Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not Funny

I've been told I have a great sense of humor but lately my life seems to be a comedy of errors and I'm not laughing. Perhaps I'm not cut out for this lifestyle, and I'm wondering whether the Lord is speaking to me by allowing my physical trials to prevent me from moving forward with any further plans. It could be that I am simply discouraged and frustrated at my lack of ability to accomplish anything without hurting myself but maybe, just maybe, He wants me to "be still" and listen to His plans for a change.
I've been seeing a chiropractor for the past few weeks. I'm feeling progress, albeit very slowly. With the right treatment plan, maybe this problem can be licked once and for all. I certainly hope so, if only for the reason that I can't even take proper care of my family. Next to the Lord, they are my priority. There is a lesson for me here, and I've been ignoring it for too long.
I have to be truthful in saying that if I hadn't instigated it, we probably would not have gotten involved in any agrarian undertakings in the past year since moving here. Dwayne's job is very consuming, physically and mentally, Isaac has absolutely no interest, and Anna-Rose is just a little girl. Getting chickens was my idea, getting guineas was my idea, planting vegetables was my idea, etc., etc., and all these "ideas" relied on an initial financial outlay, and further expenses with next to no profit. Sure, we're getting eggs now and we did have a small crop of tomatoes, but at what cost? Dwayne and I never sat down and planned it out together. I read and researched and got excited and said, "I want, I want, I want!" without even having the consideration to ask, "What do you want?" or even, "May I?"
So here I am at rock-bottom, confessing my sins with shame and feeling disgusted at myself. Everyone has been so kind to me, helping, encouraging, inspiring, sharing knowledge and advice, even praying for me. That I surely need because it's not about me but God's will for me. I'd sincerely like to know what that is.

16 Comments:

Blogger Marci said...

Oh Emily, you are singing my song Sister. We are farmers because I pushed. Talk to your sweetheart now. Ask him what he sees for your little farm. Pray and trust God to work through your husband. My husband is still praying about what we are going to keep or do away with. I think every animal on this place (broiler in the summer, turkeys, pigs, sheep, dairy goats, dairy cows, beef cows, bees, etc. were all "my ideas". Now, our son no longer lives at home and my husband works off the farm full time. I am praying and trusting. Don't kick yourself. You have confessed, ask forgiveness, ask for wisdom and guidance, dust yourself off and go on. Your back went out. I got the meningitis. I was down and out of commission for about 6 months. I felt horrible, because my sweet man was doing his off the farm job, his on the farm jobs and my jobs. I had lots of time for thinking and praying and confessing and reading the Word. God does know how to get our attention doesn't He?!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thank you so much, Marci, for your kind words and for understanding. I am waiting on the Lord. Self-control is not my strong suit so I don't wonder that He needs to jar me to get my attention. Thank you for sharing your personal testimony. It helps to know I'm not alone. I'll be praying for you, too.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Well, Emily, if you want to know the truth, I entered into this farming lifestyle kicking and screaming! It's ME that is having a very hard time with decisions, etc. that are out of my hands, and it's tough to let go. I had a very romantic notion of what living in the country and having animals would be like, but the reality of it all is totally different. The Lord has pinned me down so I have no one else to turn to but Him for strength and to stop trying to control my circumstances. I keep asking Him to help me to learn this lesson now, so I don't have to do what the Israelites did and spend 40 years wandering around the wilderness as a result of not being obedient. I guess we all need to pray for each other. Thanks for sharing your heart.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Oh Lynn, thank you! Thank you for sharing. We do need to pray for each other. It seems as though we each have our own struggles and the Lord is allowing it if only to draw us closer. I'm guilty of not looking to Him first. Yes we need to pray for each other. That we would step back and stop trying to be the ones in control. Isn't that a common issue with women? :) May we begin every day on bended knee with heads bowed in submission to our Lord. May He be our strength.

8:35 AM  
Blogger TNfarmgirl said...

Emily,
You have a willing and contrite heart and that is the best place to be.....you are moldable clay in the hands of the Potter. He will shape and form you and will lead you down the path He has chosen for you. It is so often hard to discern the will of God...well, at least I struggle with that at times...I will be praying that His wisdom and guidance will be abundantly clear to you...and you will be able to discern, with no shadows of doubt, His will for your life!

Many blessings,
Cheri

9:55 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Dear Cheri, thank you so much for your words of encouragement and wisdom. You've affirmed a word the Lord spoke to me today from Scripture: "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." I feel that I am in that place: humbled, and ready for the work of His hands. As much as I have fought to be in control, there has always been a part of me that longs to dwell in the peace that submission brings. Thank you for your prayers; it means so much to me.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous JFC said...

Emily,

It is true that you need to work within your husband's leadership. But I would bet that you are. I expect the problem is NOT that you are out of line in what you have wanted to do in farm/agrarian life, but simply the fact that farming is plain hard work, especially when you start into it during middle-age with no background at all from childhood.

I would encourage you (obviously subject to your husband's decisions) to press on, despite the difficulties. You might have to moderate certain aspects, if you have bit off more than you can chew. But it is only by biting off a LITTLE more than you can chew that you actually grow.

Press on! I'm trying to learn those lessons myself (perseverance in difficult times ... like getting up in the dark with 5 degree temperatures and breaking out the ice on the chicken waterers and refilling them. :) )

God bless you, sister!

12:29 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Jon, I do thank you for your heartening words, brother. I'm at the point now of desperately seeking the Lord's leading. These agrarian longings grew out of a desire to use what He has provided. Dwayne hasn't had much time to research and process or communicate with others on their blogs the way I've been doing. He's so busy trying to make a living! You are correct in assuming that submission is not the issue. The dilemma is that he is such an easygoing, patient person (while I am the opposite), that I have the tendency to leave him stranded in my wake. I think I've been making somewhat emotional decisions without his input and that's just wrong. I feel as though the Lord has been disciplining me. I know that if this is the life He wants for us, that He will equip us and provide. I don't mind being stretched in order to grow; that's His way. But when I am stretched to the point of breaking, then I know something's up! To paraphrase His Word: He has searched me, He knows my heart, and nothing is hidden from Him. And in that I rejoice!

8:40 AM  
Blogger mountainfirekeeper said...

HI Emily!

My heart can sure relate to the trials of life that you are going thru. I also went thru many trials all at the same time after a life of relatively clear sailing.

During the same time frame, the love of my life chose a different path, I hurt my back severely and was in constant intense pain for months and the job that I loved became sooooo stressed that it physically damaged my heart and added to some already intense psychological pain.

I definitely did some deep and intense soul searching as to what my sins were and what lessons God needed to teach me by hitting me between the eyes with a 2 X 4, not once but repeatedly.

Well, I tell you, I learned a lot. I learned compassion for others that go thru times of trouble. I learned that each and every one of us go thru times of trouble. I learned that we self absorbed humans can learn far more from times of troubles than from times of ease and plenty.

My friend James writes:

"Consider it pure joym my brothers (sisters) whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything."

He also writes:

"Blessed is the man (woman) who perserveres under trial, because whe he (she) has stood the test, he (she) will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

I don't know what lessons God has choosen for you to learn in this stage of your life. I just pray that you open your heart to his teachings.

Please don't blame yourself for bringing on your physical trials. Everyone of us, however good and loving and humble, will go thru trials to purify and strengthen our faith.

Please know that your God given wit and humor expressed thru the tales you tell of your poultry adventures have uplifted hearts and brightened spirits far beyond your homestead gates.

Let your Light shine!

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Kansas Milkmaid said...

Emily:

You are feeling the truth of living a farm life. There are very good things about it, there are wonderful things about it. But, the truth is:

It is always a struggle against our human nature to bring it into submission with God's even in the context of farming. God knew that farming/working by the sweat of our brow was good for fallen man. Just think of all of the relevant questions you are asking in this article. Many people never even bat an eye at these important themes. It is through the trials of farming and throught the wrestling with self and will of God that we gain the most understanding. It is through our disability that we have deep appreciation for our abilities when we get them back if we ever get them back. As we have endured illness here, we have learned to employ everyone in the family to help carry the load. And when that fails, the community that surrounds us jumps in and gives a hand. And to be truthful, sometimes it works great and sometimes it is a mad house.

Farming is not a bed of roses and you certainly don't want to lay back on the grass and cloud gaze with free range chickens around.

Over the past six years we have asked many of the same questions you posed in this article. Lately we have asked them a lot. It has been a rough year, one filled with trials. I guess, I write all of this to say...this is normal. We are right there with you and what you are experiencing will mold you into a great instrument for Him.

Keep on keeping on!!

9:26 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Dear Steven,
You're a great friend and brother in the Lord, and I thank you for your wise and comforting words. I'm familiar with that same 2x4! I think those of us with really thick skulls and obstinate personalities require a good smack every now and then. :) My prayer is to learn the lessons God wants to teach me with a heart that is reverent and humble before Him. I'm thankful that He is patient and loving. I know from reading your blog for so long that you have been a good student. I'm sorry that the teaching can be so painful but being refined in the fire is like that....the dross needs to be burned away so we can shine and reflect His image. May you continue to shine the light that is a reflection of His glory!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Christina,
Thank you for your compassion and understanding, dear sister. Your family is a prime example of living a life grounded in Him. I'm not saying that you are perfect, but you do strive to live a Christ-like existence - that is evident in your writing - yet you are not too proud to share your failings. You do inspire and encourage me! You are so correct in your assertion that we must realize the toil involved in farming. I'm not afraid of hard work; I enjoy physical labor! Cloud-gazing is a boring pasttime in my opinion. Give me a shovel! :) The Lord has obviously allowed me to experience a physical trial for a reason. I'm not saying that I think I'm being punished but foolishness does have consequences. My strong-willed decisions have reaped some rotten fruit. It's difficult for me to ask others to carry my load when it was MY idea to get involved in these activities. A lesson in humility for sure. You and Brian have a heavy burden, much more so than I, but I can see where you are unified as a family striving for the same goals. I am afraid it is not always that way here and if I gave that impression in my writing, I'm very sorry. For now, I (we) wait for the Lord and trust that He will reveal what is His will for each of us individually and as a family, and any future decisions will rely on prayer and much discussion beforehand. God's blessings to you!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Northern Farmer said...

Emily,
This post touched me deeply. Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing here myself. It's hard going against the grain, very hard, and I pray I'm doing the right thing for my family. If you ever sense my frustrations in my writings your not imagining things. I could go on for days about this, but the reallity of farm life says, get outside and start work for the day.
God Bless You and Yours,
Tom

6:51 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Dear Tom,
Thanks for responding. I know of your frustrations, but you appear to be a man who is continually seeking the Lord and that is the first step. I know that being in His will reaps a harvest of blessings but He never promised that we would not have to endure trials. To walk with Christ means hardship and persecution, constant testing, and refining in the fire. We walk by faith, not by sight, brother, and I know yours is strong. May you continue to fight the good fight and run the race with endurance to the end!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Chicken Mama said...

I am quite behind in my blog reading, so forgive me for being so slow to respond.

I stand alongside you on this one, as guilty or more so, not only in farming related things, but in other areas too. I have such a hard time WAITING for anything and want to take on huge grand things that I can't actually handle on my own. Thirty blueberry shrubs and several fruit trees died one hot summer to prove that to me. This tendency has caused friction in my marriage, but with God's grace, I am working on this, too.

God has had to use chronic pain to get my attention, too, I'm sorry to say. The most notable one was a season of migraines that debilitated me but had no discernible cause (except that God couldn't get my attention). When I stopped running ahead of God, making decisions without consulting Him, and started to wait on His leading, the migraines disappeared and other areas of my life became more peaceful too. I'm just grateful that He never gives up on us.

I hope in the time since you've written this posting that you are feeling more encouraged and that a sense of peace and being within His will again has returned. There's no place like it.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Scott Holtzman said...

Well even though it's Feb. 3rd 2008 and you posted this Dec. 7th 2007 I hope it's none too late to say a bit of encouragement.

::Chin up!::

When all is said & done for the season past, and the the grand tally has register last,

of worries for what might have been, or humbling pride and thus averting sin,

it's not what we've won or lost, as to the question of did we count the cost?

Only furrowed brows would know, in reflecting ponds of snow - hope like spring is eternal. It is upon the March's dew that life begins anew

for the riches of life's reward in mason jars are stored, for if heaven is my hope and Christ my only Lord then faith like the tiny seed is all this farmer needs. Amen.


::Chin Up!::

1:04 AM  

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