The Gift


Farm life can be tough, even on the ‘easiest’ days. There are times I take one look at my list of things to do and groan. I look longingly at the couch and the latest book I am reading. It would be so much better to take it easy instead of cleaning out the chicken coop, or having to pull up the spent garden and prepping it for the next planting. And if faced with housework, the temptation gets even worse.

When I find myself drowning in ‘don’t want to’s’, I grab hold of my favorite life preserver:

“Work with enthusiasm, as though you are
working for the Lord, not people.”
– Ephesians 6:7

This is the perfect reminder that sitting on the couch might look good in the moment, but in the long run I will not only be hurting myself but my farm also.



We consider our farm, and all aspects of it, a gift from God. The beauty of it renders me speechless. The peace, awesome. The heartbeat, life affirming.



As with any living, breathing gift, there is care involved. If your gift was a pet, it goes without saying that gift would need to be fed, watered, given medical care, bathed, given and shown love and devotion. A farm may not be a dog or cat, but it is still a living, breathing entity, and needs care.



We, as farmers, feed our animals, as well as the soil. Everything gets water, whether human, animal or pasture. And there are frequent ‘baths’, through cleaning out a chicken coop, a barn, weeding a garden or a much needed shower at the end of a long hot dirty day.



We may not work with giddy enthusiasm, but we do find ourselves content, even in the middle of some of the hardest jobs on a farm. We diligently work to keep that heart beating strong, even if it means doing things we would rather not do.



My farm is my gift, and I work – not only to take care of my family – but also as a way to say Thank You to the One who gave us this gift. It’s called ‘good stewardship’, and is more than worth the effort.

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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