A set of mule deer in aisle 3, please.

Does anyone have a pair of tigers? Maybe a set of lemurs? Because if it doesn't stop raining, I am full-on prepared for the Lord to start encouraging us to build arks and start rounding up animals.

It rains a day. It's dry a day. It rains. It's dry. It's a farmer's nightmare. Too wet to get the rye silage out. Can't get crops planted.

WHERE ARE THE MATCHING BABOONS, LORD, BECAUSE WE ARE READY!

Last year it was a drought. This year it's a flood.

It's just that at least with droughts you get some sunshine now and then. And dust. Usually a lot of dust. But whatever. SUNSHINE.

My farmer -- the optimist -- and I -- the pessimist realist -- saw each other for a few moments in passing last week. "I got a guy mowing and one is merging and I'm chopping and he's tilling and that guy's planting and another's spraying, and there's stuff going on at church, and there's stuff with employees, and the vet's coming tomorrow and the forecast says rain again tomorrow but if we can miss a shower this afternoon, we can at least keep working into the night," he said while chugging down an iced coffee.

Or as I say, "IT'S ALL THE THINGS."

And then he ran back out the door and jumped in his pick-up and the kids and I waved white hankies in his direction like ladies standing at the dock when ocean liners would take off for the other side of the world with their husbands and sons aboard.

Actually, it was a napkin and that's just because someone spilled yogurt on the floor, but the idea was there.

I could tell he was . . . well, we don't use the word "stressed" in our house. We just say we're busy . . . or our plates are full . . . or we're juggling a lot of balls. Because if one thing stresses us out, then it's easy to say something else does, and pretty soon making dinner is stressful or deciding what book to read next is stressful and then basically just doing life is stressful and that's lame.

So let's just say I could tell all the plates available were spinning.

Now, a nicer me would have texted him and said, "You can do this! You didn't get to where you are by letting 87,000 inches of rain and a forecast sent from the underworld itself get you down! I believe in you!"

And there are days for that.

But today he needed his BFF Jocko Willink. Jocko says that there's a two-step process to dealing with stress: (1) detach and (2) don't worry about things you can't control.

You detach yourself from the situation. Is it raining like you're in the midst of a hurricane? Yes. But are you freezing at the Battle of the Bulge? Are you walking with your feet tied in rags like men in the Revolutionary War? No. So stop whining. You don't have it so bad.

And stop fretting about things you can't change. Can you stop the rain? No. So use it to your good. Turn it on itself. Make it your ally.

So like any kind, thoughtful wife, I MPed my farmer and said, "You think you have it bad? You don't. You're not getting your legs blown off. You're not in a foxhole. You're not starving in a concentration camp. Rain has nothing on you!"

I'm helpful like that.

And you know what? By the end of the day, he was happy to report that he had turned the rain into an ally, made some decisions about the future that would make spring time easier in seasons of endless cruddy weather, and had a beer to celebrate his success.

Now, the point of all of this is not to gripe about the rain (ok, but seriously, it can stop any day now) or to claim that Jocko and I made any difference on my farmer's day, but it is to say that the Lord really can use difficult situations for good. I mean, so what if the kids can't play outside again until they're 45? We can still learn from this! And grow! And become more resilient!

There are times for empathy and understanding. And there are times for pushing and prodding and tough encouragement. I'm thankful for a farmer who doesn't let me wallow and who shows me that -- even when all the balls are in the air and someone tosses ten more in -- we don't freeze up or melt down. We embrace the suck. We just lean in and push even harder.

Which is good for him especially, considering he'll need all those muscles to build a house boat for our family to live on until the ground dries out again . . . in roughly 2025.

So here's to soldiering on, chins up, shoulders straight through the tough stuff. It can't last. The sun does come out again. It has to. In fact, it always does.*



*Or so I'm told. 




3 comments:

  1. No tigers, lemurs, or baboons. But we DID recently have an emu wandering about our yard. I can get you in touch with the guy that kindly removed it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What?! The best we can do is a random goat on our road. An emu is so exciting!

      Delete
  2. Sooooo, how's it going down there? If you have sandwiches left, and boots don't have holes in them yet, and the children still have a roof over their heads it's all good. Stop whining and stand closer to that bear!

    ReplyDelete

Blogging tips