Sometimes the world is heavy. The news is heavy. Our hearts are heavy.

I hear the word anxiety tossed around like a disease that people have. As a teacher I hear it often in reference to kids who “have anxiety.” I have a little girl in my class who struggles with worries and heavy thoughts. And rightfully so, it’s been a hard year on her. But she refuses to stay there. She works each day to share her burdens with her mom, her counsellor, her Father God, and then…when she has named her fears, shared her burdens and given it over, she tells me that she thinks about something positive.

So, when pandemics and wars threaten to overwhelm, and after I’ve prayed and left it at Jesus’ feet, I turn my thoughts to something that makes me smile.

Springtime on the farm.

Cuteness Overload

I love springtime on our farm. The sun is shining, and the air is crisp. You still need to bundle up in a sweater but if you stand on the south side of the barn, out of the wind, you feel downright toasty. The flies are not out yet so when someone leaves the door ajar, the whole house doesn’t jump down their throats with, “Were you born in a barn?! Close the door!!

But the best part of spring must be the new life it promises. The snowdrops and crocuses poking through the cold ground are beautiful, but the new batch of baby animals is what we really wait for.

Chicks, kids, calves, lambs, kittens.

It really doesn’t matter because if it’s mini, it steals your heart.

3000 fluffy little chicks arrived Friday afternoon. Talk about cuteness overload. You can’t help but smile when you stand still in the warm sawdust and hear them peeping and pecking and watch them tumble overtop of each other.

Those Tangled Little Legs

This morning, two more lambs were born, bringing our count to 8 lambs so far.

There is nothing cuter than watching a newborn lamb. It lays quietly at first, shivering in the cold while his momma licks him dry. Within a couple minutes he begins to wriggle around attempting to stand, but his butt won’t cooperate, dragging him down. He hoists and pulls and just as he gets his rear legs under him and his back end rises, he’s off kilter and the front end goes down in a tangle of little legs and hooves, landing right on his nose.

He shakes his tiny head and tries again.

Within a few minutes he is standing on the wobbliest little legs and taking his first careful steps. Inevitably some curious and careless onlooker from the flock gets too close and upends him in an ungraceful backward somersault and he’s left to start all over again.

But he doesn’t quit and each time he gets up a little faster. He instinctively knows to head to the back end of his mother, but she moves so often that his attempts for nourishment are frustrating to watch. He bleats the most pitiful little wavering sounds, and you can’t help but root for the little guy while admonishing the momma to smarten up and stand still. Those first-time moms are so skittish and their lambs so confused.

The seasoned, veteran moms are more competent and calmer. They stand patiently while their confused offspring stand bleating at the wall or bumping their heads into their arm pits (do sheep have arm pits?)

Steady and Scampering

Give them a day or two and you will barely recognize the lambs.

They are woolly and clean. They are confident and steady. They bounce and play and stir up mischief. They make their moms nervous as they squeeze between fence boards and flirt with danger on the outside. But they are bonded so firmly that one bleat from baby brings an instant answer from momma and off they scamper, back into the safety of mom’s shadow.

I can find life metaphors galore when I stand at the fence, watching those little lambs. But I’ll save those for another day.

Mostly I’m just thankful that amid war, strife, and heaviness, God still blesses us with new life.

And He gives us cuteness in the form of fluffy, furry, downy, woolly, wiggly, playful little ones that can’t help but melt your heart and bring a smile to your lips.