For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. ~ Genesis 18:19
I think almost everyone’s seen it by now – the Super Bowl commercial called “So God Made a Farmer”, advertising the Dodge Ram. It’s hit a nerve, in a good way, with many people around here, including me. So if you don’t mind, I’d like to indulge a little this week. If you haven’t seen it yet, google it. Believe me, it’s worth the effort.
As I sat in bed and watched the commercial on my phone, my husband sleeping beside me, I realized just how hard my man works every single day. Even though he is nearing 50, he’s still strong and sure. He may ache a little more than usual but rarely complains, unlike his wife.
We started dating when I was 14 and John was 16. Looking back, it’s hard to believe we hung onto each other through the turbulent teen years. I’m so glad we did.
Back then, he worked his dad’s farm almost every day. He fed cows, baled hay and planted soybeans. When he baled hay, he didn’t have the luxury of using a baler you pull behind a tractor. No sir. He would lift those heavy bales and throw them into the back of a truck, following it all around the fields.
There are so many wonderful memories of my farmer husband. One winter, while we were still in high school we had a pretty good snow. Because my parents house sits at the bottom of a steep hill in town, no one coming down could get back up. But my resourceful husband, then boyfriend, promptly mounted his dad’s tractor and came and got me. So we rode all the way through town and the three miles back to his house while everyone we passed wondered about the crazy couple on the tractor.
When it came time to propose, he sold five cows to pay for my engagement ring. I don’t know many brides who obtained a ring through their husband selling bovine.
When we first married we lived in a single wide trailer on the farm. I must admit, it wasn’t the same as living in town and I didn’t like it very much, especially when the cows got out and ate all of my flowers.
It was during that time John and his brother decided to start their own business, pumping septic tanks and other services such as septic tank maintenance. It definitely was not work for someone who was afraid to get dirty. But they worked hard at their day job and came home and worked most nights running that old truck. He was tired but determined. He wanted to be a good provider, and he has certainly done that.
After a move into town, then a subdivision, we are now living back on the farm. When he’d built his pipeline contracting business to the point where he felt comfortable, we built the home we’d always wished for and raised our two kids here. They love it and wouldn’t dream of having grown up anywhere else. They often comment on how lucky they are to have lived their childhood here.
John has done everything he could to make it wonderful for them, from building a sled out of 60” PVC pipe and pulling the kids around in the snow, to building a zipline over the lake. My 19 year old daughter commented not long ago that we could “so have our own show” like the Duck Commander, because my husband, 16 year old son and nephews, who live across the road , would love to make their own water park in our lake like the Robertson family did. She’s right.
My husband loves it. He has more fun than the kids. Building bonfires, pulling hay wagons full of teenagers and shooting sporting clays with our kids and their friends brings him so much joy. I think it keeps him young.
John may not be tall in stature, but he’s a giant in his family’s eyes. He’s smart and good and has a giving heart. He’s a shrewd businessman who’s never lacked integrity.
As I lay in bed thinking about all of this, I realized how very blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband who works hard for a living, puts wood in the stove on cold mornings and farms his little blackberry patch behind the house. He does all of this because he loves us.
I was reading Ann Voscamp’s blog this week, www.aholyexperience.com , where she shares her insight on the farmer commercial. One thing she writes about in that piece is how we “get to be here”. That phrase resonated with me. How blessed I am that I “get” to live on this centuries old family farm with a loving husband and two fantastic kids.
So, in closing, I would just like to say to my sweet hubby, thank you. God blessed me beyond measure when I met you at that youth group party on New Year’s Eve 33 years ago. I had no idea the adventure He had in store for us and I wouldn’t trade any part of it. I love you, John, and wish you the happiest Valentine’s Day, and look forward to many more wonderful adventures with you.
By the way, he drives a Dodge Ram. Fitting, don’t you think?
It’s so easy to take our loved ones for granted, never showing them how important they are to us. Who do you need to send a Valentine love letter to this year?
If you’d like to leave a comment on my blog or facebook, I will enter you into a random drawing for Ann Voscamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Don’t forget to check back next week to see if you won. Or better yet, sign up to follow me by email after you’ve left your comment and you’ll have an automatic reminder.