Duncan: I never expected life to have a part two

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Clover the goat taking a nap. She thinks she is a dog. | Megan Duncan

It’s been a beautiful morning before work to sit outside, spend time with God and have Clover snuggle up beside me.

It was only last February when we scooped her up from the ground where her mom left her after birth. Her other two babies were stronger than Clover and already walking around and nursing. Mom rejected the tiny girl who couldn’t even lift her head.

We milked mom and brought Clover into the house. I cheered her on hours later, about 2 a.m., when she finally stood on wobbly legs and took a step.

Mom wouldn’t let her back in the next day, so we brought her back home. She became Clover, the diaper-clad goat.

She learned from Wilma and Sadie how to be a dog. She still prefers hanging with them and our neighbor dogs. I think she’s confused as to why we keep sticking her with goats, but she has good manners and is willing to stick it out.

She’s done great transitioning to being an outside goat and gets one bottle per day. She stands on top of her house each evening and loudly reminds me it’s time.

She still loves being free in the front yard and running with the dogs to meet all the delivery drivers.

This is all so unexpected.

Less than three years ago, I never thought my life would have a part two.

I figured I would die right smack in the middle of town on Saturn Drive. It was the house my family moved into when I was 5 years old. I grew up with that neighborhood, which started out with a few streets and became one of the biggest subdivisions in Hannibal.

I spent some years away from the house.

Announcing my adulthood the moment I turned 18 (I giggle at that proclamation 26 years later), I loaded up my car with clothes, a 13-inch TV and stand, and my cat Seymour, to start a new life in a tiny downtown apartment. I can’t even remember when or how I got a couch, which doubled as a bed.

A newlywed, I returned to the house on the corner of Saturn Drive at 23 years old. We brought Connor home four years later, and three years after that came Logan.

Seventeen years in that house were spent building a great life.

After my parents died a few months apart, both from cancer, I woke up one day ready for something new. Shawn was a Ralls County native and a country boy at heart so I thought we might give that a try.

We found a 20-acre lot for sale with a home that needed a lot of work. We packed up and moved to our church’s parsonage where we spent nearly a year and a half completely restoring the home.

Everything is so completely different now, and despite leaving a blessed life behind, I couldn’t love more what we are building now.

It’s full of life here with seven goats, six ducks, two dogs (plus some neighbor dogs who are now family) and three cows coming soon. My boys are now teenagers, and they navigate country life like they’ve never been anywhere else.

I never knew I wanted this life, but God led us to exactly what we needed.

Just know that we are sometimes on the brink of something completely unexpected. God will lead you to places you never saw yourself, then He will show you what He has planned.

Sometimes He shows you hard work and cultivates His will through the sweat on your brows. If you’re willing, He will take your hands and work them in ways you didn’t even know were possible.

Then He will lead to a place of great rest. Nothing is sweeter than sitting amidst the fruit of your own labor.

Friends, don’t fear what’s ahead as long as you are seeking God. When it’s from Him, it’s going to be worth it every time.

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