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With Every Great Endeavor there’s Manure to Shovel

DSC_0232Farm life lives up to its nostalgic romantic ideology most days.  Other times it’s stinking hard! Like the days you have to shovel manure. . . The scenic farm with sheep grazing on luscious green fields, cows milked in scrupulously clean barns, and chickens nesting on fresh hay bundles- are the product of unseen hard work.

Shoveling manure is one of my least favorite farm chores.  Yesterday, Dale and I shoveled the goat house.  If you’ve never done it, there’s no way to describe it.

A pitch fork is needed to get under the old matted hay and then you start lifting layers off. Each layer gets heavier with saturated dense manure.  At first you don’t want to touch the stuff, but by the end you just want to get the job done.  So with gloves on, you start supporting the heavier mounds onto the pitch fork and hauling it out onto the back of the tractor.

It’s horribly smelly. You see bugs you wish you’d never seen.  You’re filthier than you ever thought possible and your back feels the weight of the day by the last shovel full-but it’s a requirement on a good farm. The goat house is vitally important to us.  Our goats give us an abundant harvest of delicious, organic milk every day.

With every great endeavor there’s manure to shovel.

Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.”

This proverb has a lesson for us all. Whether you’re a mom, business owner, missionary, student, laborer or farmer—the principle is the same, without taking care of the hard stuff there’s no reward.

The farm that lives up to its nostalgic romantic ideology takes care of the hard stuff first and then all enjoy the by-product of its labor.  The same is true for you.  No matter what you’re going through, you must take care of the unmentionables.  These are the things no one else see’s, the harder things.  Keep plowing forward with grace and strength- and in due season you (and many others) will see the fruit of all your labor.

“Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. “Proverbs 31:25

The goat houses all clean, today!

Clean goat houses

Farm life is nostalgic and romantic indeed but never idle

Farm life is nostalgic and romantic indeed but never idle

Ann Peterson is the winner of the drawing last week! She chose morning glories for her prize! Ann- send me your address and I’ll send you the seeds from my morning glory vine!

Morning glory seeds from our vines

Morning glory seeds from our vines- Winner- Ann Peterson!

Comments

  1. Linda Keene says:

    Sharon, I absolutely LOVE the first picture in this devo with the suns’ ray’s coming through the tree. Is this picture one you took or did you get it somewhere? I would love to be able to use this on my facebook page. I enjoy your devotionals tremendously and look forward to them so much!

    God bless,
    Linda

  2. Debbie Smith says:

    Yesterday was really hot and humid too. I imagine you and Dale were pretty sweaty and glad to get cleaned up! I’ll bet the goat milk is great though…not to mention just having those little cuties around. Sure brought back memories of when we had our farm and cleaning up after our animals. A spiritual blessing the Lord reminded me of one day as I walked toward the large pile that we dumped our wheel barrow on, complaining to the Lord about a situation, He guided my eyes up and placed my sights on some lovely flowers that were growing from out of the heap of manure. It caused me to realize that He does bring beauty from stinky moments in life. Such a great promise.

  3. Pam Smalling says:

    Oh Sharon! I too have shoveled goat manure more times than I care to count! It is a stinky, dirty job! One of the not so fun aspects of our family’s 4H projects! Always feels good when it’s done though!

    Pam

  4. KAY LYNN PARRISH says:

    SHARON WE LIVE ON 20 ACRES JOINING OUR SON’S 16 ACRES . WE HAVE TWO SMALL LAKES ON THEM WE LOVE IT. WE HAVE LET BOTH PLACES GROW UP FOR WILDLIFE . WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL PLACE . THEIR NEIGHBORS WHICH I REALLY WISH THERE WASN’T BECAUSE I HAVE A BIG MOUTH. I GREW UP HERE . MY FAMILY BOUGHT THE PLACE IN 1948 . I AM 68 YEARS YOUNG . I LOVE OUR RURAL SETTINGS. RIGHT NOW I HAVE A BROKEN FEMUR BONE SO I AM IN A WHEEL CHAIR . NO OUTSIDE GARDENING FOR PROBABLY A YEAR. BUT I LIVE HERE AND CAN GO OUTSIDE AND ENJOY GOD’S CREATION. I HAVE SHOLVED MY SHARE OF MANURE. IN THE BARN AND IN LIFE BUT GOD IS A FAITHFUL GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!THANK YOU FOR SHARING SO I COULD REMEMBER HOW GREAT RURAL LIVING IS. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS KAY

    • Hi Kay Lynn! I’m so sorry about your leg! Lord God we ask that You heal Kay Lynn’s femur by Your power and might. In Jesus’ name, amen.
      I will continue to pray for you! Blessings and hugs, Sharon

  5. Thanks so much for the reminder, Sharon. It seems we’ve been shoveling a lot of manure here as we’ve ministered to our community here the past couple of years. Thank you for the reminder that many will reap the rewards when the faithful keep shoveling! Sometimes it’s easy to focus so much on the stinky, smelly messes that we lose focus of the glorious rewards to come. Thanks for writing!

  6. Sheeba m says:

    Wow, I def. resonate with what you have said about manure….I remember it all too well with just putting 80 lbs of manure on my existing small veggie garden beds, which by the way my hubby would not touch…
    Is there any joy in some good hard labor at the end of the day where people do not ask why or how dirt and stinky you are becos that is your living and i think there actually is…farm life really reminds me on how it all began, how God had wanted it…
    By the way ur pics are nice…like the spider web in the last pic lighted up in the rays of light…

  7. Thank you Sharon. I needed to hear that today. Life truly is a labour of love at the moment.

  8. So true Sharon! Love the insights about the necessary work that comes before and with
    any great effort. Everyone wants the anointing on their life but not
    everyone wants the COST of that anointing! 😉
    Hugs friend!

  9. Love your post. Always get a word.
    Would u consider selling me some of the morning glory seeds?

    Susan Harper
    154 Sims Street
    Maysville Georgia 30558

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