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  • Mixing in Thanks…

    On Thursday, May 01 st, 2008

    “The great painter boasted that he mixed all his colours with brains, and the great saint may be said to mix all his thoughts with thanks. All goods look better when they look like gifts.” –G.K. Chesterton, St. Francis of Assisi And isn’t that what it all is? Gifts, good gifts, from His hand. I’m learning to mix my simple life with thanks. ...

  • Seed Bed

    On Monday, April 28 th, 2008

    She’s laid bare, exposed and waiting. We, all of us, watch as he stands on her tilled edge, opening bags, preparing to fill soil’s barrenness. Something about the sound of ripping out stitched string, hope and promised unsealed. The open seed bags line the tailgate, ready. The truck bed sags under the heaviness of seeds, millions of diminutive, near-weightless-in-my-hand s...

  • More that Dies….

    On Thursday, April 24 th, 2008

    “As soon as you open the door, it hits you. ‘Ah, spring in the country!’ “ She laughs and offers her tousled red-haired daughter another cookie. “Well, it’s like I was telling Emily on the way over here. There isn’t a block in the whole county that doesn’t reek today.” The two friends chuckle and I nod and smile too, us this cluster of community at the back of...

  • Hand Dwellers

    On Monday, December 31 st, 2007

    Trust in the Lord and do good,dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. ~Ps. 37:3 This land marks our time. The glow of lights in the neighbor’s dairy barn: “Martins’ must be having problems tonight—milk house light is still on and it is nearly 10pm.” The tracks from our barn door to the back step: “We can eat soon! Dad’s done chores and is on his way in from the...

  • New Year Hope

    On Saturday, December 29 th, 2007

    It seems an unlikely, but strangely right, place to spend the final hours of Christmas. While the planet twinkles in the glow of trees circled with plates piled high in shortbread and fruitcake, stacks of unwrapped love, and perfectly imperfect family, our Christmas night has us far away from it all. Far away in a barn. Sows grunt, piglets root and nuzzle udders for milky warm,...

  • Hope at the Heart…

    On Thursday, November 29 th, 2007

    November blows bitter, trees naked and gray with cold. We straw the strawberries, pulling up warmth. We wrap the tender bark of the young fruit trees in a coat, insulation, protection from gnawing teeth, gnawing hunger. I stand on the back stoop, tugging my coat tighter around my neck. A blast of cold tangles my hair with its icy fingers. But I stand a bit longer, looking acro...

  • Keep Faith and Wait Quietly

    On Friday, September 07 th, 2007

    Elisabeth Elliot on faithfully doing our work and waiting on God…. “Growth is always imperceptible. But the farmer exercises long patience in waiting for his crop. He has done his work… hence he waits quietly. If we could simply remember that this is true of everything–that God’s purposes are slowly being worked out for his glory and our good&...

  • Harvest Days

    On Thursday, September 06 th, 2007

    These are harvest days. Beans roll golden. Wagons fill. Children ride with uncles, Grandpa, Dad, and Mama brings meals. We are a family, grateful and blessed to be. I worked these fields in the spring, with hopes, expectations. We laid seeds into this bed of earth. We tended Mom V.’s bedside. Tender shoots leafed, plants flowered, the promise of pods and yield. Time di...

  • Listening… and doing

    On Wednesday, July 11 th, 2007

    I wake Sunday morning to grey growing on the horizon like dark waves rolling in from the sea. These fields of corn and beans, that lap up around old farmhouses and quiet country churches, lie far from the shore with its seagulls and wet grains of sand, but those clouds to the west, riding in low and full, carry the ocean close, droplets from the depths. I dress and wait for th...

  • Saturday at the Farm: Stay the Course

    On Saturday, July 07 th, 2007

    Lean into it, girl. That’s it. Turn her hard. She’ll build your muscles, this old girl still going strong. Steering takes focus. And strength to keep that wheel straight on the row. Don’t turn to the left or the right. Keep your eyes fixed on where you are going. There’s a crop He’s counting on you to harvest. Stay the course. *Photo: Hope...

  • Always

    On Monday, June 25 th, 2007

    They say that on still summer nights in these parts, if you lay in bed just so, ear cocked and listening, you can hear the soybeans growing out in the milky moonlight. Under the stars, seas of green surge around island farmhouses, waves rolling across this countryside, growing, stretching, reaching. The other night as I lay there, an expanse of window my celestial headboard, I ...

  • Led by GPS

    On Thursday, May 10 th, 2007

    Heading north down the field I had vision, that endless blue sky stretching out like a royal canopy under which we could ride to where earth meets the heavens. But at the northern headland, I’d throttle back on that 175 horsepower tractor, pull the hydraulic lever up to raise those 30 feet of steel teeth digging deep behind me, wind that steering wheel hard to the right, thro...

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