Religion

Living Our Values: A certain order informs her universe

Belinda French at home, in Georgetown, Ky., on Tuesday Jan. 11, 2011.  French wrote an essay for the Herald-Leader's Faith and Values section about her love of family and God and her family farm in Tennessee. The cedar tree in her front yard outside the window, is named Broadview Cedar, after her farm in Tennessee where it was pulled from a rocky patch of land when it was about 2 feet high. Photo by Pablo Alcal‡
Belinda French at home, in Georgetown, Ky., on Tuesday Jan. 11, 2011. French wrote an essay for the Herald-Leader's Faith and Values section about her love of family and God and her family farm in Tennessee. The cedar tree in her front yard outside the window, is named Broadview Cedar, after her farm in Tennessee where it was pulled from a rocky patch of land when it was about 2 feet high. Photo by Pablo Alcal‡

I have been shown a certain order that has brought forth much good fruit and is life and health.

Simple but profound that order is: God first, my husband second, next my children and grandchildren, next the church, and then others. Knowing the order and keeping it brings forth clarity and peace in my life.

As I live out the order that has been shown me, the following values go hand in hand with that order. The order gives life to these values.

Respect: A few years ago I saw a man with whom I was in contact when I worked at a certain job. He was asking about me and what I was doing. I told him that I was helping my husband ... that he needed my help. I respect my husband greatly and want to help him in any way I can.

Love: Early on I was shown the importance of having regular meals for my family. They didn't have to be complicated but regular and loving. It's wonderful now to visit our married daughter and sit down to a meal she has prepared. Having meals for your family is an expression of love.

Diligence: I inherited a farm in Tennessee in 2002. My husband and I have made well over 100 trips from our home in Kentucky since then. At the beginning we sometimes would drive down (five-hour trip), work a few hours, and then drive the five hours back. Wow! It's not for the faint of heart.

Heritage: Our farm is the land of my fathers (my own daddy and my great-grandfather). I tagged along with my daddy when I was little, but in time the tagalong became the owner. I'm thankful that this land has now been given to me and that it can be passed down to future generations. It can be shared now and later.

Teaching the young children: It's more than a farm. Certainly it has farm things like cattle, calves, a tractor, hay, etc., but it also has a praise pavilion to honor God, a home (which doubles as a school), playground (with tire swing) and pretty flowers. Our grandchildren currently are the "students." There are many lessons that can be learned on a farm, both spoken and observed. It's so wonderful to be able to have a relationship with our grandchildren and have a place to pass along life foundations.

Enjoying God's creation: Not only is the farm home to us, but many deer, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, etc. call it home. It's in actuality a wildlife refuge. It is such a joy to be able to enjoy the deer and to share that enjoyment with others.

Service and integrity: With God first, my husband second, and family next, there is much opportunity for service. Our life becomes a service. The church and community offer other opportunities. It's such a joy to help.

Freedom: Our freedom is essential. Without freedom we would not be able to do much of what we do. I'm thankful for the opportunities to express the values that we hold so dear. I do not take it lightly.

  Comments