Tag Archives: children

The Essence of Hope…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


My favorite blonde cowgirl brings inspiration for this scripture choice– this one is special to her and it comes from Proverbs 24: 16.

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.


Our girls are our greatest blessings. There is something truly beautiful about children as they bring an added dimension to life. A child views the world with a unique perspective of innocence as well as an unrelenting fountain of hope. Even as teenagers, all three of my girls possess an ability to nurture their faith through an uncomplicated blend of optimism and forgiveness. This helps them to persevere with grace.

I’ll never forget a spring about ten years ago. It rained. And, it rained. And, it rained some more. It rained so much that we had to move cattle to higher ground. Then we got yet another hard rain that caused localized flooding both at our house and on the farm. I was emotionally defeated as well as physically drained. It seemed like the world was against me and my attitude reflected my failing faith.

The afternoon after the flood, the girls and I were driving around the feed yard. I was bitter, angry and full of judgement. Amidst my grumbling, I heard what could only be described as joyful laughter from the back seat of the pickup. I turned to look and, with a beaming smile on her face, Ashley Grace (age 8) leaned over the front seat and issued precious words of advice.

“Mama, it’ll be okay. We just need to build an ark.”

It was so simple for her. She believed that God was with us, and her faith never faltered. Despite the fact that she was watching her dad and I fall at the farm, she had internalized the important notion that if we behaved appropriately that we would rise again. She knew it was going to be alright, and the optimism and faith radiating in her eyes inspired me to recenter myself and fix my attitude. After that day, we did not receive any more rain for about 30 days which gave us plenty of time to fix the house and get the farm back on its feet. The hard work wasn’t done, but the emergency had passed.


I believe that God, with the Holy Spirit, communicates with us through feelings and experiences. I’ve no doubt that He was present in the pick up that day and spoke to me through my daughter. I also believe that He continuously pursues me in a desire for a meaningful relationship. This helps me to find righteousness in my actions and rise again when I falter. The number seven reminds me that perfection isn’t the goal. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, so he inspires us to keep going – to keeping trying – always striving to live a more honorable life.

It is no surprise to me that Proverbs 24:16 is Megan’s favorite scripture verse. Meg has an innate sense of humility — she is fully aware that she makes mistakes — but she is just as certain that God will help her to rise again each time that she falls.

This is the essence of hope.

This is a cornerstone of faith.

This is the beauty of being on God’s team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Greatest Gift…

Thoughtful Thursday

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When we brought her home from the hospital almost 15 years ago, she fit in the palm of her daddy’s hand.  Today, she and her teammates compete at the Class C District Cross Country Championships. 

I am reminded that one of my greatest joys is sharing in the lives of my children:  mentoring them, supporting them, and loving them on their journey.  There is no greater gift.

Go Haymakers!

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Healthy Animals…Healthy Beef!

Of all of the things that I have accomplished in my 36 and ½ years, I am most proud of my children.  They are the center of my world, and every decision that I make every day involves them in some way…

My talented girls who make me so proud...

My girls are always forefront in my mind as I care for my cattle.  My cattle are food animals, and I will use them to nourish my children.  My number one priority is to keep my cattle healthy because:

Healthy Cattle Make Healthy Beef!

Early immune system development in cattle plays a crucial role in the life-long success of the animals.  It is critical that Al provides his calves with everything that they need from the time of conception to ensure that they will be as healthy as possible throughout their entire life span.  Al does several things “at the ranch” to ensure that his calves remain healthy—I continue to do these things when I receive the cattle “at the feed yard”—this ensures that the beef that our animals produce is safe and healthy to eat.

Calf #718 is a great example of how doing all of the little things right everyday allows for the production of high quality and safe beef—beef that nourishes my children and yours.  Let’s talk about what some of these things are:

  1. Proper Nutrition—High quality feed that is balanced to provide the calf with the proper nutrition allows him to thrive.   He begins nursing his mama’s milk—he then transitions to eating grass—he then transitions to eating a blend of forage (grass) and grain to give his beef the taste and tenderness that we all love.

    One of Calf #718's herd mates...with Mama resting close by.

  2. Later in life and eating out of a feedbunk...

    Proper Mineral Supply—Minerals to cattle are like vitamins to humans.  Providing the proper “trace minerals” to our cattle allows for good development and immune system maturity that is required for the calf to remain healthy and flourish.

    A "trace" mineral tub for cattle...

  3. Proper Vaccination—I am a huge proponent of good vaccination protocols—it doesn’t matter if you are talking about animals or humans.  Properly timed and administered vaccines stimulate the immune system and protect against disease.  Just ask my girls how I feel about vaccinations—they will roll their eyes, remember the flu shot that they got last fall– and then give you an “ear full”!

    Beef Quality Assurance ensures good vaccination technique and selection...

  4. Proper Parasite Control—The reality is that when a bovine grazes on grass, he will come into contact with parasites.  It is important for good digestive function for the calf to be “de-wormed” periodically to get rid of these parasites.

    Grazing on grass...

  5. Limiting Stress—We all know what stress does to us…elevated blood pressure, increased risk of illness, and overall decrease in good health.  Well, a calf is really no different than a human when it comes to stress.  One of the most important things that Al and I can do for our animals is to figure out ways to decrease or limit stress.

    Cattle resting quietly in the home pen---stress free!

There are many days when I am positive that I have done a better job limiting the stress on my animals than I have limiting stress in my own life…We all work to achieve “balance” in our lives.  Al and I also work hard to enable our animals to achieve balance.

Every time I look at my children I am reminded of the importance of good quality animal care…High quality and wholesome beef is “What’s For Dinner” at my house.

One of the perks of having a daughter who raises great tasting Nebraska beef!

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What makes a cowboy?

When my kids were little, they used to travel with me when I went to nearby ranches to purchase cattle for the feed yard.

Looking back, it is hard to believe that my kids used to be this little!

One of the ranches that they visited was AL Ranch.  I’ll never forgot riding around in Al’s pickup truck looking at cattle that were about to ship to the feed yard, and my middle daughter (Megan—she was probably about 3) looking at Al and announcing, “You aren’t a REAL cowboy, you don’t have on the right hat…”. (Al was wearing a baseball style hat, instead of a cowboy hat).  I waffled between wanting to laugh and being embarrassed, but I was proud of Al—he took it right in stride like any good grandpa.  He looked at Megan and said,

“You know, it’s not the hat that makes the cowboy”.

Playing “cowgirl” is fun…

So, what makes a real cowboy?

Webster defines the word ‘cowboy’ as, “one who tends cattle or horses”.  I define it as a responsible and knowledgeable caregiver for cattle.  At the heart of any good cowboy is a love for both his animals and the land.  He (or she) puts the needs of his animals before his own needs.

I remember another time that I was up at Al’s place.  It was April and a spring snow storm had brought cold temperatures and bad weather conditions.  Al was in the middle of “calving” which means that his mama cows were having their babies.  The gestation period for a bovine (calf) is roughly the same as for a human, and a mama cow has a calf once per year.  Most calves in Nebraska are born in the springtime as the grass greens up and winter goes away.

The ice and snow can be beautiful, but they make "life" on a farm very difficult...

Springtime in Nebraska is notorious for being inconsistent, and this particular year we had very cold temperatures and snow even though it was April.  Al and his son-in-law were busy taking newly born calves into the “heat box” in the barn so that they would survive the weather.  They worked diligently for several long days until the weather cleared up.

Al is a good cowboy, no matter what type of hat he wears…

It's not the hat that makes the "cowboy"...

Calf #718 was born March 17th on a grass pasture close to Al’s house and corrals.  He spent the first couple months of his life in a place where Al could check on him frequently.  His mama took good care of him, and so did his “cowboy”…

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