Finding Optimism…

Wednesday Wisdom πŸ™‚


Inspiration this week comes from Jeremiah 29:11-13

“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord…


I moved from the city to the farm in June of 1997. Over the past twenty three years, I’ve come to know many farmers and ranchers in Nebraska, and (through volunteer work with the BQA program and the Beef Check Off) from all across the United States. A large percentage of our farmers and ranchers are people of deep faith.Β  Although these faiths stretch across a variety of Christian denominations, they carry a similar level of sincerity that just seems to flow naturally from the heart. At first I wondered what created such a unifying dedication and trust in the Lord, but I’ve now lived it for enough years that it is clear to me.

Living off of the land creates a unique perspective. It’s a life with many uncontrollable components, and one that is fiercely complicated yet basically simple. While the daily chores hold consistency, the circumstances surrounding those chores are ever changing. Sometimes the land yields to human tending, and sometimes Mother Nature chooses instead to teach a lesson in humility. Sometimes the markets move in favorable ways, but often the margins are slim and filled with financial risk. Despite detailed planning, things often change in the moment requiring both good problem solving skills and an innate optimism that ultimately everything will be okay.Β 

Last week we took steers weighing 600 pounds to grass. In typical Nebraska fashion, one day the temperature was close to 70 degrees but by Easter Sunday snow flurries buzzed about with 30+ mile per hour winds that reminded us of winter’s strong grasp. As winter and spring battled, I bought the cattle from a family with whom I have done business longer than my Karyn has been alive. I value them as friends and partners, so despite the crazy weather and dismal cattle markets I packed my faith and sealed the deal. The risk involved should likely keep me awake at night, but yet somehow I sleep.


The somehow is tied up in the above verses from Jeremiah, and I think it explains the deep faith and inherent optimism that exists within the heart of a farmer. When I care for my neighbors, my land, and my cattle, I believe that I honor the God that created us all. Through these actions, I am tapping into my “inner Jesus” – following the direction of the Holy Spirit and trusting the love that fills my heart. The Lord has plans for His people – for good and not for disaster, that will result in a future and a hope. I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I know that God is with me and it’s my job to be faithful. When I pray, I believe that He hears me. When I look with my heart, I can hear a soft voice telling me that it is well.

A good friend has a saying that I often cling to, “When you can’t see His hand, trust His heart.”

As a country, we are in a time of great uncertainty with a diverse set of challenges. The list of “uncontrollables” is long, even by farmer standards πŸ˜‰ Fear seems to knock daily or perhaps hourly on our doors. While we can look to science for needed answers and tools, science won’t fuel our hearts. A courageous heart runs off of the hope and inherent optimism that Jesus brings. Today, I pray that each of us can deepen in faith to stay the course with optimism regardless of how difficult things are. Our heavenly Father asks us to believe even when we can’t see, to love with abundance, and to work tirelessly to care for one another!

8 Comments

Filed under General, Wednesday Wisdom

8 responses to “Finding Optimism…

  1. Roger Hunt

    Thanks Anne,!! An uplifting message we all need right now.❀

  2. Becky

    Anne, I haven’t gotten your messages for many Wednesdays. I am so glad I got this one! You are such an inspiration to me!

    • Hi Becky! Good to hear from you πŸ™‚ Sorry that you’ve missed some of the blogs. I’ve missed a couple of Wednesdays through the spring but have been trying to be faithful to the weekly writings. I hope that you are doing okay and that your family is bringing you smiles!

      Take care,
      Anne

  3. whit mccall

    Always enjoy your writings! Thanks for taking the time to publish them.

    • Whit,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and thank you for reading! I always enjoy hearing from readers, so I appreciate you taking the time to reach out πŸ™‚

      Take care,
      Anne

  4. Marian Jannette Yoshimoto

    Thank you, Anne. We are doing the same. We are replacing some cows and adding a few to our herd. We have done business with the same family for over 10 years now. I did not sleep for a few days while making this decision. On Easter Sunday I was napping and dreamed that we were unloading new cows! God has a plan and that was my sign and we will be picking them up near Lexington next week. Blessings to your family.

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