We have a new Stanesic to introduce……… Meet Frijole!! (pronounced “Free-hole-ay”)
He is as precious as he looks. He is a full size donkey and a little on the shy side. Bring the man carrots, though and he’ll eat right outta your hand and even let you get a few nose pats in before he slinks timidly away. Frank has told me at least 43 times that he loves, “Fwee-hevay”. Sweet Lord, I can’t even. Please let him have that lisp for at least another year and half.
The member of the family who’s not so impressed? Regis.
A few posts ago (and almost daily on social media) I talk about my sweet, gentle donkey named Regis.
However, Chip’s declaration this weekend of, “Wow. We’re seeing another side of Regis. What a tool!” pretty much sums it up. While Regis is indeed sweet and gentle, that guy is also spicy and cray cray (kinda like me!!!)
We’re like soul sisters.
Let me state that the reason we got Frijole in the first place was to keep Regis company. Donkeys prefer their own kind and are happiest when in community with others who are exactly like them (I’m coming full circle to this one in a minute). We considered getting a female and breeding them, because do you KNOW how much you can sell mini donkeys for? Lord, have mercy. But no amount of money is worth having to watch donkey sex in my backyard, so we found Regis a stepbrother.
This is a video of their first meeting. Please remember that neither Chip nor I know what the HELL we’re doing, and we’re learning as we go. When we bought Regis and he was all loaded up and ready to go, I looked at the man who sold him to us and said, “so what do we feed this thing?”
We literally just chunked two unfixed donkeys into a pen with each other.
Let me sum up the next few minutes with you:
Regis continued to do THAT, while Frijole kicked the crap out of him.
Chip laughed, while I screamed, “Regis, be NICE!!!!!”
Frank felt the need to chime in as well, so he was yelling, “WEEGUS!! CAREFUL!!!”
And to top it all off, Bob was fussy in his car seat and screaming at the top of his lungs.
I took the boys inside as Chip ran into the pasture with a fist full of carrots and a goat leash (don’t ask).
Regis finally calmed down and Frijole is settling in. I think they’re frenemies at this point. They stick super close together, but you can tell Regis is still a little pissed off about the whole thing.
Case in point: Chip took a fresh bale of hay into the pasture and Regis ran over and blocked it from Frijole and both goats, so that he was the only one who could eat from it. Little devil thought he was so sly, until Chip brought a second bale out and handed it over to the others. If looks could kill.
Regis was NOT amused.
When I got home from church, THIS is what I saw. I mean, that’s not passive aggressive at ALL.
All drama aside, we really think Regis LOVES the company. He hasn’t had time to cry at us and look pathetic when we don’t spend our entire day petting him. He and Frijole are on their way to becoming best buds.
Watching all this nonsense really got me thinking, though. Regis was craving community. Donkeys instinctively gravitate toward their own kind. Aren’t we humans the same? It’s so much easier to hang out with people who look like us, think like us, act like us. But we are created for SO much more. We will never grow to our full potential when we surround ourselves with people who are just like us. I have felt so sick to my stomach as I watch how politics, race, gender, religion, etc, etc, etc, etc have driven us into our separate corners. How we not only don’t interact with people who are different, but are angry and hateful towards them as well.
Bob Goff said this, “I’ve spent my whole life avoiding the people that Jesus spent his whole life engaging.”
How did we get here? When did we stop listening to each other? Let’s call a foul and stop drawing so many lines in the sand. I’m challenging myself on this, y’all. There are several people in my life that just really don’t do much for me. They’re not my cup of tea. Mainly because the way they think is so polar opposite from me. It would be super easy to write them off and think about how I only have so many hours in the day, and I only need to surround myself with people who “fill my cup” and yadee yadee ya. But these are people that were also made in the image of God. These are people Jesus hung on the cross to die for. And honestly? Who do I think I am? Am I so arrogant to think that I have all the answers? That I’ve got it all figured out?
Excuse me while I get over myself.
There are so many people out there I need to fill my calendar with. So many stories I want and need to hear. So many people to reach out to and get to know. People who challenge the way I think and people who need to be heard and people who are deeply loved by God.
Bob Goff also said this, “I’m not trying to be right. I’m trying to be Jesus.”
Let me give us a minute for that one…
Whew! That got deep. Who knew Regis and Frijole could make me think about all the holy things?!
Let’s move on and talk about my shoes today.
This morning went as most mornings do. Chaos, tears and tantrums. And that’s not even describing the kids!
I reached my last straw of sanity about 8:35 when we were running late and I dropped Frank’s bottle of milk into the pile of sawdust on the floor of the garage. I was carrying roughly 14 bags, my iced coffee and both boy’s bottles. I screamed, “I just CAN’T!!!!!!” (y’all, I really don’t know how I have any friends. Sometimes I don’t even want to be around me).
Just as I was overreacting, I looked up and saw Frank trip and fall into a massive pile of mud as he was running to say goodbye to the goats (please note he was SUPPOSED to have been in his car seat, which I had asked him to climb into at least 7 times at that point).
I turned around, went back inside the house to rinse off the bottle, and came back out to Frank STILL not in the car seat, but talking to the animals and telling them one by one how much he loved each of them (also note that Chip was outside with him. I would never just leave the craziest member of the family outside to fend for himself).
“I uhv oo, Weegus. I uhv oo, Baze. I uhv oo Thomas. I uhv oo, Fwee-hevay.”
In hindsight, this is the cutest thing ever. This morning at 8:35, however? Not so much. I marched on over to the fence, picked that little man up, and carried him to the car and loaded him up.
Not until I got to work and was chatting in my cube did I notice the crap all over my booties. There was also hay stuck to them, but I pulled that off before I took this picture.
I feel like the crap on my cute shoes sums up this season of life. I have this amazing, wonderful life, but it is NOT clean, orderly or picture perfect. It’s always caked in mud, poop and hay. Sometimes that really annoys me, to be honest. I hate not having things orderly and planned out and neat and tied up with a nice bow. But that is NOT THE SEASON I AM IN. I need to embrace this season with the good, the bad and the just plain annoying.
I also need to embrace the people who aren’t like me. I am feeling so convicted of this, y’all. It’s HARD. I recently began rubbing shoulders again with a mean girl from middle school. Oh she was horrid to me. If you’ve read my first ever post, you’ve met her. She’s the one from youth group who made sure no one came to my house. I want with EVERYTHING in me to not like her and to carry a grudge against her and to just give her the death stare every time I see her. And in all honesty, that’s all I’ve done so far (give me a break it’s only been like, two weeks that I’ve seen her). But God is working on my heart that I need to reach out and be kind….. UGH!!!!! I DON’T WANT TO!!!!!! But I’m writing this out and being super vulnerable about it, because my guess is that if you’re reading this, you’ve got someone like her in your life too. So let’s face it together, ok? I promise that I’ll extend the olive branch and the white handkerchief. Will you please join me, though??? Misery loves company, so come on!
It’s so hard to have people in our lives that are different. It’s also super important. The more people I get to know, the more stories I hear. And the more stories I hear, the more compassion I have towards others. And the more compassion I have towards others, the more gracious I am towards them. I bet that if I took this girl out for coffee and we really started talking, I would learn about pain and hurt in her life and it would change how I view her and my heart would fill with grace and compassion. And THAT’S why it’s always worth it. I hope God always calls out my arrogance and pride. It’s not fun, but it’s always worth it.
Also always worth it? Cleaning the mud off your cute shoes. And always having TWO bales of hay on hand.
Let’s get over ourselves and start extending those olive branches. Cheers!