Debbie McSweeney of rural Peabody enjoys farm life, living simply, and raising as much of the food her family consumes as possible. Consequently, she and her husband Noel have chickens, hoop gardens, beehives, and dairy goats.
“For several years now I have been really interested in starting my own herd of Golden Guernsey dairy goats,” McSweeney said. “They are very rare, so I felt fortunate to find two last winter that I could afford to buy and drive to get. They have quickly become my favorites.”
McSweeney works for the Peabody-Burns school district as a substitute teacher while her husband works in construction. Extra money for additional animals in her golden dream herd has been in short supply during the past year, but McSweeney could not let go of her quest to find more Golden Guernseys.
“I recently sold all the other goats that lived in the same pen as my golden girl, Sunshine,” McSweeney said. “I had found some more to buy, but at $300 to $600 each, it just wasn’t possible.”
Unexpected vehicle expenses on top of an already strained budget prompted McSweeney to call the Missouri breeder from whom she hoped to buy the rare goats.
“I was going to tell them there was just no way I could buy the three goats as planned,” she said. “We had just spent $800 to get one of our vehicles running and still had two more to work on.”
Before she dialed the number to cancel her goat plans however, her phone rang. It was her friends, the Golden Guernsey breeders from Missouri.
“I am someone who always believes in miracles, but I was absolutely floored when they said they had just decided they wanted to give me the three goats I was hoping to buy.” McSweeney said. “The timing of it all was incredible. Of course, there was a catch — I had to teach them how to make my goat milk soap — but I was thrilled. I even offered to cook them dinner.”
Last week, McSweeney’s new Golden Guernseys arrived. She said she cried when her newfound friends unloaded them from the back of their truck.
“I just never thought this was possible,” she said. “But it was because of the relationship we built in our last goat deal, and also because of the way God works in our lives when we allow him that space.”
With the goats unloaded, McSweeney spent the rest of the day teaching goat-milk soap-making skills, providing a tour and lesson on winter gardening, and showing her guests how their rain water cache system worked. She also cooked up a special farm-provided meal for her guests.
“We had a wonderful time,” she said. “I am so grateful for their kindness. If we were all rich we would not have to walk on faith so much, but then we would not have these kinds of miracles to appreciate. I hope everyone will find peace in their hearts and joy in their lives this Christmas season … and remember to look for miracles. They do happen!”