Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Designer

My Sunday morning class recently began a study called "Out with Doubt". It is a study on creation versus evolution. Now, I need no convincing that there is a great and mighty creator but this study is fascinating and is teaching me, and hopefully the kids, volumes about creation and an insight into how evolutionists think and reason. 
Our class this past Sunday was a wonderful revelation that explained that "every design has a designer". Examples were given on how you wouldn't just find a laptop on a beach and explain that it came to be over millions of years of happenstances and coincidences. It clearly had to have a designer. Then we went on to learn how amazing and wonderfully designed the universe is. How if we were even a fraction closer or further away from the sun, life on earth would be unsustainable. We learned how incredibly advanced the human eye is and how even with all the technological advances of our time, it can not be replicated. 
There were other examples given about the astounding miracles that exist in nature. This got me thinking about every design imaginable, from the tiniest flower hidden in the grass, to the mightiest forces of nature like tornadoes and tidal waves. Yesterday Rodney and I spent the better part of the day working our cows. We actually only managed to get the calves worked and are working cows today. There was a baby calf in the mix that was only about 24 hours old. It was the cutest little thing and I was admiring it's design. I'll take my camera today and try to get a picture of him. 
When the day was growing to a close and we were still up to our ears in work, I was watching the sky change colors. The evening was pretty cold but absolutely glorious. My heart was so happy even in the midst of mooing cows and the flying poo. The sky kept growing more and more breathtaking and I could hardly stand the fact that my camera was at home. 
So I called Taylor (on of my favorite of God's designs!!) and asked her if she could please please take some pictures of the sunset. I wasn't hoping for anything spectacular but I couldn't live without this sky being captured. When I got home and reviewed the pictures she had taken...well, you be the judge. I could fall on my face and weep right now from the beauty she captured. I'm sure I'll be posting more on this whole topic for it has captured my thinking and I'm sure to stay glued to it until I've exhausted every ounce of it. I am very thankful for every creation and am overwhelmed to be able to witness it all. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My New Best Friend

I would like to formally introduce the newest member of the Barrett family, Jerico. Mom and I made the long trip to Fayetteville yesterday to complete the adoption process and bring him home. I am thrilled to no end to have him in my home and in my life. He is the sweetest thing. The only details that I know about him is that he was found as a stray and ended up at the Weimaraner rescue in Fayetteville. They estimate that he is around 3 years old. 
When we arrived home, he was greeted warmly by everyone, except the big fat kitty. I was so impressed at how well he handled himself in the face of this obvious snobbery. Jerico was transfixed with the cat for a few hours last night. It didn't seem like he meant him any ill will, it looked like to me that he was merely pointing out that he had located a cat. "Now hear this, I have located the cat." 

"I've spotted him again. Do not be alarmed, I've got the cat in my sights."
Then this morning, the best thing of all...we walked together around the loop. I kept him on the leash until we reached the more remote part of the hike where there is no chance of an encounter with a vehicle. When I unhooked the leash and told him to "go ahead boy, go get em", I don't think I've ever witnessed anything quite so glorious. If you could wrap up excitement, jubilation, happiness, and freedom into a package, it would have been Jerico this morning. My heart just about leapt right out of my chest as he bounded down the road before me. He would stop and look back at me as if to say, "are you sure this is ok?" and I would say "go on" and off he would go again. I think jubilation is the perfect word to describe what he must have been feeling. 
A part of me wishes he could tell me his story, where he's been, what the journey was like that lead him to me. Whatever the story, I'm thankful that he is here now. I'll never forget my Wilson and I won't expect Jerico to replace him. We will have our own story, our own adventures. He is sleeping at my feet now and I can feel a sense of peace and belonging from him. I read a quote recently that states, "A dog has one aim in life...to bestow his heart." J.R. Ackerley. This is an excellent description of Jerico. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I am going to humiliate myself

Before you watch the video below, please understand that I am only posting it because it always makes me laugh and it will probably make you laugh to. Now let me give a brief history of how this came to be. 
Last spring I had a sudden inkling to bring a couple of baby geese home with me from the feed store. I don't really know what made me do it, I just can't help myself sometimes when it comes to certain critters. Anyway, I was also building a picket fence in my front yard around the same time and had my little goslings out in the yard while I was working away. This video was taken the day the kids and I were out painting the fence. When we came in for lunch, we brought the geese in and let them swim in the tub which was immensely entertaining, no matter how white trash it may seem. Anyway, I was sitting on the only seat in the bathroom while the babies had their afternoon swim and I was checking my e mail on my notebook. Also (this is the odd part) I liked to talk to my geese and did my best to speak "mother goose" to them. See, it all seems perfectly rational that a grown woman would be sitting on the potty covered in paint, laptop in hand, with baby geese swimming around in the tub, honking like a goose. 
I was not aware, however, that this whole fiasco was being recorded by sweet Taylor who happened to be in the room with me. I thought she was just taking pictures. So, even though the geese are gone now, I will always have this to remind me of what I complete and total lunatic I am and how easily I can laugh hysterically at my silly self. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This has happened to me a hundred times. I get in my car to go someplace and my journey is delayed or rerouted by some obstacle in my path. Half-way between home and the highway lies a low-water bridge which detours our plans when it rains too much. At the end of the road, there is a railroad track, which many time has a train blocking our way. I will inevitably get behind the slowest driver in Arkansas, who just happens to be driving in my neck of the woods on any given day and, since I rarely pass people on the highway (especially hwy 71), I'll be late to wherever it is I'm going. Now, don't take this the wrong way for none of these things are a nuisance to me. As soon as I feel the slightest tug of impatience when I am diverted, I simply stop and thank God because I know he is keeping me safe. God knows better than I which way I should travel, and who am I to argue over such a mundane detail as which road I will traverse today or what time I will arrive? As a matter of fact, I kind of enjoy when my path is rerouted. The scenery is different and fresh to my eyes, the people I may meet are new and exciting... it is like the day has a little surprise for me and I love surprises. I was thinking about this concept of mine and how I can apply it to everything else in my life that catches me off guard. I completely trust God's judgement, even when it hurts. This last hurt of loosing my puppy was painful and I did ask God "why?". My mom reminded me of something last week when I was grieving. She told me about a puppy that she got for Dwayne after I left home. This puppy was also a little Weimaraner and so sweet and precious. Then one day while she was on the farm alone, she accidentally ran over him and killed him. I remember how upset she was, almost inconsolable. But, the family member that she got the puppy from insisted that she have another puppy the next time she had a litter. And so our lives were blessed with Dexter. He was with us on the farm for 13 years and was dearly loved by all of us. When she reminded me of this, I decided that I would pick myself up out of the pity pit and look forward to what is coming next instead of being sad about what is gone.  

  • So, I am now looking into adopting a dog. I found a rescue shelter for Weimaraners in Bentonville. I've filled out the application and am expecting a call today. These are dogs that have been surrendered by their owners for one reason or another. I read about one dog who had to be surrendered because his owner was in the military and was being deployed over-seas. I really wanted that dog but he has already been adopted. There are several others, some who aren't even listed on the web site. I feel so good about this decision. Giving a home to a dog that really needs a home, perhaps who's heart has been broken as mine has, will be more healing than anything I can think of. I can't wait to let everyone know who my new family member will be. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

At the Checkout

I need to lighten the mood here on my blog. Things have been entirely too serious and sad for the past couple of weeks and I want people to enjoy visiting here, perhaps even get a giggle or two out of it. So this morning, my heart is feeling lighter and I have a hilarious story to share with you. 

I don't know how many of you know my husband. I have written a few stories about him in the past, how he is completely persnickety (quite the opposite of me), he is a hard worker, has no concept of time, and is darling and precious all the way down to his soul. One thing that has always fascinated me about this man is how he is so easily drawn in to gossip. He is not one to spread gossip but does he ever love a juicy story. We have people come and go from our farm frequently and if he ever hears a good story on someone, be they local or "foreign", he is always beaming with shameless delight as he tells me the details. 
Well, you can imagine how he must be drawn in at the checkout at Wal-Mart, bless his heart. Very rarely will the tabloids ever catch my eye. Aside from People magazine or anything with an eye catching food dish of some sort, I simply don't pay attention to the rhetoric. 
Here is the funny story. The other evening Rodney and I were at the checkout counter at Wal-Mart. Our buggy was pretty full of groceries and I began placing them on the conveyer belt while Rodney stood in a trance. I didn't really pay much attention to it until I realized that I had unloaded all the groceries myself without one bit of help from him...even lifting dog food bags off the bottom of the cart. When I made my way to the end and started loading the bagged groceries in the cart, I started to become a little perturbed that he was just standing there while I was doing everything myself. Now, I have done this little chore a million times on my own, but I thought since he was with me that he would at least attempt to help. I got out my checkbook and glared over at him. The poor thing was just standing there in stupor staring at the blazon opus of hollywood gossip before him. It was almost as if he had been hypnotized. Just a big ol' hairy redneck standing there looking at magazines at the Wal-Mart. Finally he caught my eye and headed my direction. I thought he would say "oh, sorry I wasn't helping", or "here let me get that for you". No, help wasn't offered nor an apology spoken. He simply stood before me (and the lady behind the check-out) and, as innocent as a child said, "Tom Cruise had plastic surgery." I nearly wet my pants, I was so hysterical. I laughed all the way to the car, kept giggling about it on the way home, and still giggle when I think of it now. 
It's funny how something as silly as that can bring me laughter. It is the best medicine. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Eagles Wings

I arrived home from "town" today to find 4 eagles soaring above my house. Two of them were adult bald eagles and the other two were juvenile bald eagles. Well, I ran in the house to grab my camera and zoom lens, not even worrying with the groceries still in the car. Wow, they were so amazing to watch and I shot about 60 times. They were even talking to each other with their unusual and almost spine chilling squawking. As I was doing my best to find them through the lens and get the very best shot I could I started thinking of this verse I love. I had to come look it up because I forgot where it was. 
But those who hope in the Lord 
will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles,
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint. 
Isaiah 40:31

Boy those were words I sure needed to hear. And to think, God sent the eagles right to my house to remind me of it. God is good and I am thankful that He will renew my strength and that he blesses me daily with his love for me. I am also so blessed to have the love of so many people and I can barely express the gratitude for those of you who are there to lift me when the road gets weary. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

All too soon

I am not sure how to begin writing this. There are many of you who have been following the wellness of my beautiful baby Wilson and I have news I must share but am hesitant to break anyone else's heart but my own. I gave Wilson back to God today. It became apparent this morning that he was not going to recover from his illness and surgery, so I made the difficult choice of letting him go. 
Writing about this is cathartic for me so I will tell the story, don't read it unless you have plenty of tissue. First of all, I won't go into all the grim details that led me to the decision, just please know that the choice was made out of love for Wilson and that it was the right thing to do. 

Just a few months ago, I had a dream of a beautiful puppy. My heart wouldn't be content until I had him in my arms. God made the dream a reality and gave me Wilson. He was only with me for 3 short months but I was smitten with him from the first moment I held him in my arms. I watched in amazement as day after day as he grew stronger and more beautiful. There were so many times I dreamt of how beautiful he would be when he became full grown. I could picture him running through the fields, I could see him fetching a ball with delight as his glistening body shown in the summer sun. Then I started to notice that he wasn't growing, not eating well. He would have bouts of severe tummy problems and started to become fatigued more easily. So we began a journey to try and get better. People prayed for him, doctors attended to him, and I, well I loved him. I struggled daily to try to get him to eat. I got up with him during the night when he had to go outside. I sat and held him and rubbed his little belly. I prayed that God would heal him. I researched endless hours to try and find a solution. As time went on, he became thinner and weaker but I wouldn't give up. He tried so hard, he fought to be well and his spirit never wavered until the very end. Then the time came to say, "no more". I won't continue to prolong his life. So, I tearfully picked up his weak, thin little body and took him to the vet. He sat in my lap the whole way and snuggled into my neck like he loved to do. The vet agreed that we were doing him a disservice by keeping him alive. There was a moment when Wilson and I were left alone that I felt the flutter of angels wings. Angels perhaps to minister to me, or perhaps to take Wilson to a place where he could be whole. I held him in my arms as he took his last breath and I wiped my tears with his beautiful velvety ears. I told him how sorry I was and that I hoped his journey here had been good. Making the long drive back home was nothing short of torture but I had my family waiting when I arrived. We buried him on Lightning Hill. He is given back to the earth and forever more will be beautiful and strong. Even though our time together was short, I will never forget how I loved him...and how he loved me in return. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Taylor and I went and did a little shopping after church today at the Wal-Marts. We were just going to pick up some "super bowl" type foods for a get-together at Mom and Dad's this evening. Usually when I go to Wal-Mart, I will stop and gaze at the fresh flowers and admire them for a bit but I never buy any. I figure if I want some flowers, I'll grow my own but for some reason today, I picked up a bundle of tulips and didn't have the heart to put them back, so I brought them home with me. I really wanted to bring them home so that I could take their picture, and I took lots. This was, by far, my favorite. This one is definitely a candidate for the art show this year. Can't you just picture it at about 11x14 or even bigger, it would be breathtaking. I've got another exciting development here on the farm that I will write about later. For now, you can just "tiptoe through the tulips".