Adjusting to Country
"Lord Change Me"
By Lori Crank
OUR move to the country was a dream come true. I had longed to live in the country since I was a young girl. I had dreamed of being a farmer's wife. I love animals and all that goes with a farm - or so I thought! I had a rude awakening in several areas. There were issues that I had not anticipated. As with all changes in life, there is bad as well as good. After some attempts to continue with the same expectations I had had in the city, I cried out to the Lord to show me how to change.
One big adjustment I had to make was in the area of shopping. When you live in a city you have any number of grocery stores, department stores, as well as any other kind of stores you might possibly need or want. Our small town of Hempstead has two grocery stores, a good vegetable market, a couple of hardware stores, as well as the appropriate number of auto parts stores and fast food places. We also have a regular Wal-Mart [not a super center].
After trying to do some shopping in Hempstead and the rest back in the area northwest of Houston where we used to live, I realized that this was way too much driving. I had one simple request of God, "Meet my everyday needs in the town of Hempstead." When I went shopping I would have a list made out and I would pray on the way for God to provide those things at the stores in Hempstead. At first I was amazed to be able to find some things I thought would not be there. I remember one time I needed a can of chopped black olives. I had looked before but had not seen any at other times, but this time I really needed them. There was one can of chopped black olives on the shelf.
During my early days of "Hempstead only" shopping, I saw God's provision in another very concrete way. I needed an item that I figured would not be available in Hempstead. I tried to find this item at other stores in Houston. I couldn't find it there. I decided to do a quick look for it in Hempstead. God provided for my need exactly where I had asked Him. Now I take a good look at the things on my list for Houston and ask myself, “If God hasn't provided them in Hempstead, do I really need them?”
I have never been one to do a lot of running, or so I thought. When we moved to the country I realized how often I was used to making small trips. I had to develop a desire to stay home. When we mothers say we are "stay at home moms", that statement may not literally be true if we spend a significant amount of time away from home. After asking God to remove my desire to go, I find I am very happy to stay at home and not go anywhere during the week. I do still have to grocery shop for a few things once a week, but in general, I try not to leave home any more than absolutely necessary.
Dirt was another big adjustment I had to make. When you live in the city, there is not a lot of dirt tracked into the house on a regular basis. Living in the country brings in a lot of dirt on a daily basis. I am not a spotless housekeeper but the dirt got to be too much. We invested in high water boots for the girls, David, and I so that we could easily remove our boots before coming in the house. This small change in our habits made all the difference in the world. I still have to tolerate a lot of dirt in the house when we are butchering chickens, but that is generally only for a couple of weeks twice a year.
I found we really needed two sets of clothes. One for wearing while doing animal and farm chores, and another set of clothes to wear out away from the house. It is amazing how many tears you can get in clothes from fencing. Any time it rains you can guarantee that you will be wet and muddy. The animals don't understand that we would prefer them not to put their wet muddy bodies next to you. The clothes we wear for chores have been mended repeatedly and can get pretty stained.
As our home in the country became more of a farm, I had even more adjustments to make. I have had a real desire in the past to travel. As our animal population has grown, our ability to go places has diminished. This coupled with the fact that David is not much of a traveler, made me unhappy, to say the least. Again I cried out to God to change me. God is faithful. This last fall as we made four short trips in two months, I realized how much I really didn't like being away from home. Things usually happen to the animals when we are away. I am beginning to think the animals know when we are away, even if it is only for one night!
We have lived in Hempstead for over four years and I am still finding areas of my life that I need God to change. As I encounter situations that are causing stress, I know I need to cry out to God for Him to change me. Life in the country has so many advantages but like any other situation, I must be willing to change.
Volume 2 Issue 6: November / December 2001, © Unless The Lord ... Magazine