Me and the Tractor and Trust

“Come here for a minute,” my husband said. “I need your help. But be careful. I could get killed doing this.”

“What kind of man says this to his wife?”

“I need you to push a lever on the tractor.”

On the way to his workshop, I remembered the day he said we needed a tractor.

Fourteen years ago. 

Right before we moved into our log cabin.

I thought a tractor was just an expensive toy. 

We argued about it. 

He won.

“Okay,” he said. “Listen. Here’s what I want you to do.”

I leaned in so I could hear over the sound of the tractor. “This scares me. You know that, don’t you?”

“We need to move this engine. It’s heavy.”

“I can’t help you. I don’t do things like that.”

“The tractor’s going to do the hard work.”

“I can’t drive a tractor.”

“All you have to do is move this black lever. And listen to me.”

I stared at the yellow “caution” sign and wondered if I should run get the neighbor next door, but I didn’t have time. 

Rick moved like a surgeon spreading out his instruments–only I was still wide awake. 

If I mess up, how will you die?  

What if the lever gets stuck? 

How hard do I have to push? 

Will you tell me when to stop–or am I just supposed to know when you’re finished?

If you can’t see the video below, click here. 

I climbed on.

“Now,” he said. “Push.”

Gripping the black lever, I pressed it down. The engine slowly dropped.

“Okay. Let off.”

I did.

“Good job.”

“Thanks,” I said, feeling very proud of myself. “Any time.” I hopped off like I knew what I was doing.

Walking toward the house, I watched my husband of 38 years.

He looked kinda cute on the loud, green machine I thought we didn’t need. 

Back then, I had no idea that every few days, he’d have to smooth out the gravel driveway with the tractor blade. Especially after a hard rain.

Or that every spring, the tractor would help plow the garden. 

I didn’t know tractors were like elephants that lifted heavy equipment with their trunks.

Then something beautiful occurred to me.

Although I knew nothing about tractors, my husband did.

Sort of like our Heavenly Father.  

God peers up the road and sees what’s ahead. Then He prepares the way. Click to tweet. 

 I will go before you and make rough places smooth, Isaiah 45:2.

Thoughts? Ideas? Concerns?

I’m praying the tractor will remind us to trust God. He sees. He understands.

For more about our tractor, read Young Love and  a John Deere Tractor.




  1. Patricia Martin says:

    Julie, Thank you! I needed to hear this today.((: Trust in a marriage must begin with trust in God and trust in God means letting go (pushing the lever) when He says so. I loved your post this morning and it warms my heart. ((: When is Thomas and Brittany’s wedding?

  2. Patricia–what you said is BEAUTIFUL!! Wish I’d thought of it.

    And thank you for my post card. I have it sitting on my kitchen counter. It smiles at me every time I look at it.

    You are so very precious to me. Hope you can feel me hugging you from Georgia.

    Thank you for being you and for your encouragement. Means so much.

    Britt and Thomas are getting married the day after my birthday! They’re marrying on May 19. Rehearsal dinner will be on my birthday. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?!


  3. Carm Russell says:

    Dear Julie,

    I grew up loving those large green monsters! They have an entire museum dedicated the the history of John Deere tractors in Moline, Illinois. I grew up sitting on the wheel cover while my Dad plowed, disked, or planted the fields of farm land we owned & rented. There’s another museum (very small local one) on the east coast where our farm was that even has the local history of tractors and farming. My grandfather, an Italian immigrant, is acknowledged there for his contributions to the farming community interest late 1800s early 1900s.

    Here’s the irony, I too was not fond of that lever! I knew what it could do. And even came close to getting in trouble & harm’s way because of it. And yet when my father or Uncle (or should I say Heavenly Father) was with me I felt like I could conquer my world. Back then that parallel never occurred to me. But today it brings me peace to know that if I let my Heavenly Father in charge then I can still conquer my world.


    • Carm, your heart always brings sweet tears. Thank you.

      You are a woman of deep faith and trust. I think life has brought you “here.”

      What you said is so powerful. Absolutely. Sitting on that tractor with your Heavenly Father, you can conquer your world.

      I know Rick would LOVE to go to a John Deere museum. He slows down every time we pass one. 🙂

      Love finding out the history of your family–your legacy. Just beautiful, my friend.

      Thank you.

      • Carm Russell says:

        Your words give me pause to remember that I am never alone. And the in and of itself is comforting.

        Praying for your book!


        • And I love watching your IG account…Your pics make me feel the same way.

          Big hug! And thank you for responding back. For some reason, I my blog didn’t notify me that I had more comments. :/ A blogger messaged me to let me know.


  4. Anna Haney says:

    I loved this. Loved how you fed me spiritually with a tractor. No offense to tractors. I mean, I have always respected them and had an appreciation for all they do for us, but I never put them into a spiritual context before. Beautiful job. Trust. I had that word one year. You need trust and you need to listen (another one of my words) when you are on an adventure (this year’s word). But in all things, we need love.
    Love you

    • I’m right there with you about tractors, Anna. Remember….we fought about it.

      Adventure is such a wide, deep word, isn’t it? And you’re right. We have to listen, trust, and love.

      Hugging you from here this morning. Praying for your Wednesday. xoxoxoxoxoxxo

      P.S. Maybe Don will decide to get a tractor one day? 🙂 🙂

  5. sandy coffey says:

    Love the story of trust and faith and the tractor. Have not had to do it to a tractor but many many times on cars that I have had to pump a break or something else. So Glad Rick is so talented and could fix it. My husband is like that. Have never had a repair man in 53 years. I would call that a wonderful adventure with all the trust, listening and loved that it takes.

    • You and me both, Sandy. I can’t remember calling a repairman very often. Well, with the dishwasher once. But we ended up needing a new one.

      Thanks so much for responding and understanding this post! Sorry it took me a while to respond. For some reason, I didn’t receive email notifications that there were more comments. :/


  6. We have a picture of myself who at 3 years old fell in love with a tractor at her Dad’s childhood farm. They took a picture of me, perched so high on the seat, with the biggest smile on my face. For Christmas I received the replica toy tractor just like the big one I somehow had fallen in love with. I wonder what made me so drawn to it at such a little age? I still have my toy tractor in storage somewhere. But thank you for linking it to spirituality- I don’t know that I would have ever drawn those two together- yet it makes total sense to me the way you so lovingly wrote it. We now have a green riding lawn mower tractor- I bet I won’t look at it in the same way anymore either! Thanks for the wonderful insight!

    And thank you for the beautiful “prayer” card- it was a day-brightener for sure and its sitting right next to me to remember your sweet encouraging words. Oh I love you so!

    • Makes me smile so big to picture little you on a tractor!! Thank you for letting me know this crazy tractor-love post made sense to you. 🙂 🙂

      You’re so welcome for the card. You’ve been on my heart–so often. I love finding pics of you on IG.

      so sorry this took a while for me to respond. For some reason, my blog comments didn’t get sent to my email inbox–at least not the last few. I didn’t know “you” were here.

      Always goes straight to my heart to discover I have a comment. Probably the same way you feel about your beautiful blog!

  7. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Tomorrow…or possibly Friday…that’s when I will need to push my “black lever.” And trust my “John Deere” God to do the work!

    To explain, tomorrow, I will be meeting with the young lady who has been so patiently helping me with my website/blogsite design over the past two years. Our plan is to get the design accomplished to the point where I can hit “publish” either at the end of our time together or on Friday, if there are a few things to finish. Then, as time goes on, we will add the various pages or more analytics or whatever.

    The key is the fact that it will be launched! No more procrastinating, which, btw, I’m giving up for Lent!! 😉 With set deadlines, I WILL meet them. If I set my own that have no “professional” reasons, I tend to skip them, no matter how much I desire not to. (Paul speaks of this in Romans 7.)

    So, here’s to pushing that black lever!

    • marci says:

      Cathy, I had to smile! As it seems we are both making an effort to give up procrastination for Lent! I even made a comment about that while on FB yesterday. May the Lord help us both in that effort!
      God Bless!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Cathy!!! I’m so proud of you!!!! Please let me know when your site goes live. I’m assuming by now it is? I’ll have to check in a sec. So sorry, again, that I didn’t realize I had more comments here waiting on me–and such an exciting one from you!!

      🙂 🙂 Congratulations!!!!


    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Julie and Marci,

      Just an FYI, we ran into some snags with the free version of WordPress, and I can’t afford the others. So, a blogging friend gave me some tips which may make it usable, but it will take more time…again… And of course, that led to procrastination, which blew my whole Lent promise.

      However, that led to some introspection as to the reasons I procrastinate…the root cause of it. And I found that the depression which always lies close to the surface rears its ugly head in this fashion, as well as fear of rejection…but not the rejection normal writers fear from editors…a more heart-stopping fear of being rejected by my readers, my peers. Why? I don’t know, except maybe the long-ingrained habit of feeling unworthy, left over from childhood bullies and some more present.

      I WILL overcome this someday! Then I will say goodbye to fear, depression…and procrastination!

      • Hey Cathy, I wish I could help you with the technical end of things, but I’m not strong in that area. However, I do understand some of the spiritual struggles you’re going through–and I will pray. I believe your site will be up and running one day.


  8. marci says:

    I smiled the whole time I read this one, and I had to share it with Chas! I knew he could relate. Looks just like his lttie JD tractor. What a work horse. He got his in Oct 2001. And uses it all the time. A blessing. Years ago I did drive a big tractor, and helped plant on the farm, harvest, and worked the grain buggy, but it dawned on me, when reading this that I had never been on the little JD. They may be little, but they do need a huge amount of respect.

    This was also a very good one as we begin Lent. The journey. Stepping out of our comfort zone. Trusting.

    I am glad you shared about the wedding date, and that your birthday was the day before. How nice is that?

    God Bless you, dear friend,


    • You know, Marci’a, Tuesday night I was thinking…I should have written about lent.

      Thank you for drawing some sort of lent truth from this tractor post. 🙂 I smiled when I saw that. 🙂

      And you know how to drive a tractor?~! I’m totally impresses. Pushing that black lever wouldn’t have been any big deal whatsoever to you!

      Yeah, I’m really excited about the wedding. Love the date being so close to my birthday.

      Much love, my friend~

  9. Ahhh…big heavy strong tractors and big strong men. A match made…where else? in Heaven.

    I’ve had to do my share of getting on equipment and it’s always scary. But God carried me through it, just like He did for you. Loved that you shared it with us. I felt like I was right there with you.


    • Hey, B.J.
      You’ve been on my mind a lot this morning. Not sure why. 🙂 Probably ’cause I miss you.

      Thanks for understanding my tractor post. Love how you can see God carrying us through these scary times in life.

      xoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo–and so sorry it took me a while to respond. I didn’t realize I had more blog comments. Cathy (above) messaged me. They never came to my inbox. :/

  10. Shelley Elaine says:

    Julie!!! LOVE this post! LOVE the insight you shared! Oh, and the verse!!! And, I just showed the video to my husband and he had a tractor EXACTLY like that…John Deere 790…same tires…everything…and he smooths our driveway, too! Your stories of Rick have ALWAYS reminded me of my husband (a good hearted, hard-working, self employed logger)…and this post just confirmed my suspicions :). And, I can SOOO relate to your fear of working with the tractor!!! THANJ YOU for sharing!!!

    • A logger! How neat is that, Shelley! We have a log house. Who knows? Maybe your husband helped with our logs. 🙂

      I have a feeling our men would find plenty to talk about–if they ever met.

      And thank you so much for reading–and for letting me know you’re reading. Would be awfully lonely writing to myself.

      Yeah, the driveway. I had NO clue we’d need a tractor. Bet you didn’t either.

      And sorry it took me a while to respond. Just now discovering these last few comments.

  11. Julie! I can so relate. Every time my husband asks me to do something I’m sure I can’t … I just want to cry. I want to throw a fit. 🙂 It breaks my heart that his life feels in my hands too many times … when I can’t be counted on … I’m a girl, a weak one. But … his life is in God’s hands, not mine, thankfully. And God helps us in our weakness, thankfully. xoxo

    • Brilliant, Shelli–what you said. It’s God’s hands. Not ours. You’re absolutely right.

      Thank You, Lord. You help us in our weaknesses.

      Love you, my friend. Love, love, love your posts and pics!

  12. I think it’s amazing when we celebrate each other’s differences—even opinions. Aren’t you glad your husband won that argument? 🙂

    A beautiful profound lesson in an ordinary event. Wonderful!

    • Thank you, Lux.

      I’m smiling. You’re so right. Yes, I’m glad he won the tractor argument. Honestly, I thought it was a major waste of money.

      So silly of me. :/

      Thank you, my friend. I think I only know how to write about small, ordinary events.

      xoxoxo –love your new picture!

  13. Jo Ann Thomason says:

    Such a sweet, sweet post. And, the tractor is actually very pretty, the husband very handsome, the wife very beautiful, and the message awesome!!!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Jo Ann, thank you.

      I can’t think about you without whispering, “Thank You, Lord.” My love for you and your family runs so deep. It always will.

  14. Marjorie Hill says:

    Great analogy, Julie. I needed and appreciate it. Have a wonderful day!

  15. Thank you, Margie! (Am I spelling that right?)

    Means so much when you comment. I just love connecting hearts!!!

    Your friend in Georgia~~~

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.