Do The Next Thing

For my family, February is all about one thing – baby goats.  That’s because February is kidding season, when the vast majority of our goats have their babies.

03-hero and havarti

As a result, February is our favorite time of the year.  It is also the most exhausting.  February brings:

The births of baby goats.
The deaths of some of those baby goats.
Easy deliveries.
Hard deliveries.
Lots of extra work.
Not enough sleep.
Baby goats to snuggle.
Baby goats to feed.
Baby goats to clean up after.
Baby goats to feed.
Pregnant goats to care for.
Baby goats to feed.

You get the idea.

This February, we delivered 106 live baby goats.  We have seven more goats to have their babies, but the hard part of kidding season is finished.

That means we’ve survived another kidding season.  A lot of people ask me how we manage to get through the month.  My answer is pretty standard, I tell them that I simply, “Do the next thing.”

Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroes.  I remember listening to her on the radio one day when Brett and Colter were little.  She was talking about the fact that when she didn’t know if her missionary husband, Jim Elliot, had been killed by the tribe he tried to reach, she got through the days (and the days following his death*) by simply “doing the next thing.”

As a new mother of young children, those words struck a chord with me and I remember them still today.

I do my best when I’m overwhelmed (and when I’m not) to not focus too far ahead.  Instead, I focus on doing the next thing.  Sometimes that’s as simple as taking a deep breath (which may not seem simple at the time).  Sometimes it’s a bit hard such as getting a meal on the table when I’m 3 days past grocery shopping and there is no “quick and easy” food in the house.  And sometimes it’s as difficult as having a goat that needs to be driven 3 hours to Purdue so she can have a c-section in the middle of the night.

I’m not saying that I don’t plan ahead.  I do.  But I only plan so far ahead.  Mostly I just do the next thing.

It helps to keep me sane.

When I was thinking about Elisabeth Elliott, I was googling and came across this poem which according to the internet meant a lot to her.  I’m copying it here to share with you.

I hope it strikes as much of a chord with you as it does with me.




Do The Next Thing

From an old English parsonage,
Down by the sea,
There came in the twilight,
A message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend,
Deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me,
Teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours
The quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration-

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment,
Let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity,
Guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows,
Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus,

Do it immediately;
Do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
Tracing His Hand,
Who placed it before thee with
Earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
Safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering)
Be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence,
The rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance
Be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness,
Praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee,

-Author unknown




*Amazon Affiliate link to Through Gates of Splendor.  Per Amazon, “Through Gates of Splendor is the true story of five young missionaries who were savagely killed while trying to establish communication with the Auca Indians of Ecuador. The story is told through the eyes of Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of one of the young men who was killed.”



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