PORTRAIT OF A FARMER

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.       Galatians 6:9

Proudly, I was raised on a hustle and bustle working farm sprawling a couple-hundred acres.  We had ten ponds on our farm and a wandering creek divided our land almost in half.  We were passed the life my parents had so well-known as they both had grown-up living similar traditions.  My parents and their parents embraced values of planting and harvesting crops and cultivating huge varieties of garden foods.  As four little Lewis kids, we were fortunate to learn valuable lessons from Mom and Dad and both sets of Grandparents.

As many of you who read this will also testify, the farm-life manages to keep you busy from before the sunrises until well-after sunset!  Our farm would easily be akin to those descriptive images.   Oh sure ~ there are plenty of fun-filled times to treasure as we compiled memories of yesteryear days.  If there weren’t any planned activities, when you put four inquisitive, inventive growing brains together in children, creative adventures are bound to be discovered.

Two little girls and two younger boys seemed to have no boundaries.  Our parents kept us heaped in what seemed endless ‘fix-it’ projects, and repair tasks.  But, as our ages dictated, they also spoiled us rotten with colorful bikes, all-terrain motorcycles and well-trained quarter horses, so we could easily traverse and crisscross our many acres.

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Children are a gift from the Lordthey are a reward from him.  Psalm 127:3

“Thank goodness for binoculars.”  Mom and Dad could stand on our Victorian front-porch and scout the land to, hopefully, spot their kids.    Think of turning loose four rambunctious young kids over two-hundred acres of investigative beckoning, land, it’s hard-telling where your youngsters may have landed.  Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that when things get ‘quiet’ you better find-out where your kids are and what they may be up to.

Often, our Mom would go to town to buy groceries and other staples we needed.  Typically, Mom would forego her own needs, and selflessly purchase for her children.  She liked to surprise us with a spiffy new outfit or the newest in shoes.  One of her inquisitive little kids would often ask of Mom “where did you get this?’  Mom’s witty and funny answer would always be, “at the ‘gettin place.”

And, as the warming sun rays and the spring rains permitted, Daddy would plant the corn and beans and walk through lengthy fields as he sowed oats.    Our father toiled long, hard days well into evening clearing the land of rocks that seemed to just keep multiplying and growing and out of thin-air.  Arduously, Dad methodically planted and as the unpredictable weather dictated, maybe Dad had to replant crops.  ALL FOR HIS WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN!!

All summer, our superman, and hero Dad would walk down the rows cutting-down weeds and clearing paths for his combine to straddle the rows for harvest in fall.   (his only request was a Pepsi now and then.)  Then, we all Prayed to be blessed with bountiful harvest

The coziness of winter would creep-in with a kind of ragged sigh of relief.   We girls liked to create to artfully designed snow-angels and the boys would build the most elaborate snow-forts in the fresh white blankets.  On days we were stuck inside, we frequently played monopoly or put 1000-piece puzzles together, after shoveling snow from our long driveway.  (those Big complex puzzles were our Dad’s brilliant idea to keep us busy!  He picked the hardest ones for us to assemble.  Thanks a lot ~ Dad!)

In search of the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree, our vast woods would surely offer just the right sacrifice.   Then, before we knew it, here came spring again.  With God at the helm, we got to start all over again.  Ours was a unique and treasured life.  Indeed, the life, fun, and work of a Farmer is never-ending, but it is also a rich inheritance.  I cherish those days and the tender memories we all made together growing and investing in our beautiful farm!

Oh; but if I could turn back time …               

 … then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.                                                                                                                                                          Leviticus 26:4

Growing In Christ,

Jen

 

“What Goes Around … Comes Around”

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

WHAT GOES AROUND … COMES AROUND

 

In January 2013, I wrote the following letter to my former employers and the owners of a small chiropractic business.  From 2001-2002, while I was going through a very deep, dark valley in my life, they helped guide me to see the that the top of the mountain was within my reach.  My heartfelt letter was  offered in simple gratitude.

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1/4/2013

Dearest Dr. M. and Barb,

It was December 24, 2012 when I needed to come and see Dr. M.      (earlier in the month I had fallen-off a ladder and as he ‘examined’ me, he decided an X-ray was in order and he made another follow-up appointment for Monday, Jan, 7th,  2013.)

On January 6th, Linda called me to ‘inform’ me Dr. Miller had passed.  (she said it had been in paper, but I explained “I do not get the local paper  – so I didn’t know.  (NEEDLESS TO SAY, I was in ‘shock.’)

(I’ve Always been ‘encouraged’ w/ Dr. Miller’s knowledge and desire to ‘keep current’ w/ changing medical knowledge/treatment(s).  In short- I KNEW I could ‘Trust’ Him and felt he truly cared about me as a patient, and from a closer ‘personal’ perspective because I had worked with Both of you.

Seeing Dr. Miller again, prompted me to want to write a letter I hoped he would be able to read.  But, as ‘unknown’ crucial time would unravel itself, that never happened soon enough.  Yet, after much ‘reflective’ thought and Prayer, I still hope somehow this letter will help you ‘cope’ in knowing you TWO touched my life when I Really NEEDED some compassion and loving guidance.

During a most ‘traumatic’ year for me, you Both nurtured me like a ‘child’ with a ‘broken leg.’  My Heart was Severely Broken and Shattered into Ragged Pieces and YOU Both were there to help me mend.

Never once did you give-up on me.  Looking back, now I see how ‘difficult’ I must have made things for you guys.  (my life was a real ‘mess’ and I honestly don’t know how you dealt w/ it.  But, God led you to ‘take care of me and ‘guide me’ back into the world.  As you so eloquently put it Barb, “as I was ready to ‘fly”, you two let go.  God ‘Bless You for taking me into your World and for patiently waiting while I was trying to put things back together.

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Image by:  Ian Britian

As you’ll easily remember – I was living in a constant ‘emotional turmoil.’  (as my life kept crumbling in chaos and was falling apart in shattered upheaval.  Still, you and Dr. Miller remained steadfast and tried to guide me and ‘help me’ as much as you could.

(ironically, this similarity also makes me realize how I ‘helped’ 31 Precious, Lovely, INNOCENT Foster children when they needed someone to come-along beside them and offer a ‘supportive hand’ with genuine Caring and Gentleness.

We NEVER know what time will bring to us.  All we can do is “turn to and rely on the One True God.  “Let Go … And Let God!!”   My Favorite Jeremiah 29:11 Scripture brings me Comfort:                            “FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU – Declares The Lord … “PLANS TO PROSPER YOU NOT TO HARM YOU … “PLANS TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE.”

(I have been doing my utmost to build a personal ‘ministry’ based on this Scripture.)

GOD’S Desire For Us Is To Become More And More Christ-like.   As we learn to ‘Trust God to Lead Us – We Never Know when we might be able to Positively Influence another.

“Cherish the days Ahead of You and keep “Thanking God for the things You DO Have!

“I Love You!”

GROWING IN CHRIST,

Jennifer K. Lewis

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MORAL OF STORY: 

Never, NEVER underestimate the ‘impact’ you are having on someone’s’ life.

It’s Never too late to say “THANK YOU!”  (you don’t know how your ‘choice(s)’ to help someone just may, in turn, BLESS You!!!)  remember the saying:  “What Goes Around – Comes Around”.

God IS Judging the ‘motive’ and ‘intent’ of your Heart in Everything you do and say!   EVERYTHING!!

Again, a person just never knows what this Earthly Life may bring, so living each day as it is our last – just keeps becoming more and more important.

Growing In Christ,

Jen