Monday, September 17, 2007

What about a Barn Raising?

I wrote this in the spring, but figured since it never got published anywhere, I'd publish it myself!


It's spring time and the sun is bright. The tulips are finishing off their debut and the lilac and iris are taking center stage. The sun appears more often...even if it's just a teaser. Kids wander outside barefoot and dig in the mud, squealing at each earthworm or grub they dig up. I can't help but be caught up in the beauty of all this growth and newness. It makes me want to create, to plant, to clean!


I am so inspired, that my mind goes a thousand different directions, planning out all the projects I'd love to get done. I go down my mental list, trying to work out the logistics of mowing the lawn or spreading fertilizer with a baby and 3 young children scattered about me. My mind wanders to the barn I'd love to build someday for the many projects and animals our family takes on. And I think, wouldn't it be nice if we could go back to the old fashioned days of a barn raising?

I know the majority of people have no use for a barn being built in our technology-driven society. Most of the time, people are thinking about what might be the best way to store their digital photos or which storage unit would work best for all their stuff. What's the true spirit that drives the barn raising?

I think it must be the joy that comes from people gathering together to make the work of life a little more possible, and a little more fun! When people team up to tackle a project that seems insurmountable for just one person, or one family, it's a load of fun, and a ton of work gets done! Are there projects in our everyday lives that we could tackle just like the Amish approach the construction of a barn?

Many of us have participated in work days, where people gather together to do a good deed for a person in need. We all know what a blessing our help is to that person. We help to create a minor miracle in their lives. We are very much being the hands and feet of Jesus to them. Sometimes we might never know exactly how much our help has impacted their lives, but we walk away from all that work feeling good. There is something inside of us as God's creatures that is satisfied when we give part of ourselves, whether in hard labor or some smaller act of kindness.

I am challenged by my own small needs to think of the greater needs that others might have, but even more so to the smaller, more everyday needs other moms just like me might have. I feel like I'm so wrapped up in the world of mommy-hood, that I just couldn't possibly have time to raise a barn. If I think of those little projects I have that need doing, I only need to go a step further to think of what “barns” I can help raise in my sphere of influence. I have a friend who's a mom and needs to finish some painting projects. Everyone needs help with weeding flower beds. There are people who are sick and need a meal. It's possible! We can all help to raise a barn in our own ways! Let's all look around for the next barn to build, and help lift other people out of the bog of projects they are mired in. We might just have a barn of our own built along the way!

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