Farm 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
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!