A Double Dose of Blessings

I’m feeling extra blessed this week. Not because of great health news, a financial windfall, or an abundant harvest, but because God cares enough to show His presence in my life. My overfilling of blessing came from an early evening observation that God used to remind me of how He is in every happening here at our Cross-Dubya ranch. Checking on the fast-dying grasses in the hayfield that have yet to be baled, I was feeling dejected and disappointed. Another year of drought, extreme heat, and poor harvests.

Making my way down the drive, I was sinking into a “Poor Me Moment.” As those feelings began welling up in my soul, my riding buddy Bubba the chocolate lab lifted his head from my lap and slammed it into my chest. That doesn’t happen often, as Bubba is most content to lazily ride with his head in my lap while slobbering all over my jeans, but when it does, I alert. Lifting my foot from the accelerator, I looked around. As the UTV coasted to a stop, I looked left, and the blessings unfolded.

There, in the south pasture, I saw my small herd having an early evening snack. Eating the last of my summer grasses (lack of rain and brutal temps have taken their toll on my pastures), the words “Jehovah Jireh” sprang forth from my heart. Jolting me from my onset of the doldrums, I smiled as God enveloped me with a sense of wellbeing. My mind whispered, the God who provides has you, He will always see you through.

Surveying the mamas and their babies, I praised God as I thought about how God gave us what we needed to raise another good calf crop this year. With weaning less than a month away, I thanked God for the spring and early summer rains that gave us enough grass to grow them healthy and strong. As God does, He didn’t stop there.

Drawing my attention to little “Prancer”, the smallest cow here, He reminded me He is also El Chuwl (Isaiah 43:1-3), the God who gave you birth. As my sweet little brindle-colored Braford cow was leisurely grazing, her twins came alongside. You may remember my post in March about the extra-small twin calves I doubted could survive, Help My Unbelief. As the photo above proves, not only have they survived, but they’ve also thrived. At 500 lbs. each, these tiny twins who weighed only about thirty lbs. at birth have gained an average of almost three pounds per day. Thank You, Lord!

In that moment of sweet praise, the two calves began nursing mama, as if on cue. I laughed as God moved again. I felt Him say, See, I have provided for you in so many ways. Often, when an animal has twins, the mother rejects one of the two babies, leaving them an orphan. That didn’t happen in this case.

Instead, God reminded me of His presence here by giving me twins using my smallest cow. He then ensured she accepted both and had plenty of nourishment for them. Through it all, I’ve seen no decrease in her body condition score (BCS). What a mighty God we serve.

God prefers to use the unlikely things to show His presence in our lives. When no other explanation makes sense, think God. #ThinkGod #GodIsOverAll Share on X

As the calving season ended, there was one cow that did not breed back. It happens from time to time. By God’s gift of twins again this year, Prancer’s bonus calf made up for what would have been a loss. As you may remember, Ms. Diane, without realizing it, named them Tommaso (bull) and Tommasina (heifer), which is Italian for Thomas and the female variant of the name. It was after she named them I pointed out that the name Thomas means “twin”, as they often referred the Apostle Thomas to as “the twin.”

We can find blessings in remembering God’s many names. #NamesOfGod Share on X

In thinking about two of the names for God, I received a double dose of blessings. Just enough to right my ship and move me forward through the week with God firmly seated upon the throne of my heart.

God used an old dog, a little cow, and twin calves to remind me of how much He cares and the many ways He blesses me. It’s caused me to look for more blessings that I overlook in the busyness of my life. There is plenty in this world to distract us from seeing and seeking God. I suspect He also gives you prompts now and again as your human spirit attempts to take control of your thoughts and actions. Look for those prompts my friends. You’ll be glad you did.

God’s blessings,

64 thoughts on “A Double Dose of Blessings”

  1. Amen my friend! He is always good and always blessing us and all too often I get bogged down in the small negatives instead of focusing on all His continual blessings. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

    1. Right there with you Ms. Ann. I sometimes wonder if the way that it seems our “default” is to focus on the negatives is part of the curse from the fall of man. It seems we all are wont to do that my friend.

  2. God does, indeed, give us those prompts, Brother, and your posts are one that He uses on a regular basis. As I shared the emotions you wove into your excursion with Bubba, I could relate to times when throwing myself another pity party seemed so appropriate, and since I don’t have a faithful “Bubba” to nudge me out of them, I followed my fallen nature instincts and engaged in them. Without exception, the whining never accomplished anything. It didn’t resolve any of the situations that I used to give myself permission to moan and groan. It didn’t make me feel better when I finally dragged myself out of them, it offered no spiritual encouragement to those around me, and it robbed God of the praise that His provision in spite of my complaining deserved.

    The other thing the living God used you to do for me this morning was to renew a commitment to look for Him in the midst of whatever unfolds today, whether it seems good or bad. There are other things I’d love to share re. this insighfutl and encouraging piece, but I’ve got a doctor’s appointment and I’ve got to run for now. i might chime in again later, but for now, God bless you, my friend, for adding richness and inspiration to our morning here in the Gallagher compound.

    1. Humbled my friend. Like you, I pray each week that my meager offering is found acceptable in God’s eyes and He can use it to help someone else. Knowing that everything we write is directed for God’s glory and used in His kingdom work is sometimes a heavy burden, but one we bear gladly. When I get such a blessing of encouragement from you and my many other friends here, the burden is lifted. Thank you as always for your kindness and the infusion of inspiration your words bring to me and so many others sir. God’s blessings to you and yours.

  3. J.D., I loved this post! I absolutely enjoy, and am blessed, as I read the way God talks to you through your ranch. I was raised in the Bronx and now live in a suburb so I am far removed from a ranching life. But I am humbled with each post to realize how God meets us right where we are. He meets each one of us in the dailyness of our lives, speaking uniquely to each of us. This >> “God used an old dog, a little cow, and twin calves to remind me of how much He cares and the many ways He blesses me.” He used them this morning to speak to me as well through your words and photos. May He continue to pour out His blessings upon you and Ms. Diane!

    1. Amen Ms. Joanne. Whether it’s cows and chickens or commuting and carpools, God is in all aspects of our lives. He indeed meets us where we are, and He plants us there for His purpose and reason, not our own. I’m so very pleased that you enjoyed the post sweet friend. God’s blessings.

  4. When I get the “poor pitiful me” mindset, God also reminds me of my many daily blessings. They may not be your old dog, little cow, and twin calves, J. D., but singing birds, lovely clouds, and sufficient provision for every day suit me well. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Diana! God gives us what we need, when we need it, and how He wants us to have it. I’m singing “Count Your Many Blessings” as I’m reading your comments today ma’am. Thank you!

    1. If I’ve brought a smile and a warm thought of our loving God and all He blesses us with each day, then the blessing is mine Ms. Vera. Knowing that I have served Him brings great joy. God’s blessings my bookish friend.

  5. So much to love about this post and your thankful heart. God is in the “ordinary” details of life. Too many of us expect to find Him only on the mountaintops—the peak moments of life. Thank you for showing God to us in daily life on the ranch.

  6. It’s nice to be back to “normal” after a long vacation, J. D., as I’ve missed reading the nuggets of wisdom you always have in store for us. God is definitely with us all the time; it’s we who fail to see Him in every facet of our lives, working for our good. The moments you’ve described here are priceless! May you continue to see God’s blessings at every turn!

    1. It’s wonderful to have you back with us this week Ms. Martha Jane. You were missed my friend, but you and Mr. Danny was also prayed for. Glad you’re home safe and had a wonderful time with family ma’am.

  7. Thanks for sharing how full of Grace and mercy our Lord proves to us when we look to Him! He is so wonderful! The great Creator of all loves and provides for me! Amazing! Blessings!

    1. Amen, Amen, and Amen Ms. Marjorie. The Giver of Life Himself is the One who blesses us with each breath, each heartbeat, and each sunrise. Oh, how blessed we are my sweet friend.

    1. Thank you Ms. Rita. I could not agree more ma’am. When we get to visit with friends, even virtually, we come away feeling blessed. Thank you for blessing me with your gift of time today ma’am.

    1. Yes, I call Prancer “shortstack”, but she is the sweetest little mama cow. When her tiny calves were born, weighing half as much as some of the others, I was sure concerned for them. I was also concerned if she (Prancer) would be able to support twin calves. As you can see from their size, they’re both doing great! God’s blessings ma’am.

  8. Isn’t it great how God shows us He is always there and that He cares? He can use the smallest or most insignificant things to get our attention. Thanks for sharing this precious story that reminds me to look around and see the ways the Lord is at work.

    1. Thank You Ms. Mimi. I too love how God pours out His blessings upon us in such a myriad of ways. His love never fails to fill us when we’re receptive to His call. Have a great week, filled with His blessings my friend.

  9. You’ve blessed our day, my friend, by showing us how to look for blessings even in times of trials. Your example shows us how to look for and share the light of Jesus with our neighbor. Praying for rain and cooler temperatures for you and may God bless you all.

    1. Thank you ma’am. The weather folks on the local news channels were saying this has been, so far, the fifth hottest summer in north Texas history, in terms of the number of days with temperatures over 100F. While some have gotten short-lasting thunderstorms, we’ve been over fifty days since any measurable rain has fallen. Large cracks, scorched grass, and little reprieve at night has left us all (cattle included) worn and weary. Yet, we survive. To date, God has seem fit to see us through this fiery trial. I stand weary but certain that He will see me and the Cross-Dubya through this. I think though, it’s time to pare back the herd even more an they’re saying a difficult winter lay ahead. Two years of drought has certainly taken its toll on me, the land, and the livestock. God’s blessings ma’am, and thank you for the prayers.

  10. What a neat collection of prompts God used to remind you of His care and provision. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “what’s wrongs” that we need a reminder of what’s right and what God has done and can do.

    1. How true Ms. Barbara. It’s so easy to let all that’s wrong in this world distract us from God’s promise of what is to come. Praying we can both keep our focus on the end game and not the next move my precious friend. God’s blessings ma’am.

  11. Kathy Collard Miller

    Don’t ya just love when God uses such creative and a variety of means to jolt us out of whatever misdirected thoughts we are having? Thank you to Bubba (and whoever and whatever else God uses) to help us. What a list that would be if we all contributed to it. Thanks, as always, JD for pointing our gaze to our powerful provider, Jehovah Jireh.

    1. Amen Ms. Kathy. He is our provider, our strength, and our counselor ma’am. He is our everything. And yes, what a world it will be when one day we all are freed from the bonds of sin and we never have to deal with their presence or results again. Ain’t that gonna be something else? 😀 God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. Thank you Ms. Nancy. No relief yet, but next week holds promise as they’re telling us we can expect highs in the 80s. Won’t that be something? Nearly 30 degrees cooler during the days. I won’t know how to act. It won’t restore what has been lost in the way of forage and usable pasture land, but it will bring much needed relief to everyone; especially when you consider weaning will start about that same time.

  12. Wendy Dellinger

    Loved this ranch life lesson about God’s faithfulness! What a loving way to encourage your heart—and ours! Thanks, J.D.

  13. Our God is so amazing and uses the most wonderful and unexpected things to lift us up sometimes.
    Praise God for those healthy twins and for that mama who sustains them.
    I love the picture!
    Thanks for the encouragement again.

    1. Aww shucks. Thank you Ms. Connie. I just know you and Mr. Guy would have such a blast helping feed hay to these two characters. It’s so fun to watch how they interact with each other and how their mischievous nature is displayed.

  14. Another beautiful and encouraging message JD. I love that you are so in tune with what is happening around you especially with the help of your Bubba. May you always see and feel His presence and May this heat wave soon be broken

    1. Like me, my pal Bubba the chocolate lab has slowed down this year. I think the second year of drought has taken its toll. We’ll survive, but oh how that old leather sofa in the family room, with that ceiling fan above, sure does comfort our weary bodies at the end of another long day. Thank you and God’s blessings to you and Bill this day ma’am.

  15. Your first sentence: “I’m feeling extra blessed this week. Not because of great health news, a financial windfall, or an abundant harvest, but because God cares enough to show His presence in my life.” is enough to ponder. And when you added the section on the names of God it was a bonus. At any time in the day we can look to His character in His names and see His presence. Thank you again for your encouragement.

    1. Yes ma’am. I love when the different names for God manifest themselves in my life. It tells me that I’ve got my focus where it needs to be. And tis I that thank you for your steadfast encouragement and support ma’am. God’s blessings.

    1. You bet Ms. Sally. It’s an honor to be travelling on this journey of sanctification with great folks like you ma’am. Have a blessed week, and I hope y’all got a chance to see our “Texas Hot Tub” in action. 🙂

  16. I’m always grateful to see evidence of God’s hand on your life, your ranch, your family. You have eyes to see what others might pass up and remain despondent. May the Lord multiply your blessings in greater portions and broaden your vision for what he’s done, is doing, and will continue to do in and through you, JD.

    1. Thank you Ms. Mary. Right backatcha and Mr. Bruce my dear sister-in-Christ. I pray God’s abundant blessings upon you and your family, and His discerning Spirit’s guidance on your upcoming decisions.

    1. Thank you Ms. Sylvia. Not sure I’ve seen any photos of that yet, but apologies if I’ve missed them. Triplets? I can’t imagine the stress that puts on a mama (doe). Will be praying they all grow healthy and strong ma’am.

  17. J.D., what a lovely reminder of the difference perspective makes. Lord Jesus, help me see life through your lens!

  18. J.D., this is so moving and soul-stirring. I’m so glad to hear the twin calves have thrived and doing so well. You are so inspirational to encourage us all to consider our blessings no matter our circumstances. I can imagine the stresses and responsibilities that come with a ranch like yours. Thanks for sharing your heart and in such a vulnerable way each week.

    1. Thank you Ms. Karen. I suspect my stress levels are lower than most folks who live in the big cities. I know mine is, as compared to when I lived and worked in the Chicago area for all those years. Here in “God’s country” as I like to call it, I get a chance to slow down my pace and observe the many blessings provided in God’s natural world. The world truly does testify to the greatness and glory of God, doesn’t it my friend?

  19. Thanks for the encouragement, brother JD. Thanks for having an open heart to the Holy Spirit so He can turn your eyes outward to His blessings and away from the inward “poor me” syndrome.
    It’s a good reminder to be grateful to the Lord in all things despite challenging circumstances–and this never-ending heat is indeed an unwelcome burden. Thank God August is almost over! Let’s keep encouraging ourselves on life’s journey by finding the sweet blessings God has bestowed on us. P. S. Those twins are simply adorable!

    1. Well said Ms. Karen. We must continue to encourage ourselves, for this, in turn, enables us to be an encouragement to others. You do this so well sweet friend. And thank you so much for all the kind words ma’am. God’s blessings ma’am.

  20. I smiled along with you, J.D., through this story. Indeed, God does use the mundane and insignificant things of this life to prompt our praise and trust. What a mighty God we serve!

    1. Amen and Amen Ms. Annie. God is always there to lift our spirits and encourage us, but we must be expectant and looking for His blessing. We see them only when we’re looking my friend! What a great point you make. Thank you!

  21. I’m always amazed at the things God can use to speak to us. I think it shows just how much He loves us. He’s amazing.

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Terri. I remind myself sometimes that God made the world so beautiful, just for us. We’re the ones with domain over all other things. We’re the ones He seeks relationship with. Praise God, He loves us even when we’re “unlovable.”

  22. I so enjoy a study on the names of God. So many that describe His wonderful attributes. What a sweet blessing and reminder from the twins that God cares about His creatures and those who attend to their needs. I love that! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes He Is Ms. LuAnn. Sometimes, when I dream a peaceful, relaxing dream, I wake up to the realization that God came near, even in my sleep, to bring me what He knew I needed. Thank you and God’s blessings ma’am.

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