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Last week Stewart put up a car gate and two homemade walking gates and thereby completed the fencing of the pasture. If you walk around the property you’ll find homemade gates on the pasture, the original two acres, the chicken field, and the pallet garden. I only mention that because I am kind of a sucker for homemade gates.

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The morning after he completed the gates, we all headed out for milking time so that we could release Abby and Daisy and let them roam. We’ve had Abby and Daisy for nearly a year now and have picketed Abby in close proximity to their shelter, water, and milking stand. Daisy followed her Mama around up until recently and never needed picketing.

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So after Elijah milked, he let her off the milking stand and she walked around slightly confused. A week on and they still tend to stay close to their previous picketing space. However, they seem to be wandering a bit further in the pasture as they become acquainted with the freedom to roam three acres.

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Goats are not like cows in that they seem to like to eat a little bit of everything – from grass to weeds to brush and trees. We have long discussed layering in other true grass-eaters like a cow or sheep to make the most of the three acre pasture, but that is a ways off and Lord willing.

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Since we let them off we have gotten reports from the boys as they go out to pasture. “Abby was down at the over spill!” or “The goats went all the way to the other end of the pasture with us!” is the breaking news as the boys swing open the screen door.

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We are thankful for the help we’ve gotten with the fence from the community here.

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Ultimately we are thankful to the Lord for His faithfulness and sovereignty in all homestead matters. The process of growing a homestead by hand while raising these five little blessings is surely one of the greatest educations in waiting on the Lord and trusting in His sovereignty that I have yet to encounter. Fence, goats, pastures, and milk have been nothing compared to the spiritual gifts that we have been given through the process.

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When the roosters begin to crow in the black of early morning, I know Joshua is right on time. These babes have all awoke right between four and five to eat and drift back to slumber, leaving Mama wide awake in the peace of morning. It is a gift.

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Before breakfast is begun and little bed heads make their way to the kitchen, there I am in the dark stillness to read and write and anchor my day.

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On the rare occasion that their slumber continues and breakfast is ready, I sneak out to the garden at first light.

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It is July in Texas and so it is hard to tell if it is still warm from the night before… or just beginning to heat up. There is no dew or morning chill or hot coffee.

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There is only me, standing amid sunflowers, bolstered by His grace.

I cannot know what the day will bring, whether triple digits or chill; drought or rain. But come what may I can rest in the knowledge that this is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.