Caitlin Henderson takes the stories from her life on the farm, and pulls out the Biblical lessons, testifying to God’s goodness and love. She is passionate about sharing those lessons she’s learned with others through her writing and speaking. She never fails to leave the audience captivated with the wild stories that come from living on a farm, but always makes sure they leave encouraged with Biblical truth. It’s a grace to welcome Caitlin to our farm’s front porch today…
I slid the cake pan into the oven and dusted my flour covered hands on my apron, looking like a modern-day June Cleaver. I walked to the sink to begin scrubbing the dishes and making lunch.
Every time we have a beautiful fall day, I get the urge to bake. Days like that fill my cup and remind me of the simple beauty in life that is right in front of me.
As I placed the last mixing bowl in the drying rack, my phone rang. “Honey, could you run outside real quick and help me back up the combine to the header trailer?” my husband asked. Jake hadn’t been home from harvest very long, and he was trying to get all the equipment cleaned up and stored in the sheds before winter.
The headers that attach to the front of the combine can be taken off and put on a trailer so they can be transported more easily. Jake just needed me to stand by the trailer and tell him how far back to come and which direction to go to make sure the hitches lined up.
I ran outside to the driveway, where the trailer was parked, and I held up my hand to motion to Jake to keep backing up. I pointed to the right with my thumb, trying to get the hitch in the perfect spot. “Okay!” I yelled while making the stop signal with my hand.
As Jake climbed off the combine, I saw him laughing. “What’s so funny?” I asked.
He grinned as he pointed to my outfit. “You forgot to take your apron off.”
I looked down and realized I had, in fact, forgotten to take my apron off. That explained the flirty grin on his face. I laughed with him and told him that if ten years ago someone told me that one day I would forget to take off my apron before hooking up a combine to a trailer, I would have fainted.
Jake snapped a picture as I stood in front of the combine, proudly wearing the hand-quilted apron given to me as a wedding present. That apron was my favorite, and I loved wearing it.
The grease stains reminded me of the times I had tried to cook for my family in those first years and miserably failed. That apron reminded me of the memories made in our little farmhouse kitchen when I placed it on our oldest as he learned to help cook. I remember the way it dragged the ground and how he squealed with excitement when he cracked his first egg without getting shell in the bowl.
That night I posted the picture Jake had taken on my Facebook page. I said that God had made me a farmer’s wife, that I never would have chosen this life for myself and never would have imagined this is where I would end up but that God knew what He was doing and I was so thankful.
Some days I do nothing but cook, clean, and take care of needy, tiny humans. Other days I run a combine for fifteen hours and get covered in wheat dust and grease.
It doesn’t matter exactly what my day looks like, but it does matter that I am where God has called me.
And that means the work I am doing is important.
Then I reminded the people seeing that photo of me in my apron that their roles were important also. That whoever was reading that post mattered and that even if they were feeling trapped inside their homes with children or working jobs they didn’t love or trying to juggle a million things at once, their roles were important; they were each seen by God.
But as I scrolled through the comments, I started playing the comparison game with each one.
She works on their farm full time. I’m not strong enough for that, I thought. She makes every meal for her family from scratch. I wish I did that. She is killing it in her career, I’m kind of jealous.
With each thought, I compared my role with someone else’s and came to the conclusion that I didn’t measure up.
I had gone from being content and joyous to feeling frustrated and doubtful about my efforts.
That’s what comparison does to us.
It comes in and tells us to look at a glimpse of someone else’s life and see how we don’t measure up.
It starts a snowball effect, and as the snowball rolls down the mountain, it takes with it our contentment and joy. It clouds our thoughts and prevents us from clearly seeing the importance of our purpose or role.
When we take our focus off letting God use us for that purpose and turn our focus to someone else, we cannot live out our own callings.
Paul talked about this in Galatians 6:4–5: “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”
I don’t want to spend my life trying to live out someone else’s purpose, and I don’t think you do either.
When we stop comparing ourselves with the mom on Instagram who seems to have it all together (even if we know she really doesn’t, because none of us do), we can turn our faces back to what God is asking us to do.
And when we regain that contentment and joy in knowing we were created for a purpose, we can show genuine kindness and encouragement to those in the lane next to us who are striving to live out their purpose also.
We can be their cheerleaders, encouraging them to keep pressing on in whatever it is they were made to do because we know that their success doesn’t equal our failure.
Caitlin Henderson is a young farmer’s wife who draws on her life with kids, cows, and a front-porch view to help us see God’s goodness and beauty wherever we are, reminding us that the simple life is not a place to be but a way to be.
When Caitlin, a small-town girl, fell in love with a farm boy named Jake Henderson, she had little idea what farm life—or marriage and motherhood—would bring. But raising a family on a farm is teaching her more about God’s goodness and grace then she could have imagined.
Faith, Farming, and Family: Cultivating Hope and Harvesting You Wherever You Are is a rich, story-filled walk through farmhouse hallways, harvest-ready fields, and God’s bountiful dreams for our lives. As Caitlin reflects on everything from wayward tractors to watching a marriage grow from surviving to flourishing, she reminds us to see the redemption in our own stories.
Join Caitlin in exploring biblical truth through the eyes of a farmer’s wife, whether you are wrangling kids onto a school bus, sowing creative seeds in a business meeting, or walking the pastures of your own family farm. Faith, Farming, and Family invites us to recognize God’s beauty right in front of us so that we might find the courage to take the next step—or the first step—into His incredible calling.
[ Our humble thanks to Waterbrook for their partnership in today’s devotion ]