Monday, December 6, 2010

Make the World Stop

You look out the kitchen window as you are preparing coffee, and you notice one of the close up heifers laying down to calve. She looks as though she just started so you continue about your morning fixing breakfast and preparing for the day. Nearly 30 minutes later you realize that she hasn't calved yet. Suspecting something is up you head out to check out the situation. You realize that she isn't going to calve on her own because the calf is too large.

You call for help and slowly ease her into the corner of the pasture where you can keep her still while you help pull the calf. When help arrives with your tools and a bucket of warm water/disinfectant, you carefully loop the calving chains on the feet of the calf; above the footlock with a half-hitch at the pastern, double looping them to take the pressure off the bones. You tug one foot at a time with the slightest pressure helping the heifer to push her calf out. She's not real pleased that you are up in her business during the process, but as the calf comes out a sigh of relief comes over all those involved. For those few moments in time nothing matters but ensuring the safe arrival of the calf and the health of her momma. The world stops for a while and then seems refreshed.

Cattle ranchers care for their cattle every day. One very important time to care for cattle is when cows are giving birth to their calves. This is an important time because should something go wrong with the birth of the calf, those problems could endanger the life of the mother. We call this dystocia. Because I grew up in the cattle industry, often I compare happenings in my life to the life cycle of cattle. The one thing in my life that I can relate to helping a heifer give birth to a calf is sitting in church every week.

As I walked up to the little church building on Wednesday night I experienced something very similar. I was in a panic because after services I was expecting a house full of guests, my house wasn't anywhere near clean before I got home that evening with only an hour to clean it before church. The pumpkin bread that I had baked for my guests was not all the way done baking when I left the house, flying to church and running late. I was so late that I didn't realize until I was nearly there that I had dried pumpkin bread batter on the side of my face. Classy right?

Never the less I made it to church and as I walked up to the church building the sound of my church family singing hymns stopped the world in the same way as helping a struggling heifer calve. For that moment in time, nothing else mattered, I realized that I was at church walking in to be fed by the Lord's word and the guidance of our church leaders. The world stopped as I spent an hour sitting in the pew and when I walked out those doors I felt refreshed.

In life it is the little things that matter, those moments the world stops. For me those moments not only include the birth of a calf, or an hour in church, but also a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a crisp fall morning horseback or sharing a delicious Sunday dinner with loved ones. What are the things that make your world stop?

Until We Meet Again,

~ Anna-Lisa

Photos via


  1. Few things in life are as exciting, nerve-wracking, exhilarating and awe-inspiring as pulling a newborn calf!

  2. Assisting in calving, church, opening day of deer season.