The First Last

 

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.

School 2015Everyone 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.

Fixin Fence

I am trying desperately to start writing again and in going through that process I came upon this post from last Fall and found it very on target with where I am at right now. As of today, I have a high school senior and the idea that my children are becoming adults right before my eyes is overwhelming. Holding my kids tight and enjoying the ride. Hope you are too.

Marytina On Faith, Family And The Farm

As a mother, I thank God everyday for the love and health of my children. I am humbled to watch them grow and walk along side and witness God’s hand in molding who they each are to become. I was reminded of this the other day when we got a call to check one of the pastures we have cattle on, as there was a report of a hole in the fence. A calf had ventured out and gotten herself into trouble eating the ditch grass on the wrong side of the fence. After a quick trip to the pasture the problem was remedied but the hole in the fence was not. Of course my “Man of the North” was working the other farm and unavailable. So as is most days the burden falls to my oldest son.  He has become my mainstay in times of need.

Wyatt in PastureHome I went…

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Generation Four – A Farmer In the Making

I have been looking through my postings from the past and this was one of those moments that I thought was worth reposting. My strong son has grown so much in the past six months and continue to makes me proud to be a farmer’s wife and now a farmer’s momma.

Marytina On Faith, Family And The Farm

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.

Trust and Wy #1 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…

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Generation Four – A Farmer In the Making

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.

Trust and Wy #1

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.

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.

Dreams are Forever…………..

I have been so incredibly inspired by this post by my daughter that I thought it warranted a repost. Please let me know what you think.

Marytina On Faith, Family And The Farm

I have just finished doing some overdue typing for my daughter.  She has been competing in high school speech for the past few months with a highly controversial piece on God and dreams and now our church is potentially interested in having her speak to the congregation.  Lately I have been struggling a bit with my own dreams and desperate need to make progress on them.  As a sat here this afternoon typing this speech up to send to my daughters youth pastor, I actually began to read her anointed words and allowed them to sink into my soul and I found myself abruptly reminded of all the basic principles necessary to reach for my dreams.  I thought they might inspire others as well.  And so here they are………

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Who Are You?

By Montana Lawrence

When you take a look at your life what do you see? Who have you…

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LIFE OF A FARM WIFE

Marytina On Faith, Family And The Farm

Just reading a few of my old posts and realizing that their is continued room for self evaluation and self improvement in our relationships with our family and spouse.  Thought I would repost this one cause I think that despite how late Spring is I am in that place once again where I am feeling the loneliness of an absent husband.  My 3 year old is now 5 and this will be my 18th summer in Minnesota.  Truth be told I can’t wait to see what the season will bring.  I have grown, I have opened my eyes to the beautiful gift of  raising children on the farm and I am not kicking and screaming so much this year.  I am embracing the season and it feels really good.  However, this post below did help me reflect and it reminded me that I am truly blessed.

33_Wynn

HILLS WE DIE ON…

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Dreams are Forever…………..

I have just finished doing some overdue typing for my daughter.  She has been competing in high school speech for the past few months with a highly controversial piece on God and dreams and now our church is potentially interested in having her speak to the congregation.  Lately I have been struggling a bit with my own dreams and desperate need to make progress on them.  As a sat here this afternoon typing this speech up to send to my daughters youth pastor, I actually began to read her anointed words and allowed them to sink into my soul and I found myself abruptly reminded of all the basic principles necessary to reach for my dreams.  I thought they might inspire others as well.  And so here they are………

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Who Are You?

By Montana Lawrence

When you take a look at your life what do you see? Who have you been, who are you going to be? Maybe you are exactly who you always dreamed you would be or maybe life is not going the way you had always hoped. Well, I pray that the words I have for you today can show you that no matter who you are, no matter what you are going through, God loves you and He has a plan for your life. When we begin to seek God’s plan for our lives we must first examine our walk with God. Then we will take a look at the importance of trusting and believing in God and finally we will learn how important our dreams are in our lives.

In seeking God’s plan you must examine your walk with Him. Psalms 23:3 says, “He guides me along the right path for His namesake.” Now this poses a question. What is my path? God’s perfect plan is something that He reveals to us gradually throughout our lives. He guides us through life step by step showing us who He wants us to be and what He wants us to do. Everyday God gives us opportunities to follow His plan but He leaves it up to us to make the choices and decisions.

Second, we must understand the importance of trusting and believing in God. God’s plan is perfect and He does love and take care of us, but that does not mean following His plan will be easy or nothing bad will ever happen to you. We live in a fallen world. Sometimes bad things happen and sometimes it’s hard, but no matter what you are going through, God will always be with you, for Psalms 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” You see God will never leave you no matter what the circumstances. We have to be strong and choose to listen to God instead of all the other voices that tell us it’s too hard and that we can’t do it because let’s face it, there are going to be people in your life that are going to reject you because of your faith in God. But the truth is, God’s opinion of you is so much more important. Sometimes in life, we see ourselves as being caught in something that’s too big for us to handle. When we are in these situations one of the most powerful things we can do is pray. Some of us may think that prayer is simply asking God for things we need, but prayer is actually talking with God. Philippians Chapter 4 verses 6-8 says, “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

We have to trust God because He sees the whole picture when we only see small fragments of it. When we think there is no way out, God makes a way. If we constantly tell ourselves I can’t do it, it’s too hard, then it will be. We have to be more like the little engine that could. As she began that ascend that mountain, she said, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” All the way up the mountain she kept on saying that she could do it and she believed she could. Instead of running away from her challenges, she

faced them with all her might. We have to be willing to face our fears and challenges because God has a way of using them to make us stronger.

Finally, you must both identify and believe in your dreams. On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington DC before thousands of Americans and he declared to all of them that he had a dream. He did not get up and say, “Well guys, segregation is horrible and you know people are being killed, neglected and hurt. Wow, things are really awful for us, maybe we should just give up.” No, he got up on that podium and he said, “ I have a dream.” he knew what he was fighting for and he understood that he had a purpose in life and that now matter who he was and no matter where he came from, God wanted to use him to do great things. A lot of times we as people have difficulty determining what we are working towards and ultimately what we are living for. We spend too much time worrying about our circumstances and not enough time focussing on the things God wants to do through us. That is why dreams are so important in our lives. Our dreams are what set the foundation for some of the major accomplishments we will have. Everyone needs dreams because it’s extremely difficult to determine who you are and who you are going to be without them. God lays certain dreams on everyone’s heart and we have to believe we can accomplish the dream He puts in us. He wouldn’t have given them to us if we could’t accomplish them. However, just wanting your dreams is not enough. You have to work for it and like I said, “It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.” You have to believe in yourself because if you don’t that will set you up to fail. Your mind is a powerful thing. The thoughts you form eventually become a reality. As my dad often puts it, “The body achieves what the mind believes.” Most of all, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it because it’s not true. Philippians chapter 4 verse 13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I believe that if you work for your dreams everyday and trust God to guide you, that you will accomplish them. I also believe that anything is possible with God.

In this life, there are very few things worth living for. It’s not enough to live for money or fame or even for ourselves, because you will find that living for our own selfish desires will never give us the ultimate fulfillment that we long for. The only thing that fills that gap, that emptiness in our hearts is Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says, “For God so live the world that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” God loves you so much that He was willing to give his own son to die for you. His love is so great it is more than your or I can comprehend. Maybe you think that you can’t find God,that it is too late, but I am here to tell you that every day God gives us opportunities to follow His plan, to love and be loved by Him. We examined our walk with God and then we took a look at the importance of trusting and believing in God and finally we learned how important our dreams are in our lives.

The truth is that God will never stop loving you and when you do choose to receive Him and choose to follow His perfect plan, you will feel His fulfillment in your heart and it will change your life forever.

Planning For The Future

Every January after the snow dust settles from the Christmas rush and the joy of constant celebration I find myself extremely reflective.  I spend time reviewing the last year and assess my successes and my failures in an effort to be more affective for the year ahead. It is a process that takes time and leaves me more focused and ready to start fresh with the sincere hope of accomplishing more.

During this time of reflection, I found myself recognizing a deep need for more dedication to organization and discipline.  Worse yet I am convinced that I will need to engage in regular exercise, which I hate, and better diet choices.  I had great opportunity for success this year in my life as a wife, mother, writer and speaker.  But the key element missing in my recipe for a complete life of contentment is definitely more “BALANCE”.

It sounds so simple, so straightforward, almost attainable.  We shall see.  In an effort to achieve my goal for balance I am going to step out and engage my blog audience.  I will share the steps I take from this day forward, both the good and the ugly and I hope to hear from you along the way.

It is a bit of a catch phrase, or cliche to say the I need more “BALANCE”.  It seems like such a simple task.  It has continued to elude me despite me past efforts.  So, instead of just toying with the idea of “BALANCE” I plan to take it step by step, day by day and I am hopeful you will share in my process and true confessions along the way.

Stuck In The Mud

The Mud

This afternoon as I was finishing up my lunch, my daughter rushed in breathlessly to report that the new baby calf was stuck in the mud.  We have had an exceptional amount of rain here in the last 7 days and there is water on top of the ground just about everywhere.

So, in a flurry, we all jumped to our feet (me and the kids) threw on our shoes and headed out the door on a rescue mission.  Upon arriving on the scene it was evident that our little guy had been stuck for awhile.  Shoulder deep in the dark, black, soupy mud from the rain the night before, no mother to be found, he looked pretty beat.  Not without a bit of struggle and a lot of tugging and pushing, we finally managed to get him to high ground and to a place of peace and rest in the rich green grass of the pasture.                                                                       What a relief for him and for us.

Interesting enough, as I was standing there watching him rest in the clean green grass with the calm breeze blowing and the sun giving off just the right amount of warmth it dawned on me that in this experience God was speaking to me.

How many times in life do we end up wandering off the path that God has placed in front of us and end up horribly stuck in the mud.  And as we sink and struggle and wrestle with the mud we just end up more stuck.  Pretty soon, just like the little calf, we give up, exhausted, frustrated and depressed.  And even though we can see the green pasture intended for us, just a few feet away, we don’t know how we will ever reach it.

It is in that moment of complete exhaustion and surrender that God will come along, if we ask, pluck us out of the mud, and drag our tired soul to the green pastures.  His place of rest. Psalm 23 says “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul.”

Green Pastures

The moral of the story is don’t wander off and get stuck!  Stay in that place of rest, wait on Him and He will make your path straight.  I have been stuck for awhile, and in that moment of physical rescue for the baby calf, God opened my eyes to see His will for my life.  He brought me to the green pasture, gave me rest.  He restored my soul.

If you have been wandering too as I suspect many of us have, look up.  Let the Almighty lead you to your place of rest.  He will if you let Him.

The Future Of America

Wyatt Is On The Far Right

I look at this picture of my son Wyatt and his group of 6th grade friends and I have hope for the future.  This photo was taken of the boys at their first band concert and they all agreed that they were going to wear ties even though they were not required.

With all the crazy stuff going on our there in our world today and the questions I have as a middle-aged patriot, I feel encouraged to see such a great group of young men, proud to stand tall, together.

What most of you may not realize is that ALL of them are polite, respectful handsome young men.  I am so thankful for my son, his choices and his friends.  Based on this photo, America is in good hands.