Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Fence Repair Adventure


Friday night, Ryan and I talked about the best way to protect the horses during the upcoming frigid temperatures. 

"You should move them to the pasture behind the barn. It would be easy to get them in and out of the stalls, and they could shelter under the overhang by the back door during the day," Ryan suggested.

"Yeah...but the fence isn't great," I countered.

"Can't we fix it before I leave tomorrow?" he asked.

Yes, we could, I realized. Yesterday, we gathered our supplies and headed out. Ryan started on the first section and suggested I make a survey of the entire fence. 

Big branches had knocked the barbed wire down in two sections. There were a few areas with broken wire. Mostly, though, the wire needed to be tightened and post clips needed to be added. 

In one area, Sam had used sticks of cane to secure the wire instead of metal posts. It was a dementia-driven decision, and it hadn't worked well. We needed to replace the cane with proper posts. I wasn't sure about all the wire, but I thought we could fix it.

I replaced clips while Ryan patched. Once the clips were complete, we worked together to move a big branch off the fence. 

We worked straight through lunch. I was tired, hungry, and cranky. Ryan was his usual sweet self, but he finally put down his tools and stretched. "I'm tired and I need to get on the road."

My heart sank. He was leaving me to finish the fence? I blinked back tears. "You're leaving?"

"Mama, I need to go home before the bad weather comes. They're talking about an icy mix. I don't want to drive in that if I don't have to, and it'll be late when I get to Atlanta if I leave now. You know how to do this, and we've already done the worst part. We're nearly finished." 

I picked up my tools, blinked back tears, and nodded. I knew he needed to go, but I didn't want to work alone. I was afraid. What if I couldn't finish? What if I couldn't do whatever needed to be done? What if I didn't know how?

My mama heart finally overrode my whiny-baby, scaredy-cat heart. "You're right. I don't want you on the road in bad weather, either. I'll keep working. I can do this." We hugged and Ryan headed to the house to get his car packed.

I trudged my way around the fence, repaired what needed repair and patched what needed patching. For the first few minutes, I whined and cried to the Lord. Finally, I ran down and worked silently for a while. 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," came to my mind. I laughed out loud. 

"Lord, You need to strengthen me for this next part, because it's a mess and I'm not sure I can sort it out." 

The "dementia fence" was bad. I sank to my knees, uncertain what to do. Finally, I noticed a single strand that went all the way across. It was sagging but I removed the cane "post" and managed to tighten the wire. Another wire was broken in one place, but was easily patched. Before long, I had three strands of wire stretched tight across the distance. 

I tackled the next few sections in the same manner. The wire was all together by the time I quit, but I ran out of light before I got the posts in place.

Every inch of my body ached. Literally. It was all I could do to make a sandwich, take a shower, and crawl in bed. My sense of accomplishment was immense. I'd tackled a hard thing and done it!

The fence isn't perfect. There are still some t-posts to place on Monday, but I know how to do that. Some wire needs to be replaced and new wooden posts are needed in a few sections, but it can wait until pretty weather. 

The horses have a second secure pasture again. I'm tired today, but it's a good tired. I couldn't have done it without Ryan's help, but he was right. I could finish it, and I did, all ten acres.

We can do ALL things through Christ, including the hardest things imaginable, because He strengthens us. 

Ponder that for a few moments.

It's an immense bit of truth that changes everything. There's nothing to which He calls us that we can't tackle, because we can count on His strength to accomplish the job. He can work through us, and He will, if we allow it.

I don't know what tasks God has planned for 2018, but I understand anew that anything is possible because Christ in us is more than enough. 

Anything is possible. Today, let's allow that truth to seep into our marrow and change our thinking. To what is God calling us? 

Does it seem too hard? Good. That's exactly the opportunity we need to allow Him to strengthen us, so let's say "yes" to whatever God suggests. 

He is able and, because of His power in us, we are, too.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 
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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Facing a Storm and Remembering My Source of Strength and Help
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