Wednesday, June 15, 2011


When I was growing up, I used to drive by fields of growing crops waving calmly in the wind, or see the pastures with cows placidly chewing their cud and think, "Farming....My, what a calm and peaceful life."

Excuse me while I fall over laughing at my naivete.

Farming is anything but calm, peaceful and idyllic. 
It is working in the cold November air (sometimes in rain or snow!) power washing machinery so we can put it away clean, which we hope will keep the coons and mice from making messes, chewing wires, and being a nuisance. 

It is spending all winter taking classes, going to meetings, drawing up budgets, paying bills, attending workshops, making lists of needed repairs, and shopping for equipment. 

It is working in late winter and early spring in the cold barn and muddy barnyard replacing bearings, belts, changing oil filters, and all manner of other maintenance. 

It is suddenly realizing you forgot an important repair, and yet should be heading to the field in 2 days. 

It is spending the hours between sun up and sundown - and sometimes also the hours between sundown and sun up! - in the seat of a tractor doing tillage work, planting corn or soybeans, or moving from one field to another. Only stopping to fuel up or fill the seed boxes/bins.

It is sleeping for 2 hours and having to get back up to do it all over again. And sometimes that sleep happens in the cab of the pickup because you were too tired to drive the 5 miles home to bed.

It is standing at the window watching the wind blow and the rain pound, knowing the seed you planted earlier in the day is going to be washed away or packed in the ground so hard you will have to replant. 

It is watching the cloudless sky as you keep on planting, praying for a rain so the struggling seedlings will have moisture to grow. 

It is going crop scouting and discovering the cornfield that look fabulous a few days ago is ruined by a little thing called a cutworm that chewed off the plants right to the ground.

It is FINALLY finishing the tillage, planting, spraying, replanting, and fertilizing.....just in time to get the combine out and ready to harvest the wheat.

It is holding down an off-farm job while doing all of the above. And still trying to make time for family, to not neglect the study of God's Word, or the assembling of fellow believers. Trying to be sure the lines of communication stay open with spouse so you don't feel completely disconnected and just ships passing in the night.

Yes, it's not the calm, peaceful, easy life I envisioned as a young person passing fields and barnyards and pastures of farmers I didn't know. But it is an amazing life. One that pretty much requires a rather deep trust in the Lord. If you don't, you can have a life completely taken over by worry, regret, disappointments, and distrust.

It is amazing because I get to watch my husband grow as a man. A man who falls on his face before God. Who isn't afraid to admit his mistakes. Who can cry at the goodness of our Lord. Who can get down on his knees with his children and point them to their loving Heavenly Father. Who can come home covered in the day's grime and not mind his children clamoring joyously all over him as he stretches out on the floor to 'rest for a minute' - and promptly begins snoring. A man who never forgets to give a simple squeeze of his hand to say "I love you", even when his mouth is too tired to say it.
It is a good life because we get to teach our children about the power of prayer as we pray specific things. Like how much rain we need, and how we would like it to come. Or praying Daddy's utility trailer home from the field when the tire is obviously about to blow - and how we can thank the Lord Jesus because it was ok all the way to being parked in the barn before it gave out. Or thanking the Lord for his plan, even when we don't see it in the discovery of the cutworms and having to rip up the field and start over. Because God's ways are ALWAYS higher than our ways.

On a movie I used to watch growing up, one of the farmer's wives told a lady struggling to survive the harsh realities of farm life during the late 1800's: "you have to write your name on the land to live here." I think after the first few years of struggling to understand and really embrace and become one with the crazy ups and downs of this life, the dirt I just dumped out of my boots and brushed out of my hair bears witness that my name is finally firmly etched in this land. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

No comments:

Post a Comment