90 years … of life, of memories.
There’s still evidence of his life in this soil, the ground my husband plows today. No tractor left this behind. A man with calloused hands following a draft horse walked this ground.
What a treasure to have a neighbor who can tell us the history of the land! We celebrated his birth this weekend. 90 years, that’s a lot of livin’ … farm livin’.
tree plantin’, apple pickin’, field plowin’, cow milkin’, ice cuttin’ and storin’ and haulin’,… on the same few hundred acres all his life, married to the same woman.
farmers are faithful laborers… faithful, day in day out kind of livin’ …quietly working, day after day, silently, not complaining, thankful for the sun and rain… like a tree: planted, growing, deep roots, tall and strong even in old age, branches reaching up to bless the Maker, providing shade for the farmer’s family, doing what it was made to do…
He watched this tree grow from his childhood, and still it stands. At his birthday celebration, I met a couple that celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary last week. My parents are celebrating their 40th.
Events like this are long time coming, years in the making… some things don’t happen over night.
A lot of daily livin’ goes into making a life well lived.
How do I get from here to there?
with what I’ve been given.
…my heart has been in Africa today… with orphans.
today they wait for the trash to be dumped … at Kora, the place that is “cursed”… the people that are cursed.
and somehow in the “what can I do?” of it all, I forget the orphan who is no longer an orphan, the one who sleeps under this roof…
In some muddled-up way, I glamorize life from a distance. The truth is ministy, serving and loving, can be hard, painful, dirty… needs are seldom beautiful. The neglected are unseen and unwanted… over-looked because they are “not as vaulable”, lesser.
but, who am I to judge and call insignificant what God has called important? yet, that is what I’m doing today. I’m looking for BIG things far off and missing the important things here becuase I’ve called them small.
“Dangerous Surrender” (what a challenging title, what a challenging book!) … sacrifice of what I call my life, my dreams.
Today, a woman unknown in Calcutta is caring for the dying. …unknown to the world but known by the one she tends. Still she cares, serves, comforts… because she knows what I forget “little is much when God is in it”. Little is BIG when it is what God has asked of me. Insignificant is the most important and potent thing when it is what God has chosen to use and bless.
“They will die anyway”; so is her love, her gift of less value than…
We will all “die anyway”… there is no one more or less worthy of my time, my gifts, my service, my love…
Living here can seem rountine, boring, somehow less than service on a foreign field… uncomfortable, insignificant, unappreciated. But, if I am willing to do “whatever”, and the “whatever” He choses for me is loving my man, teaching my children, cleaning this house, doing the laundry again… then I say “yes” to “whatever”.
I have my mission field. And, it becomes a delight and a passion again.
“The poor will always be with you.” and the lesson for me is contentment. while I live and learn and serve here. I will seek and find His plan for me with contentment and generosity.
“There will always be those with more than you and less than you, smarter than you, better looking, stronger, more talented … and less…” my dad said again and again. …there are those with a “more impressive” life… but, only from a temporal, human perspective.
I will not be proud or ashamed. I will not feel false guilt or be negligent. I will be a steward of what has been loaned to me. I will be thankful. I will be faithful… I will see tomorrow, generations, eternity,… investing myself, passing on something of value.
like the faithful farmer… planting the seed. It is not just the foreign fields that are ripe for harvest. I will reap if I am faithful in the field He gives me to tend. I won’t faint. I will strengthen my arms for the task. And, if I live to be 90 and never leave these acres…
I have a promise to sustain me.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” Heb. 10:36
It is in my heart to bless the world … as Christ did. If somehow He could do it from where He lived, so will I. He said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:12-13.
Lord, use my scrawny little life… even here… in this house, on this hill.
“As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Cor. 9:9-11