Watching my children start school this year was more emotional than it has ever been. Today was a day of “First Lasts” for me that really has me thinking about life, love and what really really matters. I am thankful to say that I have a high school senior in my home. My daughter Montana has begun the journey into complete independence.
Everyone is officially in school today and as I watch them all depart from the car one by one, each moving into the next year of their lives, I am so thankful that they are all a part of mine.
However, it has forced me to rethink my rushed way of moving through life and take time to contemplate what it is going to look like next, and how I want to handle the moments big and small. Sometimes I think we get so busy as moms, making sure the needs and schedules are met, jumping in and out of cars, kitchens, athletic events, concerts and such that we miss the mini moments that are precious. I have tried hard my whole life to soak everything in and yet I know there are times I have failed miserably.
Now, today, my daughter started her senior year. Every moment from now till graduation is a “First Last”, and I want them to last in my heart forever. Not so that I can hang on to her but so that I can let her go. As a parent, up to this point I have rarely contemplated letting go, but in reality we start letting go the minute God blesses us with their presence. I am praying everyday that God will allow me to do it with grace. That with all four of these precious gifts God has given me to raise I will give them the freedom to become all that He has for them.
Being a mother is the single most important opportunity I have been granted in my life. Of all the accomplishments I have been blessed with as an individual over the years, motherhood is number one. What I do with my children affects eternity on levels I am unable to comprehend, but I know that it is the most significant calling I will ever have.
And so I encourage all mothers to celebrate the “First Lasts” that come your way. Relish those moments and tuck them away for safe keeping when time runs short. The best is yet to come.
When I married my “Man of the North” 19 years ago and became a part of a family farm, I realized very quickly that despite my education in agriculture and passion for the industry I had a lot to learn. Living on a working farm requires a level of commitment that I did not truly grasp until I was directly faced with it. I never looked back.
My son and his show bull.
That being said, I recognize that it takes a special kind of person to be a farmer and a special kind of person to be married to one as well. My role as the farmer’s wife is one I am proud of. I have embraced it to the fullest and have worked hard to foster the same work ethic and appreciation for the farm in my children as well. Statistically speaking, there are fewer children returning to the farm every year, which has resulted in less than 1.5% of our population, physically producing food here in the United States.
As I have watched my children grow and develop over the years, I have been hopeful that at least one would show desire to carry on the tradition and come back to the farm. My husband and I both believe it needs to be their choice, that God’s plan for them comes first and we have put our trust in Him to guide our children to their ultimate purpose. Of course we pray diligently for clarity in raising them, continually asking for wisdom and discernment, and last our prayer for the legacy of our farm is deeply seeded in our heart.
He is a cattleman at heart.
In the past year I have witnessed my oldest son Wyatt beginning to come of age. He is 14 and I am so thankful for his true love for the farm. He started driving farming equipment at age five, and spends every free hour of his life not committed to school or swimming, in his fathers back pocket learning and gleaning what he can so he can take over someday. I have the joy of watching the relationship between father and son grow deeper and deeper everyday and I am looking forward to the future.
Most of all, I am confident that Wyatt is answering his calling. He is most at peace when out on the farm working for the future of agriculture. And I know that our food supply is in good hands because my son loves what he is doing. He will be the fourth generation in his family to work the family farm. For that I am rule thankful.