Raising farm animals is hard work. Keeping the land up is even harder. Mending and building fences for 60+ animals is harder still. Doing all of these while working a full-time job is verging on impossible.
All of the above statements are true; however, the simple, daily pleasures vastly outweigh the difficulties of farm life. When I come home exhausted from teaching my exuberant middle school students all day, the drive home brings me back to a place of tranquility and peace. When I have to deal with the droppings and barnyard mess made by over sixty farm animals, I can look up at the absolutely mesmerizing beauty of the sky above our land as I am walking from pen to pen feeding and watering our farm animals and know that all is well on Green Acres.
The Outdoorsman and I are learning the ways of farm life at a break-neck pace. Learning about animals, land, plants, fencing, and how to find a healthy balance concerning those things. My most recent dilemma: Apparently, I am extremely allergic to many plants in Central Texas. I just made my second trip to the doctor concerning allergies that have affected my breathing and my skin. This is the third round of what I will call an extreme poison ivy break out. It is covering both arms, my entire torso, and creeping up to my face this time. I have told the Outdoorsman several times that I feel like I am lying in bed of fire ants. For weeks on end. It never stops itching. It is that bad, People. Feel free to pray for me as begin taking three more allergy medications which brings the total to six allergy medicines taken every single day. I have joked about needing a daily pill-box to keep up with them all! Pray that I can figure out the culprits and avoid contact with them or with the animals who are carrying the remnants of these poisonous plants. The Outdoorsman and I are highly suspicious about the fact that the poison ivy/poison oak/sumac always begins on my forearms where I make frequent contact with many of our animals.
The dichotomy is real, Folks. Lots of hard work blended with lots of blessings. Lots of ugly moments blended with lots of beauty. Lots of long, tiring days blended with lots of extremely relaxing days. The extreme opposites in so many areas cause me to pause and enjoy the good times more than I normally would. I have always struggled with slowing down and noticing beauty and details in the midst of my busy life as a working mother and wife. Farm life is helping me to see the beauty and revel more in its frequency. The sheer fact that the sunset on Green Acres seems entirely different and more beautiful every single night is enough to make me pause and take notice. Even as I type this blog and refrain from my nightly walk with our dogs in order to allow the poison ivy to lessen its grip, the sunset out our bedroom window is a gorgeous hue of orange blended seamlessly into an indigo sky. It is so amazingly different every single night. I can’t seem to stop taking pictures of it because it is so unique and beautiful every single night! God is so amazing in His handiwork!
It is a dichotomy worth experiencing. No matter how hard the work is on Green Acres, I will always revel in the calming sound of roosters, the ethereal sound of lambs, the shocking sounds of donkeys, and the desperate oinking of the always-hungry piglets. I may grow weary of the allergies and the hot, hard work of farm life, but I will continue looking at the sunset with awe at the end of each day no matter how hot, dirty, or itchy the day has been. My life on Green Acres will be marked with a continual celebration of God’s beauty and thankfulness for what He has entrusted to our family. I am so thankful for the serenity and beauty we have experienced during our almost two years on Green Acres. We are looking forward to amazing memories and spectacular beauty for many years to come.