Thursday, April 14, 2011

Proverbs 14:4

"Where no oxen are, the trough is clean;
But much increase comes by the strength of an ox."
~Proverbs 14:4

The above verse really stuck out to me this morning, as I was reading through my Bible. Synonyms of the word "trough" are "manger", or "hay trough". Where no oxen are, the hay manger is clean (or, empty).

This past week has been a mix of struggling and trusting. As I mentioned in the post below, I'm not exactly swimming in money right now; and I'm learning that you always run out of everything when you don't have any funds. In this scenario, I am almost out of hay.

On and off, throughout the week, I kept on having the thought, "If you didn't have any animals, you wouldn't have to be continually stressing about hay and feed!" What an annoying thought. If I didn't have any animals, my hay manger would be clean (empty). But much increase comes with having animals.

Last night, the stress hit it's peak as I woefully opened the last bale. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from a long day, and opening that last bale was the last straw (no pun intended). I finished up my barn chores, and despite my tiredness, I started walking.

And walking.

And walking.

I paced the perimeter of the property; I roved the neighbor's property. I racked my brain... Where was the money coming from to get the next batch of hay!?!? I cried out to the Lord, "Father, I can't do it! Help me!" (Gotta' love flare prayers!) And then I stopped.

A piece of scripture came to mind, "Be still, and know that I am God."

How often I falter in life; I get so wrapped up with my own things, that I start thinking that "I can do it all by myself.", and then BOOM, I get the jarring reminder that I really can't. Not without the help of Christ.

I walked some more; my mind was quiet this time though. Then a quiet, soft thought came to mind...
"Sell your rabbit cages..." I balked at first. "But I might need those!" I sold my three rabbits a couple months ago (ironically, to buy hay), so my cages all stood empty at the moment.

After a moment, I softened. It was logical. Cages sell for a good price, and they sell quick.

A few minutes later, another quiet thought came to mind, "Buy a round bale this time..."

Well that was out of the blue!! I have never bought a round bale in my life, but as I thought about it, it too seemed logical. A "square" bale (they're actually rectangular, but for some reason we call 'em square) usually weighs between 60-80 lbs. and a ton sells for $150 to $240. That's an average of 30 bales, which might last me 2-3 weeks. Anyone see a problem with that? Shucks, I didn't even have a dollar. Much less $150! Round bales on the other hand, weigh 700-1600 lbs. and sell for $40. Yup, $40. I've always shied away from the round bales in the past, because the quality isn't always as good as square bales, and with dairy animals, you NEED good hay!

So, with the above thoughts in mind, I went to the greatest website ever invented: Craigslist. ;)

After some snooping around, I found what I wanted: one place had some 750 lb. bales of good grass hay for $40 each. Another place had some 1600 lb. bales of green orchard grass hay for $75. I'm leaning towards to $75 dollar bales, as I know my goats will eat the hay and still produce well on it.

I put my cages on craigslist and within one hour, I had three people ask to buy them. I've got someone coming to pick them up as I type.

If I had no animals, my life would definitely be a lot more stress-free; but mightn't I miss out on some lessons that the Lord has in store for me? The Lord is teaching me to trust Him more; to let go of my fear and just let Him lead. But methinks it's an uphill climb. I am not perfect. It may seem so as you read these words that have been carefully thought out and edited. But my life un-edited has some ragged edges to it. I could make myself sound like the most perfect person in the world, on this blog. typing's easy. I just push buttons and words magically appear. It's living life out that is difficult.

So I here I go. Embarking upon a new adventure that entails selling cages, and tentatively buying a round bale. I won't deny that I still have a shred of regret in selling my cages, and I am still wary about buying a round bale; but at this point in life, I have no choice. There are mouths that need to be fed.


Jazkabor said...

I am so happy you shared that!

Krista M.V. said...

Sounds! :P I think i'll look into getting some round bales now! :)