I Live On a Farm
So do many, many other people. For me, it is a very special thing. At the age of 68 (this year), I remarried after being a widow for almost 3 years and moved onto a farm. I love it. In my life, I have moved at least 44 times including this year. I have lived on acreages a couple of times and lived in a home with a view once. I deeply enjoy living in the country, but, when my first husband passed away, I did not think I would ever be living on an acreage much less a farm. It was as if God had saved this wonderful gift for me. The best part of it, of course, is my husband. He is a kind, gentle, thoughtful, funny and loving man. And, here I am, on a farm and remarried - things I never thought I would do. God had a different picture for my life.
The changes in my life have been profound - being a widow, having cancer, being married for a second time. All three have changed me. Psalm 27:13 says this,
“I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope: that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal in the land of the living.” The Voice
The King James Version says, “I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see...” All of us have times of despair. I certainly did and I did not dream that I would ever be where I am now. Of course, living on a farm might not be your dream! We live on 68 acres and have someone who farms the alfalfa for us. We live almost 300 feet above the road and have a panoramic view of the entire valley. It is serene, beautiful, and a lot of work! We have coyotes, turkeys, skunks, deer, hawks, eagles, lots of birds, wild cats, raccoons and lots of other creatures who share the land with us. The picture on this blog is of one of our skunks who believes he is a cat. He has the right-of-way in all situations. In this one, he was headed to the cat barn to have dinner - he does not eat the cats! He eats the cat food right along side the cats and is very fat and happy.
The contentment in my life right now is in stark and vivid contrast to just 3 years ago. Yet, through the death and cancer and moving, it was well with my soul. I was thankful and always believed I would see the goodness of the Lord. And I did. I saw it because I was looking for it every day. I was constantly thankful and looking for what God was bringing my way. I wasn’t looking for things to look the way I wanted them to, yet, I had hopes and dreams. If you are looking without prejudice, you will see your life differently whether is great or awful.
The definition of prejudice is -
1. An unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2. Any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable. (Online Dictionary)
Pre-conceived. Before I actually see tomorrow, I conceive opinions and pictures in my mind. We have all done it. We worry. We let fear dominate. I believe that this preconceived “thing” often blocks our view. We can’t see what God has given us because we are consumed with our preconceived ideas. In Psalm 27, David is saying that, even though he is surrounded by enemies who are trying to kill him, he did not give up hope and it was a specific hope - to see the goodness of the Lord.
When I go on my walks out here, I take lots of pictures. Sometimes I pick up a pretty rock. I try to see beauty in the weeds. I do this every day - I look for God’s goodness. The hard lesson in the Valley of the Shadow of Death was to learn to see the beauty. I finally did and I have not stopped looking. I don’t want to miss the smallest “goodness” that surrounds me. Like this little rabbit sitting under the grapes. He is God’s goodness. But so easy to miss.
I want to encourage you to find something beautiful everyday. You may not live on a farm, but no matter where you live, there is beauty. Put away your preconceived ideas and feelings and ask God to open your eyes to his goodness every single day. Take pictures, pick up the rock, smile, expect the unexpected. Then be extravagant toward the Lord in your praise and thanksgiving. Let Him give you new feelings and opinions.
“I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing, my soul’s desire: To live with Him all of my days - in the shadow of His temple, to behold His beauty and ponder His ways in the company of His people.”
Ps. 27:4 The Voice