Young Love and a John Deere Tractor

When we moved into our log house in the woods, my husband said he needed a tractor. A John Deere tractor.

“What for?”

“Wait ’til it rains. You’ll see.”

It rained for days that spring. Our long gravel driveway turned into a mud slide. “Uh-oh. What now?”

He grinned, hopped onto his tractor, and drove up and down the driveway. The gravel miraculously surfaced. The path to our house returned.

He was right about the tractor.

That John Deere has been faithful after all our storms. Dependable. Strong. It’s helped him in the garden, moved heavy things, and even made us smile.

My beautiful niece Libby, 10 years ago.

Last week I developed an even stronger love for the tractor. 

We’d had days of rain (again) and my husband hadn’t had a chance to drag the driveway. Driving slowly and carefully over the deep gullies, I made my way toward the street.

When I got back home from the grocery store, this sight caught my breath.

Our son and his fiance dragging the driveway together.

They couldn’t hear me following them.

I crept along, thinking.


Newly married, 36 years ago, we couldn’t possibly imagine the road ahead. The twists and turns. Steep hills and valleys.

Watching Brittany and Thomas, a prayer rose.


When it rains, go before them. Smooth out the rough places. Protect them. Keep them close. 

When they reached the house, I jumped out of the car and thought about that old country song by The Judds, “Young Love.”

“Oh, y’all! Stay like this. Side-by-side. No matter what.”

And you’ll do just fine. 

There’s nothing like riding a tractor with someone you love, no matter your age.

If you can’t see the video below, click here. It’s worth watching. I promise.

What matters most in your relationships?

How is love like a John Deere tractor?

What have you learned about love?

Have you ever ridden a tractor (or skied, or run a race, or swam a river) with someone you love? Tell me about it!










  1. Julie: You made me cry. How precious. Lord, I pray that you will go before this precious young couple and protect their young love. In your name. Amen!.

    • Awwe, Felicia, thank you. Thank you. Such a deep, heartfelt prayer. I can tell. Means the world to me.

      And thanks for letting me know you’re reading.


  2. Love this! Great pic:) I am also thankful for the love that has made our way clear that we were not aware of. Love will make the way clear. Very timely message. Thanks

    • Tom, very deep! You’re exactly right. And where would we be w/out the John Deere (the Lord) to clear our path and show us the way? The very place to take our next step…

      Thank you!!

  3. You have me bawling. Precious, Julie. Made my heart go pitter pat! It’s such a sweet time of a couple’s life … young love. And sweeter, that you were praying over them. There is something about your kids falling in love that makes my heart go pitter pat all over.

    Once, my husband and I were totally bored … during Olympic week … this was before kids. He said, “Let’s do the long jump.” Ha! We stood at the edge of our vinyl floor. I jumped … didn’t go that far. He jumped … beat me … and was turning around to gloat … when he realized that the vinyl floor and socks were a bad combination. He fell down. We laughed so hard and still do to this day over it. Priceless. It was a painful win for him! 🙂


    • Shelli, as a writer you know how we are…especially one who writes from the heart.

      I just felt that “golden moment” shining in my heart when I found them on the tractor. It was like time stood still, and sorry to be so cliche, but I KNEW it was a big moment.

      And then to sense His Spirit whispering, “Pray…pray now.”

      Sometimes I stomp all over those nudges. So glad I listened this time.

      Ahhhhh, love the story about you and your husband. And I’d have laughed too if that happened. Too funny. Thanks for sharing that slice-of-life connection. Nothing like these moments.


  4. Anna Haney says:

    So far, 2015 has been a challenging year. We have had two car incidents, one that is a major repair. I fell down a flight of stairs. Several friends have lost loved ones. We have lost people we loved. My office was relocated. A spider bite has my wedding ring finger swollen and infected to the point at which I cannot wear my engagement or wedding rings, a point that is driving me nuts. The orthopedist has me on high doses of prednisone which is making me nuts. But my husband is being really kind and patient. I told him that I waited 47 years to get to wear a wedding ring and not being able to wear it is really starting to get to me. He took my hands into his and said he loved me. Meanwhile, a friend’s 19 year old daughter is very much in love, wondering if she will be getting a ring, having “hope chest” Pampered Chef parties. We both keep telling her that when you have the one, it will come as naturally as breathing.
    Thanks for this post.

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Precious Healer of our bodies and souls, wrap your arms around this lovely woman, touch her with your healing grace. Lift her up so she can reach out to others in testimony. Bless her with a wonderful day with You! In Jesus’ name, we come into Your presence. Amen.

    • Anna, sooo beautiful. Your husband HEARD your heart and said and did just the right thing! What. A. Man.

      I’ve been praying for you–since I got your sweet request…..

      Hope chests. Yes! I had one too. So much fun, and you’re right. When the time is right, it’s just like breathing. It’s not a struggle at all….Hmmmm, quite a lesson here somewhere, about life.

      So much love to you and Your Dear Husband.

  5. Cathy Mayfield says:

    One simple thought about learning to love: Praying for people fills your heart with a deep and abiding love for them. You can’t pray without God’s love flowing through your heart and into theirs.

  6. Brenda E. Greene says:

    Awww Julie Girl you touched my heart…again!

    Our driveway for the past 15 years is much like yours but it was only five years ago that Hubby got his life-long dream of owning his very own tractor…a bright orange Kubota! He loves that tractor and has spent many happy hours”dragging” our driveway and preparing a foodplot for wildlife. An avid hunter for years I’ve been surprised that he rarely hunts any more, just enjoys providing food for the deer, hogs, raccoons, turkeys, and other critters that might wander by. Yep have ridden it with him….even driven it a time or two myself. Mostly I just help him change out the different implements (the Bush hog for the scrape blade; the plow tines for the cut-away narrow, etc. At our age (late 60’s and retired) it seems to take both of us to accomplish some tasks…not a bad thing.

    Sweet prayer for Thomas and Brittany…Thanks for sharing. They are blessed to have you and Rick as role models for “how it’s done”!

    Thanks for the uplifting start to my day! Off to get our Church’s Fellowship Center ready for the Celebrate Women 2015 Event on Saturday! Love, love, love the “attention to details” God helps us pull together that seems to inspire the Women. He is SO good, you know! Much love….

    • Hey Dear Brenda,

      Yes, I’m praying for you every day in my office. Your name is on my calendar for Saturday. Can’t wait to hear how wonderfully it goes!

      What a woman! You know how to help change a scrape blade, etc??? I’m totally impressed.

      The only time I’ve done something yard-work-sih, I cut the entire yard and didn’t realize you have to lower the blade on the lawn mower. I was so proud of myself–and then I found out I hadn’t done anything at all. But drive in circles.

      Thanks so much for writing. Don’t forget to tell me how it goes~~~~

      • Hey Brenda, just thinking about you. How’d your women’s event go? I prayed for y’all this past Saturday.


  7. Loved this story! We used to have the same kind of driveway, and yes, a tractor is a necessity! Hugs to you and your sweet tractor-loving family!

  8. There’s something strengthening about going through the rough stuff together. It binds. It supports. It shows to him and to her that this is a common ground and we walk it as partners. We will shovel the sidewalks together, we will combine our incomes and save for a house together, we will have a baby and raise him or her together, we will turn down the thermostat and wear sweaters, we will eat macaroni and cheese, we will work really hard, keep God at the forefront of our lives, and we will drive a tractor into our future together.

    I love the pic of Thomas and Brittany. What a blessing for him to have found her, and her to have found him. May God pour just enough hardship upon them to make them strong (because we all know life is not perfect, and there are bound to be trying times) and heaping amounts of love to make them happy (because with smiles like that, who isn’t headed for a joy-filled life together?).

    • Beautiful, B.J. Just beautiful….

      And I just have to say, I’ve never, ever–no not once, shoveled a sidewalk. Isn’t that interesting? How people from different parts of the country have different chores?

      Shoveling snow sounds amazing! I can’t even imagine……

      Love you.

  9. Pat Garczynski says:

    There’s just something so symbolic about this! Jesus is our John Deere giving Strength, making a Way!

    • Amen, Pat!

      That’s how I saw it in my heart–and of course, I didn’t think we needed a tractor…before we got one. 🙂


  10. I’ve always loved that song!

    • Me too! I just keep listening to it over and over, Ane~~

      Looking forward to seeing you next Tues night. 🙂

  11. I’m just grinning- ear to ear. One of my treasured photos is of me on my Uncle’s big tractor, when I was 3 or 4. My memory escapes me as to whether or not it was a John Deere, but I have to say the toy tractor they bought me afterwards, is definitely a John Deere! Still have that favorite toy of mine. Sturdy and steady, all these years later.

    She is embracing his life, along with him, and you’re so right. If they can continue on this way, side by side, they’re going to do great in life!

    Ours comes with a snow blower attachment and we even rely on it to get us through the harsh winters, here, too 🙂

    • That’s it, Vicky–that’s how I felt… She’s embracing his life along with him. You said it so beautifully. THAT’S what was moving in my heart.

      And I’ve never even seen a snow blower. :/ Wish I could though!!

      I bet that pic of you is adorable. Maybe a future blog post?


  12. I want a tractor!!!!!!!!!! Love the photos J … think I’ll go snuggle with Mike in his chair until he groans and tells me to get up! ox 🙂

    • I’m laughing so hard, Robin. I’ll tell Mike’s BFF that he really needs to get his woman a tractor!!! Just think of all the projects he could do….

      Love you much!

  13. Patricia Martin says:

    Congrats, Julie!!! Your son’s fiance looks like a real sweet girl and soon you will be getting lots of grandchildren from all your great kids (you and Rick could still pass as only old enough to be parents of grade school kids). (; Hope you are enjoying Winter weather without rain.(); I have ridden on a hay wagon driven by a tractor up in the Los Angeles mountains during Fall time and since I am a third generation Californian, I think that my state has the prettiest Fall weather ever! Maybe I am a little prejudiced? (): Is all your family from Georgia? Your state is famous for its lovely Fall season. (; Please keep your prayers up for me this semester for my new courses as one of them is accounting and another is economics. Y’all have a simple and wonderful week. (+:

    • Ohhh, I’d love to have lots of grandchildren, Patricia! Lots!!!

      You’re so sweet to say we look young…I know, in my heart, I still feel 15 some days. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. 🙂

      Sounds like such fun–a hay ride on a tractor in the fall in CA…I can’t even imagine. I’ve only been to CA once. It was, Mount Hermon, for a writer’s conference. I saw the red woods. 🙂 Incredible.

      Yes, we’re all from GA.

      Okay, I’m putting “Patricia/Econ” on my prayer list. Thomas said it was a pretty tough class–not that he talks all that much. 🙂


  14. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Leaf Sister,

    Some of my best childhood memories are of times spent at my grandparents’ house. They had a cornfield across the street. My brothers and I would play hide ‘n’ seek out in it sometimes. My great-grandparents lived two door down and kept a big red tractor in their big red barn. Grandpa would walk down there and drive the tractor down the street to work in the cornfield. I remember one night after he was done in the field and was getting ready to drive the tractor back down to gr-grandma and grandpa’s big red barn, that he invited me to ride a long. I was scared! That huge loud machine was a million times bigger than me and scary! Even so, I couldn’t wait to ride on it! I only remember doing that once, but obviously never forgot. It was like a carnival ride for me. Grandpa died when I was 11, so my memories of him are precious and few, but my ride with him on the big red tractor is one of them and as always your blog digs up these memories that are so nice to remember 🙂 And by the way, that big red barn is still there. Other people own the properties now where my great grandparents lived, but that barn has been classified as the old barn still standing in our county! I wonder if there’s a tractor in there!

    Thanks for all you shared Julie. I so love to read what you write 🙂

    Other Leafy Sister

    • Julie Gilleand says:

      Old-est barn, that is 🙂

    • See, Leaf Sister, I knew we were so much alike!! We Love Tractors!!!!!!! Sounds like such a beautiful memory! Thanks for sharing it~~~

      Precious Memories. 🙂

  15. marci says:

    Oh what a joy- reading about the tractor, and young love. And how timely, since my husband and I just had our 47th anniversary last Sunday. He has one of those small tractors, What a blessing they are, with us living in the country. I know how the driveway can get after the rains. I have never driven the little tractor but I drove a big one when we farmed, 20 yrs ago! I use to think, now this would be nice to put on my resume’ Can drive a big tractor and can load a gain cart. We spent the first pat of our marriage working together and it is an experience.
    Seems you ask me a question with last weeks post and I had planned to get back to you, but time got away from me. I don’t recall what the question was, but —

    Church: the meeting that we had at the church went better than I had hoped, The Lord does have his hand in things. We were picking stain for cabinets, which countertops, which tile for the floor. It boggles the mind. Now we have a meeting to decide about replacements for things that the fire damaged. And now my ‘new’ job in as far as I can, is to recall as many of the memorials that we lost, and who they were in memory of. My brain has been getting quite a work out.

    Rocky: who is still recovering is doing well. Still on strong medication, but he gets to be out in his big pen during the day, and at night in the whelping pen with heat lamps to keep him warm, which he has really enjoyed.

    My Dad, (Rest in Love)… that has been difficult. There are also things that need to be taken care of since his death. I pray about it all.

    I am so thankful for this little gathering every Wednesday.

    May God bless you.

    • Marci, I think I’d asked you about Rocky. And what a joy to read that he’s doing well. Surely miracles happen all the time, don’t they!

      Happy 47th anniversary–that’s getting close to 50 years. Wowowowowo!

      I sense your heart with the things you have to do…saying a little prayer now, that God’ll help you, and go before you and “make rough places smooth.”

      I just love discovering that other ladies love tractors too!

      Thanks, my friend. I love hearing about the reconstruction of your church. His Church.

  16. Shelley Elaine says:

    Julie, while we have that kind of driveway and a John Deere tractor, I have rarely ridden it with my husband! What a fun idea! I have tried to get him to teach me how to drive it but he just shakes his head and laughs 😉 What a BEAUTIFUL picture and prayer. I have heard that no matter how many yrs have passed, a couple needs a picture reminder of their early days together-sure they (and you) will cherish this one forever.

    • I know, Shelley Elaine…there’s just something about those beginning photos. Young Love.

      Now, you have to go ride with your husband on the tractor and tell me if you like it! It’s SO much fun. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

      That prayer–it just rose up inside of me as soon as I saw the sweet moment in time.

      Thank you for letting me know you’re reading. Where would I be without my dear readers?!

  17. I have shared 52 years of my life with my love. I can testify that there are so many kinds of love in dating and marriage. What has meant so much to me in the last few years is how much my husband has helped me care for my aging parents. It was my responsibility, but he definitely has believed it was OUR responsibility.

    • Nancy,

      Oh, what a deep, heart-filled response. Sounds like your man is quiet and faithful–and dependable. Nothing beats those qualities, my friend. Absolutely nothing.

      Rejoicing with you in your 52 years of being in love. Yes–lots of kinds of love, and it changes over the years, doesn’t it. But in a good way…thank You, Lord.

  18. Jan says:

    Haven’t had anyone to ride a tractor with since my Dad when I was little, but your question made me think of folks at my young married neighbors’ wedding dancing to “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”–him being a young farmer and she being a small town girl. Made me smile 🙂

    • Me too, Jan! I thought about that song while I wrote this post! You can’t listen to it and not smile. 🙂

      Thanks for letting me know you’re reading. THAT makes me smile!


  1. […] For more about our tractor, read Young Love and  a John Deere Tractor. […]

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