Wheat Harvest 2021

View from the combine

Very early this spring farmers were considering giving up on the winter wheat and planting something else in its place because it was so dry they didn’t think the wheat would even grow. Praise the Lord for sending some rain!

The last couple years Brad hasn’t bothered hooking up the grain cart for wheat harvest. He has just picked and dumped straight from the combine to the truck. This year he wants to speed things up a little (He’s got a house to wire!), so he enlisted the grain cart. It’s a good thing he did too. This field is a mile long, and he can’t make it down the field and back to the truck without overflowing.

Can you see the two cute girls in that tractor?

We took our annual wheat harvest picture when we were actually harvesting. This meant we had our trucker/friend there to grab a family picture for us. It’s very much a “don’t primp or coordinate clothes” kind of picture.

They grew again! William is the only one that isn’t fully into this tradition yet, or maybe he doesn’t understand what it means to smile at the camera.

Birds

A lot of great things are happening around small town Nebraska. I’ll just tell you the interesting ones related to birds.

1. Did you know some bird builds a nest suspended in a rye plant? Maybe it does in other plants too, but I was about to pull this rye plant out of the wheat and was stopped by this nest.

Quail nest in rye

Brad said he saw a few of them too. It’s not on the ground. It’s really securely suspended in the middle of the plant. We wonder if they are quail eggs. Maybe one of you are an expert and could let me know.

Pulling rye out of the wheat is one of those interesting things happening around small town Nebraska this week. This was my first experience. Walking through knee high wheat is a great work out and all for a good cause too.

Thigh high wheat

Doing it with helpers is even better. Wyatt about kicked a bird and touched it when it flew up right in front of him. I had one make me jump too, when it flew out of the wheat right near me. My nephew was here visiting for the week and was wishing we had more fields to do when we finished. You’re all now eagerly planning your next visit around rye pulling time, aren’t you?

May Nebraska wheat
Heading up to get the rye on top of the hill

2. The other bird we experienced this week is the robin with her nest full of eggs living in our house before we get to live there.

Robin in construction

Our builder thought we should research if there is a way to move it. I think she better just hurry up and hatch her babies and teach them to fly to a real tree.

I’ve been so sparse in my writing here I don’t even remember if I told you that we are building a house. We’re super thankful and excited. Someday I may get a post about that. Today I’m sticking to birds. They are remarkable creatures.

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!
Luke 12:24

True Life

John 18:3-4 So Judas, having obtained the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, came out into the open and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” 

Jesus knew what terrible things were coming for himself and he stepped into it willing and calmly. He never fought back. That’s how significantly he desires a relationship with us. Jesus was tortured and died to give us true, real, abundant LIFE.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.

Do you get stressed and irritated about the people and agendas in our world that seem like they are attacking my way of life like I do? We must remember that Jesus is real life for us and He wants those that are attacking us to know Him too. Nothing I desire compares with Him. May we be filled to the full with Jesus so that others may see Him and want to know Him too.

So I challenge you and me today to go seek hard after Jesus. Jesus offers us life in the fullest. He doesn’t want us to worry. He doesn’t want us consumed with things that are worthless. He desires our heart be filled with abundant joy and peace. He took every sin we ever committed upon himself so we could know Him and walk with Him daily.

What steps can you take today to draw nearer to Him?

God has used Lysa TerKeurst’s Finding I Am Bible study and Matt Chandler’s To Live is Christ to Die is Gain to help me see how much Jesus desires for me to know Him and how He offers true life. I highly recommend both studies. Below is a declaration from Lysa’s study. It is just a screen shot because I’m out of practice and don’t know how to load a pdf. Click on it to take you to a clearer version that you can download for yourself.

Harvest 2020

My dad took this sunrise picture. He came out of retirement, learned to drive the semi truck, and helped us all harvest. He got to see a lot of southwest Nebraska sunrises.

We finished harvest at the beginning of this week. Lack of weather or breakdown delays made for a very intense month and a half, but we survived. We thank God for a safe harvest without many major breakdowns. Really, with the amount of rain we didn’t have, we’re thankful we had anything to harvest at all!

William, who likes to wear jeans and orange shirts, didn’t have to go along with us too much this year thanks to the help of Grandmas; but when he did come with us, he did well. Being almost 4 and lots of snacks probably helped make him successful. It’s crazy to think we’re past the point of having little kids that you can barely handle being in a combine or tractor with all day because they can barely handle it!

9 Years Ago

To those of you God is leading on a journey and you don’t think you like where He’s taking you, you can trust Him with an open hand. He is intentions for you are good, and He is worthy of your trust.

We’ve been living this small town life of ours for 9 years now. If I could have known 9 years ago what I know now I would have not been so resistant to moving here, but I probably wouldn’t have learned as much either. I had no idea how fun it would be for our kids to get to go to school and play sports with their cousins. I had no idea how many sweet friendships God would bring our way. I had no idea I would actually look forward to helping with harvest. I had no idea I would put my arm around Brad and tell him I loved where we are in our life right now. I had little confidence 9 years ago that God’s plan was good or that I would see much goodness in it on this side of heaven.

This week one one of my first friends when we moved reminded me of one of our first weeks at church. I can actually remember where we were standing when we had the conversation she mentioned. She brought up our meeting at our Bible study, which I didn’t know 9 years ago would be a meaningful part of my life. This reminder was more touching because I’m still blessed by her friendship. It hits me because I had no idea at that time that I would remember the conversation 9 years later and feel like crying happy tears about it.

You’re thinking that it must have been some deep conversation, right? It wasn’t. I asked her, “How do you raise your kids out here?” In my mind I was meaning, “How do you raise kids when you have to drive an hour to do anything with them and when their dad doesn’t show up at home every evening at 5:00 and thinks Saturday is just another day to work?” She was mourning friends that had moved and wanting to give up on friendship. Then she met me – a skeptic in a new church, new lifestyle, new town, missing everything that I left behind. I couldn’t imagine what purpose God had in moving us to rural America. I can’t imagine I really came across as friendship material, but in that conversation she decided she could be my friend; and she was a definite friend that I really needed at the time.

I have used enough words to help you see what I see in that story? All I can see is a big God caring for his people. We were both hurting people. God crossed our paths, and I had no idea He was working. My current self looks back on my 9 years ago self and just rejoices in His work.

So to you who are scared of the adventure God is directing you toward, open your hand to Him and keep stepping toward Him. He will walk with you even when you’re mad at Him. He is always orchestrating and caring even if you can’t see it.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Psalm 8:3-4