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Keep Life In Balance

July 21, 2008
By: John Phipps, Farm Journal Columnist

My husband and I have been married for more than 12 years. Together we have one son, one mother-in-law, 25 milk cows, five greenhouses and eight acres of vegetables. There are times during the year that this diversification causes serious conflicts. I am lucky to get my groceries or my son a hair cut. My beloved gets away even less. You see we simply do not have time to fight or nit pick.

We joke that our favorite thing to do is sleep. But, in reality, it's no joke. Going to sleep is the only thing that is not work that we always do together at the same time. Our souls seem to reconnect in the few moments before we drop off.

A special pleasure that we quietly bring home to each other in our marriage is the connection we have with our friends. Whether it is a wave of greeting to a passing friend or a quick venting of a complaint about what went wrong at the shop, there is a true but oft unspoken acceptance that we in the community are basically trying to stay afloat in similar boats.

The best rejuvenation is remembering God is the artist of His universe. He blesses us with ability, stamina and courage. He is our work, our family, our marriage and our connection.


—Found Our Balance


Your letter sums up many of the things it takes to have a satisfying relationship. Your diversified operation may be different from others', but you face the same types of challenges as any other farming operation. Nearly every family I know, whether farm family or town family, seems to meet themselves coming and going. A successful business often requires diversification, and it sounds like your family has plunged headlong into the challenge.

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - December 2009
RELATED TOPICS: Columns, latest issue, Helpline

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