“I’ve wanted to do this since I can remember.”
My husbands words kind of rattled me. This wasn’t what I signed up for, and I was completely out of my comfort zone. I married a farmer. We stay in one spot forever. Even through the busiest times of the year we always sleep in our own bed, always cook the meals in my own kitchen, and I always have my support system close by.
But then wheat prices plummeted. Then they stayed low. The bank still wanted paid and $3/bushel wheat just doesn’t seem to cover what we needed. Jake worked endlessly through the winter driving a semi bringing in extra cash so we could keep paying off debt, but the hours were hard on the whole family. The farm hours are just as hard, but at least we can go see him on the tractor or take him lunch there. All winter we talked about what this summer would bring for us. We grazed off all of our wheat this winter, so we knew we wouldn’t have our own harvest here come June. I knew Jake couldn’t keep driving a truck all summer. And I didn’t want him to. He was starting to run himself ragged. But we didn’t know what else we could do to keep moving forward.
We had been praying and praying for SOMETHING to come along. We didn’t know what, but we knew God could make a way if he would so choose. It felt like we were just treading water and something drastic needed to happen, but we had no clue what. We just kept praying and trusting that something would arise.
Then an opportunity was dropped in our lap to go custom cutting this summer. It caused a huge fight between us, to be quite honest. I thought it sounded too good to be true and it would never work. Frankly, I didn’t want to travel all over the country this summer with three little kids, living in motels and on the road. It sounded awful and I didn’t think it was worth it, and Jake was ready to go all in with not much hesitation. My knee-jerk reaction was a selfish one, and one that I regret but can’t take back. When praying for an opportunity, I had forgotten to add into my prayers for it to be something that I wanted to do! (Hint the sarcasm in that last sentence 😉 )
I know not all opportunities are from God, and I didn’t want us to do this if HE didn’t want us to do this. So Jake and I kept praying, but my prayer was always the same. “God, if this isn’t what you want us to do, then shut the door on it.”
But the door didn’t shut, and things kept falling into place and then it was almost time to go to Texas and I wasn’t prepared.
Thankfully I have good friends who gave me good advice along with an attitude check. This summer was going to go however I made it. I could CHOOSE to have fun and enjoy the ride, making it an adventure full of memories, or I could choose not to.
Fast forward a couple of months.
So far this has probably been our best summer yet as a family! We’ve had road bumps along the way, and we even lost a dear family friend to a tragic accident on our farm while we were gone. It hasn’t been an easy summer by any means, but the memories we have already made I will cherish forever.
To watch our 5 year old develop his work ethic and want to be just like daddy has made my heart swell with pride. He has spent most of his days riding on the combine and he wouldn’t have it any other way. If I try to take him to do something fun, he would rather stay with Jake in the field. Almost everyday he asks if we can go back to Texas.
Porter and Finley have been great travelers too. Porter loves everything farming, and even though he gets a little more antsy when cooped up in the combine too long, he’s done awesome! I have seen that kid nap in the weirdest positions this summer! No matter how many times we pull into a field, you can bet that you’re going to hear Porter yell “BOMBINE! TWACTOR!” with excitement from the backseat. Even Finley does good as long as she’s with me. I strap her into my baby carrier and she’s happy as a clam!
These last couple of weeks we have been cutting close to home and so we’ve also been using our other combine to cut. I love running the combine, and Jake had beans he needed to plant, so me and Fin have been the full-time combine operators. I’ve loved it! I know the guys appreciate when I cook a good meal and bring it, but it feels a lot more helpful to spend my day on the combine for him and just eat sandwiches out of the cooler.
Jake asked me yesterday if I liked doing this custom cutting gig. I didn’t have to guess why he asked me that. It’s easy to see for anyone that talks to him that he has loved harvesting this summer. Harvest is his favorite (although maybe most stressful) time of the year, and it’s been amazing to watch him get to do what he loves all while traveling to different states and getting to have his family with him.
I hope he knows how proud I am of him. Proud of his unwavering faith, his work ethic, and the husband and father that he is. I don’t know how he does it all, but he always does. I don’t know if this custom cutting gig will be a one time thing, or the start of a new era, but whatever the outcome I’m so thankful for this summer. We will be leaving soon for Colorado and then Nebraska and I’m excited for the memories that will be made on this next part of our adventure! I read an article the other day talking about how we only get 18 summers with our kids and to make them count, so we are making this summer count big!