When I first met Lois at church, she emphatically praised the work we were doing at the farm and said how great it was that I expected my children to do as much work on the farm as they were capable. She reminisced to me how she grew up doing farm work because her parents were share croppers. Long days and hard labor were just part of life. She told me how strong she used to be and how she felt guilty now in her 70’s whenever she thinks about doing anything that is considered non-productive (like relaxing). She loves to feel useful and thrives on knowing that she is making a difference.
With that kind of work ethic and heart for service, you can imagine the depression and discouragement that began to blanket her as her age and disabilities increasingly prevented her from the same pace and movement that she has always been used to. She asked me for help. She felt lonely and unmotivated to do even the basic tasks that needed to be done at home.
I helped her clean her house once a week for a few months and we developed a close friendship. Then when I began working more on the farm, I lost that window of time to spend with her. So she began helping me! She has been coming every Monday to help prepare the items that go into the boxes. I often have her sit and weigh potatoes, green beans, snip the bird pecked grapes, or other items that need washing, sorting or weighing. With the chickens laying 75-90 eggs a day, it’s easy to get behind with washing, weighing and packing those, but she has been helping me to stay caught up! She said “Each day, each week, I have become stronger so I can do my work at home and continue recovering health, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have a purpose to begin my week and that keeps me doing what is needed in other areas of my daily life.” She knows that activity is necessary for staying strong and healthy. As my dad always says,
Health is not everything, but without it everything is nothing.