I am a farm girl. I grew up driving tractors and riding in the combine with Dad and learning how to grow crops and raise animals. I was the county pork princess in 1992. While I enjoy putting on a pretty dress like any girl does, at the core of my heart is a girl who does not mind getting her hands dirty, loves country music, rocks the blue jeans, works hard and enjoys the outdoors. Farm life is a part of me that will always be deeply seeded in who I am and how I grew up. And I wouldn’t change that for a moment. I love my farm roots. I learned valuable lessons because of my farm girl roots. Being a farm girl at heart means I have a better understanding of how crops grow. I can remember one year, Dad asked me to run the planter. What I mean is, I was the one driving the tractor, running the machine behind it which planted the seeds in the ground. I was 13 or so...
When dad asked me to do that, all by myself, it worried me a little, because that was a very big job. Planting seeds must be done right, as the planting of the seed is the start of the years crop, which was, in essence, a large part of our family income.
But how exciting to be a larger part of that, other than riding alongside my dad this time.
When a seed is planted into the ground, it takes time to see results. In farm world, spring (usually April timeframe) was when crops were planted. It would be June before we would really see the crops sprouting well. The crop needs rain and sun, both to grow and produce as it should. It takes time. The crop also has to be tended to for weeds. Weeds can ruin the crop if they overgrow. It’s why farmers have sprays that kill the weeks.
In our own lives, we plant seeds all the time. We also have weeds that grow.
Those seeds can be a variety of things and how we plant those seeds vary as well. Seeds can be good: God’s truths, love, laughter, joy, sweet memories. Those seeds can also be bad: lies, bitterness, anger, hurt. Many times, the weeds are what go unrecognized until the “plant” has grown so much it is really difficult to pull up the roots that seeded it.For each person, the weed looks different. Pulling the weeds of bitterness, anger, hurt, and lies or whatever the case is, will take time because the roots of these weeds can run deep. But with much care to ones heart, just as a farmer would tend to his field, the heart can become clean again. Those weeds that have crowded the good crop can be pulled and uprooted and gone forever. The heart has to keep watering the seeds of truth He has given.
Often times the weeds can be confused with what the plant is. The farmer has to have a trained eye often to recognize the difference.
We can be the same way. What's right or wrong can be clouded. We can get confused. We have to keep watering the good crops to in order to keep the bad weeds out. If we lose sight of that, the weeds can grow in sneaky ways. And once a weed has a root, it can be difficult to uproot.
Pulling weeds can be painful at times. For a farmer, those weeds can cloud the crop and not yield as good of a harvest. For me, the weeds can make it hard to be the person I am supposed to be, created to be.
As I walked through the county fair last night and remembered the plethora of good times, I had growing up as a farm girl, I thought through the many lessons I learned simply because I had the privilege to grow up in that environment. My dad, the farmer, taught me to work hard, to rely on God, to tend to crops, to pull weeds, to never give up, and when there is a bad crop, you keep going. The lessons go on, and while some would say I did not have a normal childhood because I spent much of it farming, I would say I wouldn't trade it for anything.
So, one day at a time, like a farmer tends his crops and works hard to keep weeds out and his income alive, I am tending to pulling weeds, to the best of my ability. To thriving in who I am as I grow. And remembering the lessons taught to me without even realizing all I was learning in those years. By His grace. Some days easier said than done, but it's all about one day at a time.