Are You Easy To Love?

I don’t know about you, but I chose to enter and continue the relationship with my farmer because I loved him. He loved me. I felt cherished by him. And I loved being with him and loved our relationship and how he made me feel. And he made me feel like I was the only woman he would ever look at again (He still does, by the way!). 

One thing that I find myself asking as the years go by is whether or not I am easy to love. After being together nearly six years and married five of those years it’s safe to say that the “newlywed bliss” has kind of worn off. And those little nuances that sometimes seem cute in the beginning aren’t so cute anymore. They are more annoying. Being home with a 2 year old that is going through a very interesting stage, to say the least, it’s hard to not be crabby when my hubby comes home from the farm. 

The Bible says to love with action and truth. And that is something that I take very seriously in our marriage. I try to love with action every single day. 

If you are looking for ways to love with action here are a few you might find helpful. I have these exacts verses written down in my Bible so that if I am ever struggling in our marriage or ever feeling disconnected from my husband I can reference these verses and remember these sayings to guide me. 

These are ten simple ways to love with action and truth. And before you know it you may find yourself easy to love. 

Trust In A Relationship

Trust to me is one of the biggest parts of a relationship. And being married to a farmer that is gone a lot means that trust is pretty vital to the relationship. 

Trust is something to establish early on in your relationship. I am guessing many of you have experienced hurt before. Or at least when my hubby and I first started dating we both had. We had both been hurt in the past in situations where trust had been broken. So, needless to say that was one of the first conversations we had. 
Trust and honesty go hand in hand. The first time a lie is shared, even if it’s a small one you knock away a little bit of that trust. Have you ever had anyone in your life that you have caught time and time again being dishonest? Eventually, you stop believing them. You stop trusting them. You find them unreliable and most likely will choose to move on. 
It takes time to build trust, sometimes years, but only suspicion to break it down. 
Sometimes I feel like as a farm wife I get asked a lot about how I feel about my farmer hubby being gone all the time. In any other situation where a husband works long hours every day of the week and for months at a time is at work more than he is at home, things could seem a bit off. Well, maybe a lot off. 
But, one thing I am sure of is the trust in our relationship. I trust my husband because of the relationship we built before we were married. And I know we are honest with one another. Before we were married I saw him work on the farm through every season. There is no doubt in my mind I know where he is at midnight on a perfect starry October night...In a field trying to keep his eyes open. 
But trust isn’t just about monogamy. It’s also about trusting someone to care for you as you care for them. You are entrusting them with your heart, your feelings, your desires. And you are trusting that they always will have your back and will always be by your side. 
Being married or dating a farmer can sometimes be a bit daunting and if you don't come from a farming background it can be really hard to learn to trust your farmer. 
As Ernest Hemingway said “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
And finding yourself in a relationship with a farmer and establishing that trust together is amazing. And although farmers may work long hours and be gone for what seems like forever. They are also the person you can trust to be your support, even if they aren't physically there all the time. I know my farmer in only a phone call away and when I feel like I could use some of his support I call him up and we chat for awhile. 
Remember Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, but trusting them not to. 

Receiving Gifts

This could potentially be everyone's favorite Love Language. We have already covered Words Of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. But, who doesn't love anything to do with gifts?!

I know I love gifts, but it isn't just what I need to maintain our relationship.

If your love language is Receiving Gifts it's safe to say you love getting gifts and you do not forget special occasions.

Anniversaries..Birthdays..these are days you won't forget. And you expect your loved ones to remember them too!

You might appreciate when your farmer heads to town and brings you home something a little special. Whether it's a milkshake or a movie, it's a little something to show you how much they care.

These pictures are my husband and I both trying to be sneaky trying to take photos of things that we know would be perfect gifts for each other. However, we both seem to forget that now with us both having iPhones we can see eachother's pictures!

Now, I have went to town and brought my husband things. Like his favorite candy, a new work shirt, new socks even, and I don't get much of a reaction. I get a thank you and a smile. Now, when Christmas rolls around I always get him one gift that I know he really, really wants. It's normally a big one and most likely an expensive tool. I spend all year listening to him and saving money without him knowing so I can buy him whatever it is he has talked about the most. When he opens that gift on Christmas he normally gets really excited. The first year we were married and I bought him a DeWault Miter Saw I thought he was going to die of shock.

He might forget that I do have a degree in Agricultural Education and I do have to teach shop, so I do know my tools...but I also know my man and am real good at observing him in stores and jotting down various notes later that night in my prayer journal (so I know he won't accidentally see them!).

If your significant other loves receiving gifts, forgetting your anniversary will break their heart. Even if it's something as simple as pulling a few wildflowers on your way into the house from a long day in the field. They will love it. My husband brings me rocks. Because he knows I think they are neat and I despise planting flowers around our landscape only to have our two dogs destroy it. So, when he digs up rocks in a field he keep a pile somewhere and when we have a spare moment he drives me by the pile and asks if there are any I would like.

Even the smallest, most inexpensive gifts are still gifts. Still thoughtful and still require an act of love.  

Quality Time

In case you missed the first part of this series of The Five Love Languages make sure you see it here.

I am on a journey of re reading the book and also finding more ways to apply the principles in my every day life.

I seem to have tied in my love languages when I took the test. I tied with Words Of Affirmation and also Quality Time.

I can see this... as I love spending time with my husband. Love. Love. Love. It doesn't matter what we are doing, working in the cattle yards or cuddling on the couch. I just love hanging out with him. He really is one of my closest friends.

Spending a Sunday afternoon working in my calving shed putting up a new working chute. 

Quality Time is something we all appreciate, some more than others. Long car trips are things we really look forward to. Well, I do anyway.

It might mean having a buddy to run errands with during the week, sitting at home just hanging out and talking, long walks at dusk. These are all things you might appreciate if your love language is Quality Time.

Family Quality Time feeding the cows

Some things you may not like...being alone for long periods of time. I know I hate it. I always look forward to trips back home to visit my family or Ag conferences. But, it takes about two days in and I am already missing my farmer.

Hanging out in a group may get old. For me, this really doesn't apply too much I think. I love hanging out with our friends and I rarely turn down a chance to hang out with them! Especially now that we all have children, we never want to pass up that adult time!

When my husband and I first started dating all I did was sit in the tractor and ride around with him. Oh, how I miss those simple times! Now to spend some quality time it means hauling our two year old and at least one bag of toys and another of snacks!

If your special someone loves riding around in the tractor with you all day, conversation or no conversation, their love language might be Quality Time. So, cater to it! Enjoy just being their friend. And hanging out. Being together.

Here's to cuddling and long days in the tractor!

Being A Woman In A Man's World

Now, this post is for all you women out there. Women that have the dream of marrying their farmer and working along side him every day and can't picture yourself anywhere else.

Being involved in the American Ag Industry is typically two things. Being white and being a male. Welcome to your typical "man's world".

Back when I started just getting involved in the Ag industry, in high school, it was predominately boys. For ten years I have gotten the pleasure to see things change a little bit, not much, but we are always evolving.

It still isn't common to find women who are the matriarch of the family farm. But, they tend to be the glue that keeps the entire family and business together and running smoothly. Women are typically in the background and they do all the unseen work. Like the bookwork, paying bills, cooking three hot meals a day, raising children, picking up parts, giving rides…and the list can really go on and on.

It isn't typical to see women standing up and taking leadership roles in some of the large agricultural associations. But, this last year National Corn Growers had a woman president.

You most likely won't see women sitting next to their husband's learning as much as they can about building a new feed lot facility. But, at the last seminar I went to alone, I was surprised to see wives sitting along side their husband's taking notes and running numbers.

I obviously haven't been involved in the industry for centuries, but even just seeing a change over the last ten years is amazing to me and extremely motivating. It pushes me, as a woman, to continue fighting to be a part of a man's world.

When I first married my husband I would say that he let me work alongside him every day, and SOMETIMES took the suggestions I had and actually thought about them.

Now, I would easily say that when we discuss future endeavors we are together and listening to each other's thoughts and opinions. He truly makes me feel like I am on the same level as him, and that is so rewarding. Rewarding that he values and respects my opinion is such a wonderful part of our relationship.

It's one thing for a man to listen to what you have to say, it's another when you can see them ACTIVELY listening, asking questions, and engaging you to get your own thoughts on a certain project.

If you want to be a woman entering this man's world make sure you make it known up front. If you want to be like me and be beside your husband every day, working every single part of the operation make it known from the beginning. If you would rather do a few things here and there, keep house, cook, and raise children- make sure you make it known. If you want to stay in town and continue to have a career- do it.

In the beginning it was decided once I was done with college I wouldn't start teaching, I would instead join the farm. Before we had our daughter I worked with my husband whenever he needed me. Even if it was something as simple as cleaning out a tractor. I worked alongside him. Now with our daughter I don't get to work alongside him as much as I want to. But, I make sure he comes home to a clean house and a home cooked meal.

My husband is supportive of whatever career choice I decide to choose and as our marriage and relationship grows I realize more and more that I enjoy working with him everyday now, more than ever before. Because now I my opinion is valued in his world.

Fixing a feed bunk cable as a family on a Sunday. 

Love And Respect

I have always been a reader, ever since I can remember. My parents were often telling me to "get my nose out of my book" and partake in family activities. I was a social butterfly, but could easily immerse myself in any story for days at a time. There is just something that books do to my soul. They make me cry, make me angry, fill me with love...

Each year as I grow older I find myself being drawn to different styles of books. In fiction, I never would have picked up a science fiction book until a few years ago.

The last few weeks I have been running the grain cart in the fields most days and nights. I have read about 5 or so books. And it isn't because I have nothing to do, it's because soybeans tend to go slower, and there is always that perfect timing of a breakdown, or when the semi is running behind and isn't back to the field to be reloaded with grain.

A few days ago I was digging through my back pack trying to decide what kind of mood I was in. I then had to snap this photo as I chuckled at my various subjects.

I have a Christian Fiction Romance (Moonlight On The Millpond- Reread, so I love!) and my Bible study book (Not A Fan- Which is extremely convicting! LOVE!). I also have a book on the importance of advocating for agriculture (No More Food Fights- also a real eye opener!) and a book on marriage (Love and Respect).

Now, I am pretty much in love with every one of these titles rights now. But, I really wanted to talk about Love and Respect. My husband and I received this as a wedding gift four years ago. With all of the reading I do I haven't even touched it until the last few months. Amazingly enough. I think I have finally reached a maturity in my marriage to need it.

And it isn't because my husband and I are struggling, it's because I find myself wanting to find new ways to make our marriage even better.

The concept is that love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man.

An example that comes through in the book is the idea that in an argument a woman feels unloved, where as a man feels disrespected.

I completely, fully agree. When my husband and I do argue I find myself sometimes feeling like he doesn't love me (Even though I know he does). I feel like he must not care enough to really want to do what I want or really listen to what I am saying. When in actuality he may just not be wanting to hear what I say because of how I am saying it to him.

Now, I am only into Part 1 of the book- The Crazy Cycle. There are two other parts I haven't gotten to yet- The Energizing Cycle and The Rewarded Cycle.

The Crazy Cycle is exactly what is sounds like. A viscous crazy cycle. Without love she reacts without respect and without respect he reacts without love. It also gives some great advice for how to get out of this cycle.

I see this concept can often be applied in all relationships. I have often used the saying "To get respect you have to give respect".

So, I think the idea of this book pretty much hits marriage relationships right on the head.

I'm not saying that to have a perfect marriage you need to pick up this book. But, I will definitely say it has already in the last month changed some of the ways I communicate with my husband. I try to respect him more and I think he naturally has shown more love. And he hasn't even touched this book.

After four years of marriage, two miscarriages, life threatening medical conditions, and one beautiful little girl, I would say it is safe to say we have been on a roller coaster most of our marriage.

Our marriage has been through a lot and we have learned a lot about one another as individuals, as a couple, as business partners, as parents. And I foresee many more roller coaster rides in years to come. And I think advice on how to make things even better in our marriage is something I could never turn down.

Don't be afraid to pick up books on communication, marriage, or relationship advice. You may have something perfect already, but having the tools in place when you hit the bumpy spots on your road will only strengthen your relationship that much more.

Where To Begin The Conversation

If the farmer you meet on FarmersOnly is anything like my my farmer you may find yourself staring at a very closed off conversation at first.

And what I mean by that...

The first conversation I had with my farmer after sending that first message went a little like this:

Me: "How was your day today?"

Farmer: "Good"

Me: "What did you do?"

Farmer: "Hayed"

Me: "Anything Else?"

Farmer: "Nope"

Really!? I mean where in the world was I supposed to go with that?

After about five very direct answers, and no reciprocation, I thought of the idea- I'll ask ten, you ask ten.

Basically what we did was I sent ten questions, he answered them a long with sending me ten back.

It may seem a little too simple, but in the beginning when you aren't really sure you are ready to give out your cell number, or meet in person, it really is the perfect place to start.

Because of these questions my farmer really opened up to me about tons of topics- and he actually got pretty good at typing too!

It's amazing how much you can learn about a person when you ask them ten questions every other day.

We talked quite a bit once we established this pattern because we were both excited to see one another's answers.

Don't be afraid to make them think outside the box either!

I asked everything from favorite color to greatest fears, dream vacations, and even what he thought the best qualities of his parents were. Music, strengths, weaknesses, ideal dates...

The thing about asking questions through the computer is that after awhile all walls seem to come down.

By the first time I met my husband on the exit ramp down the road from our home I felt like I knew every single part of him and being in his arms felt just right.

So, if you find yourself unsure of where to take the conversation I suggest the "I'll ask ten, you ask ten" method. And don't just ask the serious questions, ask silly questions. Ask what they love, what they hate. What they do on a Sunday afternoon off. Their favorite TV shows.

After weeks of only talking to my farmer this way- I really, truly felt like I knew him better than some of my closest friends.

Not to mention that if you talk and you learn to ask questions it's a habit that will continue through your relationship.

After 5 years of being together I still find us playing the "I'll ask ten, you ask ten" on long road trips.

And it's amazing after 5 years what you can still learn about one another!

Happy Conversing!