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Faith, Farming, and Running

2 Aug

{Enjoy this belated guest post from Lisa over at Cow Spots and Tales! I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of my training for the past 2 weeks.}

Something about rural countryside– maybe in particular Midwest rural countryside – just evokes religion. Now, I know people define religion differently, but in this case I’m talking about tall, stately steeples with bells that toll on Sunday morning.

I’m also talking about myself because I grew up in a community such as this.

I feel fortunate that my parents brought me up in the church, and I feel even more fortunate that God grabbed onto my heart when I was a teenager. He showed me why it was important to place my ultimate faith in him, and I’ve never looked back.

Yes, I am one of those people who’s sure I’m going to heaven. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of what He’s done for me.

Besides identifying myself as a Christian (as well as a daughter, sister, friend, and more recently a wife), two other large parts of my life include farming and running.

That may seem a strange combination, but I think God had a distinct purpose in leading me to both.

I grew up on a dairy farm, and I wasn’t always sure that was what I wanted to spend my life doing. I generally enjoyed the farm life, but the work did get long. I envied my friends who spent carefree days at the beach while I toted water to calves under the hot summer sun.

As I grew up, went to college, and met my future husband, it became evident that I did like the farm life. Once you move away from something, it’s definitely easier to miss. My now-husband also came from a dairy farm, and I knew if I married him, I was definitely signing up for a lifetime of farming.

I now work at the farm full-time, and I think it does have its blessings. I see God’s miracle of birth nearly everyday, and I can enjoy the beauty of creation much more than when I worked in a climate-controlled office.

Life still isn’t perfect. I also deal with the reality of death, the harsh extremes of temperature, and the feeling of having so much to do outside, it’s hard to know where to begin. I’ll be the first to admit farming isn’t a perfect life, but it is a good life. Something that helps me break up my long days and remind me that there is a world outside of the farm is running.

I’ve been running on and off since high school, but it wasn’t until shortly after I got married several years ago, that I got serious about it again. I think God must have planted the seed in me because I’m not even sure where the desire came from.

Suddenly, I was running several times per week, tracking my miles, and even making plans to do my first race in years. The act of running helped me relax and feel good about myself during a time when I was going through tremendous change. I was still a fairly recent college grad who had moved away from many of my closest friends. I was also working at a new full-time job, part-time at the farm, and I was a newlywed.

Things were just moving too fast, and God saw I needed an outlet. I remember praying for strength to deal with all of this chaos, and I think running was the answer. Running has also provided a unique way for me to witness to others. Just 2 years ago, I could hardly run 3 miles without stopping. This past May, I ran my first marathon.

When people ask me about it, I can share how God gave me the kick I needed to start running again and helped me through the rough patches on my way to becoming a marathoner. Everything good comes from God, and so I know where the credit for my success is due.

Running doesn’t solve everything, and sometimes if my running is going badly, it can even be a source of stress. It is still a gift I give thanks for, and I hope to keep using it my whole life.

If you want to read more about my farming and running adventures, you can visit my blog at  I also share about my faith from time to time. While some posts reflect a casual mention of thanks, others focus more specifically on my current thoughts on God and faith.

Thank you, Kathy, for asking me to share a bit about myself with your readers. I appreciate the spiritual and athletic insights you give on your blog, and I hope I was able to pass on a little of the same.

{Thanks for sharing Lisa!}