July 28, 2014: A Day on the Farm

A picture of the setting sun after a day on the farm
Garrett and I have had our calendars marked for months for Weekend on the Farm. Although the picturesque retreat goes on for three days, we were only able to dedicate our Saturday to this Christian gathering. A Day on the Farm for us.

After a short drive to Harlan, Iowa, we found ourselves smack in the middle of nowhere. A perfect setting for a perfect day. The surrounding trees and fields gained for us the solitude we yearned. Our typically overbooked schedules embraced this little sanctuary.

Joining us was our friend, Lori Stohs. Just two days prior, we invited her on our little road trip. Following some confusion on the retreat theme of "Running to God", Lori quickly concluded that some time away to celebrate our faith would be well worth her Saturday. And no running shoes were required.

The day was wonderful. It did not disappoint. We left Harlan with full hearts and with new and renewed friendships. God left each of us with a different imprint on our heart. Lori was reminded of her recently deceased father.

Below are the words that Lori wrote from the heart as we gathered, sharing faith, in the tent on the farm.
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My mind is quiet.

My senses are flourishing.

I hear the sound of the birds chirping, the summer locust and the tractor in the field afar.

The gravel crunches as the truck passes quickly by on the country road.

I smell the fresh grass and the scent of the crops. That smell of those summer crops that get harvested and bring nutrition to our bodies.

The smell of money as we used to call it ... the pig manure...lingers in the air.

I see the bean fields and the exactness of the rows of corn fields. The tracks from the irrigation pivot and the glimmer of the sunlight reflecting off the tractor.

The memories of my childhood. The memories of my youth.
The memories of my family.
The memories of my life with my dad...just a day living on the farm 30-47 years ago.
Then it was just an ordinary day.

Today as I am present and reflect, the day on the farm is a memory and a celebration of his life.

Dad passed away 4 months ago and would have been 88 on Monday.

~ Lori Stohs
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I am a firm believer there are no such things in life as coincidences. God has a plan. It is up to us to seize the opportunities and blessings put in front of us. Only we can execute on God's plan. And it can only happen with open hearts and open minds.

The large world becomes much smaller with the many connections and chance encounters that we relish each day. Daily reminders of God's infinite love and goodness. We just have to open our eyes to the beauty of the people and moments in time we are given.

A day on the farm. A good day indeed.

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