whitney nesse deep roots

Yesterday, for the first time in many months, I wished that I could stop the clock. I wished time could pause and I could live in those moments forever. It was a rather ordinary day filled with ordinary things, yet I could not think of anywhere else I would rather be.

The day began with getting my four older children ready for school and onto the bus. No one was running late or left the house without a smile. Once the older ones were off to school, I had a few minutes to spend alone with Jordy, my youngest, as we waited for the preschool bus. We played a few games of tic tac toe, laughing and giggling as he cheated his way to win every game. As his bus arrived, he ran out of the house leaving me with, “Bye Mom! Love you!”

My morning continued as I sat down with Karl and enjoyed a cup of coffee. Our conversation started with daily logistics and ended with a check in where we discussed how each of us were feeling, building each other up, discussing needs, offering apologies that may be necessary and sharing what the Lord has been teaching each of us. This has become a cherished yet ordinary pattern for us. Karl and I bid each other goodbye and my routine chores continued. Running the dishwasher, getting a load of laundry going, feeding animals and taking dinner out of the freezer.

The sun shone on my back, warming me through my winter jacket, as I then relocated a few fence posts along our pasture. It was a tedious job which included removing the strands of barbed wire and high tensile electric wire from each post that needed moving; and then again attaching them upon relocation. As I worked, the birds sang and the goats in the pasture quietly browsed close to me.      

A very regular phone conversation with a friend turned into an invitation for her and her preschool son to come along with Jordy and I that afternoon to pick up our corn seed. Noting we had an hour or so to spare and there was a trout stream on our way, we packed up some fishing gear, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hit the road once Jordy was done with school for the day. The two boys fished long enough to catch some downed trees causing me to wade, bare footed with my pant legs rolled up, in the icy cold stream only to lose the lure on the next cast. We skipped rocks, hiked up a hill, drank juice, found a deer carcass, foraged wild ramps and collected worms.

The next leg of the trip to pick up seed took us along the Minnesota River. We spied deer and turkeys, sang silly songs and ate snacks. Upon arrival at the seed warehouse, we chatted with “the worker guy,” as Jordy called him. He told us about the wildlife mounts he had in his office, we discussed the cold and windy spring, and he made the day for a couple of boys by offering them candy and brand spanking new seed corn hats!  We then loaded up our seed, made an obligatory stop at the Dairy Queen and headed home. 

After the older kids came home from school, 10-year-old Easton made a four square court with sidewalk chalk on our garage apron.  The game quickly turned very competitive as everyone played together. In jest, we trash talked, made big plays, accused everyone of cheating and laughed! A simple game turned into big fun for our family and entertained the kids for a couple of hours!

Dinner time rolled around and the kids had requested Karl’s pancakes. As he made flapjacks, I heated up some of our homemade maple syrup and bacon from the pigs our boys raised last summer. Karl and I went over the top, complimenting our sons for raising the best bacon this side of the Mississippi and they soaked it in, grinning from ear to ear. 

Then our everyday bedtime routine started with preparing the kids for school the next day by laying out clothes, packing backpacks and baths. While Karl concluded the bedtime routine, I ran to pick up our oldest daughter Abby from youth group. On our way home, she chatted my ear off about the fun games they played and about what she learned. It is such a joy to watch her grow in her faith in Christ.

As I turned out the lights and surrendered to bed, I thought about the events of the day. There was nothing spectacular, glorious or glamorous about the day, the weather was cool, cloudy and dreary. It was altogether ordinary, filled with regular tasks and duties. Yet in the moments before falling asleep, I was wishing that I could relive the day forever. I was wishing time could stop, I could keep my children at their present age, and we could live these routine moments forever. 

I wonder if this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:5, “The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead.  He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less” (MSG). Is it the pure joy of the ordinary things that make me long to experience them forever? Was the Lord, in his goodness, giving me a taste of heaven? I believe it was.

Although I know that I cannot relive the simple, ordinary joy of my literal yesterday and I know my tomorrow may be chock full of problems, I am going to choose gratitude. I am going to choose to see the ordinary joy the Lord places in front of me knowing it is a mere taste of what is ahead.        

Whitney Nesse is a sixth-generation livestock farmer who is deeply rooted in her faith and family. She writes from her central Minnesota farm. 

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