It’s been a while since we’ve had the time to blog! Summer kept us busy with over 60 baby goats between our two farms, hosting events such as goat yoga, spending quality time with our families and of course making a lot of soap!
Today I just wanted to share a little inspiration with anyone who might be going through a hard time or maybe you are just coming out of a difficult season. I hope to use a personal story to remind you (and me!) that God has a plan for everything, even when we go through storms and trials.
So first let me introduce you to Liesel. Liesel is a very special goat on our farm. It is because of her, that you are using/enjoying our soap! Let’s back up to 2010 when I was just jumping into raising Nigerian Dwarf goats. I had owned other goats, but it was more like we bought a farm and grabbed some goats on an impulse buy from a local farmer to go with the chickens we just acquired. But after a few years, I learned about Nigerians and knew they were the breed I wanted to start focusing our homesteading future with. So being the impatient human that I am, I rushed out and bought a pair of siblings from someone on Craigslist. The people were a little dishonest right from the beginning, advertising that these goats were registered, healthy and ready to go. When I got to their place, I found out that these babies were not able to be registered, one had a slight case of diarrhea and they were not even eight weeks old. The conditions of this place were not the greatest and I should have walked away, but these two little souls stole my heart the minute I saw them. I questioned the possible cause of diarrhea and was told it was because she switched their hay. The woman told me if I didn’t take them that day, they would most likely go back to the auction where she bought their mama.
Of course, that is all I needed to hear. They were in my truck after paying way too much money, as I couldn’t leave them knowing their fate. I named them Willow and Boaz and promised them they would have a nice new home and I would get Boaz back to being healthy. Well even with all good intentions, life doesn’t go as planned. Little Boaz continued to be go downhill and it was discovered that he had a severe case of coccidia. After many trips to our veterinarian, numerous attempts of various medications and intravenous fluids, he passed away in my arms after only having him less than two weeks. I was devastated. I am a firm believer that we are stewards of these animals and I felt like I failed little Boaz. And now not only did I have to bury my sweet little boy that I promised a wonderful life, I had his sister at home all alone. Goats are social animals and need to have companions to thrive.
But in this darkness, God had already orchestrated His Plan. The next day, my husband Josh let me know that he found a new friend for Willow and I was thrilled. The bonus was her companion came with her mama as little Liesel was just shy of eight weeks and the woman selling her knew it would be best to have her go with her mom. He brought me over to the farm, and I met Sue. You know when you meet someone and you know there is just something different (in a wonderfully good way) about them? Well that is how I felt the minute we started talking. Her kind heart and encouraging words were the start of a conversation that led to the beginning of a friendship. As our friendship grew stronger, we began spending more and more time together as she mentored me with my new venture with my dairy goats. I teased her that she “enabled” me to start growing my herd very quickly. Going to see two more baby goats, immediately became a rescue mission of five, after seeing the conditions of that place. Then someone needed to disperse their herd due to health issue so my family of goats went from initially 2 to 13 in a year. Some of my newly adopted gals were coincidentally pregnant so that meant I needed a crash course in learning about delivering babies. Sue was by my side helping me bring the first three baby girls into the world.
Baby goats are probably one of the cutest things on the planet, and that also means mamas are producing milk. Although our family enjoyed having fresh raw milk in the fridge, there was a surplus and I asked Sue what she did with all of hers. She told me she had a side business where she made soap and would be happy to show me. I never even knew about goat milk soap, but always tried to be as natural as possible with my way of life and this sounded like it was right up my alley. After a few botched attempts, I realized that soap making was a creative outlet that I enjoyed and started sharing with family and friends. In the meantime, Sue was approached with a business proposition and needed some assistance fulfilling a very large order of soaps. Of course I was happy to help and we realized that we worked very well together. Although we have so many common interests, we both bring something very different to the table. Sue is meticulous with organization, staying on task and balancing records. I, on the other hand, would have us in jail with my terrible book-keeping skills, but I do have a good eye for marketing. I love sharing what I believe in (in this case, Jesus, goats and soap), and I have a somewhat creative eye for photography and web design. We started to realize that this healthy balance was a great foundation to really take it up a notch, so we decided to join forces full force and that is how Sparrow Soaps started.
Who would have thought that the sadness of losing of a baby goat would lead to one of the strongest faith-filled friendships and business venture ever? We have shared the best of times and the not-so-best of times. We have celebrated victories together and also comforted each other when saying goodbye to family members. We have prayed together during critical health scares and rejoiced with miraculous healings. I am so grateful that God had this all part of His plan!
So now, 9 years and 30 something (because my husband reads this blog) goats later…we hope you are enjoying a bar of our goat milk soap that began with this sweet gal Liesel!
Peace and love,