Give me a word, Lord: LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Colossians 3:23-24 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

About six years ago we traveled to Tupelo, MS, to pick up a couple of Scottish Highland cattle. I fell in love with the breed, and researched them diligently before making the purchase. I searched high and low trying to find them, and finally came across a judge in Tupelo who had a small herd. I called him up, and he said that he wasn’t selling any of his cattle, but after I gave him my spiel, and explaining how badly I wanted them, he conceded. He sold us a ten month old heifer and a thirteen month old bull. Scottish Highlands stand out in the crowd with their long hair and distinctively long horns. They are a beautiful breed. We halter broke Merida, the heifer, within the first two weeks, and she became my baby girl. She would follow me all over the place, especially if I had a bucket of feed. We kept her behind the barn area for the first couple of years. She even learned how to turn the water faucet on to take a cool shower on hot Mississippi days. She has always been the sweetest cow.

We no longer have the bull. They outgrew our little holding area behind the barn, and we moved Merida into the large fields with the other cows. We couldn’t put the bull with the other girls as we already had a bull, and we couldn’t have the Highland bull breeding all the commercial cows. But, my husband knew my love for Merida, and we agreed to keep her. To this day, we can still go out to the cow field, and that girl lets us rub and pet all over her, and she will take us down for a bucket of pellets. This week, Merida had a pretty little calf. She is adorable, y’all. The calf is red with a motley face, long fluffy hair, and so cute! We went to check on the cows yesterday, and I told Jeff that I had to hold Merida’s calf. She is just so cute! He said that the calf would not let me catch it. I proved him wrong. It took a couple of minutes, but I finally got my hands on her. She didn’t really want to be held, but I was so happy to have her in my arms. I fell back onto the ground on my behind, and I laughed so hard as Jeff took pictures with his phone. Merida just looked on patiently. She knows me well, and she knew I wouldn’t harm her baby. We’ve been through a lot together. She is such a sweet cow.

I posted pictures on social media last night, and a friend commented that I always look happy. Now, truth be told, I may not feel happy 24/7, but I do feel happy most of the time. We live a pretty good life her at Hodge Critter Lodge. God has blessed us generously with great jobs, lots of critters, and a love for life. We continually live life to the fullest. We work hard at our jobs, work hard to take care of our home and our critters, and we enjoy doing it all. That sounds crazy to some people. How can working hard be fun? When you work willingly at everything you do as though you are working for the Lord, you can’t help but enjoy the work you are doing! Plus, we have baby critters to play with, and there is always so much joy to be found when playing with new babies.

I truly love my life. I love the ups and the downs because even during the downs, I know that my Lord and Savior will see me through. He always does. He has never failed me though I’m sure I fail Him daily. Do you want to know my secret to enjoying life? I look for Christ in everything. I’m not kidding. If you look around and look for evidence of God, you will see Him, and when you see Him, you can’t help but enjoy life as you recognize all of the blessings that have been poured down on you. It’s true. You just have to look around and recognize the blessings and not the stressing. Having a bad day at work? Can’t find any joy in it? Pray and ask God to help you through your day, and just watch! He will show up and show out. He does it every time. It doesn’t matter what the situation is that is getting you down, if you turn it over to God, He will see you through. When you see God work everything out for your good and His glory, you will likely be amazed, and I bet you will be over joyed.

You have to take time to have fun, Peeps. Working hard is important. We are not to be lazy sluggards. We have to work, and we must work hard, but we can still have fun. Find little ways to enjoy your work day. Have cake and coffee with your coworkers. Whistle while you work. Sing praise songs as you tackle the tough things. And maybe chase down a baby calf that doesn’t want to be caught just so you can hug a cute baby calf. (But don’t do this if you aren’t on really, really good terms with the mama cow! LOL) Most importantly, look for Christ as you walk through each one of these crazy days. Live life to the fullest as you fully live life for Christ!

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