Summers are about catching up on everything that gets pushed aside during the school year: deep cleaning, time with my boys, special projects and SLEEP.
Well, sleep was included until last summer.
Somehow, before my body had adjusted to my summer schedule, I woke up at my normal early hour, made a cup of coffee and headed outside to let the boys’ 4-H goats graze in our yard.
And that was it! I was hooked!
Watching these four-legged kids gallop and play became a habit that replaced my summer sleep-in schedule. As the goats became more adventurous, they decided the grass was greener on the other side of our frequently traveled dirt road, so I grabbed my lawn chair and sat in the middle of it. At first, our neighbors appeared startled to see me in my sweat pants and grubby t-shirt on a lawn chair in the road, but eventually they adjusted. Sometimes they stopped to visit and watched my goats play. I became the subject of numerous kind-hearted jokes about the crazy goat lady who sits in the middle of the road.
Mostly though, I just drink my coffee and talk to the goats and to God. I pray for my kids, the two-legged ones, and just sit in silence enjoying the blessing of living in the country where dirt roads are travelled by friends and a lawn chair is my daily church pew. I’ve noticed that my attitude on the days I begin with my quiet time is much more patient and relaxed. I wonder how I survived before when I woke up to a house full of testosterone already flowing.
When school began again, one of the summer luxuries I missed the most was my early morning goat watching. The goats went back to the goat herd or were sold, and school responsibilities crowded into my schedule. I still tried to make time for coffee and my God chats, but without the goats and my lawn chair, it just wasn’t the same. I had to find other reasons to get out of bed in the mornings before my alarm clock told me I absolutely needed to be awake.
I realize few people have the opportunity to wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee with rambunctious goats, but we can all find that one motivation to start the day with alone time. In a world that seems to turn faster and faster, we can all benefit from stopping for a moment each day and refocusing on what really matters. For me, all I need is some coffee, a lawn chair, and some goats.