Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hope, Queen of the Farm

Looking very pretty and proud, sweet Queen Hope with her new wool cut. ♥

New Pasture

Today was such an exciting day for Hope... she finally got to go out and be free in her pasture. (Michael finished sheep proofing the horses fences. Oh, and he was able to cut out all Hope's dreadlocks! She feels so much better now.)

Martha had stopped by and was already in the stall with Michael and the kids when I arrived.  The second I walked in her stall, Hope walked right over to me and demanded rubs and kisses.  I knelt down, and Hope put her nose right up to my lips.  Martha hadn't been to see Hope for a while and was so happy to see how well Hope was doing and how much she trusted me.  "Awww, Shana... she knows you... she knows your voice... and she loves you!"   Then she quoted from the Bible:
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  John 10:27
I love all the references to sheep in the Bible....  and how Martha seems to know all of them. ♥

Hope was hesitant at first when we let her out... but then she ran and frolicked... but only for a minute.  Then she turned around and came right back to find me.  And then she followed me.  I honestly am so astounded by how sweet and affectionate she is... and how very much I love her.  Here's some video of her first day out...

Isn't she sweet?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sasha & Hope

At first, both Hope and Sasha were a bit afraid of each other. I told Sasha to sit quietly on the beach towel and just wait. Eventually Hope cautiously walked over to Sasha... closer and closer... and then gave her a kiss on the cheek! It was definitely one of the sweetest encounters I've ever witnessed... and thank goodness I had my iPhone with me to take these photos.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hope & her Horses

I had another sweet morning with Hope...

The minute I sat down on my beach towel, she walked right over and lay down next to me. She loves affection, and today I learned that she loves having her chest rubbed. If I stop rubbing her, she'll try to get closer to me so I start again - it's super cute.

 All the horses are interested in Hope, and they visit her frequently. Her favorite seems to be Dreamer, but today she decided to give Mirabella some love too.

But it wasn't long before Dreamer found out about this and came over to see what was going on.  I got some video of the three...

I do find it interesting that our two youngest fillies are the horses most interested in Hope.  They are just so sweet with her, and she seems to love them.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hope Kisses

Yeah, I kinda love her...

Secret Admirer

When I arrived at the barn after church today, someone was already in Hope's stall with her...   it was the same someone who has said over and over again, "Lucy, we are NOT getting any sheep!"

Michael had the purple halter I'd purchased in his hand.  I'd been keeping it in her stall for a couple days so she'd get desensitized to it... and I'd rubbed it on her just a few times.  I truly didn't think that Michael would get the halter on her head, but then he turned an old paint bucket over and sat down near her... and ever so slowly, he put the halter over Hope's head.  Then he smiled and she looked right into his eyes as he pet her gently... "Good girl, Hope... good girl..."

Of course now he is the self proclaimed sheep whisperer. :) Honestly, though... I'm so glad he loves her (even if he won't yet admit it). I can tell he does, and she seems to know it too. I wonder how many sheep we'll have at our farm a year from now...

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Perfect Morning

I woke up early and packed a bag for my morning with Hope. I wanted to spend some quality time alone with her before the vet arrived. I packed a thermos of hot jasmine tea, a china cup and saucer, some candy and chips, a beach towel, and a book that my friend Andrea suggested called The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. 

Each morning I walk up to her stall gets a little easier... I'm a little less fearful, but every bit as excited to see her.  This morning, as soon as I opened the top to the dutch door, she greeted me with the cutest, "Baaahhhh".  Gosh, she's so cute. ♥

When I went to pet her though, she darted away and ran around the stall a couple times.  I was wrong to think we could pick up where we left off the day before.  So I laid out the beach towel, poured myself a cup of hot tea and sat down across the stall from her. Instead of talking to her as I usually do, I decided to just be still.  I noticed there were flies buzzing around me, and I batted them away - fearful they'd land on my teacup wanting a sip of my sugary tea.  Except for the flies, I thought, this was a perfect morning.

Hope finally settled and lay down in the corner across from me, right next to her food bowl.  As she kept her eyes on me, I quietly read her the story of Baby Jesus and the crippled lamb.  It was my first time reading the book, and it made me cry... such a sweet story.  I held the book up as I read, being sure to make eye contact with Hope while showing her the beautiful pictures on each page. 

I read... and she listened.  And she watched me very closely.

Hope listening to me read The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

And when I was finished reading and set down the book, Hope slowly got up and walked right over to me.  She tilted her cute little head as she looked right at my face, and then she licked my hand. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I noticed that all the flies were gone... and all was still... And my heart was full.

This was the perfect morning. ♥

Vet check & plans for spring

Dr. Sam and her assistant arrived shortly after 10:30am - ultrasound machine in hand.  They first gave Hope a thorough exam and said that she looked pretty good.  She's probably close to two years old , her eyes and teeth looked good, and her heart rate was normal.  Dr. Sam looked closely at Hope's feet, confirmed that they were still sore but said that William had done a good job trimming them.

To my surprise, the ultrasound revealed nothing in Hope's uterus.  There is still a chance of her being newly pregnant, but it seems unlikely.  To be honest, this news made me sad... I was so looking forward to a baby lamb or two in the spring.   I was also surprised because the sheep farmer had been so sure Hope was pregnant.

But I decided to focus on the fact that aside from being neglected and mistreated, Hope was healthy.

Dr. Sam then walked around our farm and helped educate me about sheep, common diseases, and what kind of pasture space she'd require.

After they left, I decided to text Michael the news. :)

I was being funny, but the crazy part is that Michael actually agreed to letting Hope be bred!  He said he had been excited about a spring lamb too.

Of course I didn't mention that sheep often give birth to twins... (or even triplets)! Shhhh... don't tell him.  ♥

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gifts in the Wait

In today's world, so many of us want instant results... we are too busy and are accustomed to streamlining all aspects of our lives.  With smartphones, everything is at our fingertips, and we are used to being able to get want we want when we want it.  I am no different.  In fact, I've never felt more pressured and busy than I do right now; and I feel like I simply don't have any extra time.

But Hope is teaching me something...   love can't be rushed.  Love requires trust, and trust takes time. So in perhaps the busiest season of my life, I am learning to be still... to be quiet... to be patient.  I'm learning that things can wait, that some things just aren't as important as I thought they were, and that some things are very very important and worth spending time on.

I'm learning to wait.

And there are gifts in the wait...

Like the first time Hope let me touch her while she was lying down and vulnerable...

And the moment that she fell asleep while I was sitting next to her and petting her.

My definition of a gift is something that makes your heart feel happy...  and my heart feels so very happy.  I have been blessed with this beautiful, gentle creature; and I thank God for the lessons and the beautiful gifts He is revealing through her...  ♥

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Hope the Rescue Sheep - Florabella

It's been decided...  her name will be Hope.

After telling Kyle and his friend that I was thinking of naming her Hope, they told me that the name Hope had been suggested at church on Sunday after Kyle had saved her from the busy road.  Not only that, but there have been so many other signs pointing to the name Hope in the last few days.  And somehow I feel that Hope will bring people together, and perhaps her stall will be a place of solitude and prayer.  Almost everyone I know right now is worried about something... a marriage, medical test results, a daughter going through rough teenage years, a child being bullied at school, newly adopted children transitioning into their new lives, a parent missing their child, and many more reasons to pray.  Yes, we are all looking for hope...

There is something so beautiful and calming about Hope's spirit.  And since she's come along, the barn feels so magical. Much too magical not to share...