What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Notes from an Aspiring Farmwife

Journal Entry #1

When I married this man of mine, I knew three things about him. I knew that I loved him more intensely than ought to be allowed, I knew that sharing in his life would make me a better person, and I knew that if I married him I was destined to either be a pastors wife or a farmers' wife.

He never became a pastor, though he easily could, and instead has become a well-respected layperson whose opinions and feedback people value and seek out and whose input only help grow the church. He is filled with Light, even without a podium.

Farming has often been his occupation, in one form or another-but always working on other peoples' farms. Most recently, working more as a computer geek FOR farmers but he has spent many years knee deep in manure and elbows in cow places you just don't mention. Through it all, my competition will always be the land. You can take a boy from the country, but you can't take the country from the boy. Instead, husbandry is his way of life. As surely as the blood in his veins, farming courses through him and is his lifeblood.

Cows really did jump over the moon when the boychild dreamed and it was counting the cows he would one day milk that lulled the boy to sleep at night. A dairy farm of his own was sketched countless times in his journal with himself being depicted as a brawny muscleman. (You can imagine the chuckles I had when I happened upon those daydream journals.) This dream continued well into manhood, though eventually it changed its course a little. Instead of a large-herd dairy farm that filled his dreams in his younger years, the husband-man envisioned something on a smaller scale. Something that maybe didn't include JUST cows.

And I, his devoted lover, was up to any challenge that would have me to share in his life despite the fact that I knew nothing of farming. When my chubby arms and legs hardly kept me upright, we lived in what seemed to my small mind, in the middle of nowhere and my siblings raised goats for 4H. I remember the big goat butting me more often than not. When my knees turned knobbly and awkward, and we had moved to a less country, though still small town home, we had a rabbit. I don't remember if she was mine but I remember going out to the barn and cleaning the hutch often enough. As long as I can remember, we always had a dog. Big beautiful dogs that would live indoors and follow us outdoors just as often. In my formative years, we moved to a city house with a yard even smaller than the barn our old house sported. Those years still included a dog, but this time a small, persnickety poodle who loved nothing more than to sit on the couch and suck his back paw all day and the occasional cat, including my very own Siamese who lives to this day. (Old geezer.) And that was the extent of my non-existent farming expertise.

Somewhere around college-age, my hormones got the best of me (I guess) and, out of the blue, I began to show signs of allergies: specifically, cow dander.

I knew nothing of farming, would tear up and sneeze every time I visited the farm, and couldn't stop the tears at the tragic death of animals-even fictional ones. Farm boy falls for the wrong girl-the title of our Love Story would read, but I am so glad he did.

It would be a wild ride, I knew....and has proven to be.

Our dreams aren't realized just yet, (we don't even have a place to call our own!) but the big dreams are made up of little, every day dreams and everyday learning and everyday preparations for when those big dreams will eventually come. We are gathering extra oil; we are preparing for big dreams to come true and thanking God for the little dreams that already have.

Someday, Lord willing, it will be my mouth, like Grams, that nonchalantly captivates children with stories of chickens running headless through the yard and the telling of ornery cow antics. Someday, serving up a golden chicken for Sunday dinner that didn't start out first in plastic wrap will be just how things were and having ground beef that first hung in the barn would be as common as an evening of crochet and C.S. Lewis. And the many years of hanging clothes on the line might dull the memory of first learning the best way to hang them. Eating the biscuits that took years to perfect may force out the memories of those first hockeypucks that came from the oven. The jars of bottled summer, will have been so practiced that gone the memory will be of the days when jars exploded in the canner because of a foolhardy young farmwife who was trying her best at pretending.

So I write. I take note. I am not yet what I hope to be, but when I eventually get there, I hope I don't forget the joy the journey brought me.

(a new series....)


Bonnie said...

Excuse me while I go bawl my eyes out. This is so beautiful and full of love. Reads like a chapter of a book.
You know you should write one someday.
Many farm dreams here too, though on a smaller scale,
ever since I was little, and many B. shares too, though our someday seems very far away just now. So I'll jealously soak up all your farm goodness, and live vicariously....
Now, my groceries are crying and the baby is melting, and having read that (That is EXACTLY how that sentence just went in my head), I think I need a little coffee pick-me-up, so adieu

Teresa said...

Thank you! what a wonderful post. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and your posts show so much of your love for your family. It really shows how much you really care for them in thought and action. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all.

...they call me mommy... said...

I am married to a pastor/farmer dreamer also...hmmm. His dreams definitely lie in the direction of land though. He milked cows when little and said no way now.
Lovely post, Rebecca!

Peggy said...

Lovely post... do you know I married a "farm" boy who said never again? but now said "farm boy" is feeling more and more drawn to the land! We have lived the life of a militar family these past 20 years (I still can't believe its been 20 years, where did the time go?!) and I wouldn't give it up for anything. I know one day we will "return" to the land but for now I am learning to be content where I am.

I am so thankful you are writing this "journal"! It is a breath of fresh air and a blessing for you to allow us to travel along with you!!

Nanci said...

Rebecca, you definitely have a way of drawing us all in. Your words paint wonderful scenes. I am so glad that they are preserved them for your children, and so glad that I get to peek into your thoughts so often.

As an aside, don't worry about hooking up the phone. Just let me know what evening and time to call, and I will.

Miss you so badly.

Full of Grace said...

Mom said you've got some baby bunnies over there, Bet your kiddos are lovin' every minute of that soft cuddlieness :) Hope you got my message about dinner the first friday in Nov. and hope you can come!

Wendy said...

I loved living on a farm...I sometimes feel sad that my kids wont get that experience...Im glad that is your goal :-) Sometimes I wonder why it takes so long to get to the place that I can call my own...but I try to keep in mind that there are experiences that God intends for me and my family to have, and that ultimately His time is the best time...I know you know that...I sometimes need to say it out loud to re-affirm it to myself :-) Lovely story...well told!

Leah said...

I LOVE the way you talk about your husband. It reminds me so much of how I feel about mine.

And thanks, some of my jam jars exploded in the canning pot this summer, so I guess I'm still in the pretending stage, but that photo you showed of your shelf full of all your canned goods a little while back has inspired me all the more. (I tried my hand at applesauce yesterday. We finished off two jars at dinner. I think I'm gonna need to make more ;-)

Craig and Bethany said...

Your photos are outstanding! I love your new series.