To Those With Teeter-Totter Trust

To Those With Teeter-Totter Trust

“Farmer, Farmer, let me down!” was the teeter-totter cry of the person dangling her legs from the high end of the see-saw.

“What will you give me, Charlie Brown?” asked the person on the opposite end of the teeter-totter who was safely seated on the ground.

The one on the top could promise everything from her recess snacks to impossible rainbows and unicorns, but ultimately her safe descent was not based on what she said she would give, but on the character of the person on the other end.

Was that person trustworthy? Was he for her? Did her little brother care enough to let her down gently, or would he think it funny if she had a crash landing?

One too many children thought crash landings were comical. Teeter-totters are a thing of the past. They’ve been eradicated from backyards and parks because trust was broken, along with a few bones.

If trust were a muscle, farmers could supplement their income with winnings from bodybuilder competitions.

Farming demands trust! Farmers trust experience, grit, and what they’ve gleaned about fertility, soil conditions, drainage, and seed genetics to determine what to plant, where to plant, and when to plant it. For a successful year, they rely on favorable weather, an optimal growing season, and high commodity prices.

As with the ups and downs of a teeter-totter, farmers are familiar with the rise and fall of grain and livestock prices and seasons of drought and flood. It’s the rhythm of life in agricultural. Expected, but not easy.

Within our neck of the Minnesota prairie, we are back to back saturated. Last fall was wet, as was this spring, and now again in Fall 19. It wasn’t easy to see the first snow of the season settle on cornstalks before we’d harvested a kernel. It felt like we were dangling on the high end of a teeter-totter bracing ourselves for a crash landing.

There is a time for everything—a time to plant and a time to harvest, a time for joy and a time to lament. When trucks are sidelined on yards or stuck in fields, it is a time for lament. Things are not as they should be!

Whenever we are forced to wait for favorable conditions, we have a choice when we connect with neighbors. We can commiserate, or we can congregate to worship.

Mid-October neighboring churches in our ag community chose to worship. On Sunday night, we gathered for a Harvest Hope Worship Service. The church was packed. Before we sang a word, there was the sound of folding chairs being set up to provide more seating. This service was bigger than farm families. Young and old, on and off the farm, each person’s presence gave testimony that we’re in this together.

Hope was harvested.

Trust muscles were strengthened. Not trust in weather patterns or commodity prices. Circumstances are not trustworthy; they rock like teeter-totters. But trust in God who is always sovereign, good, and loving. Together this small farming community declared by faith: “We will trust in God. No matter what.” And in that declaration in our part of the prairie and yours, if you choose, hope is birthed.

I am keeping it raw and real. I don’t understand God’s ways and certainly wouldn’t choose another wet fall if it were up to me. But this I know, I don’t have to understand God to trust Him. And there is never a crash landing for those who believe that He’s got the whole world in His hands.

Is It Worth It?

“Is it worth it?” Landon asked.

He was excited but anxious. Standing in line to board his first flight, our 8-year old grandson, white-knuckled the handle of his new luggage and asked again, “Nana, is it worth it?”

His fear was anchored to a single newscast he happened to be in their family room to see. Only a few weeks prior to our trip was the catastrophic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Though he was assured a thousand times that air travel is safe, percentages are beyond second-grade math and tragic loss is more than anyone can dismiss.

So we talked through what stepping on this plane would mean. Our trip was filled with exciting firsts—his first plane ride, first visit to New Mexico, first trip with just his Papa, Nana, and 6-year old brother Jack. While he was pumped to visit Uncle Nathan and Auntie Melanie and to experience even more unique firsts that they had planned, his mind was racing faster than a jet plane. In the short term, Landon wondered if the long term was worth it.

He’s not alone. It’s a question asked when considering remodeling projects, new health habits, and anything that requires extra time, effort and Continue reading “Is It Worth It?”

Children Are Like Seeds

In the thirty years married to my farmer husband, we’ve seen significant change in the ag industry. So have you. And though tiny seeds sprouting into new life is an unchanging, humbling miracle, the timing of when seed sales representatives show up is in flux.

They used to go door to door in February to highlight the company’s top-producing varieties from the previous harvest. Then seed sales came at the heels of harvest, after the equipment was parked for the season. Today sales reps drop into combines through cell phones or in person to ask farmers to plan for a year they’re too preoccupied to think about because they’re in the harvest hub.

And though farmers have a variety of needs and preferences, they don’t need a seed representative to remind them what they already know. How, Continue reading “Children Are Like Seeds”