My favorite farmer celebrates 46 years of awesomeness this week. With the last twenty of those years spent working on the farm, I find myself thinking that perhaps we aren’t as young as we used to be! Matt and I tend to draw very few boundaries in our lives, so it would be impossible to evaluate the last two decades of our lives without including the farm.
A couple of weeks ago, the sermon at church centered on finding honor in our work. The topic resonated deeply with me as honor is something that I personally value. It was a great reminder for me that work is part of God’s plan for humanity and we honor our faith when we honestly and fully engage in our jobs. For Matt and I, finding honor in our work is closely akin to finding honor in our lives as there is very little separation.
I think that one of the hardest things about being a farmer is finding and maintaining balance. You learn quickly to control the controllable in order to protect your livelihood from those things that threaten it. From Mother Nature – to volatile markets- to debilitating regulations: the list of things that keeps you up at night can grow lengthy. Maintaining a perspective that focuses on honor instead of fear/frustration provides the encouragement that refuels your cup and grants you a healthy outlook on life.
Cattle are masterful at sensing their caregiver’s attitude 🙂
The last twelve months have inspired me to reflect on this topic. The following are 5 personal habits that I have worked to establish in order to help me always focus on finding honor in my life:
- Let my faith be stronger than my fear.
- Look for gaps and be cognizant of the needs of others – Approach each day with the question: “How can I help?”
- Bring a constant element of thankfulness to my daily perspective. Thankfulness wards off frustration and anger, and increases the ability to live a life filled with joy.
- Create a personal focus on giving intentional encouragement so that my words and actions positively inspire others.
- Recognize that it is okay to take time for personal reflection and growth. While I am very much an “action” person, taking time each day to talk to God and develop a plan grants meaning to my actions in addition to helping me to refill my cup.
I find each day that I am still a work in progress – achieving differing levels of success with the above 5 habits. But, I am confident that I am on the right track. Good habits bring about good daily choices.
And, making good choices enables us to find honor in our lives.
Filed under Family, General
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 🙂
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:
- 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.
- Surround yourself with people who love and respect themselves. A culture of respect breeds good decision making.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Filed under Family, General