Journal: “So God Made a Farmer’s Wife”

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And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a safe-keeper.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need somebody dedicated enough to wake up when it’s dark, turn on the radio markets, cook breakfast and brew coffee, not get to eat or drink any of it because someone can’t find their shoes, go to work and guide a classroom full of children, return home with a backseat full of groceries to unload, fix supper to take to the field, help with fifth grade math problems before bedtime, sweep up the dirt at the back door knowing it’ll be there again tomorrow, patch grease stained overalls, crawl in between cool sheets and comfort a man whose muscles are cramped and sore, wake up and do it all over again.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

“I need somebody faithful enough to hold her husband’s hand in prayer, gently squeezing his calloused fingers in silent support, and hope the rain will stop as the fields flood or the rain will come when there are cracks big enough to fall into. Somebody to tend a garden in the summer, feed chickens in the fog, run to town for combine parts, memorize every curve in every gravel road, know the difference between the North Forty acreage and the McSparren Place when he calls and needs a ride back to the grain truck, and cheer her son on alone at a ball game because it’s harvest and his dad couldn’t afford to stop running.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need somebody who will keep the peace when tempers flare and nerves are fried, when the bank keeps calling, and bills pile up on the desk. Somebody to tell the farmer to go to the doctor when his lungs are raked with coughing fits, knowing he won’t, but fixes vegetable soup anyway. I need somebody who can work up and fold a pie crust with her eyes closed when he unexpectedly invites all the boys home for supper after a long day in the hay field. Somebody who can spend all afternoon letting rolls rise, fry chicken, and beat mashed potatoes but calmly listen to him say ‘This is good but Momma used to do this instead…’ Somebody who knows the amount of sugar he likes in his sweet tea. And learns by heart the sound of his pickup in the driveway.” So God made a farmer’s wife.

God had to have somebody willing to hold a flashlight in the bitter cold and snow, illuminating the farmer’s hands when delivering a half frozen calf, yet clutch that same calf close to her body in the front seat of the pickup knowing it won’t probably make it through the night, even in the warm barn.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to carry children for nine months then continue to carry them the rest of their lives. To tutor them in speech, share with them the love of God, and teach them not to look at the sparks when their daddy is welding. It had to be somebody who would smother a groan while standing at the washer and sort through pockets full of soybeans, rusted bolts, metal chalk, and fuel receipts. Somebody to kiss, worry, hug, pray, guide, laugh, chide, and lead when the hours grow long and he still isn’t home because the baler broke down.”

“Somebody who can heal family grudges, soothe colicky babies, silence gossip, hum The Old Rugged Cross while canning peaches, watch grandchildren grow and when they ask – reply: ‘Yes, your granddad is the strongest man I’ve ever known.’” So God made a farmer’s wife.

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