I decided to update my folder of barn records in the morning and before long there were surprised tears in my coffee as I typed up Beau’s last notes.
Our long weekend with him…
and then his final lay down.
The afternoon was filled with 4-H and phone calls and sunshine and then yells from the front yard that the dog had eaten the sheep’s leg off.
There were angry tears when I saw that the dog hadn’t actually EATEN the sheep’s leg, but had tried to herd the sheep and a tied sheep won’t herd and a cattle dog without a job sometimes herds too hard.
The evening saw us in the hayfield, dropping everything to go on that one day a year when the hay man says it’s here, and the injured sheep stayed home with his girl and my boys donned gloves and my big man does what he does best, he hefts and he pushes through life so he hefts and he pushes through the field of hay and I want to lay down but I drive slow instead and sometimes heft too and then, when my littlest baby is driving the truck and the music is playing and the sun is shining, tired tears come because sometimes a mama really does just want to lay down.
Because sometimes all life is, is hopping from one mishap to another…one mess to the next…one big job to one more big job…
and it can be overwhelming.
And a mama gets tired.
But when a few more quiet tears come on the way home, hay loaded up and midnight approaching, they’re both sad and sweet and grateful because sometimes in the tired we can forget who we are and where our strength comes from.
And while I follow in the second truck and the hay on the trailer in front of me rocks through the Alaska wilderness and the construction zones, I realize how far I am from where I want to be. From where I should be.
All the things…all the places…all the words…how have I gotten this far and left them all undone, unsaid?
But as the midnight sun glares and my baby switches songs on the playlist like a big boy next to me, I remember that I’m close to the One who’s taking me there.
And that every breath is the opposite of mishap and an opportunity to do the things and go the places and say the words.
The mountains are purple on the flats and we take our hay home and my men unload and my girls put the crock pot away and we tuck in the sheep and we go to bed.
And I tell myself that tomorrow there will probably be more mishaps and messes. But that I need to listen. I need to remember the wide open sky and the freshness of hay and the muscles that move.
I need to listen to it all.
So I’ll remember. I’ll remember that tears come when I’m listening and when I’m listening, I am strong.
I’ll remember that my job is to grow into who He made me to be and while I’m doing that, to love.
To remember where I get my strength.
And to use that strength to manage the mishaps and weather the worries and surrender the sorrows so that I’ll keep standing.
I’ll keep standing and I’ll keep lifting and I’ll keep pushing and I’ll keep hefting…
All the way up to my final lay down.
Great is Your faithfulness oh God
You wrestle with the sinner’s heart
You lead us by still waters and to mercy
And nothing can keep us apart
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me
~Your Grace is Enough, Chris Tomlin
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13