Tag Archives: personal growth

Stubborn…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration for this week comes from Proverbs 3: 21-26

“My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang onto them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.”


If you asked my family for a word to describe me, it’s likely the word stubborn gets mentioned.  Dogged determination seems to be firmly rooted in my DNA. It is both a blessing and a curse as it gives me perseverance while also causing me to reject and fear a change of course. Giving up has just simply never been in my vocabulary. My stubbornness drove me to be an All-American swimmer despite the fact that my back was crooked and I stood proudly at only 5’3″ tall. It also took me as a recruited athlete to the Ivy League where I worked fiercely to graduate with honors – ironically inspired by the college forcing me to take an extra math entrance exam due to my low math SAT score. Finally, it brought me full of energy and passion to the beef industry as a 22 year old city kid who married into agriculture. And, it’s continued to carry me through more than two decades of working to improve animal welfare in cattle feedyards.

Telling me that I can’t do something seems to be an excellent way to motivate me 😉


January 5th marked my one year anniversary of breaking my leg. It seems that my leg is just as stubborn as the rest of me, and that I put down scar tissue like I used to put down muscle in the weight room. I may never get full use of my lower leg and ankle back, but I’m holding tightly to the goal of someday running again. Perhaps that just stems from my innate stubbornness, but I think it’s more that I’m figuring out the joy and purpose that can be found in the journey.

My unplanned accident on the ice taught me the difference between giving up and giving way. 

There is a difference between stubbornness towards God and stubbornness for God.  Stubbornness for God involves giving way to His direction and holding strongly and tenaciously to that course. The book of Proverbs often reminds us of our need to search for both wisdom and security from our heavenly Father. Faith grows when we never give up and intentionally establish a life marked by the disciplined search for God’s guiding hand. Faith heals when we learn to give way to God’s direction in order to accept the peace that His security brings. Steadfastness does not mean that you cannot yield, change direction, or establish new habits following God’s lead. It simply means that you do all of those things with dedication and perseverance.

Common sense tells me that learning to run again will take many levels and months/years of work. It is a journey that is and will continue to be marked by physical pain. Holy discernment fills the gap to give me patience and peace as I travel the course. It inspires me to search for spiritual learning as I greet each day. If I never again pound away miles on my neighboring farm roads, it’ll be okay. I can give way to a newly revised Anne and know that God walks with me every step of the way. My feet won’t stumble because Jesus will carry me. I don’t have to harbor fear of the unknown, because God holds my heart.  There will be hard things along the path, but God is more stubborn than I am and the heavenly finish line brings the promise of a good ending 🙂

2020 is shaping up to be a year of growth and change for me. I’m packing my faith, my steadfastness (stubbornness), and a revised attitude to enable me to yield when God opens one door while closing another. Stay tuned for the rest of the story…

 

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Good Idea! Poor Execution…

My favorite farmer and I played racquetball on Saturday morning. Temperatures were hovering around zero outside, so we headed for the indoor court after I got farm chores finished.  We both enjoy athletics as well as doing things together, so it’s a good fit on a cold day.

I’ve loved Matt since I was eighteen and we’ve been married more than half of my life. One of our strengths as a couple is our dedication to the concept of team. We both place a priority on the realization that together we are stronger, just as we also acknowledge that the key to this is using our blend of strengths and weaknesses to continuously work to make the team better.

Matt is, hands down, a better racquetball player than I am. He’s bigger – He’s stronger –He’s faster. In fact, he’s also ambidextrous so he doesn’t have a “weak side”. Playing the game could be frustrating for me with him acing the serve and never giving me the ability to participate; but that isn’t the case because of our unwritten rule of always working to build the team.

As we play racquetball, I have lots of good ideas with poor execution. I’d never played the sport before I met Matt, and our games are pretty infrequent with the responsibilities of family and farm chores. I know enough that I can envision what I need to do, but my body doesn’t always move with the precision needed to make the play. However, each time that we play, I get better. This happens for two reasons:

  1. I bring a positive and passionate attitude to the games.
  2. Matt holds strong to the goal of helping the team to get stronger.

There is a reason that there is no “I” in TEAM. The lack of “I” keeps the team going with universal hope for the future.

Life is full of times when we work to build different skills. It is also full of moments when a fresh set of eyes allows for the development of good ideas. I believe that the secret to success is in the team mentality.  It creates a culture which nurtures the teammates. New ideas are created and embraced, and a level of support exists to inspire the work needed to improve execution.

  • It takes good ideas to inspire continuous improvement.
  • It takes practice to develop good execution.

Common acceptance of the goal, good communication, an underlying level of respect, and a dedication to finding group success makes each individual teammate stronger just as it builds the team. The score board said that I lost all three racquetball games, but I had moments of success and lots of improvement over the two hour period. Matt broke a sweat and I only lost the last game by two points. We finished with smiles on our faces – looking forward to the next time.

Sometimes, that’s the biggest victory of all 🙂

How do you build the concept of “team” in your life?

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Why We Write — Pass Along Questions…

My blogging friend at Seasonsgirl sent an intriguing “blogging pass along” my way this week. It delves into the mind of a blogger in an attempt to explain the question “Why We Write”. The intellectual in me loves these types of things, so here are my thoughts on the four questions asked of me…

Thoughtful Thursday!

What are you working on relative to writing?  I like to laugh that my blog is a labor of love. Writing is not something that a cattle feed yard manager does with any frequency, so blogging provides me with an outlet for my creative/writing interests. Because I have a busy family life with three daughters in addition to a farm of thousands of cattle and crop acres, at this time, my blog is my only writing project. The fifteen year plan is to write a book chronicling my journey from South Florida city girl to Nebraska cattle feed yard boss lady.

annemattbeef1

What makes your work different from others’ work in the same genre?  Blogging is a personal journey for me, a sharing of my family and my farm, so it is intrinsically unique because of its personal nature. There are also not very many cattle feed yard owners/managers that participate in the world of social media which further adds to my uniqueness.

blackwhitecalf

Why do you write what you do?  My desire is to mix personal family stories and pictures with practical/real life experiences that I have on the farm.   At its’ very essence, I want to dispel the myth of the “factory farm” and place my CAFO in a truthful light. I am also in love with Rural America and my town of Cozad, and want to share the beauty of a rural lifestyle.

annemagnum

How does your writing process work?  I view writing as one of my life’s vocations. I write when I have something to say or share, and I like both the format of writing in series and writing individual posts that come to me spontaneously. Writing also serves as an act of catharsis for me — a way for my brain to process experiences as well as focus on the blessings that occur in my daily life. It helps me to remain positive despite the challenges that I face. In the three years of my blogging journey, a love of photography has also developed, and sharing visual images of my family and farm has become a great passion.

Blogging has truly been a journey for me — what began as a simple desire to dispel myths relative to cattle farming and feed yards has turned into a process of personal growth. I learn so very much by sharing my farm, and truly value to feedback that I receive from my readers.

And now I tag two other writers that I want to learn more about:

 The first is Terryn at FaithFamilyBeef. I first met Terryn when she was a college student, and have watched her mature into a talented cattle woman as well as a dedicated and loving wife and mother. Terryn and her husband ranch in Western Nebraska about three hours from my farm.

The second is Robyn at RanchWifeChronicles. Robyn grew up in Nebraska but has made a life with her husband on a ranch in South Dakota.   She has been very helpful to me as I have learned the art of blogging and picture taking, and has served as a great mentor and resource.  She even came to visit our farm a couple of years ago which was really fun!

A big thanks to Seasonsgirl for inspiring me to think about why I write — Also, a big thanks to all of you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my posts…

 

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