The day breaks anew with the birds singing and the rooster crowing. I usher the kids off to school and head out to the barn to begin the morning feeding of the beasts. The mama goats greet me in hungry expectation. The babies jump on me and try to eat my hair, ever curious as to what this human is all about. The calves eat their bottles quickly and then follow me around like I’m their mom. The chickens look at me with disdain because I didn’t bring a treat for them. The dogs are sleeping in the barn after their long night of patrolling the farm and keeping us safe with their incessant barking. This is the crazy life we live on our small little family farm.
I finished college with honors and a four year degree, fully intending on using that degree to find some big fancy job in a thriving city. I can hear God laughing now. Fool is he who makes plans, it is God who directs the path, not us. Instead of the big fancy job, I married a farmer. And so it goes, here I am, using my degree to help run our agricultural repair business and learning how to raise livestock.
I am nothing but grateful to a God who took my life path on a swift left turn. I would have missed so much had I done it my own way. The world informs us, tells us striving for success is the way to go. I deeply believed the lie that 2.5 kids, a good career, and a nice suburban house meant you had arrived. It was all I knew. But God. His grace to bless me with what truly fills my soul is pure gift.
Rabbi Nahum puts it this way, “The culture of commerce’s definition of who we are as human beings is that we are here to produce stuff and consume stuff. That’s what a good life is, producing a lot of stuff and consuming a lot of stuff. In sharp contrast, God would say life is about being on a creative journey, animated by God’s love. Making meaning and beauty and creating relationships.”
I sit on my porch with my journal open and my bible app turned to the verse of the day. And in the midst of trying to reckon with the meaning of this day’s verse, of what God is speaking to me, all I can do is sit quietly with my eyes closed and listen to the birds chirping. I am consumed by his living presence in all of creation and I am drinking it in. I am thirsty for it. It is a new thing the farm is teaching me. The simple goodness of being still in his love.
My perfectionist mind has always been bent towards producing. These days, I’m learning to understand the gift of journey rather than production. My journey is, as Rob Bell would say, about “being rescued from the accumulation of dead objects.” Rescued from lies that only produce death and rescued from the lies of the world.
There is incredible joy in this journey of learning anew. The farm is teaching me, shaping me, remaking me. It is truly healing my soul. Every acre, every animal, every flower, every path, creating a new way of abundance in this once hardened heart. I am so thankful for this windy road. It was truly the God man’s plan for us as we could not have shaped each circumstance to happen as it did by our own will.
The deep soul work and the hard physical work of the farm are proving to be grace upon grace. Abundant harvest finding it’s way through hard work. Rivers of living God water and meadows clothed with flocks. Shouting and singing together for joy. And my voice echoing a deep Amen.
“Creation holds deep within it the love of the living presence.”-Rabbi Nahum
A Blessing from the Farm
May your days be filled with abundant life. May laughter, joy, and peace be yours from morning till night. May the light of his presence consume you and the darkness hold you until light comes. May you experience his withness as you go about each daily activity. And may you remember always that you are the beloved of God and your every breath is pleasing and worthy.