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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Homemaking » Hay Day – Preparing For Winter

Hay Day – Preparing For Winter

It is 5:30 a.m., Saturday, September 25 and I am alone at the moment.  It is cool outside and very calm and quiet. Paul and all the girls have gone to Lincoln to get hay for our animals for the winter.  Our family friends, the Johnsons, have a family member who cuts and bails hay and sells to us what we need for a really good price.  They will be coming home with about 150 bails in a few hours.

 I was sitting here with my faithful cup of coffee J just thanking the Lord for the way He provides for us – everything we need, at the time we need it.  Usually we get our hay in the month of August.  By Labor Day it is stacked, high and dry, in the barn and that area of our lives is settled and secure.  Anyone who has farm animals understands the great peace there is in knowing that you have hay for the winter.

 How much more so, the peace and satisfaction that comes when we as mothers/wives – fathers/husbands have taken care of the things we can to make sure that our family is secure for the winter – even spiritual “winter”.  Let me explain.

The wisdom of our Lord is so precise that in His plan He provided for us seasons.  We have the Spring: a time of growth and renewal, excitement and zeal springs forth – there is hope for what is coming and determination to press on so that we can produce good things for the Lord and those we love.  Yet, everything is not always instantly mature – actually very few things are.  In the spring – we must protect new growth – guard it, cover it, make sure that storms, pest or sudden heat does not destroy those tender signs of life. But the water seems to always be abundant in the spring. 

 In the Summer – strength and production are fully in place.  The signs of growth and maturity are clear.  We can stand heat, storms, and even the occasional onslaught of pests and disease.  But one thing that will destroy most quickly is drought – lack of sufficient water.  Without a regular soaking the external begins to wilt and weaken, the fruit becomes distorted and scarred and eventually non-existent.  It takes every ounce of effort just to remain upright and alive.  Yes, the water is most vital.

But once we have passed the heat and drought, we come into the sweetest time, I think – Fall!  The temperatures are cooling, the rain is gentler and the angry afternoon storms seem to subside.  Mornings become peaceful and the mists seem to roll in and blanket our hearts and minds with a calm assurance.  Truth is that we have been harvesting all summer, but it is the long-season crops that begin to mature in the fall; Those things that we have tended through Spring rains, and Summer heat – those that will store the longest in the Winter.  When these crops come in everyone gets excited because they are the staples that will provide not only nutrition for us but for those around us.  Actually Fall is the driest season for us, statistically speaking, but the difference is the roots.  When the roots have grown deep and strong – we can find the water that is far down.  We reach the underground springs – this is the water that filled with all the minerals.

So many folks dread the coming of winter – it seems to bring fear to them.  How sad!  For those who have prepared and readied themselves, winter is not something to dread.  It is the season of rest.  When my children were little they would think that everything was dead in the winter because all the bright colors were gone.  But to those that are mature, it is clear that death is not what winter is about.  It is about rest. 

Father God, knew that His creation would need a time to rebuild.  He knew that to be in constant production would drain His creation and make it weak and vulnerable.  We see it everywhere on the farm.  Even the chickens and turkeys go through a period when they don’t lay eggs because their bodies are resting, but when the days lengthen again and the sun begins to rise early, their production picks up.  We don’t try to force the garden to produce all year long – if we did then the soil would have no time to rebuild and have the nutrients for the next growing season.  There is a season to every purpose under heaven – how wise.

 Now it is 6:50 a.m.– I have been writing this article – two loads of clothes are ready to go on the line.  I have cleaned up the breakfast things from earlier this morning and had two cups of coffee J.  My family is out in a misty hay field loading hay – and if I know them – laughing and having a blast!  Our sheep are grazing, the chickens are scratching and the pigs are enjoying a last few minutes before their tummies tell them it is time to rise and shine.  I have a quilt on the rack. It is the beginning of fall and the winter is coming.  But thanks to my glorious, heavenly Father – we are ready.

 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Daniel 2:21
That I will give [you] the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:26 – 27


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"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

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