Worth it All

Jan 26, 2016 by

Worth it All

I am very blessed to be from a family of seven. My parents worked tirelessly to provide for us, and to give us many of the things they couldn’t afford growing up. That work ethic has led to my siblings going on to become successful in many different professions. We have a doctor, a lawyer, a carpenter, and an architect. I am always proud to tell others about my family. Then I come to myself…I’m a father. During the last few months I have taken a lot of time to reflect on life, and all of the good things I have. My last post marked a low point, and there wasn’t much of anywhere to go but up. Three weeks ago we welcomed our fourth child, and of course we haven’t slept much since then, but she is a daily reminder of my true vocation: Fatherhood.

When the day comes for me to leave this earth, I hope that I won’t have much holding me back. I doubt I will ever find myself with an excess of worldly possessions. However, I do hope that when I stand before God for my judgment I will be able to point to my children as my magnum opus. Whether or not I was successful as a farmer in the past, or whether I am successful in whatever I do to provide financially for my family, I know that the greatest way I provide for my family is through my gift of self. Whatever my job ultimately isn’t all that important when compared to the eternal weight of the souls in my care.

Through the past few years of hardships and struggles I slowly forgot why I originally went back to the land. My goal was to be able to be with my family as much as possible, and to teach them to follow Christ through my daily leadership in work and prayer. I admit that at times I failed abysmally at this, yet I know that I must have done some things right. I know this because every time I leave to go somewhere I have to sneak away, and I am always greeted with jubilant “Daddy, Daddy!” and children running out the front door when I return. Thus, I know somewhere along the way I must have done something right.

It is in light of this that now, looking back on the past few years I can say it was worth it all. It was worth the grasshoppers, hailstorms, and droughts. It was worth the anxiety and sadness and loss. It was worth it all because of the relationship I have built with my children. They are a reminder of what Christ means when He exhorts us to “Be like children.” It has always been my hope that my children would far exceed me in virtue and goodness. As I watch them grow I see that my hope is not unfounded. I am a farmer, but I am a father first. Whether my crops in the fields grow or die is of much less significance than whether my children wither or prosper.

So, though many of our original dreams blew away in the hot southern Kansas wind, I am now ready for the next phase of life. I am ready to move on and embrace whatever God throws my way, or to just sit and wait until He moves us. Just so long as I am able to continue giving myself entirely to my family, I will be happy and it will all be worth it.

Pax et Bonum,

Kevin

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13 Comments

  1. Frank

    Congratulations on the new born also I’m a glad to hear your spirits are backup and in a will found place.

  2. James

    +JMJ+

    Like you, I had reached some low points these past few months. Working from home seemed a dream life, albeit for less pay. But in Alberta, things are so bad these days… I hear about it all day, with what I do to pay the bills…

    This post gave me a boost. All I can say is thanks for stepping up to the plate and taking a cut for all us guys who
    still dream of a simpler life, a slower pace, doing masculine work outdoors, or at least manly, honest work for The Common Good.

    AMDG

    James

  3. Thanks for this wonderful post. Such wisdom from one so young. Best wishes to you and your family in the next chapter of your beautiful lives. Sandra

  4. Barbara

    Thanks Kevin, for this entry on your blog. It made me reminded me of my goal to live for Christ Jesus and show others His love and point to His way as the life the truth and the hope. I forgot that the last couple of years because of preoccupation with health matters for myself and my family and also changing of jobs. But, my love for the Lord and then my love for my family and mankind has and will always be the most important in my life! I’ve been praying for the Lord to show me what I should do with my life( I thought occupation change), but I’m already doing it by helping others. Thanks for your words written so nicely. God bless!!

  5. Bob

    Sometimes I get caught up in how to be a less part-time farmer and my thoughts begin to deteriorate because I become worried about the money, then my heart becomes heavy. In the beginning, I put myself into the gardens, the chickens, the rabbits, to give good food to my family and show my children another life. This last fall, I planted older spinach seed to harvest throughout the winter–a regular for my family. I only got about 15% germination and–not much spinach. I got complaints from the family about that. And the chickens took a break for the winter (they’re beginning to lay again now). More discontent. The fact is, my kids and my wife like what I provide. And, since I’ve resisted full time at the office, I’m home more, not enough, but more, and I feed my family, not enough, but something. The Lord said, “I was hungry and you fed me.” If singing is praying twice, is feeding praying three times? The family that prays, sings, and eats what it grows together stays together?

  6. Mary

    I am always glad to see you have written again. I think of your posts as gifts of self to all us, mostly strangers, so generous and welcoming you are. I also worry for you all, I really hope you are ok, that you hang in there. I will pray for you today.

  7. Tom

    Are you interested in coming to establish a catholic farm co-op?

  8. Tom

    A Catholic farm cooperative in Arkansas!

  9. Nick

    A belated congratulations on your fourth child! Hoping that things have worked in your favor these last couple months!

  10. Larry Agen

    I have not been on your site for some time. Glad you are at Peace with how things are, we all struggle. Do not give up on your dreams, I haven’t given up on mine and I am 58 years old and still desire to return to the land, farm and praise God! In today’s God less culture it is hard to stay on track, only prayer and the Mass can keep you centered.

    A suggestion to those who desire to return to the land, look at Eastern Oklahoma or southwestern Missouri. The land is not great there but the culture is for small farms and the price of land is within reach.

    In eastern Oklahoma there is a great Monastery at Clear Creek. In Southwestern Missouri there is on at Ava Mo. The catholic population needs to grow in these areas and the small churches need new life in them.

    My wife and I plan on relocating to Southwestern Missouri in the next 15 to 18 months. Just need a little more cash.

    If anyone is interested e mail me. I have farming experience and a degree in agriculture and spend a lot of time increasing my knowledge.

    God Bless
    Larry Agne

  11. Larry Agne

    Sorry my typing has some improvement. My last name is Agne. Thanks

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  1. “I am a Farmer, but I am a Father First” – True Restoration - […] Ford on New Catholic Land Movement shares an inspiring reflection in his piece, Worth It All. "I am a farmer, …

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