If we have learned one thing this week it is the importance of slowing down. Our schedules are packed and if we are not careful we can rush through our to-do list without taking time to be in the moment. This is not an easy thing to do y'all. I love streamlining processes and workflows, it's my job. When it comes to farm life I catch myself focusing on "the best way" to complete my chores. I evaluate how many steps I take, pain points in the process, and if I am wasting energy in some area of my to-do list. I really have been working on this when it comes to nightly chores with the cows. But it is super important to learn the art of slowing down.
This slowing down process is essential for two reasons. First, if I go about doing chores the quickest and most efficient way, I am missing out on a crucial part of the process: observation. Cows, chickens, well bascically all animals, don't just go running up to you telling you what's wrong. You have to observe. You have to watch their body language and any other signs they may be giving you. Do the cows look uncomfortable, are they mooing more frequently, are they panting too heavily, are they chewing the cud, do they look bloated? There are so many things you have to assess to make sure your livestock are doing well. If we didn't watch our cows closely, how would we know when they are going into heat to ensure we breed them at the right time? How would we know if they are getting overheated? How would we know if they are injured? You can only do this by observing, slowing down, and spending time with your animals.
The second reason to slow down is to make sure you aren't missing out on enjoying the process and taking in the blessing that God has given. Yes farming is hard, sometimes almost knee deep in mud and manure, but it is a blessing. Our pastor who is also a cattle farmer and incredible mentor for us shared a valuable lesson from Proverbs 14:4: "Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but increase comes by the strength of an ox." At first we were puzzled by the meaning of this proverb, but he was gracious enough to explain it to us. There is a price to farming...it comes with the trouble of constantly cleaning and refilling troughs, shoveling manure, feeding twice a day, working cattle through chutes to give vaccines and any necessary medications, and all other endless farm chores. But with that investment comes blessing, increase of food, and enjoyment.
Don't miss the blessing. Slow down, take time to enjoy the gift that God has given. Sometimes is takes a little mud and manure on your boots to realize that you are blessed. And sometimes, you just fall completely into the manure pit and your pastor captures the moment by taking a picture to make sure you remember. We are so thankful for this farm and for the the people that have helped us along the way. Don't forget to take time to thank God for the blessings he has given you, manure and all.
How can I pray for you this week?
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