Tag Archives: life choices

Searching…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from the Gospel of Matthew 7: 7-8

Effective prayer: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”


Last week, we headed south to tour colleges in Oklahoma and Texas. Over the years, Matt and I have encouraged each of our three girls to search for schools within a region of the country that they are interested in visiting. The summer before their junior year in high school, we take a family driving trip to see them. After participating in each one of her older sisters’ college trips, Karyn was excited to plan and execute her own! We toured five schools in seven days as well as visiting friends in Austin, Texas. It was a wonderful trip, and very fun to watch Karyn seek – knock – and receive a warm welcome at each of the colleges that she chose. Megan was able to travel back home from Wyoming to go along with us, so we were only missing Ashley Grace on the family trek 🙂


All three of our family “college trips” have been meaningful, enjoyable and interesting. I think that is because we were very intentional about planning and executing them. Yesterday, the above Bible verses popped into my head. The Holy Spirit was reminding me that my faith journey is not so different from planning and experiencing a trip. It is my part to ask, seek, and knock. Those are action words and require my movement and intentionality. God’s part is then to help me to receive, find and ultimately to open the door. When the door opens, I again must intentionally move my feet to walk through it in faith. Salvation is a free gift from God. But, walking through the door and into faith with Jesus requires energy and work on my part.

I remember when I was growing up, my parents would say “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” At the time, I didn’t really give those words any deep thought. It took me a while to be inspired to ruminate on them. The “lunch” may be a free gift, but it costs me something to ask, seek, and to accept it. Once I accept it, I then have to eat it in order to experience it. All of that takes effort on my part even though technically it is “free”. Similar to the gift of a “free lunch”, God offers us a free gift of salvation. It is available to all who seek it and accept it.

I wonder how God feels while He is standing at the open door waiting for us to decide to love Him. I picture him standing there with open arms and a big smile on his face. I think of how patient He must be to keep standing there, to keep waiting for all of his children to seek, ask, and decide to walk through the door and into His arms. And, I cannot help but think of what a good, good, Father we have. One who pursues us with patience, creativity, and boldness. One who loves us so much that He gives us the gift of deciding. His answer is an open door. It is always “yes” because His greatest desire is to be with us 🙂

I don’t know where Karyn will decide to go to college. But, I do know that wherever she goes, Jesus will be with her. As she searches, she will find a well of love that fills her each day.

 

 

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Finding a New ‘Normal’…

Monday afternoon I spent time in a BMG feed yard before heading to Lincoln to the University of Nebraska.  That evening and Tuesday morning found me hanging out with graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.   Tuesday afternoon I lectured on campus before driving back home in the evening.  It was a fun couple of days on the road, and I always find that I learn something every time that I leave my farm.

The topic of my lecture was “Sustainability, Responsibility, and the Art of Balance”.

  • Sustainability provides one of the biggest buzz words of 2017.
  • Responsibility often finds it’s way into current conversations about food production.
  • The Art of Balance applies to both the discussion of agriculture’s needed commitment to people, animals, and planet; as well as my own personal agricultural journey.

I really enjoy college public speaking gigs.  Our students are our future and if I can find a way to inspire them and aid them on their journey, then I am playing a positive role which refills my cup. While on campus, I fielded many questions about closing the feed yard and my new life and job with the Beef Marketing Group. My answer generally started with the words “I am finding a new normal…”  When you make a life change after twenty years, things look different on a daily basis.

I am happy to report that I am thriving amidst the chaos of change.  You’d have to ask my new boss about my performance on the job, but I can say that I am learning and finding my place as a new member of an awesome team.  I am spending some quality time in the five feed yards that I consult with relative to the Progressive Beef program.  This helps to fulfill the feed yard junkie part of Anne.  While I do miss the daily chore interaction with bovines, I am a short month away from moving cattle from a neighboring ranch to our grass pasture and sharing some of those chores with my foreman and my favorite pair of blonde cowgirls 🙂

Likely the best thing that I can report is that I have regained the natural optimism that makes me Anne.  This reclamation comes from attaining a better sense of balance in my life.

  • Time spent with family.
  • Meaningful volunteer hours spent with high school students who need support as they learn accountability and the art of making good choices… 
  • A healthy commitment to exercise that improves both my mental and physical fitness.
  • A work environment that leaves me feeling as though what I do is meaningful, while also allowing me the freedom from worry at the end of the day.

I believe that life is full of purposeful paths. Sometimes it takes some soul searching to figure out which fork in the road to take, but I believe that God has a plan. There is a sense of freedom that comes from packing your FAITH and following that plan.  Over the past few months, I have found a sense of peace that eluded me for several years. Two years ago, I wrote a post entitled “I Saw God Today”. I think that I am finally to a place where I can live George Straight’s famous song. I know that it is up to me to hold myself accountable to maintaining that balance on into the future; but I can report that finding it has provided a sweet spot 🙂

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Filed under General, ILS Beef / Beef Marketing Group

Making Good Choices…

My favorite farmer sarcastically noted shortly after our third daughter’s birth that he was planning to temporarily live in a different house when the girls were 18, 16, and 13.  You can likely imagine how well that went over as I rested on the hospital bed welcoming Karyn into the world…

It seems like that was just yesterday, but the truth is that we are a short year and a half away from the above referenced scenario.  This summer we plan to take a trip back East for our oldest daughter to look at colleges, our middle daughter is old enough to have her rural school driver’s permit, and little Karyn now stands at 5’7”.  Matt likely never really imagined the complete impact of a house full of estrogen, but somehow he seems to thrive in it 🙂

MattGirlsCollageApril2016.jpg

As I think back over the last 16 and ½ years, I seem to always come back to the thought that a successful life comes from making good choices.  Perhaps it is living in a house full of teenage girls, but that phrase seems to come out of my mouth multiple times in a day.

The following is a list of things that I have learned help to develop the skill of making good choices:

  1. Love and respect yourself.  Your life is a gift and you only get one body with which to live it.  Feed it well, get enough sleep, and honor it with your actions.
  2. Surround yourself with people who love and respect themselves.  A culture of respect breeds good decision making.
  3. Know when to remove yourself from a situation, and have enough confidence to leave.  If your gut tells you that you should not be there, odds are you shouldn’t be there.
  4. Honor your obligations.  You were placed on this earth to not only accomplish great things but also to bless others with your gifts.  Be dedicated and committed to creating a positive legacy.
  5. Make goals.  Your life will be more meaningful if you have a purpose.  Your purpose will be clear and accomplishable if you set goals along the journey.
  6. Develop a passion for greatness.  The best decision makers not only know what they want, but they want it more and are willing to work for it.
  7. Recognize that mental toughness goes hand in hand with confidence.  Confidence is a choice – Being mentally tough allows you to persevere and make good choices despite distractions, pressure from others, or self-doubt.
  8. Realize that fear and failure are both realities of life.  Acknowledging your fears allows you to use faith to overcome them.  Failure does not define you – It is how you choose to deal with it that does.  Use it to fuel you on your journey rather than letting it stand between you and your goals.
  9. Understand that you are not expected to be perfect.  Success is a journey, not a destination.  Look for mentors to help you navigate the challenges that create unplanned detours.
  10. Never forget that you are loved.  Look to your heart and always remember that God travels along with you on the journey.
As for my favorite farmer, it looks like he is going to make the good choice of sticking around so that he can continue to thrive amidst the harem of women that inhabit his home!

As for my favorite farmer, it looks like he is going to make the good choice of sticking around so that he can continue to thrive amidst the harem of women that inhabit his home!

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Filed under Coaching / Personal Growth, Family, General