My grandmother, Mary Eliza Farrington, married George Newton Kalb, and at some point in their marriage, headed for South Dakota to homestead some property there. I do not know the date of their marriage, but I have papers showing that they received their papers to a homestead in August of 1889.
I loved to hear how they, and several others, headed for South Dakota with their meager amount of livestock and farming implements. Grandma originated in Olin, Iowa, so it was a long trip.
There, they struggled, as many of the old pioneers. My mother was born there, on the old homestead. One of their friends and neighbors there, in Jerauld County, also had a baby boy about the same time.
One day they could see smoke in the distance, and knew that a prairie fire was approaching their homes. Grandpa and the neighbor man got out their plows, and began to plow as fast as they could, to make a barrier for the fire. Both babies were laid in the middle of the plowed area, while the women and men armed themselves with gunny sacks, and pails and pans of water, which the women had pumped from a well.
They were able to keep the fire away from their homes by fighting the fire, and the fire went around them and the plowed ground, and both of the babies were safe.
I often think of the protection of our Father, through the many pitfalls and dangers of life. Oh how He gives us the strength to fight the battles of life, to quench the fiery darts of the devil, and to come forth victorious.
Like my grandparents, we must do what we know to do, and rest our faith in Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith.
My grandma lived to be 97 years old, and went through many other struggles of life, but her faith brought her through them all. And, though she was a very tiny woman, God gave her the strength to overcome many trials that would have devastated many others.
I cannot help but think of the spies who were sent into the Promised Land. Only two had the faith to believe they could overcome.
Read Numbers, chapter 13-chapter 14:9
Joshua and Caleb kept the faith, in spite of the opposition and the giants that would have to be faced. The people refused to take the land because of the opinion of the majority of spies, but God spared Joshua and Caleb, and they were the only 2 that were allowed to overcome the enemy and enter the Promised Land.
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait fate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.
Matthew 7:14Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Let us be of the few that truly find the way.
Dear Lord, the only God, who was also the God of Joshua and Caleb, I pray that You will help me to put on the full armor of God, that I might stand firm through every obstacle that Satan would put in my way. May you receive all of the honor and glory. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus Christ, knowing that Your will is perfect for me. Amen
I enjoyed this story, Verna. Thanks for sharing it. These stories of the 1800's, with their difficulties, etc, should make us more appreciative of our present lives we enjoy. We are so very blessed (at least I am) with all the automatic and push button items to make our life experience easier. It is truly astonishing how God has brought this nation forward. Thank you for sharing this. GOD BLESS YOU