What lesson is there to be learned from owning sheep? Just how hard is it to raise sheep and still be a mother of six. After all, “With the intense pace of life today, most of us must dog paddle nonstop just to stay afloat.”
Author, Sharon Niedzinski, wrote this book to show us what is meant when the Bible uses a sheep/shepherd relationship as an analogy for his relationship with us. “Through my 16 years of shepherding,” Niedzinski states, “I discovered many significant and critical reasons why God chose the sheep/shepherd relationship as an analogy for his relationship with us.”
In a humorous vain she divides the stories into two sections. They are evenly portioned off into two parts: the first year and life in the sheep world; 12 chapters in each part.
A warning should be applied to the flyleaf: don’t try this at home. It is hard work being a shepherd. I am sure if Niedzinski knew what she was getting into she would have taken up another interest. She not only had to prepare the area for her shipment of sheep, she also discovered in order for her ram to do his proper job, she had to flush each and every ewe.
Flushing is just a way of saying that each ewe had to be physically and emotionally ready to breed. One chapter is given to this subject.
Sharon and her daughter entered the pen. “Flushing day came, and two inexperienced greenhorns entered the summer pasture for the first time.”
“Jane, they’re running from us! This time get behind them and push them into the barn.”
“Mom, it’s not working! They’re scattering all over the place.”
“Our sheep don’t know us, Jane. Once they do it will be a lot easier.”
Another thing that had to be learned was how to birth the sheep and do a snip, dip, and clip at birth. Snip is easy to understand. Human birth has a snip. That’s the separation of the umbilical cord. The dip is when you dip the new born in 7 percent iodine. We also cleanse our babies after birth.
The clip is the cutting of the tail. A shepherd cuts the tail with a knife, sprinkles the stub with a bright blue blood-stopping powder and then throws the tail in a bucket
The second part of the book has the stories of daily life with the sheep. “People often ask us if we named our sheep. I had to answer yes. We used names instead of numbers because we were in conversation about our sheep every day, and referring to numbers just didn’t work for us.”
Record keeping is also handled in this section. “Record books are kept in a flock book drawn up for every breed.” Foot rot is also spoken of as one of the “joys” of having sheep.
Unfortunately you can’t keep a sheep forever. If you are truly being a shepherd for profit you must allow the sheep to be led away and sold for food. This is not an easy part to read about and may cause a few tears on the readers’ part. “The lambs were not born to live; they were born to die, so they can reach their destiny.” The way Niedzinski puts it is:” Only those lambs who reached my standards ended up on my table.”
Niedzinski is a writer and a speaker and works with the brokenhearted and oppressed. She and her husband have six children and 21 grandchildren. She also founded and served in three Christian ministries including Aglow International.
Good reading and increased intelligence seem to be partners. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. I remain your best looking book reviewer in the city of Santa Monica.