Like Sheep in a Pen

Some day, O Israel, I will gather you;
I will gather the remnant who are left.
I will bring you together again like sheep in a pen
Like a flock in its pasture.
Yes, your land will again be filled with noisy crowds.
Micah 2:12

The sheep pen is one of my favorite Christmas decorations, and this year it held a place of honor among my favorite things.

Steve got this for me over ten years ago at a local Christmas and collectible store that, at the time, was going out of business.

There are 2 sheep, a ram, a lamb, a goat, and two fence pieces that latch together to create a pen. I like to leave it open so that you can peek in at the animals inside. And maybe so that the animals don’t feel trapped and penned in. Exit strategies and ways of escape are important to me.

Little Mae latches it shut so that none of them will get out every time she passes by and notices it open. I have given up leaving it open as it is for the picture. Looking now from my vantage point in the corner, I see that it’s latched tightly shut.  She appreciates them being cozy and safe.

sheep pen

This Christmas I have felt the gathering like sheep in a pen. Not only are my children home, but all of my siblings and their spouses and children are home, as well.

It makes for some pretty noisy crowds.

I struggle with noisy crowds. I always have, and as 2014 comes to a close with all that I have chosen to embrace, one of those things is my introverted self. I hope to process that further in a future post.

This season, I am grateful for increasing self-awareness and for a husband who gets me well enough to drive me home when I have had enough of the sheep in the pen before the tipping point sends me into a bad place.

I am still learning to embrace who I am, who God created me to be, and the beauty within my broken. I am also learning to embrace the beauty within the parts that are NOT broken but just uniquely me.

I am grateful for a husband who opens the pen and drives me home to the comfort of my quiet, away from the noisy crowds.

5 thoughts on “Like Sheep in a Pen

  1. Aunt Marilyn

    Noticing your “dream” block with a star on top to the right of your sheep pen that gets unlatched and then latched! You seem to have dreams of learning to embrace all you are, all of the unique woman God created you to be. I have dreams like that too. In fact, we had a garage sale with our church this past summer. All proceeds went to a missions project. Everyone seemed to bring things to contribute to this sale. One item that came was a black metal music windmill. It plays . . . “To Dream the Impossible Dream.” I wanted to buy it. Yet, knowing it is for the sale I waited til the end of the day to see if it might still be there for me. It would be a little affirmation from God saying, “Yes! It is OK to dream!” I am a dreamer. I feel like God gives me ideas, thoughts, ways to do things and then I get excited to pursue. Not everyone shares my dreams. Not everyone understands how I think. I tend to expect everyone to think like me, or at least to understand where I am coming from. I am learning to enjoy who I am and to enjoy who others are as well. We are all so unique! The music box was there at the end of the sale. I bought it, but by that time I realized that even if it wasn’t there, God told me it is OK to dream with Him! I am unique and so is everyone else! Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for listening to my heart! Better get up now and live this day with Him who loves me just as I am and is slowly changing me to be just like He is! Love you!

    1. Julie McClay

      I love your beautiful heart, Aunt Marilyn. It is a gift to me to get to know it better through your comments on my blog. I always appreciate your thoughtful responses. I love that you are continuing to grow into who God has made you to be and embracing your dreams. God DOES love you the way that you are as the daughter of his that he created you to be. The way that you follow the calling that he places on your heart in whatever season of life you find yourself is such an encouragement. Many Blessings as you continue to grow in GRACE. Hugs.

  2. Davene Grace

    I appreciate everything about this; the way you like the pen open and Little Mae likes it shut (and the reasons that each of you prefers it either open or shut), the opportunity to have your whole family together (wow! I have a much smaller family than you, but I can’t remember the last time we were all together–maybe my brother’s wedding in Oct. ’97?), Steve’s sensitivity to your need for space and for quiet, and most of all, this phrase… “the parts that are NOT broken but just uniquely me.”

    I am grateful for all that makes you uniquely you! Love you, friend!

    1. Julie McClay

      Thank you for your kind, thoughtful responses to my writing. It is such an encouragement and way to connect in this season of life. Thank you for helping me to embrace my uniqueness and for sharing your own heart and life through words, as well. You are a treasured friend.


Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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