It has been a different kind of harvest this year in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. We did not receive enough rain this summer – none at all for almost 2 months. As a result, the ears of corn hanging on the stalks are half shriveled up and burned dry.









None of the crops matured the way they should, and the yields will be low. Mid-summer storms brought devastation in the form of hail and high winds to many fields. Some of the crops are laying flat on the ground, making them nearly impossible to combine.


In early September, a few days after it finally rained, giving the soybeans what seemed like a reprise – one last chance for the pods to fill out, an early frost turned the fields from green to black. And that was that. We have had two weeks of hot, 85 degree days this October – highly unusual for this far north – making everything so parched and dry that there have been many fires in the fields.









Like giving birth to a stillborn baby, our farmers must still go through the labor of harvest, even though the joy of reaping a bountiful harvest will not be there to reward them for all their hard work and sacrifice.






My husband’s 11 year ministry at the church where he is pastor has also come to a disappointing end. Two weeks ago, a congregational vote that might have saved the day failed when people who rarely even attend church were brought in to vote, skewing the results. The majority lost because there was not a 2/3 majority. The result means the end of life as I’ve known it for almost 8 years. My time there has been the honeymoon period in my life as a wife, and a pastor’s wife, and will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m not ready for it to end.

I am trying to leave things in God’s hands, knowing that the God of the universe does not need my stress, anxiety or exhaustion to accomplish his plan in the world. But it is hard to let go and trust, to believe that after months of stress and worry, arguments, threats and political maneuvering by people we thought were friends and higher-ups in a church that is supposed to be my refuge and sanctuary, that this whole terrible mess will suddenly be all better. And the truth is, that although joy is promised at the end of the journey, some of the wounds caused by this battle may never heal. I know I sound bitter. I am trying not to get caught in the caustic cauldron of resentment and anger.

I am having Circle at the parsonage tonight – a time to say my good-byes, and hopefully, to give closure. I miss playing the piano with my friends, a wonderful drummer and keyboardist, more than I can say. Making music with them and glorifying God through our praise and worship has been my ministry, and one of the highlights of my week for over five years.


The time of harvest has come to an end. A door has slammed shut. I know God will open a window. I can’t wait to climb through and fly high. I am increasingly ready to let go and move in a new direction.

Yet I know that winter lies between fall and spring.









God, please provide another call for my husband, one where he can use his gifts and talents for you, one where he will be appreciated and loved. And please let it be within an hour of the Blue Belle, and please, if you would, let them like contemporary praise music. Let them love rousing old hymns. Let them sing lustily. And let them need a piano player.








Thank you for listening.

And now, to new growth, to moving onward and upward.