It's the simple things in life…

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Like a simple bullfrog…

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and a simple boy…

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a few mimicking faces…

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….that bring buckets of joy.

In a world filled with stress and trials, it’s refreshing to have young children to remind us of the important things in life.
Sometimes it seems that it’s the most obvious things, like enjoying God’s creation or spending time with our children, that we overlook as the benchmarks for evaluating our days. We look to scales such as productivity and income and forget about the more comprehensive model of stewardship and relationships.
Since we are milking the cow twice a day, she comes to mind as the perfect example of this contrast. She produces, fairly consistently now, about 2.5 gallons of milk each day. In a stewardship model we are judged on how well she is cared for. The emphasis is on, how she is fed and the condition of her care. Some metrics might be:  Does she have enough fresh water or is the pasture sufficient for her grazing? We might be judged by how she is milked or how we treat her.
In the industrial productivity model, the emphasis shifts to how much milk is produced. Her environment and the condition of her care is secondary to what she produces. In this model, the feed might be a concern, but only as it relates to proteins and a mix that produces more milk. How she is milked is not important in regards to what is best for the long term care of the animal, but the short term production of the milk. The focus is on the bottom line, not the path that we take to get there or the character we exhibit along that path.
I don’t think these things have to be exclusive of one another. We enjoy taking care of Bonnie Blue and like watching her graze in the field enjoying the grass and her home we provide. We also like her milk and want to feed her a diet that will produce a good quality and quantity of fresh milk for our family.
What I’m noticing though is how much easier it is to balance these two seemingly competitive systems on the farm. The corporate job always judges on productivity and performance.  It measures time in minutes, but not the farm. It judges on stewardship and character. It measures time by seasons.  It is not always about getting the job done. Sometimes it’s just about doing the job in an honorable fashion.
Sometimes it’s about enjoying God’s creation while you do the job, or taking a break from doing the job to enjoy your son playing with the new pet frog he captured in the middle of the job.

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