey of raising children.

So some of the animals were sold, the chickens were eventually put in the freezer when they were done laying eggs, the horses were sold, and we kept only a couple goats and the barn kitties.

One of these days I'd like a few chickens again, but not this year. This year, as I make adjustments with less children in the home and taking on the chores without their help, I'm keeping the words, "simple and manageable" as my motto. I've already seen how quickly things can grow and become overwhelming and that is not where I want to be.

As I was in the barn today I took time to enjoy the peacefulness, the noises of the animals, the simplicity of life in a barn. I thanked the Lord for His blessings in our life and thanked Him for the simple joys of barn chores on a quiet day.