Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Farming is tough work. It’s tough, dirty, sweaty work that ends in nights filled with tears, deciding which bills not to pay, and falling asleep on the couch while waiting for the weather report. It’s cancelling vacations because you’re behind on that season’s crop, it’s languishing over the newest pest that’s decimating that crop, and it’s fixing tractors by flashlight while trying to harvest that crop. It’s defending your work day in and day out to people who think that your efforts trying to feed the world are wrong and that milk, wheat, and eggs are made at the grocery store. It’s just plain tough.

When your life spent making safe, wholesome food is so tough, why bother doing it? It’s not for the money, the fame, or the fabulous lifestyle of muddy boots, holey pants, and greasy shirts.

I farm because raising my children on a farm is the greatest gift that I can give.

While other kids will look up to professional athletes and musicians they’ll never meet, my kids will look up to their father, their grandfather, the tractor tire repair men, the seed salesman, the trailer hauler. People who get their hands dirty, make no money, and still show up at 2 a.m. when everything is falling apart. They’ve never posed for photo shoots, they’ll never be asked for an autograph, and yet my children will know all of their stats. Their hometown, their phone number, and down-to-the-second times on how quickly they can make it to the farm for a broken down truck, a blown tractor tire, or a calving emergency.

My children will truly see God’s work up close—through the birth of a calf, the recovery of a hen, and the playfulness of a piglet. They’ll dread and respect the wrath of storms, crop death by droughts, and the hard winter freezes. But when the light shines through the clouds, the spring brings newly rejuvenated pastures, and our bills are somehow miraculously covered, they will bow their heads, take a deep breath, and be grateful for all this life has to offer.

In our family, spring will be spent jumping in mud puddles, caring for a new batch of baby chicks, and looking for four leaf clovers while putting in fence. Summer will be a time for late nights spent in a cab tractor pulling wagons (that’s been retrofitted with welded on brackets to hold car seats), hot dog roasts in the lawn in between loads of hay, and spraying each other with hoses as we get our animals ready for the show at the county fair. Fall will bring four-wheeler rides, learning how to calculate acreage and soil samples and lime application rates, boarding up barn windows, and taking in the changing landscape colors as we harvest the last of the season’s vegetables. And in the winter, we will breathe in the cold air, thaw frozen water pipes with hair dryers, and use straw, baling twine, corn cobs and carrots to build snowmen, snowcows, and snowtractors.

Our family will laugh over accidental falls in the mud, cry over the loss of an animal, and be at peace when the work is done at the end of the day. We’ll bow our heads in the sun, wipe our foreheads in the rain, and watch our icy breath in the snow. My children will see their parents roll up their sleeves and get the job done. They’ll know how to balance a checkbook, balance feed rations, and balance a bucket of eggs, a pail of water, and the earmarked seed catalog as they get off of the bus and head to house, but not until they’ve stopped in at the barn first.

They’ll live this life knowing that it’s more than a job; it’s a lifestyle, it’s a passion that flows in their blood, and it’s an honor.

We’ll never make any money, we’ll never experience a spontaneous weekend getaway, we’ll never have a clean house. For this life is not an easy one. But, we’ll be able to raise our children on this farm, in this life, together. And that is the greatest gift that we can give them

You may also like: 

When a Farmer Has a Son

From the Farmer to His Wife, I’ll Love Her Through the Harvest

3 Reasons Farm Kids Grow Up to Be Successful

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Katelyn Stoll

Katelyn Stoll is a mother to three young boys and lives on a farm in rural NY. She navigates the rough waters of postpartum mood disorders using humor, support from her family, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. 

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading