Not a Machine

I was buzzing about my day, accomplishing everything on my extensive to-do list, when one thought changed my life. It happened the day I pulled the car into the garage after grocery shopping – keeping within our budget, mind you – and using a handful of coupons. I had selected the finest fruits and vegetables, bought all-natural snacks, and befriended the glum cashier. I parked the car, pulled the baby out of the car seat, grabbed five bags of groceries, kindly helped my little girls inside while keeping the kitten outside, and crafted a brilliant paragraph for my upcoming eBook. Wow! I was doing everything at once. I was so tickled by my Type A-ness that I smiled and encouraged myself with the cheer: “I’m a machine!”

Something about that happy-yet-crazy statement stopped me in my tracks. For one moment, time froze. The grocery bags balanced precariously in my arms, the baby waited for the next bounce, the disappointed kitten condescended to the nudge of my foot, and I felt an epiphany fall into my heart:  I’m not a machine… I’m a human being.

That one thought was so heavy, I almost dropped the groceries.

(In fact, I’ve been staggering under its weight ever since.)

Time unfroze. The kitten scampered down the steps, I closed the door, and slowly unpacked the groceries as I mulled the news: I’m not a machine. I am not a machine! I set the girls up with an art project and nestled the baby in bed (you can’t expect a Type A to stop completely, ya know), and then I poured myself a cup of tea and read an article in WORLD magazine. And that’s all I did. I didn’t cook dinner, listen to the phone messages, and crochet a scarf at the same time. I just sat there and read. And drank. But that’s all. It felt very… human.

The days after that just got wilder and wilder. I read a fabulous book called Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl (I have a weak-spot for books about etiquette and fancy-things.) While it’s definitely not the next John Piper epistle, it was like a glass of lemonade on a summer day. It reminded this American go-getter about the Latin ethic of life over work… the importance of truly savoring and meaning the food I eat, the politics I preach, the clothing I wear, the children I raise, and (okay) the make-up I wear. I was in such a dry place, that I read it as a devotional book and actually felt the Holy Spirit sighing peacefully inside of me as I remembered what it means to be human. (Warning: If you read it as a devotional, you might be sorely disappointed. It is not biblical per se. But it sure helps a girl to breathe again.)

So, am I a machine? Non!

A “chicken”? Maybe.

A human? Decidedly so.

(I must admit that I related this story to my non-A-type friend and she sighed wistfully and said, “But you’re such a good machine! You’re like the best machine I know.” So, in case you can’t relate to this post, just know that you do have good company out there.)

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The Kitty Who Came Home

‘Remember Flora, the too-tiny kitty who had to go back home to her mother?

Well, she grew and grew, and now she’s back to stay! (In fact, she did stay – INSIDE – one night, accidentally.)

She jumps and skips around the jump rope as the girls train her to be a sharp mouser.

 

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How to Describe Us

When my sister, Erin, was visiting, I was hauling a bucket of tomatoes into the kitchen and she and Viv were returning from the hen house with a basket of eggs, when she said that our lives here on the farm can be summarized by this:

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

I laughed, because she’s so right. Everything – I mean everything – is growing and bursting with fruit right now. Our arms are always full of something that needs care – diapers need to be changed, tomatoes need to be canned, peppers need to be frozen, words need to be wielded into an eBook, eggs need to be sold, a baby needs to be coo’ed, creative little girls need to be loved, a hard working man needs some care, a cat needs to be fed, compost bins need to be spun, and flowers need to be watered…

Although He’s already blessed us with one strong man, two willing little girls, and one strapping baby boy, I think I’ll heed the rest of the verse and ask God to send more laborers into this harvest…

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Our First Homestead Wedding

This was her first kiss. This was their first love. The musicians sang about the Wedding Feast that we will all enjoy when Jesus returns; and, truly, for one full day, we all caught a glimpse of what it will be like. The bride walked down the aisle first and waited… and then her groom, so long awaited, walked in, surrounded by his friends. When their eyes met, everyone remembered, “This is going to happen for me. I, too, am waiting – longing – for the groom.” When their lips met for the first time, everyone remembered, “This is going to happen for me. I, too, will meet my groom with stunning purity and devoted love.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There’s going to be a wedding. It’s the reason why I’m living, to marry the Lamb.” – Tim Reimherr


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On My Morning Walks

 

 

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A Wonder to Behold

I love living on a farm.

I love when we all pile into the truck, and the static-filled radio plays nice and loud.

I lurch us along as Ryan rakes and piles the grass to mulch the garden.

I feel like a real farmer’s wife: you know, the one who cooks the dinner and cares for the young ‘uns.

The one who makes sure the cat gets fed and the petunias get watered.

The one who watches her hard-working man with admiration and appreciation.

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I Told You So

A fur-lined cape to visit the chickens after dinner on a Monday evening.

I told you she was the fanciest farm-girl I ever saw.

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Little Rooster Crowin’

This morning when I opened the barn to let the chickens out, the sunlight streamed in through the doorway and must have hit the rooster in just the right way. As if taken over by a force larger than himself, he crowed for the first time in his life.

He was shocked.

The hens were shocked.

I’ll never forget how they all froze in that universal experience in which something so new seems strangely familiar.

He tried his feeble little call a few more times; the hens stared at him and shook their heads in amazement.

I, of course, have been humming “Meet Me in the Morning” all day long.

“Little rooster crowing; must be something on his mind.” – Bob Dylan

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The Fruit of Over-coming

What gave us the advantage in our race against nature to the next red, ripe strawberry?

Was it the netting, the slug traps, or the spooky owl that we set in the garden?

Who cares! We won!

This is my portion of our first-fruits.

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We were going to pick it tonight and divide it into four perfect parts:

one sweet taste for each of us.

As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones with our eyes on

the first, red, ripe strawberry of the season.

 

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