Doing the Necessary in the Midst of the Hard

father and son on homesteadWe’ve heard it time and again that life on the farm (or homestead, or in parenting) doesn’t stop even when times are hard. Weather’s bad? The cows still need milked. Didn’t sleep well last night? Kids still get up before dawn. It’s crazy hot out? The garden still needs tending. There are things that simply need to be done whether or not we feel like it.

In a lot of farmers, this mindset is just part of the work ethic with which they greet life. When there’s a job to be done, they do it. And while that’s true and I never want to take anything away from the hard work and admirable ethic, I want to also offer another way of looking at doing the things that need to be done.

So many of us, in the midst of our lives, tend to shut down a little bit when things get hard. I know that we all have had trying times in the last year. There’s no one who hasn’t been impacted by the global goings on. In those I work with, I’ve seen some common responses to the difficulties. Some people just hold on tight, bracing themselves against the storm and pray they can hold on until it passes. Some fall into a state of almost numbness. They stop getting upset, but also stop finding joy as well.

What if, in trying times, we view those things that simply must still be done as an anchor, a constant, something that gives us a sense of normalcy in a trying time? What if those things that we have to do even when we’d rather just curl up in a ball and eat cookies helped us remember that we still have a life we’re gifted with living and we are still drawing breath and that this difficult season wasn’t the Great Pause Button in God’s plan for our lives? We still have a purpose (and yes, our purpose goes beyond milking the cows each day, but hear me out) for our lives and these little chores or habits that we can’t just brush to the side when things get difficult remind us that there’s a life we’re living that is still going on out there.planting plant

In times that feel so uncertain…when we have no idea when, or if, things will ever go back to normal, what if we saw these daily non-negotiables as anchors of certainty in our lives? They’re things we can count on and give us a bit of stability in time that feels like it’s spinning out of control.

How would your daily grind be different if you offered a word of thanks and gratitude for these tasks we previously viewed as mundane? How would it change if you saw them as beautiful reminders of the life you’re still living?