Monday, July 9, 2012

The Farmer

The Farmer

"Each day I go into the fields
to see what is growing
and what remains to be done.
It is always the same thing: nothing
is growing, everything needs to be done.
Plow, harrow, disc, water, pray
till my bones ache and hands rub
blood-raw with honest labor—
all that grows is the slow
intransigent intensity of need.
I have sown my seed on soil
guaranteed by poverty to fail.
But I don’t complain—except
to passersby who ask me why
I work such barren earth.
They would not understand me
if I stooped to lift a rock
and hold it like a child, or laughed,
or told them it is their poverty
I labor to relieve. For them,
I complain. A farmer of dreams
knows how to pretend. A farmer of dreams
knows what it means to be patient.
Each day I go into the fields."

Sometimes, the work I do is guaranteed poverty. To the outside world we are strangers here. We are different and they believe we labor in vain over things that do not concern us like orphans or they whisper things like, "how" and "why?" I say, "Because it's worth it and I believe  we're called to it". Having a large family and and choosing to work until well past the sun is no different then the farmer neighbor, Mr. Green.
Everyday walking his rows and pulling weeds but no guarantees of a harvest. 
Except that we're walking the rows of raising up a bunch of crazy, delightful, funny, sometimes in a grouchy mood children. We pull weeds and walk until our feet hurt, praying over them, asking God for rain. Asking God to show us fruit in their lives. Some days the ground is so hard and packed that working it seems futile...but I do.
 Other days the ground is soft and rich, black and beautiful. The soil right for planting. Oh, those days I keep my eyes open to what God can do in a field like mine. I'm just a mere farmer mom digging dirt and tilling soil in my children's hearts.
 Like Mr. Green I walk the rows of my their heart and look for weeds and pull the nasty things before they over take my whole garden.
Farmers know that farming takes faith.
I know raising a child takes more faith.
God brings the rain and sometimes there's the drought.

This living together and working along side each other keeps us from the boredom that many people face today.  Children are bored, parents grow bored, teenagers are always bored.
Boredom is an epidemic in our world.

I remember, 
"Idle hands are the devils workshop"

Where I heard these words I don't remember but I know them to be true
for myself and my children.
So I provide work to keep hands from being idle.
Work to keep minds open to the sweet part of the day when work is done and our daily food
being put on the table, a feeling of freedom from boredom.

A day to rest also as we yard sale and look for things we need. We just happened to need that cute little armoire. It was her husband's great grandmothers.. a place to keep her clothes. It's lined with cedar but more than that it's lined with this woman who probably cherished this piece. Now it's in a yard overlooking the street with a sold sign on it because I couldn't refuse $30.00 for such a priceless memory and it's not even my great-grandmother. I brought it to my home and it now sits in my living room. It will require more work to get her looking good again but as I slide my hand along the inside of the cedar shelves I imagine I can smell the perfume of the great-grandmother...I will carry her armoire into the future and I will pass it down with great care. 

Grandchildren growing bored of old pieces passed down 
and getting new pieces. Can I just sigh here a moment?  

Working out the beauty in my home.
Looking past the things that don't matter
and truly living the life of a farmer mom.  


Karen Sue said...

so sad, but then again, it starts its life in a new family....the armoire, the child, the pet, the friend...there is frustration in looking for work things for them to do all the time, as they don't seem to see it themselves...I know part is the being a teenager, when they too often don't see past themselves, but here's hope to keep on plugging away, and making the new list ... you are doing a good thing, this mothering. Some just aren't cut out for it, and some don't want to find out, but it is my most important job, my reason for being one of the top part timers around, because I want the freedom to be with them as much as I can, even when they don't need me much.. :o)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I couldn't agree more. Pulling weeds and praying for the harvest........

Renata said...

Hi Robin
I love the analogy of a farmer & parenting. It is so true that sometimes it seems a long time waiting for a harvest.

Love the amoire you got ~ I would have grabbed it as well! Love yard sales ( or over here we call them garage sales).

I've always said I'd rather be busy than bored ~ I'm trying to raise my kiddos with the same idea.
Have a wonderful day my friend

Laurel said...

Love the comparison of parenting to farming. :)



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