But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22 NIV
I find myself sitting down to write late at night once again. Apologies want to gush for, but then I realize I am writing about life on the farm and lessons learned. Lessons mainly learned by our children for this series, but ones that apply to us older folks as well. The reality is that this series is being originally published in August. Farm life goes full force during these days. There are chores needing to be down from early morning hours until after the sun sets. Our children were just asking if I knew when we would be starting “school” for the year. My response was, “When we are done harvesting and preserving everything in the garden.” There was so much truth and learning simply in accepting the season we are in, being faithful to complete what we have started and God has provided, and to not become discouraged because our life once again feels different from so many around us.
Book learning is incredibly important to us. My mom was so passionate about our education as children. A trait that I have inherited with my own. However, life has a lot to teach us that can be so much more valuable at times. It truly has been a blessing living on a farm so that our kids can get their hands, hearts, and minds into the dirt and really understand so many truths that their peers just have not have the opportunity to even be exposed to.
Like many of you that are reading, my husband and I desire that our kids have a godly heart and spirit more than anything else. We pray for a close vibrant walk for each of them with their personal Savior, Jesus Christ. Our desire is to see this manifest in different areas of their life. When we begin to lose our sight, we go once again to the verse that opened this post in Galatians 5.
Life on the farm allows us to really see opportunities for the development of each of these aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit residing in our lives.
Love for animals. Love for one another. Love for rain on a sun parched garden. Love for fallen trees to burn a fire hot in the dead of winter. Love for a God that meets our every need. Love for the food on a table laid all freshly grown on our land. Love for the laughter of stories told as we jostle along after hauling hay.
Joy in seeing the first bursts of sunlight on a dew laden pasture. Joy in the first flowers of spring. Joy in a new calf suckling at its mother. Joy in cutting down a Christmas tree in the woods. Joy in watching snow flakes fall to the ground as we sip hot chocolate around the fire.
Peace throughout the house as children slumber early in the morning. Peace during a family in prayer. Peace in the stars that shine so bright away from the glare of city lights. Peace in watching a garden grow. Peace as the water ripples as we cast a line in the creek fishing for dinner. Peace deep in one’s soul in seeing the food preserved for the winter in knowing your family will be well fed.
Patience in new skills learned by a younger sibling. Patience in waiting for the hatching of eggs and the birth of piglets. Patience in giving instruction yet one more time. Patience for cream to churn into butter. Patience in waiting for Christmas morning until chores are done.
Kindness in the words we speak to one another at the end of a hard day. Kindness shown to animals choosing stubbornness over submission. Kindness shown to a neighbor with extra abundances from the garden. Kindness through hospitality in giving a refuge to those that are beaten down by this world.
Goodness in our spirit as we respond to one another. Goodness in choosing the higher road. Goodness in serving man as if we were serving the Lord. Goodness in seeing His many blessings showered down upon us when we are so undeserving. Goodness in finding satisfaction in needs met rather than wants demanded.
Faithfulness in doing chores each and everyday with a joyful spirit. Faithfulness in nursing a lamb rejected by its mother. Faithfulness in teaching that lesson just one more time. Faithfulness in waiting on a sister as she finishes her chores. Faithfulness in being each other’s top cheerleaders when we are difficult to be around. Faithfulness in looking to God as the Provider of all of Needs. Faithfulness in seeking Him and walking in His Word as we travel each step along the road of life.
Gentleness with a newborn kitten. Gentleness with each new egg layed. Gentleness in the words we use to correct one another. Gentleness in tending to blistered hands from a hard days work. Gentleness is healing the wounds of the heart from the loss of one of our herd. Gentleness in providing advice in small spoonfuls at a time.
Self-control in the words we use during moments of anger or disappointment. Self-control in spending yet another day picking tomatoes when friends are swimming in the pool. Self-control in working on our essay on the computer without surfing the internet or chatting with friends on facebook. Self-control in making sure that our guests are served first when we are starving from a hard days work.
These are just a few of the things we have thought of as we search out what our lives would look like if we were the Holy Spirit’s vineyard. Many of these have come from repentant hearts when we recognize how far short we fall especially on the long hot days of summer and the bitter cold days of winter offer no respite of the day to day responsibilities of living on a farm. Schooling on the farm sometimes is from a knowledge filled book, but more often than not in the hours of work and moments of reflection that are a part of each day.