Peppa Pig

In my last post you read about the Unexpected, which truthfully is a major part of working with animals. In my time here I have learned God uses our animals to reveal just how stubborn we can be. Other times, He uses animals to soften our hearts to receive something new. Today I am going to introduce you to our Peppa Pig, she wasn’t a pink cartoon character, but she sure was sweet.

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So many piglets!

Our sow Ophelia has large litters of piglets, and on Boxing Day of 2016 she gave birth to eleven—yes ELEVEN— piglets! It turned out to be one too many piglets for Ophelia to handle on her own, so into the house Peppa came, at a whopping 6 days old. Though my mom was reluctant to allow a pig in the house (can you blame her?), she fell for Peppa just like I did. She took to the bottle quickly and stayed in a box by the fire to keep her warm. She learned her name and claimed me as her human mama.

Pigs have a reputation for being nasty, dirty, and simple animals, but they are actually very smart and particular. They like for their beds to be clean and away from their waste, and they quickly become friendly to humans. When I started helping around the farm, I was more intimidated by the pigs than I was our half-ton bull. Peppa stayed sweet for all of her days, but she did not stay little by any means.

You know how the bible covers some topics more than others? Fear for instance, there is a verse for overcoming fear for all 365 days of the year. That should be enough for me to overcome fear, shouldn’t it? Not for me, I’m stubborn—remember? Though my stubbornness is no match for God, and He sent Peppa just in time to help me overcome a part of my fear.  Peppa stayed in the house for as long as we could manage, then she transitioned to a small fence outside, before finally moving to her big home back with her mom in the wooded pasture once she was off of the bottle.

 

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Our sweet Peppa at two months old!

Here is where I faced my dilemma, how was I going to visit my sweet piglet if she was around Ophelia? I was fine in my box of fear, until it meant I was going to miss out on something I loved! Over time, as Peppa continued to come when I called her name, Ophelia and I became friends too. 1 Corinthians 1:27 teaches “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise,” and sometimes we are reluctant to allow God to teach us through things that at first seem foolish or silly. A piglet in the house was silly, but that didn’t keep God from using her. Though Peppa is no longer with us, through a sad accident, I think of her frequently and am grateful for the opportunity she gave to me. What piglet is God calling you to allow into your heart or your home? No matter what it is, I would encourage you to say yes! You won’t regret it!

Unexpected

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For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I will be the first to admit, I am not a fan of surprises. No matter the type, if someone has a surprise for me, my stomach churns and I think “oh no, what if it’s not what I expect?” No matter my predisposition to surprises, God tends to use the unexpected— that is surprises, in the most profound ways in my life.

If you’re reading this post, it’s safe to assume you’re already somewhat familiar with Glenhaven Farms (and if not be sure to scroll on to read all about us). Susan—my mom—has been sure to introduce you to many of the animals and what the Lord says through our wild experiences with them, but here you’ll read how a piece of property in the little town of Avery changed my life.

In late 2014 as I was working my way through college God did something unexpected. He brought my mom to Glenhaven Farm, and by proxy me too. Sure I had always known about this dream of hers to move away and become a farmer, but if we’re honest I didn’t think it would happen the way it did!

Early 2015 looked rough for this young city girl as I sulked my way through this unexpected transition. Isn’t that so like us as Christians? I am so guilty of thinking to myself “God, why would you do this to me? Don’t you know how I feel about this?” I feel that way more often than I care to admit, but the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit always whispers kind words back to me. Jeremiah 29:11-13 paved the way for the work God did in me that year. No matter how The Lord tried to reassure and steady me through that process, I ran away from the country life like Jonah did from Ninevah, until God hit me again with something unexpected.

Fall 2015 felt like I was riding an avalanche with nothing but the clothes on my back. My family was in disarray from navigating through the death of a loved one, and I began staying with my mom here at Glenhaven more often. I decided spontaneously one Saturday morning in October to come and visit. She told me to hurry and be safe, but also warned me that she was hosting an event for her new local church kids for Halloween, and a lot of new people would be around.

 

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He makes the unexpected easy for me!

Long story short, one of those people happened to be the man I would marry just a few years later. I had no interest in a relationship with someone who lived away from my City and my School, but like I said God uses the unexpected to change us and shape our character in the most profound ways. Here I am, four years away from that unexpected event, humbled and more thankful than ever for this little farm.

Surprises are still hard, but rest assured that God is faithful and true and He means what He says when He tells us his ways are higher. (See Isaiah 55:8-9 captioned under my picture from above)