The Good in the Broken

Oh, guys.  Just as we were getting ready for our most amazing spring ever (we have so many plans!) Jonny had an accident snowboarding with the big boys on Friday, and he broke his right collarbone.  We spent most of that day just trying to figure out the extent of his injury.  Jonny was really hoping that he didn’t have a break and didn’t want to go to the E.R., but it was unavoidable.  After some x-rays and bad news, we were sent home with instructions for Jonny to see an orthopedist on Monday.  The next twenty-four hours were rough.  Jonny was in a lot of pain and we were both kind of reeling as the reality of all our unfinished projects were literally “maaaa-ing” at us from their crate in the living room.  I hardly slept that night.  Every time Jonny shifted in the bed or made a sound I jumped myself, worried about him.  And then Job, who is used to sleeping with Jonny now (night weaning) needed to be with me instead, and literally spent most of the night nursing.  I didn’t want him to cry and wake Jonny up from his already fitful sleep.  As I lay there in the dark, I did a good bit of crying myself.  As sorry as I felt for Jonny and his pain and his new reality, I will confess that I felt a little sorry for myself as well.  This injury changes so much for the whole family over the next couple of months.  We’re all going to have to work harder.

But things have already started to improve.  It will be weeks before Jonny can use his right arm again, but his pain is significantly less than it was over the first two days.

Over the weekend a good friend called, asking if we needed her family’s help with the barn.  It’s so hard to ask for help, but we need it (and our goats need it!) so Jonny said “Yes!”  The next day they came and worked all day, making a lot of progress.  Jonny and I are both so very grateful to them.  Our barn has a roof and walls!  But more importantly, their help gave us hope.

We ran out of siding that day, so the loft isn’t enclosed yet, but we went ahead and turned our kids loose with red barn paint and they had a good time painting.  Jonny tends to be a perfectionist when it comes to his projects, and I don’t know if the kids would have gotten the chance to paint the barn had Jonny been able to do it.  I’d say that is a positive result of this misfortune.

And that is what Jonny and I are doing, looking for the good in this.  It’s good to know that our friends care enough to help us.  It’s good when kids have to pitch in and help more than they are used to.  It’s good to have to stop and really examine your life and your plans, and to determine what is most essential.  It’s really good that Jonny broke his collarbone, and not his neck.  It’s even good that I have more work than usual to do.  I suspect that it will improve me.

Today we saw the orthopedist, while another generous friend babysat our kids.  The great news is that Jonny’s break is very clean and won’t require surgery.  He will be out of commission for about two months though.  He will gradually be able to do a little more as the pain lessens and the bone should begin to heal in a few weeks.  There will be absolutely no lifting and no “farm” work until May.  That’s going to be very hard for him, but I am going to be an enforcer of the rules because he really must take this time to heal.

When the nurse at the E.R. said to us Friday night that “These things happen for a reason,”  I don’t know if Jonny was yet able to see the truth in that and all I could do was fight tears.  As much as I knew that her words were ultimately true, there was a little voice inside my head shouting, “Are you kidding me?  We’ve got seven kids and two goats in our house!”  But in all honesty, we are both pretty good at playing “Pollyanna” and we believe that everything will come together.  In the meantime, we’re glad that Jonny put so much work into our chicken coop, years ago.  It’s making a nice temporary home for our goats.  We moved the babies out with the big girls and they are settling in.  This wasn’t part of our original plan, but that is okay.  Our goat housing project won’t be finished in the time frame that we originally planned for, but it will be finished in it’s time.

We are confident that everything will work out for good.


  1. Oh Ginny, what a pile-up of crosses right now!

    If it makes you feel any better, goats are TOUGH. They can live in near-feral conditions…Ours live in a tumble-down unheated log barn with a half-door and they endured -40 weather without so much as a bleat of complaint.

    It’s mothers of big families that need care! I’m sorry I’m not a neighbour and could deliver a care package. Courage my dear!

  2. Oh my word. I just now read this, and I am glad things are feeling a bit more sorted out. It’s hard to be the one accepting help sometimes, isn’t it, but we are all so eager to jump in and help the people we love. And there it is: they have to say yes for us to have the blessing of giving to them. So now it is your turn to accept help for awhile, probably in odd and unexpected ways, so other people can give to you and show you how much you mean to them.

  3. Melissa McIntyre says:

    Oh my word! I am soo sorry! We will be praying for you guys through this 🙂 I hate it when things like this happen, but you are RIGHT it all ends up working out for the best, God is GOOD like that!

  4. Sara Williams says:

    Oh man!! I saw the pictures of the kids painting and thought “yay!! they got it finished!” Then scrolled down and saw your poor hubby and actually gasped! I so feel for you- its so hard when our men are hurting! But, that is why I love reading your blog- I got down to the line ” Its even good that I have more than usual to do. I suspect it will improve me.” Now you had me in tears- thank you, thank you, thank you- you encourage me so much!! Im praying for your family and cant wait to see what the Lord has in store for you all!!

  5. Bravo!! Nice job playing the “Glad Game” 😉 We totally get it around here….life is hard enough, but then stuff happens and you’re like, “Dang, I want that OTHER hard!!” LOL!
    Praying Jonny’s collarbone heals quickly and completely!!

  6. Sam Lehmann says:

    And to take it as woman to woman, real to real… each year my “girls” and I decide at Lenten Soup Supper who has topped the Lenten sacrifice chart with recent Lenten events. Oddly, I have “won” the last few years… so my lovely penance was great – just the hand that Our Lord dealt. THIS year, though, my bestie won! It’s just a little girl time giggle, but it’s fun. We actually like the penance during this time of year… bringing us a grain of sand closer to Our Lord’s suffering and giving us heightened understanding. Humility… Just thought I’d go secularish on you.

I love to hear from you!