Author Cara Whitney, wife of Larry the Cable Guy, shares how farm life deepened her relationship with God.
Posted in , Jul 30, 2021
Cara Whitney had a busy life in Las Vegas. The successful radio personality and author, the wife of comedian Dan Whitney, better known as ‘Larry the Cable Guy,’ was also a mom of two. But when she decided a change of scenery was in order, she moved the family to a horse farm in Nebraska. There, Cara began to explore and deepen her relationship with God.
“As I was learning about God, I was working with my animals,” she told Guideposts. “I realized I could correlate a lot of what I was trying to figure out about God with that farm work. I could get my questions about God answered by comparing my relationship with the animals.”
In her newest book, Fields of Grace, Cara shares the spiritual lessons she learned on her farm and how readers can incorporate those lessons into their daily life. Cara shared a few of those profound lessons with us.
While caring for a pony named Tucker, Cara fed him Rice Crispie treats as a special snack. “It made him happy,” she said, “but then it made him very sick.” Cara stopped feeding Tucker the snack and he got well again. She realized this was a lesson in how God knows what we need—sometimes better than we do.
“This is why God doesn’t give us everything we want when we pray,” she said. “Even if it makes us happy, it’s not always good for us.”
Cara says her work with horses taught her about the role of leadership in faith. “A horse’s focus is on survival,” she said. “If you don’t step up and be a leader to them, then they’re going to take over.” However, it was always easier on the horses if Cara led them. Cara connects this to how God leads us in our lives. “It taught me to listen to God and surrender myself,” she said.
Leading her horses also showed Cara how trusting in God’s goodness will help us keep moving forward. “He's directing us,” she said. “We can trust where He’s taking us, no matter what is happening in our life. He is in control."
Going on trail rides with her horses is one of Cara’s favorite activities. Even these leisurely strolls taught her an important spiritual lesson. One day she took a trail ride after putting a fresh shoe on her horse. She was worried the shoe wouldn’t hold and kept looking down to check on it. “I realized if I kept waiting for the shoe to drop, I would miss out on everything that’s happening on the trail ride,” she said.
Her trail rides were a chance to take in the beauty of nature and remember why she moved to the farm in the first place. “These rides show me the amazing creation that God has given us,” she said. “To enjoy it, I had to stop waiting for that shoe to drop and just be in that moment with God.”
Life on a farm is not without its challenges, especially when you treasure your alone time. “I have a busy life,” Cara said. “We have two teenagers that we homeschool.”” She says working in the barn is her time to be with herself. "I love spending time with my animals,” she said. “I’m thankful for that. That is my time.”
Cara says the quiet is vital to working on her relationship with God--whether it’s praying, meditating, or just taking a moment to listen. “There’s a lot of calmness out in the pasture,” she said. “It is quiet enough that I can hear God.”
Many of the horses Cara works with on her farm are rescue animals, which means they require a lot of extra care. “You get these horses with a past,” Cara said. “Some of them have trauma. You just have to be patient enough to see what helps them along, what makes them tick, what don’t they like, how do they learn. You have to do that patiently.”
One horse, Gus, was particularly skittish and wary of people. It took a lot of patience but Cara finally got him to trust her. “I just needed to take the time to understand him,” she said.
Cara likens this to the relationship we all have with God. “We are trying to figure out who God is,” she said, “and why He does the things He does. We don’t always get those answers, but as we learn to trust Him, we learn to accept that He has our back.”
Another thing that helped Gus trust Cara was spending time together every day. The consistent time was key to them better understanding one another. “If I only spent an hour with Gus a week—just like if I only went to church for one hour a week, or if I only worked on my marriage with my husband for an hour a week—there’s no relationship there,” Cara said.
This taught Cara a valuable lesson in taking time for God every day, even if briefly. “Consciously take that time, make it a part of your routine,” she said, “so that over time, you know God better and your relationship with Him becomes more genuine.”