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Not me Monday

Good morning! (or afternoon/night.....whenever it is that you are popping in my world).....I hope this finds you smiling and well.....

After surviving a week of cooking, shopping, cleaning, decorating, shuffling, bustling, and lots of eating.....I thought today would be a good day to lighten up and join in on the Not Me Monday Fun. It's a great way to look back and just have a good laugh at your own expense which, as you know.....I am totally all about.

So without further adieu (what does that mean anyway???).......I give you a little glimpse of a few days in the life of *~Michelle~*

I will not shameless start by encouraging you to start following my other blog, The Jesse Tree. This is a nightly devotional, starting tonight and is a beautiful way to learn the story of God's salvation plan from Creation throughout the Old Testament. You can get your crafty-self on and make ornaments if you would like for each devotion. It's just a wonderful way to spend a little more time with your family/children and really take in what this Season is truly about.

I also will not be pushy encourage you to grab the button (that my good friend Dawn's techy son made for me) and put it on your blog to help spread the Word. (you can get the button/code over at Isaiah 11: 1-2)

How awesome will it be to have so many families worshiping together.....all in the name of Jesus!!!

This weekend, I did not notice while driving to my 25th high school reunion that I only polished ONE hand! Nahhhhhhh.....I wouldn't be that scatterbrained. So I did not have to stop at a pharmacy on the way and try to match up the polish colors. I certainly did not walk around with two different shades of brown nails. Nope! Not me! But, this is a picture of me and my dear friend Karen, we've been friends since Kindergarten!

(And I know that you did NOT immediately just calculate how old I am with that last statement .......you would never do that! *wink)

I did not make arrangements to pick up our mama goats from their "brothel visit" as my 18-year-old son calls it this morning. Apparently, he has come to the conclusion that we are part of a goat prostitution ring since we paid a stud fee......and is quite disgusted about it.

When we headed out for Round 2 of Black Friday shopping........I did not accuse Josh of being scatter brained about leaving his wallet and cell phone at home. I did not relentlessly tease him for approximately five full minutes that my ADD was rubbing off on him after all these years together........all while I was sitting on them the whole time. No, my butt can not be that padded that I wouldn't notice.

And lastly.....I did not walk in on my toothless princess one night to find her watching TV in my room........in my bed.......with a chicken!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes.....she brought Poof (remember that story???) in and had him wrapped up in a towel, sleeping bag style and they were watching iCarly together. Of course I was tempted to take a picture, but thought that might encourage the matter more. *sigh* I told you she was Elly May Clampett!

OK, I must get going, I hope I gave you a good giggle on my behalf today.....I'm good like that!

Tons to do......we are getting our Christmas tree tonight, so I have furniture to move and dust bunnies to trap. I hope you had a blessed and safe Thanksgiving break.....don't forget to join us in worship with The Jesse Tree!

Peace and love~

We interrupt this busy Thanksgiving weekend blog break....

.....to announce that N has now needed to update her "Chrithhhhhhhhh-muth" list:

(.....phew, much cheaper than that Nintendo DS Lite she originally asked for!)


Gobble Gobble......Happy Thanksgiving to You!

"Today is not a good day to be a turkey" I laughed out loud when I read that on my friend's Facebook status this weekend. She and her husband own a custom slaughter business. Not really sure why I am starting out with that....it just struck me as so funny.

I am posting today because I know I am going to be getting wrapped up in the busyness that this week brings about and probably won't be on the computer too much. Yes, this week is the onset of the "time-suck" that can happen with the Holiday Season....even though most retailers got that memo prematurely with Christmas decorations being displayed before I my kids had chance to shake their Halloween candy hangovers.

Anyway, for many of us.....this week will be busy. Some families are getting ready to travel as they are spending Thanksgiving with distant relatives. Some need the whole week to get mentally prepared to spend time with said distant relatives.

Some people are scrambling to get their homes cleaned and shopping for the great feast. Some are devoting their time to help the less fortunate such as collecting items for food baskets or preparing for a soup kitchen for those who have no where to go on Thursday. High school kids are getting riled up for the head-to-head rival football games while many shoppers are making their strategy plans for the adventure of Black Friday shopping.......And some have their hands inside a headless turkey pulling out some nasty stuff so that we can have that fresh bird on the table Thursday. (that's for you, Julia)

We have a nice assortment of plans this week. Today we join the homeschooling group for a pot-luck feast, the Thanks and Giving event. After we have our meal, everyone gets into an assembly line. We have bins with all the ingredients laid out and we put together bread and soup mixes as gifts for the local food pantries. It's a blessing to see even the youngest children taking part and teaching them how important it is to help out people in need.

Later this week we get to tease cheer on Gunner as he rides in a convertible and does the parade wave as Homecoming King for the Spirit Week celebration. On a side note.....is it just me or does having a parade that starts at 5 o'clock in the evening when it is pitch black sound a little off? Regardless......the parade ends at the local park where food will be served and fireworks will be blasting off, so we are there!

Thanksgiving Day starts off with the boys working at the football game, and the rest of us helping out for a few hours at a food pantry. Then we head off to Josh's parents for a feast fit for a king. It's funny....I am not a huge eater, but for some reason, for this meal.....I load my plate up to the point that it needs sideboards. I have the perfect portion of mashed potatoes, turkey and veggies to do my three point fork-full of heaven. You know......piece of turkey, swirled into the mashed potatoes and then the veggies can stick on top. After I finish that last bit of butternut squash I politely excuse myself from the table. I then change into my comfy plaid yoga pants as the circulation in my stomach region is starting to get cut off and return to the table. Most people do not even notice the fashion disaster I am sporting.....or if they do, they are polite enough not to say anything. If fact, I think most are just envious that they didn't think to do the same.

Be prepared people!

Now that I have more room, I indulge in a slice of cranberry nut bread and a piece of pumpkin pie. Then I wash it all down with a cup of decaf coffee. Because I cannot screw up the chances of my grand finale when I slip out into the den......and slip into a Tryptophan induced unconsciousness for about an hour. Yes, this plan is executed and now perfected every year.

So now, in honor of Josh and his Native American heritage, I leave you with a two different things to ponder/ingest today. This first one is just a simple Truth written by an anonymous Native American that has been passed down through the generations:

"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way"

Let us not only give thanks to God for what He has already done......but believe His word and His promise that there is more to come! Know that He is the Author and Finisher of our lives and trust that that He has great plans for our lives.

And secondly.....I have always said that God's gifts and blessings are too many to count. When I am empty, He fills me......when I am hungry, He feeds me. I am so thankful for my family, our health and the blessings we receive everyday. As I recently shared.....I am also thankful for all the new friendships I have made in the blogosphere.

If I had to say the most important thing I am thankful for......it is my Salvation. Salvation that I could never earn, but has been so graciously given to me by the one and only Jesus Christ. I want to keep living my life the way it is pleasing to Him. I need His guidance and wisdom in every step of my life.

Native American Prayer

(translated by Lakota Sioux chief Yellow Lark in 1887)

Oh Great Spirit Father in Heaven,
whose voice I hear in the winds

and whose breath gives life to everyone,
hear me.

I come to You as one of Your many children;
I am weak... I am small...I need your wisdom and your strength.

Let me walk in beauty,
and make my eyes ever
behold the red and purple sunsets.

Make my hands respect the things You have made,
and make my ears sharp so I may hear Your voice.

Make me wise,
so that I may understand what You
have taught my people
the lessons you have hidden in each leaf and each rock.

I ask for wisdom and strength,
Not to be superior to my brothers,
but to be able
to fight my greatest enemy, myself.

Make me ever ready to come before You
clean hands and a straight eye,
so as life fades away as a fading sunset,
my spirit may come to You without shame.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends, be safe......and remember......wherever, whenever and with whomever you are celebrating your turkey dinner with.....

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. ~Psalm 100:4-5

Peace and love~

Variety is the Spice of Life

Today I share a typical sample of what we collect each morning from our little feathered friends. As you can see, we get a nice variety. Our Red Stars and RI Reds give us super jumbo brown eggs.....The Polish and Wyandottes produce perfect white eggs......our mixed breed bantams lay medium beige ones. Our Americauna girls will make any Dr. Seuss Fan smile with the gorgeous green eggs they lay.

Eggs play a pretty important role in our lives when you think about it. Most importantly, we, meaning me and you.....started out as an egg.

Eggs are also used in common references such as.....a brainy person is often called an egghead.

If you blurt out something that comes back to bite you in the butt......you have egg on your face.

Dealing with an overly sensitive person? You are walking on eggshells.

You never wanted to come in last in a relay race as a child, or you'd be the rotten egg.

Wanna stir up a great debate? Ask which came first, the chicken or the egg. (*I go with chicken)

OK, back to our eggs.....focus Michelle, focus!

So even though we start out with a carton of various colors, shapes and sizes of eggs here at our house, they all scramble up the same. Although they came from different breeds, when brought together.......they serve the same purpose.

Isn't that true with Christians/Followers of Christ? I am finding out, even more so with the blogging world.....that although we all come from different "breeds" and backgrounds, we all are called for the same purpose. We are called to yield the same fruit/seed.

Another side note.....(I promise to tie it all together) When we went to the concert this past weekend....this concept rang true as well (as did my ears). It reminded me of a mini version of The Soulfest. The line-up was five bands.....all with different styles. Therefore attracting a variety of fans. There were the hardcore youth who came to see the insanely energetic Family Force 5, who were responsible for my blown-out kneecaps and ringing ears.....then David Crowder brought in a more mellow crowd. But I can assure you that in reference to DC*B, "mellow" can only describe the mesmerizing, almost hypnotic level of worship with his amazing performance.....and bringing the house down for a grand finale was the southern rock style of Third Day who brought everyone to their feet to dance and sing.

Again.....completely different styles of worship, but all with the same purpose. To glorify God, encourage others to put their faith and hope in the Only One who brings Life......to bring everyone from all walks of life and different denominations together with a common purpose.

I guess today, what I trying to say......is that I am blown away when I visit my fellow Believer's blogs and find that common thread that is woven within us and keeps us all connected. Although we all come from different denominations and maybe have slightly different interpretation of The Bible....... we believe in the same concept, Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth.....He is Life.

I enjoy and appreciate all the variety of friends I have made through the blogging world. Some have been born and raised in Christian homes and have stayed tried and true on their path to salvation. Some of us......including me.....were not always living as we should, and only by the grace of God were saved and have found The Way. I have befriended some great encouragers who always offer such hope. Then I visit others who are so inspiring, they are born leaders......they take a stand on an issue that is dear to their heart and set out to accomplish their goals. I visit certain blogs where I know I will get my toes stepped on......but in a healthy convicting way. I have a special place in my heart for the bloggers who just keep it real and raw with their transparency. And of course I always enjoy my fun loving friends who insert just the right amount of humor to fill my daily needed dose of laughter.

So today......I want to thank you all for just being who you are. You all bring so much to my life, and I am so thankful to have "met" each and every one of you. I am thankful that God has a plan for each and everyone of us. Christy Rose passed an award onto me about adding sunshine to her day (I cannot get the image to work!!!).......so now, I am passing along this award to every person who has brightened my life and added SONshine in any way. So if you are reading this now, you've left a kind word my way or I've visited your place and done the same...... considered yourself "tagged" with my own farmgirl version of the award, let's call it the "Good Egg" award. (**yes, this is my cheeseball and corny side)

And lastly......I thank you all again for the outpouring of prayers and emails that still have been coming my way.....so keeping it consistently corny and cheeseball til the end....I'll leave you with this quote from Bernard Meltzer.

"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg
even though he knows that you are slightly cracked."


Everybody Stumbles....

Good morning.....I wanted to thank you all again for your prayers over the past week.....we had an awesome time at the concert! It's amazing how through the power of Jesus, prayer and faith our whole family came through the trials, individual and collectively......changed for the better. What could have torn us apart, brought us closer and stronger. Praise God!

.....I am blessed and honored to be featured over at Abundant Living today! Tracy is a wonderful sister in Christ who I am blessed to call a friend. She chose to share a post I wrote last December (when I had about 4 reader friends.....one being Josh) that I think is perfect now that the Holidays are rapidly approaching. Follow me on over!

Peace and love~

ps. If you get a moment and you are in the blog hoppin' mood......check out my hubby Josh's recent post about how something so little can flip your world upside down....or inside out....or put it all back together......you decide. ;)

ReFINE-ing Friday

I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers, emails and kind words over the past couple of days....to know that we are surrounded by so many faith filled friends means more than any of my rambling words can convey.

With that said.....we are still amidst some trials. And you know, in the big scheme of things, we know we are blessed beyond our wildest dreams and these are just little roadblocks/hurdles that are arising during our journey.

Part of me wants to think the enemy saw the door slightly ajar last weekend and jammed his foot right in. And he took the opportunity to find each of our weaknesses and kick us when we were down. And that's how quickly it can happen.....when our guard is down and we are distracted with our own emotional hangups, we become vulnerable for more his attacks and adversity. The negativity stemming from his presence is like a powerful magnet now pulling in more junk to try to cloud our judgment/focus even more.

Going with another avenue and not wanting to give the enemy any credit for anything in life, I can look at these trials as part of God's refinement plan for our lives. I know that God can allow and/or bring situations into our lives so that we are forced to walk through the fires and burn off things that need to be removed.

So I guess what I am trying to say, is that I do not have the answers to why these things happen in our lives......our ways are not His ways, our thoughts are not His thoughts. But what I do know is that we are so thankful that we have God in our lives and we continue to keep our eyes focused on Him. He is the ultimate Navigator during these storms......He is The Lighthouse that shows us the Way. Thankfully, through the power of prayer and faith, we are pressing ahead and will come out of these refining fires more purified.....

This reminds me of a story that was emailed to me one time.....I saved it so that I can turn to it when I find myself in the middle of a trial. So now I want to share it with you:

Malachi 3:3: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

So, if today you are feeling the heat of your own fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

I will leave you with this song that I have been playing over and over this week......it's off the new CD by Kutless who rocked our socks off at Soulfest '08.

Enjoy and have a blessed weekend~

PS. don't want to get y'all a teeny bit jealous (that wouldn't be a very Christian thing to do, now would it? *teasing!! gotta keep my quirky sense of humor around).....but our family is blessed to be going to a Rock The Sound V concert this weekend with David Crowder, Third Day, Family Force Five and a few other bands. This event couldn't be happening at a better time......as a family, this week has been rough......and are so grateful that we have this opportunity to bring us closer to each other and worship together. We are all looking forward to a full night of praise and worship!!!

*don't forget to pause my playlist

Matthew 18:20 (prayer request)

I believe what Matthew tells us about the power of gathering in prayer.....so with that, I am asking for all my friends, prayer warriors, fellow Believers for prayer at this time.

Our family is under attack. We know and believe it is only because we are shining God's light and the enemy wants to extinguish it when we are spreading His Good News and are becoming more effective. His job is to send issues our way....distract us and take our focus off of God. Pray that we recognize God's grace/purpose and the mercy that He is showing us by providing us the opportunity for us to work through these issues. We believe that God can and will turn what was meant for bad into good.

I have always kept it open and real, but at this time.....I need to keep our matters private, as I hope you can understand.

Thank you all.....


A bitter pill to swallow

If you've been popping in my world for say.....more than a couple times.....you know that I pretty much let you all in on what is going on in my heart. Occasionally I'll give you a glimpse of what is bouncing around in my head, but that is a scary place. It is a place where you would surely get lost as I have a hard time focusing on one thought. For example, last night I caught the first few minutes of Three Rivers and it totally confirmed my thoughts on those creaky carnival rides (one of those spinning puke machines broke off and flew off crashing to the ground). Of course I turned the channel because I knew I would have nightmares of clowns. Because carnival thoughts went to circus thoughts (which I also do not like....not a fan of animal cruelty, as you can imagine)....then to creepy clowns, which terrifies me, along with ventriloquist dummies and old fashion china dolls.

See? Aren't you glad I am taking you into my heart instead?

But for this trip, you might need to pack some extra tools because I have this wall around it that needs tearing down. Yes, I am having one of my not so finer moments in my walk of Christ and am having a struggle with bitterness and unforgiveness.

And it s*cks. "scuse my language, but it does.

(trying to talk myself into thinking the asterisk takes a little edge off of it)

I won't bore you with the details of who, what, why and all that.....but I will tell you that it didn't stop with just one person or one incident. And I'll let you in on an ugly truth. I can hold a mean grudge at times. I am not proud of it, but I am being real.

So, it started Friday night with a spat with one of my sons who was displaying a perfect example of this "Generation Entitlement" and it spiraled downward. It was like the spiral turned into a tornado and anyone who was not a safe distance from me, got sucked into my twister of bitterness. Saturday morning, I woke up with that same ugly chip on my shoulder and no one was safe from my wrath. I thought I would be able to start a new day with a new brighter outlook, but bitterness had it's foot jammed in the doorway of my heart and I was unable to push it out.

In the Bible it is known that being bitter destroys. The phrase, "the bitter water that brings a curse" for example is found quite a few times.

And I did have a curse on me. All it would take is someone looking at me with a crooked eye and I instantly started formulating a list in my head of all that person did in the past to "wrong" me. It was like I felt more empowered building that list as if each entry was more ammunition to use. I even practice the fury that I would be unleashing on them, when the time was just right. I had it all planned out and it festered within me, causing more anger to boil through my veins.

I am pretty sure I appeared as ugly on the outside as I was in the inside. I was walking around with a permanent scorn on my face (causing hideous wrinkles and frown lines prematurely I am sure)......I was tense and snappy, wound up like a top ready to spin out of control.

I was frustrated. I was stewing. I started reliving past hurts and found a bizarre sense of comfort settling into this state of resentment. I was destroying myself from the inside out. I was exhausted physically as well as emotionally.

Due to my pissy pants mood.....I found myself wanting to be alone to sulk and pout. So I ran random errands throughout the day. I jumped into Josh's truck to buy some hay and feed. I had the Third Day CD in and had it cranked....probably one step below blowing out speakers level, because we all know that when you are frustrated/angry.....loud music is needed. Of course the lyrics brought me to tears as I felt God trying to warm my cold angry heart. I actually pulled over at one point and just sobbed for a few minutes. It was like holding all that negative emotion was pumping negative energy into my internal boiler that needed to be cracked open to release some steam. I felt temporary relief and headed back home....but the anger and resentment started resurfacing. It was as if I felt validated staying upset in some warped way.

*a little side note from my ADD brain.....but something that just dawned on me. Do you see a correlation here being angry and common references such as blowing off steam, fuming, fiery, boiling, combustion, all referring to extreme heat as in that really HOT PLACE......otherwise known as H-E-double hockey sticks? Hmmmm.

So, today.......I wake up this morning feeling so empty and drained. What good did it do to stay angry all weekend? Nothing. In fact, it robbed me of 48 hours that I will never get back. I was totally ripped off. But it was no-one's fault but my own. I take full responsibility.....instead of looking Up, I was looking inward. I was feeding my own desire to take control. I felt wronged and wanted justice. I had no control over how others treated me, but I did have control of my emotions and felt like I wanted to call the shots, even if it was the power of staying angry. I gave the enemy a written invitation to my heart. And that is what the enemy is.......a total rip-off. He is a thief who only has one mission. To rob and destroy. Mission accomplished.

I think it is Paul who wrote to the Ephesians (I told you I am not great at knowing all the details).....but I do know what he is trying to teach us (me) especially in Chapter 4

".........Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace......

........In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.....

and here is where Paul brings it ALL HOME:

.....Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

wow.....that feels like a punch in the gut right now.

Imagine if God kept a list of all the screw ups I did tucked in His back pocket to use as ammunition? I don't think His robe would be able to fit a scroll that long.

No, God is quite the opposite....He tosses our sins in the Sea of Forgetfulness. (Micah 7:19) Although my sins are like scarlet, He turns them white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18) He puts all my sins behind His back. (Isaiah 38:17)

So today, I want to purge my heart of unforgiveness. Ironically, I am praying that God forgives me for not forgiving others. I pray that the "curse of bitterness" is broken off of me and I can begin this week with a new heart, a heart that God commands me to have. He commands me to have this heart because He knows the freedom it will bring me. He knows it will release me from the burden and the junk I am carrying around.

So there you have it.....I give you the good, the bad and the ugly with my blog. Today, this surely is the latter two.

Peace and love~

I cannot make sense of it all.......

(photo taken from Associated Press)

.......so I will turn to the Only One who can.

Praying for the families who lost a loved one and everyone who has suffered trauma from the shooting at Ft. Hood. Praying for emotional and spiritual healing as well as physical healing. Also praying that everyone can pull together during this time of grieving and mourning and find comfort in God.

Though they (we) are in this time of confusion, pain and overwhelming grief....I realize that many of them (us) will not be able to see past today. But I pray that they (we) know that Your great love will never fail them (us).

For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love~Lamentation 3:31-32


Are you there God? It's me....Nev

OK, so this isn't about my daughter asking about training bras or any pre-pubescent body changes....thankfully we haven't gotten there yet. (hopefully you all remember that book or I completely lost you with my first sentence. Usually that only happens by my second or third paragraph of rambling)

No, this is about my little girl who for the first time, had her first test of faith and questioned God.

It all started out this past Sunday morning. Not sure if it was a combination of a candy hangover from the night before and/or how toasty it was to stay in my flannel sheets that extra hour, but I had a hard time waking up and getting a start on the day. It was one of those mornings where there was a little frost on the ground which made it even more difficult to think about getting out of bed. But we knew we had to.....so Josh and I struck a deal. He would go out and take care of the animals, I would make breakfast and get everyone up for church. I think I scored on that deal.

So as I am starting to make coffee....the phone rings. It's Josh calling me from the barn. He says....."Uh, I think you better come out here". From many past experiences....that usually is not a good thing.

I threw on his construction boots and a sweatshirt and ran to the barn. When I flew open the door, what I saw was not pretty. One of our bunnies had a litter of six babies and they were all strewn about the cage frozen and lifeless. I was in complete shock because..... let me let you in on something. We were under the impression that Snowball was a male. And (s)he didn't even appear to be any fatter these past few weeks....not to mention, we just put her/him in a cage a while back separate from our other bunny, Hershey.

You see......we are in the habit letting all our animals, including the bunnies, be "free range". Well my neighbor came over a few weeks back and told us that although he didn't care about our chickens going over for a visit.....the bunnies were pretty much torturing his dogs. Come to find out, he trains his dogs for hunting with rabbits and it was getting a little difficult to reason with two Labradors and let them know that these were not the rabbits they have been trained to chase and catch. So when our bunnies would hang out in his driveway and the dogs were starting to shred the screens in his windows trying to get out.....he thought it might be time to let us know.

So getting back to the baby bunnies.....My first words were "Oh my God!".....Josh's first words were "How did this happen??" I didn't have time to give Josh the lowdown on reproduction...so I just gave him that look instead. You know....the one-eyebrow-raised and chin-tucked-back look.

Josh then said....."Oh man,I think they are all dead....feel them, they are frozen" And sure enough, they all were like ice cubes. As I started picking them up one by one, I couldn't figure out why Snowball didn't tend to them and/or prepare a nest.

As I was picking one up I noticed that one moved it's mouth a bit.....I screamed, "This one is still alive!". So I scooped them all up and tucked them in the pockets of my sweatshirt and ran back in the house.

I yelled down to Nev to wake up and that I needed help. She came out all groggy.....her hair looked like a rat's nest and her eyes were barely open. I told her to get the heat lamp quick....she took one look at these little creatures that resembled naked mole rats and dashed off to find the lamp. As she is scrambling she is asking what they were. I told her that Snowball had these babies and we are trying to save them. She brings over the lamp, her eyes are now as big as saucers and says...."But I thought that Snowball was a boy".

"Yeah, you and me both" I replied.

We started our best efforts at bunny CPR and got three to start breathing on their own. The other three didn't stand a chance. After about 5 minutes, one of the three just couldn't keep up with breathing and passed as well.

So we had two alive. Now we had to figure out how to keep them alive. Baby bunnies do not thrive well without their mom. Even though we researched and found out that mama bunnies are not like chickens and sit on their young.....they make a nest, leave the babies to keep each other warm and only feed them once a day. Sounds like someone should call the Dept. for Child Protection if you ask me.

We grabbed one of our many critter cages and made the most comfy warm nest we could and laid them in it. Of course I had nothing in the house to feed them.....I had since tossed the kitten replacement formula from our last rescue mission with those baby rats. (which coincidentally was around Nov. 1st of last year.......hmmmmmmm)

We got them settled in and needed to finish getting ready for church. Nev wanted to bring them but I told her that it was way too cold outside for them to stay in the car. Apparently she wanted to bring them into church and her class.......possibly an altar call for healing? I convinced her that God would keep an eye on them when we were gone and that after church we would take a trip to Tractor Supply (my version of a being a kid in a toy store) and grab some formula for them. Heck, if the mom only feeds them once a day as newborns.....surely they can wait a few hours.

We came back from church and got them started on their milk. I have to tell you that my little girl is like Elly May Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies. Seriously.....you'll never see her out in the yard without a chicken tucked under her arm or some critter following her around. She is just a natural at taking care of animals and they sense it.

She jumped right into heating up the milk and feeding them with a syringe. Then she tossed a few hand towels in the dryer to warm them up and then wrapped them with their full bellies. It was looking pretty good for these two little guys. (or gals....like I have any clue!)

She did the night-time feeding and tucked them into bed that night.

When I woke up Monday morning....I went to check on them. I saw one out of the blanket nest and it was on it's back. I picked it up and it was ice cold. I tried to rub it to see if I could give it a little "heart jump start" but it remain lifeless. Unfortunately, it must have wandered out and couldn't find it's way back to the other one and got too cold. The other little one was curled up nice and warm, thankfully!

I had to break the news to Nev when she woke up. Another thing I have to tell you about Nev is that growing up on a little farm teaches more than responsibility for children. It also teaches some hard lessons about life (and the circle of it). I am also thankful that she doesn't equate death with saying goodbye forever. She always talks of seeing all her pets/friends in Heaven and how they are happy and healthy there.

But this time, she had this confused look....she said "I don't get it. Before I went to bed, I prayed to God. I thanked Him for sending us these bunnies. I told Him that I understood that some had to go right back to Heaven to be with Him.....and I prayed that He would keep the two we had safe and healthy. Why would He do this? Maybe He wasn't listening to me."


I tried to explain....as best as I could.....that even when we pray for certain things, sometimes God has different plans. It doesn't mean that He is not listening or does not want us to be happy. We just have to trust that He has a plan and purpose for everything, even when we don't understand and/or are disappointed.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. ~Isaiah 55:8

Of course....this convicted me. Sometimes...well OK...MOST of the time....my prayers can be like "prescription" prayers where I act as if God is going to "fill it" exactly as it is ordered. The true test is still believing, praying and trusting in Him even when He doesn't "fill" those prayers.

My heart leaped when Nev passed this test. After I explained it all, as best as I could, she sat there for a minute, holding our last little bunny in her hand. She held it close to her own nose and stared at it's little face......"Well I guess God wants it to be just me and you, little guy.....let's go have some breakfast"

I pray that I may be more like Nev......accepting God's will for me and my life, no matter if the circumstances are not always what I want/pray for them to be. Give me that child-like faith that releases me from the bondage of doubt and disappointment.

I will leave you with this prayer/poem I found. It was written by Claudia Minden Weisz (a mom of a Rett Syndrome child)

And God Said No

I asked God to take away my pride. And God said "No".
He said it was not for Him to take away, but for me to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. And God said "No".
He said her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience. And God said "No".
He said patience is a by-product of tribulations. It isn't granted, it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness. And God said "No".
He said He gives me blessings, happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain. And God said "No".
He said suffering draws me apart from worldly cares and brings me closer to Him.

I asked God to make my spirit grow. And God said "No".
He said I must grow on my own. But He will prune me to make me fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. And God said "No".
He said He will give me life, that I may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me love others, as much as he loves me.
And God said "Ah, finally you have the idea!"

Peace and love~

***EDITED TO ADD: At 7:30 tonight we discovered that our last little bunny passed away and is joining it's siblings in Heaven. Nev is heartbroken as you can imagine. We just said a prayer as she held him crying about how we did our best to keep it alive, but it just wasn't enough. I reminded her that God was very proud of her for the way she loves animals and always is there to care for them. If you have a moment.....please say a little prayer for Nev.

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