They move like a well oiled machine.
You can hear their bantering.
A sing song like chatter.
The rain pours down.
They work; unphased.
It has been a little over 2 and half months since our barns blew down in a windstorm.
These months have been harsh weather wise.
Snow, wind, sleet and freezing temperatures have impeded progress on rebuilding.
Builders in our area have been swamped.
Help – just not available.
Yet we persevered with the help we had and pole by pole began the rebuilding process.
Our coffee buddy, busy with his own farm and chores, has given tirelessly of his time on this project.
Many others have taken time out of their own busy schedules to lend a hand when they can.
There has almost been this unspoken determination to see this barn rebuilt between my farm and coffee buddy.
Yet when it came time to set the trusses, things didn’t progress so well.
Time was of the essence.
And out of the 60 trusse; 7 were set.
Yet, these two men were not fazed by this in the least.
They built and created a way to lift those trusses themselves.
Despite the wind, rain, freezing temperatures, they set a truss at a time.
It soon became clear that we needed help with this process.
Yet, no matter where we turned, help was not available.
We realized at this point we really needed a miracle.
I found it hard to pray.
What do you ask for when you already know God knows.
He sees our struggle.
He’s well aware those barns blew down.
He’s well aware that our cows have no shelter.
He knows that their teat ends are getting frost bite, that our milk quality is at stake AND that we’re going down in milk.
Not to mention that I have cried out to Him countless times.
Begged Him for relief from all this stress and destruction.
I cry out repeatedly just for relief.
Relief from grief, destruction and calamity.
And I didn’t know what to pray for.
And on a quiet dirt road in the early morning hours as I drove home from dropping the dancer girl at practice;
I cried out to God again.
I let him know that I didn’t know how to pray.
That my heart hurts and I am tired.
Tired of trying so hard to make things work.
Tired of crunching numbers and feeling stressed all the time.
Tired of this black cloud that feels like it follows me where ever I go.
I heard nothing.
Not a sense of peace.
Not a word.
I drove home in silence.
Tears streaming down my face.
Passing the place where my son drew his last breath.
Feeling the ache, feeling abandoned; yet knowing that God IS able.
I knew in my heart, that He is able to do more than I could ever ask or imagine.
I knew He could, if he chose , do a miracle.
He could bring about this barn building in His way.
And that became my prayer.
The rest of that day, as I struggled to pray, I kept in mind that He could.
My farmer and I prayed together.
We needed a miracle.
We asked for clarity; for wisdom and most of all that we be obedient.
We don’t want to be stepping out in a manner that is not part of God’s plan.
After calling a few builders to see if they knew of anyone who might be able to help us, we decided to give the builders that we originally contacted to see if they could at least help us with the trusses.
It was a long shot.
They had no time in their schedule until the end of February.
But they might be able to point us in the right direction.
And so on a busy, frigid afternoon my farmer called the builder.
What we don’t always realize when we’re in the midst of trials and struggles is how God is working.
We aren’t able to see the whole picture.
That is why surrendering and trusting in the process is so important.
We couldn’t see what God wanted to do.
Our knowledge is limited.
Yet our faith will lead us to His purpose.
The Builder needed to make a few calls.
He gathered the information from my farmer as to what had been done and what was needed.
He was pretty confident he could get a crew out in a few days.
A FEW DAYS!
I couldn’t believe it.
There were so many things that needed to happen.
A crane needed to be available.
This is a huge cost over ride, would the bank lend us any more money?
Would the lumber company be able to deliver all the materials needed in such a short time?
I could feel the stress well up.
I fled to the Ancient Word.
I wish I could say I was filled with peace and a holy demeanor.
But I wasn’t.
I was anxious, snippy.
I am sure if I spoke with you in those few days I was harsh.
I know my children felt the sting of my tongue a few times.
I apologized to my dancer girl for one evening of harsh words.
(that’s a post for another time; my children offer me much grace)
Finally the builder called back.
It was a go.
He had a team.
They would be here before dawn on the appointed day and work until 4 in the afternoon.
Could we provide lunch and a whole slew of materials?
Would the crane operator be good?
Would he be able to keep up?
There were so many details to work out.
And. . .
Every detail worked out.
The crane was free.
The materials could be delivered.
We could get a little extra on our loan.
I marveled at the prospect of having the barn trusses placed.
Yet God had another bit of grace in store for us.
The builders were sure they could have those trusses on by noon and have time to place the tin.
Beautiful and undeserved.
God was making a way where I felt there had been no way.
My ideas were limited.
My sight was limited.
God was thinking bigger.
He was offering a gift far greater than I expected.
The weather was certainly a factor.
Someone how the temperatures after being at chilling below zero were rising to 50 degrees.
Rain was in the forecast.
The morning dawned balmy; unseasonably so.
Especially after such frigid temperatures!
A slight wind.
I continued to pray.
I had much to do in the kitchen.
Pulled pork, homemade hamburg rolls, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, glazed carrots, pumpkin muffins, pumpkins bars, raspberry lemon tarts and Pots of hot coffee needed to be made.
The rain continued and I feared for the worst.
The project would need to be haulted.
I gathered the coffee pot and a basket of cups, cream and sugar and headed to the barn; expecting the worst.
Imagine my surprise to arrive and see a well oiled machine!
Boards handed seamlessly across the trusses.
Laughter and nail guns whizzing.
There was grace everywhere!
People laughing and working. . . hard.
They knew what they were doing.
I marveled at the work.
Despite the pouring rain, they were just enjoying themselves!
I set up the coffee and before I returned to my car, there were more trusses up than we had placed in a few weeks.
Again, I marveled at this amazing grace.
Before noon the trusses were up.
Before 4 p.m. the tin covered one side and half of the other.
During lunch I learned that the Builder was actually surprised he had little trouble assembling this team for the day.
He had expected to work a little harder to find available workers.
Another small miracle of grace shown to us.
This project is not over.
There is still a quarter of the tin to place.
The sheathing and curtains, concrete, and doors need to be completed.
Then there are the stalls and headlocks and much more to install.
When that is finished we will need to decide about the other barn.
We haven’t even begun to process that loss.
The weather this morning returned to the vicious North East climate.
Driving wind, frigid temperature, sleet, snow and ice have settled in.
The clear ground and mud of yesterday have frozen solid; as if it never left.
Grace has visited us once again.
God has moved in ways we never could have expected.
Our perspective was limited; while God’s was magnified.
Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.
Expecting, even when we do not feel like it.