Echo of the Harvest

October 19, 2009 | 35 comments

Day’s last light dropped below unharvested Iowa fields, and we dimmed the house to light the HOPE candle. The girls sat cross-legged on the floor, hunched over their own lined pages.

They’ve watched their Mama, with pen and prayer journal, and they asked one day: Could we have our own journals, too?

Ninety-nine cents later, these spiral-bound books for two little girls bring a good return for the money.

I pull wee journals from the gathering basket in the corner of a candle-lit room, and hand them out to little prayer warriors who aren’t even four-feet-tall. They set sharpened pencils and determined hearts to Kingdom Work.

Tiny warriors tend quietly to these pages beside this Mama, who has heard God’s persistent reminder this week: be still. Slow down. Trust.

It’s more than halfway through October, and not a single plant has been sheared from the fields. But God — the hope in the seed — has been persistent on this soggy farm: Be still, for I am God.

With left hands gripping pencils — just like their Mommy and Daddy write — the girls begin. Anna transcribes a series of letters that she sees on an engraved cross beside me. She doesn’t know what she’s recording. For she can’t yet read.

I don’t see what she’s done until she’s almost finished with the writing.


“What’s it say, Mommy?” she asks, then adds a smiley-face for effect. “Did I do it right?”

“Yes, Anna, you did it perfectly,” I tell her, and I snap a photo so I won’t forget what He won’t let me forget: Be still.

Some people call these things coincidences. We know them as “God-incidences.” These are the moments when God repeats the message to stubborn or weary hearts. (Author Margaret Feinberg calls it
the sacred echo.)

“God’s been telling me to be still, Anna — to stop and listen,” I tell her.

Our favorite farmer sees what this wee warrior has done, and he shoots a knowing smile my way.

“Anna,” her Daddy asks, “Can you make another copy?” He wants to keep one on the dash of the pickup truck. Snow and rain have kept Scott from his fields. This is the first harvest without his farmer-father, who died in January. Scott knows he needs to be still, for he hears God’s sacred echo, too.

By candlelight, he read the echo in the clumsy script of a five-year-old.

But the echo wasn’t finished. Lydia had written a prayer, too.


CROPS

10-17-09

dear God
Please get the crops to get out of the field so …
send a mighty wind and a HUGE sun and get the crops in the tractor. Thank u for the AWESOME day. And thanks for dying on the cross.
AMEN
by: Lydia

We closed our journals and placed them in the basket. Anna blew out the candle, and we tucked the girls into quilted cocoons. As harvest moon rose over an echoing stillness, this farmer and I curled next to one another — trusting and waiting.

***

Seven hours later, mercies rose with the morning. We heard the echo in the weatherman’s words on the clock-radio alarm.

I shook my husband’s shoulder. Listen, I whispered. Did you hear it?

God’s echo boomed like an exclamation point on a promise: Skies will be sunny throughout the day, the weatherman said. Highs will hit the 60s this afternoon, and winds are expected to reach up to 25 miles an hour today.

God had sent Lydia’s HUGE sun and a mighty wind to dry soggy fields.

***

It’s Monday morning. My own father — Phil — is on his way here as I write. He’s driving 100 miles to come and help his son-in-law tend the fields.

Scott is outside, readying the combine.

And we slow
once again
to lift voices of thanksgiving
to the God who keeps
His promises:
“At the proper time
you will reap a harvest.”

Today, we harvest.

Photos: Big prayers from little girls’ journals; a sunrise (with HUGE sun) shining over fields that will be harvested … starting today.

by | October 19, 2009 | 35 comments

35 Comments

  1. patty

    Thank you, dear friend for another reminder of His faithfulness. Love you…Patty

    Reply
  2. Tea With Tiffany

    As always your writing touches my heart! Thank you for using your gift of communication on the blogs. I love how you share Christ. Wish we lived closer. I'd love to help you harvest.

    Reply
  3. elizabeth

    Beautiful, heart warming…thank you!

    Reply
  4. Bina

    My heart is full for this post…for the wee little cherubs that sat at the Lord's feet with focused hearts and a sincere desire. I love that our amazingly HUGE Father takes the time to not only hear the prayer of the small little children, but also that He moves heaven and earth to ANSWER them. I have often prayed along with my children, as their voice goes up to His ears, mine comes out of my heart begging that it this answered prayer will impact their hearts for Him, that He would act for them in ways that will blow their socks off.

    Loving your heart and praying for a plentiful harvest…

    Reply
  5. isumom

    Hallelujah! As we say in the Lutheran church "thanks be to God". By the way…our harvest stopped last night when the combine broke down…but it will be fixed and the remainder of the beans will come in today!

    Reply
  6. nAncY

    love the smiley face

    Reply
  7. Deborah Ann

    What beautiful expressions of love for their Savior! Great job, mom!

    Reply
  8. travelmom

    Yes and amen! Our faith is secured in times like these. God seldom answers early, but he is never late.

    I will pray for you before I leave the house today.

    Lori

    Reply
  9. Fridaydreamer

    Well Jennifer, THANKS A LOT!! I can barely see the screen to type this for the tears your beautiful post wrung from me! I don't know why it blows us away when God answers prayer so specifically–I guess it's just that we know He doesn't have to. What a blessing to your family, and to us through your writing. Truly, thank you so much for sharing this precious moment in your family's life with God!!

    An Iowa girl in California.

    Reply
  10. Rosario

    God is awesome. I forgot about quiet time with the children this morning. Yet, yesterday we went to bookstore and son wanted a search it book about Jesus. Daughter told me this morning, I can't find the passage where Jesus calls the children. I was amazed. I did not ask them to read their bible today, but still she was trying to find this passage in the bible to read it to her brother.

    Reply
  11. Jennifer

    I love this post! It just warms my heart. My family farms… that seems to be all I need to say… we know. I love how Scott put a copy of these powerful words in his truck! So glad to hear you are harvesting!!

    Reply
  12. Julie

    Another beautiful post, Jennifer. You have once again brought tears to my eyes as your bring words to life.

    What a beautiful heart you have and it is shown in how your children are growing up in the Lord.

    Praying for you all as you reap the harvest!

    Reply
  13. Tabitha@ichoosebliss

    How I loved reading the prayers of your daughters and witnessing The Father answer them! This was simply amazing to read today!!!

    Reply
  14. Jessica

    Phenomenal and beautiful. Praise God for His faithfulness and His work in little hearts.

    Reply
  15. KEE

    Oh Jennifer, I have chills and tears. God is good and he will continue to remind us of promises until we do finally get it.

    You are an inspiration to me as a mother. I often have had a hard time of how to talk to my children about God, that sounds so awful I know. Roo goes to a christian school and we do read their bibles but I love the journal idea and I think I am going to borrow that idea from you.
    I want my children to see me praying more, I need to make that a priority.
    SOrry didn't mean to make this about me 🙂
    Love and Blessings
    My friend

    Reply
  16. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Kee — I'm so, so glad you wrote. Your words didn't seem the least bit self-focused. Seems to me that what we're doing here — you and I and the others who drop by this little community at GDWJ — is this: We're walking alongside one another and sharing our struggles and our concerns and the way we're getting thorugh it.

    Aren't we all just a bunch of folks stumbling our way Home? I'm so glad you feel free to share your struggles in this space.

    I love this about REAL community — that we can look to each for ways to build up the Kingdom. Countless times, I hear the sacred echo of God through people like you, Kee. And you Patty
    and Tiffany
    and Elizabeth
    and Bina
    and Kathy (isumom)
    and nAncY
    and Deborah Ann
    and Lori
    and Shaunie
    and Rosario
    and Jennifer
    and Julie
    and Tabitha
    and Jessica
    and … anyone who quietly peeks in here and witnesses silently to what God has done,
    what God is doing…
    and God will continue to do.

    I send my love to each of you — you are part of the sacred echo in my life.

    Reply
  17. Billy Coffey

    The fields might not have been harvested yet, but I know the hearts of two young girls are being harvested each and every day in your house. Beautiful words, Jennifer. Simply beautiful.

    Reply
  18. Lyla Lindquist

    It's all been pretty well covered here while I once again show up late for the party. (The frequent price of living as a recluse.)

    But what I liked best aside of what everyone else has so tenderly pointed out?

    Right there next to God's name there is a smiley face. I'm not sure all of us feel as free as Anna to do that. I love that she does.

    I might just suggest that you stop by your local northwest Iowa tattoo parlor and have one of those added right next to your Y-scar.

    (And yeah, ok, I'm pretty excited to know there is work going on in the fields today too.)

    Reply
  19. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    Praising God for your harvest today.

    Our farmers (in Louisiana) are in a world of hurt right now. Sweet potatoes still in the field and looks like they will stay there. We've had 25 inches or more of rain in the past 20 days. Not Good!

    You have a precious heart Jennifer. You shine for Jesus. Isn't He just the best??

    Love – Beth

    Reply
  20. RCUBEs

    You are an awesome example to your little girls…Someone is surely pleased and He did hear that petition, coming from a small girl whose faith is HUGE. Your faith-filled life blesses me every time…God bless you sister Jennifer and your family…Have a wonderful week and may the harvest be plentiful! More than plentiful! To God be the glory!

    Reply
  21. Anne L.B.

    Oh Jennifer! In the tightness of my chest and moist eyes, I feel your hope and joy.

    Reply
  22. Tony C

    I read this after I posted today…and I'm broken and crying. You'll have to read to understand why.

    God is trying to say something. I just hope His people take time to stop and listen.

    Thank you for this moving post.

    Reply
  23. Missy

    Again with the stillness.

    I love how God continually speaks to us through other people, including our own children, until we finally listen. He never gives up on us.

    Reply
  24. christy rose

    God is so good to listen, care and move on our behalf. I love that you have your young girls doing a prayer journal. What a wonderful thing to begin at such a young age. And just think how this wonderful answer to her prayer will strengthen her faith for prayers to come. 🙂

    Reply
  25. hope42day

    WOW!! My heart is filled with emotion…what a beautiful way to just be still with God. And what a priceless gift you are endowing your children with.

    Reply
  26. elaine @ peace for the journey

    Just sobbing over here; I have no words… (well, I'll try)

    God is faithful, friend. I knew he would bring the harvest. He always does, and my faith grows stronger this night because he's seen fit to show his favor on his children in another state, even as he has shown me favor in my part of the world.

    Who is like our God to bring us these pregnant pauses in our daily lives and fill them with his hope and expectancy and through the faith of a child?

    Harvest well, and then rest. If I could be there to help, I would. Something tells me I'd like a fireside moment or two with your youngin's and their faith.

    Praise God! The heavens are singing their refrain tonight alongside us, and our Father is bowing to listen…

    peace~elaine

    Reply
  27. Girl In a Glass House

    Jennifer

    This post is what is known as a faith booster. For you and yrou husband, for your daughters and for us who have just read these beautiful words. It was so important that you shared this today. I can't tell you how much it blessed me.

    Reply
  28. ~*Michelle*~

    Will you think I am sappy if I told you I started to cry reading the end of this post…..

    We serve such a faithful God!

    And He delights in the faith of a child…..

    peace and love~
    *~Michelle~*

    Reply
  29. Rick and Monique Elgersma

    Pray Confidently AND be Still…you've had a massively important week. Oddly enough I preached about that two Sunday's ago.

    Reply
  30. LynnRush

    Wow. I got goosebumps as I read this.

    God bless you guys!

    Reply
  31. mom2six

    Thanks for the encouragement of answered prayers, God's faithful love!

    Reply
  32. Rosslyn

    Wow, Jennifer! This is beautiful. I'm glad you stopped by my blog so I had a chance to discover yours.

    Reply
  33. LisaShaw

    Oh this is so beautiful. Many tears spilled as I read and viewed the photos. How precious!

    Thank you for the blessing dear sister.

    Reply
  34. E

    Oh YAY God!

    And sweet girlies. 🙂

    How wonderful for them to see their prayers answered so lovingly. What did Lydia say when she saw her big sun and mighty wind?

    Ever since I recently found your blog to check on Mary's condition, and read your post about the snow, I've been hoping and praying alongside you for that harvest! I'm so glad you posted this today!

    Reply
  35. sharilyn

    when i read this, and stories like it, i understand why Jesus said we must be like children in our faith… what a beautiful testimony to God's faithfulness… i am blessed.

    Reply

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