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Raising the Barn that Burned

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

I landed in a Target the other day, and felt like I got lost in the 90’s as I meandered through the women’s clothing section. Like, I mean 1990 AND 1890. What’s with this? So many people are making fun of the ridiculous styles that hail from the pioneers… and doesn’t it seem too soon for the 1990’s to be back in style?

My theory is that we are so desperate for comfort and normalcy in this insane world that we’re being preyed on by marketers for it. We will buy WHATEVER makes us feel like the world felt in 1990, whether it be uncomfortable jelly sandals or Hanson cd’s.

The comfort we seek cannot be bought, nor derived from flare pants.

Jared had the day off and we had many plans.

We woke up to the sun shining through the window and the sounds of sweet puppy moans in the other room as they stretched and let us all know they enjoyed their breakfast.

“If anyone asks what I’m doing today, please tell them I’m frolicking around”, Jared joked. I laughed and then in a second, the stress of everything we had to do that day overwhelmed me and we started having some tension!

I wanted to backpedal and start that over, not letting the to-do list take away from the piece of the day I enjoy most, but here we were.

Tensed up and stressed.

We smoothed it over, loaded everyone into the truck including the small puppy I’ve been working around the clock with to strengthen. I had several errands to run and they were taking priority on the checklist in my mind.

We were on our way to our Amish neighbor’s house so Jared could help with a frolic. These neighbors are wonderful, amazing friends of ours who took care of our cows and donkeys while we were in Minnesota last winter. Every time we see each other, the lines between Amish and non-Amish blur and we are all just people, reaching out in love and service.

When Jared and I heard that the smoke flowing through the skies last week was their hay barn burning down, it weighed on us. How devastating, and what a loss! They had JUST built that barn a few months ago, surely it cost thousands and who knows how much they lost in hay.

To any of us, this would be quite the blow.

But the Amish are always there with a solution and support.

They don’t have time for self pity because 50 people show up to fill any loss. And usually with copious amounts of food.

What an incredible unity they demonstrate.

What true COMFORT knowing your needs are simply an opportunity to show love.

We rounded the corner in our big ole truck, my mind still stuck on how to transfer some money and pay a bill and whatever other nonsense we concern ourselves with and I immediately froze when I saw what was going on at our neighbors’ property. It was 9am and dozens of men were all over the new barn structure that had already been created from nothing in a couple hours.

Their hammers swung and struck the wood, pounding in nail after nail.

There were no sounds of power tools, just steady, rhythmic man-power.

I was in awe and the power of their dedication to their community led me to tears.

There before me was a living, powerful example of what my heart knows is possible, but rarely experiences. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I realized the depth of wisdom in what Jared said earlier that morning: “There will always be stresses and demands, but what matters most is how we treat each other. Everything else comes second to that and if we don’t get that right, we can’t get anything right.” I’m very blessed with a husband who works with me and is truly my teammate.

As I watched that man walk out into the group of Amish hard at work, I was so proud of him. The lines between Amish and non-Amish were blurred and we were all just people, reaching out in love and service. Even though Jared didn’t have the same hat or clothes, he did have suspenders and, more importantly, the same desire for unity in his heart of doing the work for free (well, except for that big lunch of mashed potatoes and gravy and sloppy joes). Yesterday they built the most important thing around: Not a barn, but a community that shows up to turn tragedies into opportunities and loss into abundance.

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