God Made a Mother and You — So Farmer On!

I sat beside a girl in Mr. Seuter’s grade nine math class who said she was getting out of here.

She was getting out of this no name little farming town and she was getting out of this hick place with its hick boys and she was getting free of everything her daddy ever was.

I knew her daddy.




He was known for planting rows of corn as straight as a fence line and working hard because there is hard work that makes the world a better place.

He was known for joy because it is humanly possible; because joy is always possible when you thank the Lord.

And he helped her pack up the back of that beat-up Honda Civic the day after her high school graduation.

Ten years later she told me on a front porch that there are times when coming back is going ahead.

I’d just stayed here. On a farm just outside the town where I was born to a farmer and a city girl.

Same town where I married a farm boy who was born on that same floor of that same hospital. We’d have our own babies in those same delivery rooms.

With the wives of truck drivers and teachers, carpenters and mechanics, with the people who do great things because of faithfulness in hidden things.

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He’d put rings of dirt round the bathtub at 3 o’clock in the morning before he rolled into bed.

I’d scrape manure out from behind the sows and then head in to nurse the baby while setting out plates for dinner, the pressure cooking hissing loud.

There were 6 babies in 10 years.

We picked flat bed trailer loads of stones off the front field.

We fought and made up and kept going.

He grew wrinkles like a yield and I loved him more for the growing old with me.

And he laughed over those forty candles we stuck into the haystack at the top of the cake, the pig sticking out.







His hands felt worn and warm and right in mine, like we were weathering together into some holy patina.

And he’d gone to bed early, because 4:30 and the barn and those mama sows come early, and he’d pulled me close, one thick, working arm around my waist and he’d slept, each breath this warm caress on the nape of my neck.

I had laid in the dark and watched it almost muted, because someone had sent it to me, that ad, “God Made a Farmer.”

And I felt his offered sacrifice around me right then like an altar, that God made farmers and fathers and pastors and plumbers and men who’d lay down their lives like their Lord.

That God made us quiet people who’d live lives not afraid of dirt or only the applause of God.

I had laid there and there was God looking down on the Farmer loving His land and God needed someone to love the least and the little, into real whole people, and He knew that to love is to suffer so God made a mother.

That God had made technicians and programmers and supervisors and salesmen and God had said —

I need someone to get up at midnight and scoop the most fragile of humanity close to her warmth and rock though she can hardly stand and nourish though she’s mostly sleep-starved and change the diaper and the sheets and the leaked on, leaked through, and leaked down clothes though she’ll have to change them in the morning and next week and that won’t change for years.

So God made a Mother.


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That God had said I need somebody with a strong heart.

Strong enough for toddler tantrums and teenage testing, yet broken enough to fall on her knees and pray, pray, pray.

Someone who knows that in every hard place is exactly where you extend grace, who looks a hopeful child in the eye and says yes, even though she knows every yes means a mess but this is how you bless, who has the courage to keep letting go because she’s holding on to Me.

So God made a mother.







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God said I need somebody who can shape a soul and find shoes on Sunday mornings and get grass stains out of Levis.

And make dinner out of nothing and do it again 79, 678 times, and keep kids off the road and out of the toilet and in clean underwear and mainly alive though she’s mainly losing her mind and will put in an 80 hour week by Wednesday night and just do one more load of laundry.

And one more sink of crusted burnt pots.

And keep on going another eighty hours because raising generations matters and weaving families matters and tying heart strings matters and these people here matter.

So God made a mother…

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It had to be somebody who could comb back pigtails and tie up skates just-right tight.

Who could pretend she remembered algebra and how to get home from here and that really, she was just fine, that it must just be the silly onions.

Somebody who would run for the catch, jump on a trampoline and play one fierce game of soccer and not give a thought to all those labors and her weak pelvic floor. Somebody who’d stay up late with a science project that never ends, who’d get up early for the game in the rain, somebody who’d wave at the door until the taillights were out of sight and still be smiling brave.

So God made a mother.

It had to be somebody willing to keep loving when it made no sense because that’s what love does.

Somebody who knew that patience is a willingness to suffer.

That joy is always possible because there is always, always something to be thankful for.

And that life is not an emergency but a gift — so just. slow. down. There are children at play here and we don’t want anyone to get hurt and the hurry makes us hurt.

Somebody willing to feed and lead, lay down her life and pick up her cross, give of her time because they have her heart. Someone who knows that we all blow it — and what matters is what we then do after.

Someone who could humble herself into the tender sorry that covers a multitude of sins.

And who’d bow her head at night over the girl asleep with the doll in the crook of her arm — and thank her Father for this hidden life that’s the turning gear for the a whole spinning world.

So God made a mother.


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And when the Farmer rolled over in sleep, there was this deep settling in — I could feel it — of not getting out of here, but of the grace that we *get* to be here.

That there was soil to till and numbed, hard places to break up, and there were seeds to be planted in the dark and the hope.

And grace to be cultivated everywhere.

That it was same down every back road and every side street and we aren’t very different, the Farmer and the mother and all-the-faithful-that-God-made-everywhere.

All of us people known to just Farmer on.

Related: What Every Mother Needs — A 25 Point Sanity Manifesto
How to Be the Mother  You Want to Be: 40 Things Every Child Must Know Before They Leave Home
The God Made a Farmer Video from last night’s Superbowl ads

Sharing more of the #1000gifts this week over here at Instagram — Join the Farmer and I this week on Instagram and we can catch up with each other with the tag #1000gifts and give thanks back to God who made us for right where we are!


Join us? And happily change everything by keeping your own crazy list of One Thousand Gifts? Dare you to Joy! Take the dare to Fully Live!
1. Grab January’s Free JOY DARE Calendar with 3 daily prompts to go on a scavenger hunt for God’ gifts … {or write down any gifts you choose. Use the free app.} 2. Count 3 gifts a day and you have over #1000gifts in 2013. Jot them down in the new numbered One Thousand Gifts devotional journalThe Farmer’s writing in his with a red pen and daily – the numbers in the journal already there! Motivating… 3. Share your gifts everyday in our beautiful Facebook community to enter everyday for the monthly $100 Amazon draw (or link to your blog post with your list of gifts). 4. Count #1000gifts in 2013 and enter to win a Nikon DSLR camera with lens. Slow Down. Savor Life. Give thanks. Believing something is one thing. But the Best only comes when you decide to Be Living it. Please, jump in, make your life about giving thanks to God! — Just add the direct URL to your specific 1000 gift list post… and if you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other in our refrain of thanks by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.