"I KNOW!!" I practically screamed. William, my husband of 37 years ( let me tell ya, this man has endured many such outbursts ) opened his mouth to speak, but of course, I interrupted his thoughts and continued screaming and squealing!!!! "I know, I know, I know, I know!!" I declared, "I know what to do with Little Tractor! Let's not get rid of it, let's keep it and paint it pink!!!!" Bless him! Sweet man! Do you know his response was simply a smile and an "Okay! why not?" And ya know what? He really meant it.....
We've been thinking what to do with my Papaw's old Ford tractor. It's one of those cute little gray and red numbers, all pale and faded, with peely paint. Made decades ago, it really has lost most of its usefulness. The Little Tractor isn't big enough or powerful enough to really plow a field. And it doesn't have enough umph to carry heavy loads like a newer, revved up lawn tractors would. Kind of a clunker of a piece of farm equipment, mostly just in the way. Time to be put out to pasture. Which is exactly where the Little Tractor has been for the last couple of decades. Just sitting out in the weather, waiting for rust to set in and do its worst. We've tried to sell it several times. We've tried to kind of rehab it and get it back in the ag game, so to speak. Still it sits!! So, we were kind of kicking around the idea of just donating it to an organization that could in turn sell it and keep the money as a donation. Not a bad idea, I guess. Except.....here's the deal -----
I love Little Tractor! I really do! I have wonderful memories that revolve around that tractor. My earliest recollection of Little Tractor is one of sitting on my Papaw's knee and my dog, Corky, a not so small English spaniel sitting on his other knee, while he plowed up the spot for the garden. I was probably all of 2 years old! All of my own kids have played on and under and around Little Tractor. And each of them has driven Little Tractor way before they were old enough to drive a truck. We all have many memories associated with Little Tractor, most sweet but some bitter. One day when my daughter was about 6, she plopped down on the tractor seat to just sit a while and play-like and a whole nest of yellowjackets that had been building under the seat, rose up and bit her on the bottom. To this day, I've never heard that kind of shrieking and crying. Mamaw ran to the rescue with a bottle of laundry bluing liquid in her hand and sloshed it on Dana's backside, immediately calming the pain.
By the time the kids were all in their teen years, my Daddy had renamed Little Tractor. Once after someone had tinkered around with the motor and revved it up a bit, Little Tractor seemed to have a new lease on life. One of the kids asked him "Granddaddy, does it run?" "Does it run?" my Dad said laughing,"Why, it runs like a spotted-assed ape!" We all fell out laughing over that one and of course, Little Tractor had a new name from that day on.
Many guests of our farm have taken little tractor for a spin up and down the country roads. One guest I remember loved driving Little Tractor because it took her back to her own childhood on the farm. All of us have loved Little Tractor. It's just always been here on the farm. It really belongs here, I think. Surrounded by the people who love it. Not on an auction block for a few dollars! Which brings me to how I started this blog....painting Little Tractor pink.
Now whether I actually DO paint Little Tractor pink ??? Well, we'll see..... I mean, how exactly would one go about painting a tractor anyway???? Hmmm??? Also, I can almost hear the question "Isn't Little Tractor a boy?" To which I say no, no she is not!!! How do I know this? I will tell you. I know this because Little Tractor has never been pushy or boisterous. She has always been genteel and well-mannered. She has always been reserved with a quiet spirit about her. She has never, ever been the big, loud, dirt-clod kicking, smoke-belching kind of tractor that does the jobs that require brut strength. Her area of expertise has been plowing gardens and straightening end rows. Grooming, if you will. Nurturing. She's really been good at nurturing. And because of all these qualities and because of such neglect in latter years, I firmly believe Little Tractor would enjoy a nice coat of yummy pink paint. I think Little Tractor has always secretly dreamed of being an eye-popping, head-turning tractor. She's got a dream! And I'm gonna make that dream come true!
Little Tractor and I have a lot in common I think. I, too , was made decades ago. And I, at times in my life, have felt a bit pale and faded, with peely paint. At first glance, one might think I've also lost most of my usefulness. And I know there are times that I feel like a clunker. Some of my agility is gone and I see newer, revved up models all the time that are doing all the things I used to do and either can't do anymore or just flat don't wanna do.
Now Little Tractor doesn't really, really have feelings nor does she dream. You do know that, right? I know that! Really, I do! I, however, do have dreams. Dreams that the Lord God has planted in my heart. And as those dreams have taken root and started to grow, I know I am coming back to life. I've been resusitated. I'm once again excited about my life! I'm thrilled to greet each new day! I am stepping out in faith in my prayers and believing for the things God Himself has promised me! I am practicing those things I want to get really good at -- giving and praying and loving. And I'm taking captive all those things that don't have a place in a Believer's thoughts. I'm learning to be grateful, truly thankful, for all that the Lord has allowed into my life. These things, these Dreams were planted in my heart by the Lord Himself and because He gave me these Dreams, I know they are a done deal!!! When God desires something for us and we grab hold of that something and desire it for ourselves, it is as good as ours!
By now you must know that Little Tractor and her coat of jazzy pink paint is very symbolic. A symbol of so many things. Of achieving God's Dreams for my life. Of getting a second chance(or sixth or fourteenth). Of seeing the Lord restore the years the locust(or rust) have eaten. Of living the last remaining years of my life oh, so much better than I lived the first many years of my life. For every year of my life since I can remember I have yearned to live bigger and louder than I've ever had the courage to live. Well, one of the Dreams that the Lord has just recently given me, is That Dream -- the one of living out loud!!
So here it is -- my desire for you, if you have read this far, is for you to start asking the Lord to give you His Dreams for your life. Ask Him. He has such Dreams for us - more than we can even imagine -- and I believe He so desires for us to make His Dreams our own.
I'm excited about writing this blog. I believe it is a small part of living out loud! Thanks for reading! I welcome your comments.