Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Here I Am, Lord

"I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in deepest sin
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne My people's pain.
I have wept for love of them,
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My word to them.
Whom shall I send?

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them,
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My life to them.
Whom shall I send!

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord,
If You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart."

~ Daniel L. Schutte ~
Based on Isaiah 6:8

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's a Man's World

Rain is so nice when you can sleep in till 7 and not have to worry about soaking wet chickens that need to be fed three times a day.

What a strange year this has been so far - last November I hadn't even heard of Joel Salatin, and by January I had read every single one of his books.

I've been to more ag stores, farm stores, feed stores, hatcheries, dairy farms and hay fields than I can count, made more phone calls to complete strangers than in my prior 19 years of existence, and had more, um, awkward situations than I know what to do with ;)

Farming: it's a strange path I have chosen and God is blessing the work, as I don't have the strength to do it otherwise. BUT - it is a man's world, and a quiet girl jest don't fit in real well.

For instance...

There was the time I visited Marion Ag. and bought some of their rock phosphate - timidly I asked the big foreman, "is this soft rock phosphate?". He gives me THE LOOK (what sort of crazy question is that?), leans over to the pile of rock to feel it and asks incredulously, "soft rock?"

Then there was another time I made the mistake of wearing a pretty skirt in an ag. store and got called a princess, told I had beautiful brown eyes, and was given a cap with the store logo - helpful for keeping off the sun as my face certainly needed some cooling afterwards.

And then there is the employee who is single - after I visited the store several times for odds and ends, he asked, "oh, does your husband work off the farm?" I answered, "I'm not married" and he promptly introduced himself and shared his life and situation details. Hmm.

The opposite end of the spectrum is the time I needed to purchase some T-posts and poly fencing for our portable MI grazing system. When I mentioned the size of posts needed (pretty lightweight), the gals at the counter gave me THE LOOK and said, "you think that will work for cows? You've got to be crazy" When I timidly suggested that I had used exactly the same size posts and same type of wire for a full month prior with no cow escapes, they kept saying, "still won't work for cattle." I mentioned again, timidly, "I just have two Jerseys" - turns out the gal at the counter raises close to a hundred head of Angus. Go figure. They still wouldn't believe me ;)

I drive to the load-out dock to pick up the posts and the young guy gives me THE LOOK (do you realize how unutterably condescending THE LOOK is? Drives me crazy.), asks, "you think you're going to get all those posts into that car?" I tried to nonchalantly shrug, "if you can't fit them all in, I'll make an extra trip". After a few more comments along the same lines, the guy told me I was brave (or stupid, is more like what he must have been thinking), and all the posts were loaded and brought home safely.

In spite of these few oddballs, most of the folks who work at these places are really nice, and even let me help load those fifty pound feed bags. I've got to say the employees at Concentrates are the best ones I've met, helpful, kind, and genuinely desire to know me by name and hear about the farm projects.

I don't mind the fact that I don't fit in. I'd rather not even be in charge of these projects, if someone else in my family would step up to the plate. But I can think of nothing more wonderful than working outside where God's creation is in full array, growing hale and hearty for His service, learning about life and how I need to change into Christ's image, sharing how He has changed my life with the people I come in contact with, watching new life come into the world, and seeing His creatures fulfilling their roles in comfort and peace - neither idolized nor abused. The random cow chase just adds flavor to the full meal ;)

What about you? Are you where God wants you to be?