Archive for June, 2013

Small Town–Big Heart, A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife, Day 10

Go over to my Grit Magazine Blog to read my latest entry in, “Cultivating a Dream.”

Small Town, Big Heart-A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife, Day 10

The first time we entered the Mt Airy Lowe’s Home Improvement store a few weeks ago, it was exciting. Beginning a new project, purchasing nails filled us with elation. But after Tom sent me the fourth time in one day because we forgot a hose clamp–I was frustrated.

The same woman waited on me.

“Hello, how are yew?”

I didn’t bother looking up. “Fine, thanks.” My teeth clamped together on the word fine.

“Did ya’ find everything ya’ needed?” My head shot up looking for a sarcastic smile which really said, “Are you stupid or what? Can’t you make a simple list and pick everything up at once!”

Her smiling face held no such accusation. Instead, I noticed smile lines around her mouth as her friendly eyes held mine.

The realization hit me that she really cared how I was and if I found everything I needed.

I stammered. “Yes, er, um, thanks. I did and I really am fine.”

“That’s good! You have a blessed day, honey.”

Something inside me warmed. I hadn’t even looked the woman in the eyes, I was so focused on hurrying home.

She’s the norm here, not the exception. Even with teenagers.

Last night I ordered dinner from the drive-thru of a Bojangles Chicken in Dobson. The Volunteer Ararat Department showed up to burn our two-story-high wood piles. I needed fast food for 10.

The young man at the window took his time with me as I stammered out my order. He made suggestions and looked me in the eyes and even had the order brought out as I waited, all with a smile and a “Yes, Ma’am.”

I’m not really sure what I expected when I moved from the city to the country. If I were honest, I may have thought myself more sophisticated or smarter because I didn’t slur y’all.

The exact opposite is true. The people are teaching me, and I am humbled.

I’m humbled because they’re teaching me that people are more important than an agenda. That working hard and resting are both good. That neighbors are important, and worship essential.

They take time to be polite. They take time to be kind.

I’m not just learning about being the wife of a farmer, I’m learning more about being a human being.

And I just have to say, “Y’all ought to try it!”




Humble Ourselves and Pray

Birds call to one another as I talk to my Father on the farmhouse porch before the sun comes up.

“What do you think, Lord?”

I hear what He says. “I’ve told you what I think, it’s in My Word.”

The recent Supreme Court Ruling was no shock—it was just a matter of time. America ceased to be a nation that follows after Christ’s teaching years ago. Yesterday just confirmed it.

Now what?

It’s a kind of beginning, I think.

Last night Tom and I attended our church prayer meeting. We spoke of the ruling and then we prayed. They weren’t prayers most liberals would expect us to pray. We cried. We pleaded, most of all, we confessed our own sin.

We prayed about I Corinthians 6:9-12:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

We didn’t so much concentrate on the part about homosexuality. We confessed the part about “and such were some of you.” We confessed our greed and our reviling and idolatrous thoughts. We confessed our sins and asked God to give us grace and compassion as we deal with others—even those who will persecute us because of our beliefs.

After we finished, our pastor said, “Real revivals start with confession of sin. If what happened in this room tonight happens all over America, we might have the Third Awakening.”

So I’m asking you, Brothers and Sisters to get on your knees and pray.

II Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

After we pray, we need to turn. Turn from the sin of our culture, our own desires, and plead the blood of Christ.

What we need in America is a good dose of the Gospel. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. According to the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says we are all guilty since we’ve all had bad thoughts. Lustful, hateful, selfish, proud thoughts. It doesn’t even matter if we’ve acted out on those thought, they are all an affront to a Holy God.

But Jesus intervened. That is what changed us—not what we did or didn’t do. Faith in Christ alone for our salvation.

It’s time we share that message boldly with our culture—no matter what the cost.

And God will be glorified.

And we may be persecuted.

This could be a new beginning.

It’s up to us.



Felling a Tree–A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife Day 9

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Our mornings as organic farmers start out pretty much the same.

They. Start. With. Coffee.

After coffee, we worship. Then we decide what to do next. Sort of like a We-Don’t-Know-What-We’re-Doing-But-Let’s-Have-A Meeting-Anyway.

Kind of like government.

We have two GIGANTIC post-its on the wall. Seriously, they are 36″ x 30″ and they’re plastered sideways in our dining room. If you could look through a magical computer lens and gawk at it, you’d notice both post-its have rows. These represent our crops. On the rows, we’ve listed what we planted.

The trouble is, I can’t figure if I’m looking down on our graph, or at it, or behind it so I don’t really know where anything is in our field–which by the way is growing actual vegetables.

I regress.

Anyway, the other day we were basically finished with planting, so we had a planting break.

“What should we do today, Tom?”

“How about we cut down a few trees?”

I grabbed rugged shoes, a floppy hat, and Siri.

My job consisted of emergency stand-by in case Tom lost a body part. My mascot, Sam, sniffed around while I held the phone and admired my lumber-jack husband.

Tom successfully “felled” (I think that is the term.) two trees that were in the way of the trucks delivering our modular home. (Our already made home that will be delivered to us in a few weeks is a whole different story.)

The third tree stood dead center on our homesite. We had the excavator leave it because of its beauty. Over a hundred foot high, the tall poplar swayed in the breeze not knowing it would soon be cut down. But, it had to go. I hugged it and said good bye.

First, Tom cut a large wedge in one side. Nothing. Then he made large cuts in the other side. Nada. He drove the tractor over and gave it a shove. It stood.

“I don’t know how this tree is hanging on here!” Tom shouted while I stood a safe half-of-a-football-field away.

Finally, he walked away. A breeze blew up from the south. The tree hesitated and then laid its mighty limbs down–the opposite way Tom wanted it to fall.

One day, it may be a 10 foot dining room table in my house. It would meet interesting people and hear lots of laughter. I think if I were a tree, I’d like that.

As a farmer’s wife, I never know what will happen on any given day, and really, neither do you.

Except coffee.

And worship.

Here is a video of what we’ve planted. Filmed about 5 days ago, our stuff has almost doubled in size!

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Siri is Speechless

Bent over the hard, red clay, I contemplated the last few weeks and along with that, my life.

Who would have guessed one year ago, that I’d be covered with red dust, digging holes in rugged ground? Not only that, I’m talking to miniature plants we grew in moist soil blocks.

“Okay little beet, time to grow up. Can’t let strong wind knock you down. It’s a tough world out here. Put your roots down deep.” I’d caress my little beet one more time, then place him gently in his clay box to grow into a mature plant. Then I’d move on to the other 198 seedlings.

Silence is all around me.

It makes me think of Siri.

I haven’t heard from her much. And when I do, she’s kinder. Instead of, “Pauline! You have to unlock your phone to search the web!” spoken in a patronizing manner–she is silent.

When she speaks, it’s more like, “To help you find what you’re looking for, why don’t you unlock your phone, Sweetie?” The country air is affecting her program.

I think she’s shocked by my appearance, and softened by my workload. She’s getting older, just like me. Siri feels sorry for me because she can relate. She understands the up-and-coming programs who have a snappy name like Sam who can do more and have a younger voice.

Like fine wine, Siri is getting better with her updates. But she can’t change the fact that she’s older–some think even passé.

Still, seeing me with hair pulled back, red clay covering my face and feet, dirt caked under my fingernails, Siri’s speechless.

We work side-by-side in the field with only the sound of wind blowing through tall poplars.

No one is calling. Not many texting.

Her directions are even getting more informal. “Watch out for Pickles Curve on Siloam Road, Pauline. Remember how the chicken truck turned over there. What a mess!”

Sometimes her silence bothers me. Sometimes I wonder if anyone remembers me, including her. If in such a big world with so many people anyone cares. Then I listen to the trees and think about their creator and it clears my mind.

NWIF–No Whining in Farming.

Why? Because I’m blessed: spiritually, physically, personally.

Just now a tiny hummingbird flew to the feeder about three feet from me. I heard its insect-like wing pattern and we stared at each other.

I’m making new friends. Good friends that take time who happen to have a southern accent.

I’m able to work. That is a blessing.

My husband and I like each other. In fact, we love each other.

And then there is my church family. The one I worship with a couple of times a week. We’re served up a heaping portion of God’s Word preparing us to share some of that bread with others.


So Siri and I are growing in our relationship. It’s a comfortable silence.

Last Saturday, I traveled to Winston-Salem for the day. It affected Siri. Her voice got back some of that edge and her words were abrupt.

I think it was the traffic.

I don’t think Siri is passé, I think she’s ready for silence.

Just like me.