It’s moving day! Not for us, for the 4-H animals. Today our entire 4-H club moved all of their show animals to the parish (In Louisiana, we have parishes rather than counties) 4-H livestock barn.
Tomorrow we will have around 1,000 school children come through to view all of the animals as an educational day. We have chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, beef cattle, dairy cows, and rabbits.
It’s a great time of hard work, friendship, and education for all of the students involved in 4-H projects. They learn to work together, take care of their animals amid tons of distractions, and educate others about livestock.
They will compete not only for best animals, but also take written tests to see who has learned the most, and compete in showmanship classes to see who has the best animal handling skills.
These 4-H livestock shows really do encompass faith, friends, family, fitness, and fun!
In our Genesis readings, I had to stop in chapter 35 to think. Verse 8 reads like this: “Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means ‘oak of weeping’).”
She was Rebekah’s nurse that had been with her since Rebekah left her home to go be married to Isaac. She stayed with them through the years, likely as a motherly figure. She was a servant, but she was revered as a devoted family member who likely helped raise Jacob and Esau as well. She was never “done” (much like a mother/grandmother) and was a cherished family figure.
Deborah did not consider her household duties as commonplace. She served God and her family with faith, love, and devotion. She didn’t do anything “great”. But then again, she really did do great things! Raising children, making sure they are nurtured and loved, and taking care of a family is THE most important thing. She realized the importance of a strong family structure and made sure her family was doing well.
Her family (and although not her flesh and blood, they were her “real” family) mourned her passing because she was such a monument in their lives. And God rewarded her by naming her forever in a Bible verse.