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Natural Instincts

Blog – 2-5-21

Last week I did something pretty cool. I helped pull a calf! Yes-siree, I’m a true farmer now! Okay, maybe not; but it was an absolutely amazing experience.

Some good friends of ours have a calving operation that yields about 300 calves per season. I’ve been bugging my friend Brent to let me see a calf be born for 10 years now, and I know he was getting sick of me asking; but it finally happened, kind of by accident.

We were having dinner with Brent and his wife at their home, which is on their farm. They had installed cameras in the barn last fall, so we were able to watch the Mama’s who were getting ready to give birth on the video. I was obsessed!

We watched on Brent’s phone as two babies were born, which was awesome, but I really wanted to see one in person. It was getting late and we really needed to head home, but Brent knew one heifer (a first-time Mom) was getting really close. She was taking longer than she should, so Brent asked if I wanted to go help him because he was probably going to have to pull the calf. I started jumping up and down with excitement (I know, I’m weird!) and John, Brent and I made our way to the barn.

Brent quickly determined that the heifer did, in fact, need help; so he put her in the chute and got things ready. Once everything was in place, he asked if I wanted to actually pull the calf out, and I said yes! It was fast and furious, but Brent told me exactly what to do and how to do it. With his gentle guidance, I actually pulled the calf out! It was utterly amazing! Here’s a picture of the cute little baby, which I named Daisy.

As soon as the the calf was out of Mama, Brent pulled her to the front of the gate so Mom could do her thing. Being a first-time Mom, Brent said it’s important that they smell the calf right away so their natural instincts will kick in.

And they did! Mama took one sniff and instantly started licking Daisy. Brent put Daisy in a pen a little ways off, and when the heifer was released from the chute, she instantly followed the scent and found her calf.

It was so beautiful to witness this miracle in person, how nature knows exactly what to do.

And it got me thinking about how awesome our Creator truly is. He created animals with the natural instincts they need to take care of their babies. They know exactly what to do without anyone having to tell them or show them. It’s built right into their DNA, no teaching necessary, and this instinct kicks in exactly when it’s needed. Wow, is God amazing or what!

Oh, if faith were only that simple for us, right! I will probably be wrestling with those thoughts for a while, but for now, I just want to revel in the awe and wonder of God’s miraculous design.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

Psalm 65:8 (NIV)

God’s creation is indeed beautiful and incredibly inspiring when we take a moment to look at the everyday, ordinary things that are happening all around us. No one has to tell the trees to grow. They do it naturally. No one has to tell the birds to sing, they just sing. No one has to tell the sun to come up, it simply does. No one has to tell the bees to make honey. It’s just what they do.

I think we would all have a lot more peace and our faith would be strengthened if we simply took stock of the awe and wonder all around us.

I know one thing for sure, my spirit was filled with awe and wonder that night when I saw that calf being born. New life is truly a miracle, whether animal or human.

And I also got an extra dose of awe and wonder when I saw how fiercely protective the Mama’s were. There was one cow Brent warned me not to go near because she would come at me if I came close to her calf. I definitely saw it when I walked by her pen. She was NOT going to let me get near her baby. She knew her only job was to protect and defend, and she made that very clear to me by her loud snorts and stomps and the way she stared at me with the expression, “Don’t even think about it!” I get it, Mama. I won’t touch your baby!

Again, truly fascinating to watch.

I can check “pulling a calf” off my bucket list now. And in the process, I learned a thing or two about natural instincts and the goodness of our loving and faithful Father.

Love and hugs,


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