Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where Do You Stand?

I grew up learning about the Bible. The beginning and the end parts of the middle, too. I grew up knowing that the end had been determined and that there would be wars and hate to go around before it got here. I grew up listening to (and still do) my grandpa (one of the absolute best men on the face of the Earth) pray, every time he prays, he prays for Israel. I didn't always understand why he said that. I didn't always know that we would see the beginning of the end, but my grandpa....he always prays for Israel and it has stuck with me.

There was a picture I shared on my personal Facebook page the other day. It was a picture of a newspaper headline that said "Their God changes the path of our rockets in mid-air, said a terrorist." The picture said that it was a headline overheard in Gaza and it was credited to the Jewish Press Staff.  I don't know what the papers in Gaza say. I don't even know if they are printing papers in Gaza right now with all the war and hate they have going on. What I do know is that the statement the headline makes is meaningful.

In America we battle if there is a God or not. We fight atheism. We mostly fight with other believers about doctrinal things that are of little consequence. We struggle with seeing God in places that God abides in. We have silly battles over things that in 100 years from now won't matter anyway. But in Israel they are fighting a war that we can't begin to understand.

I have not followed all of the news stories and quite frankly all that would do is give me slanted semi-truths. I am not a Bible scholar. I don't claim to be the know all of this topic. That's why this is a blog...my personal blog and I am allowed to share my thoughts and my perspective. Good for me. What little difference my blog will make on what is going on in far away lands.

I do, however, look at that picture shared on Facebook and it speaks volumes to me. "Their God changes the path of our rockets in mid-air." My first thought was, "Well yes He does. He can do whatever He so chooses." My second thought was, "Yeah! That's my God!" And my third thought was probably a little more profound and I can't get it out of my head. It was, "These people don't deny that "their" God exists....." And as an American that was one of the most shocking realizations. The terrorists (or as Pelosi refers to them- the humanitarian organization) (had to throw that in) have no doubts that our God exists. They have no doubts that He can change the path of their rockets. They have probably read the Bible and know the outcome of this war, but they fight for their cause anyway.

Lessons, people. We can learn lessons from both sides of this. What do we know of having faith in God that we go to war for Him? What do we know of giving all we have for who we believe in? And from the terrorist point of view...they are fighting a battle they are certain to lose in the very end. I can commend their dedication. They probably don't believe they will lose, but they have no doubt that "their God" exists. And "their God" aka my God says that He will prevail. His people will win. And with all my heart I believe that.

I believe that we are seeing the beginning of the end. I have no clue as to how long "the end" will last. Maybe my lifetime or my children's, maybe even their children's, but my God knows. And I'm so glad He is in control. I'm so glad He has the answers.

Let's not forget Israel. The battle that has come to them has come to believers everywhere. We have to remember Israel and its people. We have to pray for them. We cannot politic this because it is so far beyond politics.  We can't stand back and fight our irrelevant battles and forget about what is important. America isn't immune to the hate and the war. We just haven't recognized our part yet, but it is there. It's here and upon us.

I know where my heart is. I know to whom I belong and to whom my family belongs. I pray for those who do not know God. Salvation is an easy thing. Don't get so lost in the politics of it that you can't see the trees for the forest. The war may not be in our backyard, but it is one we should be concerned with. We would be a much stronger people if we could put aside our simple disagreements and come together, united for what we believe. It has been written. The end has been decided. I know where I stand.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Who is Brother Ben, anyway?

Sweet summertime. Is it August yet? Time for school to go back? My routine to come back into play?

I have had a really good summer. Milkmaid #1 went to her first week long church camp last week! She had a blast and probably could have stayed another week if we'd let her! We are so proud of the girl she is. I can't even imagine what the teenage years will bring with her. She's 8 and thinks she's 18. A lot of sass, some eye rolling, and big opinions.
She is a sponge. She soaks up everything around her and tries to understand things well beyond her eight years. Then she tries to use it against me. My little sweet girl is getting to that point where she fights with her momma. Who knew?

She asks crazy questions. As we are driving down the road we see people holding signs that say "no amnesty" and "impeach Obama" she proceeds to ask me what they are all doing and what that means. Have you ever tried to explain amnesty to an 8 year old? And what impeach means? You think you pretty much know until you are explaining it to a kid. Then you feel like the biggest idiot in the world. And one conversation leads to another one and by the end I had done my best to explain those things plus our welfare system and the IRS. That day was done....good grief.

But the kid is smart...she got it. Maybe. I should probably try to carry a dictionary and a set of encyclopedias around....Oh wait...I have Siri and Google. And don't forget the accurate info on wikipedia!

Milkmaid #2 is....well....2. Going on 12. She is a mess. The kid is just like her father. She walks outside and the dirt attacks her. She comes in after two seconds with dirt smeared on her face, sweat rolling, she looks like a hobo. And she thinks she's a pirate. As we are driving through the field trying to find The Milkman (aka Daddy) she says, "Hmmm...where is that scalawag?"
Did my sweet toddler call her daddy a scalawag?
Milkmaid #1 is rolling.
I am struggling to keep going. I gave up. It was hilarious.

She frequently calls me a "codfish," tells me that I am "Cap'in Hook," and when I tell her to do something (pick up toys, laundry, whatever) her response has become, "Aye! Aye! Cap'in!"
It's all in good fun.
She was really disappointed that her "Izzy" (Jake and the Neverland Pirates) costume's pixie dust doesn't make her fly. She attempted that between beds at the hotel in Branson. It was a lucky break that daddy was there to catch her.

My girls keep us on our toes.

Things get busy. And it's hard to keep up. We try to go to church on Sundays and pray before we eat. It doesn't always happen, but it isn't so rare that the girls are surprised when we do it. I am trying to find some new routine for us. One of the things we started last year was that we say a prayer on the way to school every morning. Yes...while I drive and eat breakfast and tell everyone to have a good day, we also work a prayer in. Milkmaid #2 does a great job. She prays like a pro. Toward the end of the year Milkmaid #2 wanted to say a prayer too. She has one prayer. It doesn't matter what activity is going on. She says, "God is good. God is great. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen"

Let me not leave off the very ending that my family has said since the beginning of time "Amen, Brother Ben. Shot a goose and killed a hen." My great-grandpa Jake was a preacher, my uncle Raymond was a preacher, and of course, my daddy has it in his blood. Don't worry...it's ok to talk about a goose and a hen at the end, we got Jesus. I don't think He minds.

I have been trying to find some quiet time for myself lately. So that I can just spend it reading a few verses, reading a devotional, or just talking to God. The other morning I managed to get up long before I had to, so I sat down and read a chapter in 1 Corinthians and had prayer time. I asked God to help us be less of us and more of Him. I want my girls to feel Him in our home and know He's with us.

We haven't said many prayers in the car since summer started because our routine has changed, but yesterday, when we loaded up so I could take the girls where they were going for the day so I could attend a conference, Milkmaid #2 says, "We need to pay, Mom."
Pay what?
You know pay.
Pay your daycare? or Pay at Sonic?
No! PAY!
Milkmaid #1 chimes in, "Pay Memaw? What for?"

This momma was on top of the world. I had just sat and prayed that God would help me know that I was doing an okay job. That I would be humble enough to allow Him to work in our home. That I would know my girls were learning to have faith. And He moved me through my 2 year old.

All 3 of us said a prayer. We gave thanks for our many blessings. We prayed for grace and mercy and love. We asked that we could be good examples for Christ. And Milkmaid #2 thanked God for our food.

Amen, Brother Ben. Shot a goose and killed a hen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Diary of a Dairy Wife: About That Gap, The Unexpected Part II

I spent the last two days at a statewide Farm Bureau Federation conference. I have spent a lot of time at these different conferences. This particular one is called Officers and Leaders. It's goal is to inform and help to develop the organization's officers and leaders. I have attended this conference a couple of times and so many other leadership conferences. We always have general sessions with great speakers and workshops with lots of information. Overall you usually always learn a thing or two and meet some new farmers with struggles similar to your own.

My last blog post was about agvocating (yes autocorrect...I mean aGvocating) and trying to bridge the generational gap. This post is going to be a follow up to that. This year's theme was "engage" and focused on engaging the younger generations and how to keep them interested. This is a hot topic, not only in the Farm Bureau Federation, but in most other grass roots organizations. 

I have heard the question asked over and over again. I have heard an older generation ask where the young people are. I have heard staff members ask the same questions. Why can't we get the young people involved? What does it take? They won't come to our meetings. They don't commit the way we think they should. They don't respect how we do things. I would like to sort of use this forum as an open letter to anyone asking those questions and making those statements.

The Milkman and I have been involved in the ARFB (Arkansas Farm Bureau) since right after we got married about 11 years ago. We have attended conferences and meetings. We have gone on big trips and little trips. We have participated in leadership opportunities. We have received awards and recognition for our work on our farm and in the organization. The YF&R (Young Farmer's & Rancher's) program has allowed us to make friends from all over the state and some from other states. We have received opportunities that we wouldn't have had because of our involvement. Farm Bureau Federation is an amazing organization and we are proud to be a part of it.

It hasn't come easy. I have personally invited friends/family/acquaintances and anyone I could beg, bribe, or barter to come to our meetings. And sometimes I get one or two to show up. And time and time again they will come to a meeting or two and then nothing. They don't want to come back. And finally I will ask, "What happened?" The response I get blows me away. One particular couple had came a few times and someone from our group had said, "What are you doing here? Don't you young people have anything better to do than come to a meeting like this?" And the person that said it had no idea they were discouraging a younger person. That single question held the power to remove a promising leadership couple from our organization. 

I'm stubborn. I will not be ran off by someone that is so miserable that they have to say something so discouraging to a future leader. 

There are more stories like that and it happens in more than just my local organization. You finally convince someone to come just to have them completely turned off by the fact that someone wasn't welcoming, said something discouraging, or the fact that the business carried on is less than productive. 

My generation of farmers are under attack like agriculture has never seen. We are under fire from so many different directions that we just take cover and put every ounce of will that we possess into keeping our heads above water and out of the line of fire. We trust very few with the ability to protect our farms. We are so busy trying to keep up that multi-tasking is the only answer. We are only able to remember meetings because of an email or a calendar alert on our phones. I truly believe this is where the generations above us confuse us as being disrespectful. 

Are we sometimes inappropriate with holding our phones in front of our faces? Yes. Yet, we are also able to have instant information that would have taken days to get around before we all had it in the palm of our hands. We can gather and give information in a matter of seconds. If you are talking about an event in a meeting and we are on our phones it is likely that we are taking notes. We no longer need a pencil and paper to do it. We keep everything in one place.

The question is asked, "What can we do to engage younger folks to attend and be involved?" but the reality is that the person asking doesn't want to really hear the answers. The person asking that question will probably not like the truth. That is one of those questions I can give a watered down answer to, but it will get us nowhere. I will give the answer to that question. Are you ready?


It is black and white. Right in front of you. 

Change how, you ask?

As we get older we tend to do things in a routine manner. We do it the way we've always done it. I'm only 31 and I find myself using that answer. When a new member comes along and they say, Why do y'all do it like that? It would be so much more efficient to do it this way." and I say, "Because that's just how they've/we've always done it."

Guess what....it ain't working.

The average age of the farmer is going up. The numbers of folks willing to give their time is going down. 

My generation and younger have obligations on top of obligations. We want to give our time to worthwhile organizations. We have jobs. We have farms. We have kids. We have hobbies. We don't have time for all of those things as it is. We rarely spend time with our friends so it isn't likely that we want to come to a meeting or an organization's dinner to just hang out. We want to be productive. We want to make a difference. We want to change the way people view agriculture. And we cannot do any of that if we have no volunteers because we can't make our meetings worthwhile. And sometimes we need to do all of those things while we are sitting in a tractor rolling up hay. 

The beauty of technology is that, while face to face interaction is extremely important, we can still accomplish great things from our homes. From our tractors. From our barn. It isn't disrespectful. It isn't taking our obligations lightly. It is efficient. 

How can we get young people involved?


Change isn't easy, but if you aren't going to accept change you will have to accept defeat.

The message doesn't need to change. The tactics must change. The acceptance of new ways. The ability to put your faith in a 27 year old farmer is going to keep these organizations alive.

Do not ask the questions if you do not intend to hear the answers. I'm known for my soapboxes, brutally honest answers, and my inability to fake it. I wear my feelings right on my face. I am not a good actress. I see things for what they are and make no excuses for it. 

It is hard to convince young people to give up their time to be involved in more. Their plates are threatening to overflow as it is. We have to give them reasons to be engaged. We started our involvement wanting to know what Farm Bureau would do for us. What is worthwhile about the organization. As time has passed and we now know that this organization is worthwhile. We know that they work their tails off to make sure farmers have their rights. We know that our time isn't being invested in worthless activity. And the question of "what can Farm Bureau do for me" has become "what can we do for Farm Bureau?"

I think we get wrapped up in this nice package coming off an assembly line. We do the same actions, have the same responses, and never change things. And we forget to really look at what we are doing. After a while the packages get sloppy and the assembly line workers don't notice because they are just doing what they've always done. Sometimes  you gotta step back and look at that line and say, "Hey, you know what? We need some fresh eyes in here. We need someone that notices that the line isn't working. We need people that care about what we do." Those fresh eyes may change up the line a little bit, but the packages will sure look a lot better.

If you ask the question, "How do we get new people involved?" or "Why don't they come back?" Take a good look at your methods. Think about the way you looked a the younger person and how you treated them. 
Did you welcome them? 
Did you put them in their place...like at the kids table at Thanksgiving? 
Did you try to understand their way of doing things or did you just decide it was different and you weren't interested?

If you refuse to accept change, prepare to accept defeat. When you aren't able to carry the weight anymore there will be no one to relieve you. There will be nobody to carry on. Who could have imagined that agriculture would be under fire the way it is today? Think about what will happen if there is nobody to carry on the grass roots tradition. Without those roots there ain't no grass. 

My way of getting things done may not be the same as yours, but that doesn't mean it won't work. These younger folks want to feel like they are putting effort into something that makes difference. Give them the opportunity to do that. Loosen up on the reigns a little bit. 

My challenge to anyone asking how to get young people involved is to look past your way of doing things. Open up to trying something new or at least a new way of doing the same thing. If it doesn't work that's okay. And ask, specifically, what the younger folks need and actually listen to their answers. I don't like a watered down version of the truth so I am not likely to give one. Ask for the truth, be willing to listen, and follow through. Give us room to spread our wings a little...we may not fly, but at least we showed up.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Diary of a Dairy Wife: Bridging the Gap: Commitment & Involvement

Agvocate. Do you know what it means? It is a new thing. It's one of those new words we've come up with because of social media and all of the technology at our finger tips. Agvocating is really nothing more than advocating on behalf of agriculture. It has become quite a big movement in my little world. Farmers and those interested in farming have come around to accepting that we need to share our stories. As a rule farmers like to be fairly private people. We don't really like being out in the middle of things...we don't like sharing things because we aren't in our business for praise or fame. Farmers haven't ever had to explain themselves because people used to know what a farmer does. People used to believe in the people feeding them. There wasn't an all out attack on the hard working people feeding America. But thanks to social media and technology and fear mongering advertisement farmers are moving out of their comfort zones and are learning to share their personal stories of hard work, practices, love, and hate of the profession that chose them.

There are so many ways to agvocate. My blog is an example. My Facebook page, personal and blog page are how I agvocate. I love telling our stories. I love talking about the facts and myths of agriculture. I am not always knowledgeable on every aspect of ag, but I am always interested in learning more and teaching more. I have friends that shock me sometimes with what I thought I have taught them and they end up asking me something that makes me think..."really? I didn't make that priority? I gotta up my game!" I have lots of farmer friends, but also lots of non-farmer friends. And when there is a hot button issue...believe me....they get educated quickly. I get a little passionate.

Another way I agvocate is to be involved in our local and state Farm Bureau Federation. There is more to Farm Bureau than insurance. If you are a Farm Bureau member (you don't gotta have their insurance) you pay yearly membership dues. That yearly fee goes to help the organization fight for farmers and their rights. They have educational programs, lobbyist, staff, promotions, and so many benefits you can't keep up. It really is a good organization that has done so much for farmers and the agriculture industry. I would say that without the organization farmers would be in pretty bad shape in some places. If you aren't familiar with your state/local organization I would certainly encourage you to check it out...you end up getting benefits that far outweigh your dues.

( Arkansas Farm Bureau website: www.arfb.com ) 

Our involvement in the last 10 or so years has been more than just paying dues. We have served on state committees, participated in amazing leadership development opportunities, and been involved on our county board and women's committee. We have learned and grown so much in our few years. The Milkman and I both have gotten far more out of our involvement than we could ever have put in. We have made more friends and business connections than I can count. I promise there isn't a chance we would take any of these years back. That's not to say, however, that no problems come with our volunteering.

There is a HUGE generational gap in farming. The average age of a farmer in the U.S. is 57. That is about 25 years ahead of the Milkman and myself. And that's an average....so if you think about it the gap is far more than 25 years. Consider the technological differences we have now compared to 25 years ago. There are few things that are done the same way. Think about the differences in what was acceptable then and what is acceptable now. Think of how long it took news to travel, how committed people were, how 25 years ago very few people knew what a computer was much less had one in their homes and we certainly weren't connected by "the Internets."

This gap is in lots of occupations and organizations. And this gap makes getting things done dang near impossible. My generations wants things done fast. We want to do things on a massive scale. We want to do it in the most efficient way with the most efficient tools we have. We aren't opposed to the "old school" way of doing things, but we know how today's world works. We know that one tiny little slip or slow reaction ends up on everyone's news feed and YouTube within seconds. Things. Move. Fast. 

I'm not saying that the older generation is slow or that they don't understand or even that their way is wrong. Or even that every person belonging to that generation is opposed to today's ways. There are plenty of times where we need to slow down and look around and take into consideration that the older generation kept our family farms going. We need to be considerate of those who kept agriculture alive when things were desperate and so difficult that getting up in the morning was hard to do. 

On the flip side of that coin...I have seen so many of my generation quit and be "ran off" because the older generation refuses to change. Some refuse to allow any younger generation to learn, to lead, to help move us into today's fast paced world. We don't expect everyone to use a computer, or text, or Facebook, or YouTube, or even email. We don't expect everyone to be willing or able to master today's technology. We do, however, expect some respect for the fact that today's agriculture is facing the biggest attack that agriculture has ever seen. We expect the older generation to help us along with all of the knowledge they can bestow upon us and allow us to use today's technology to make things happen.

I don't want to leave out the fact that I have several people that would fall into the "older generation" that have become my friends. They have been supportive and willing to put themselves in uncomfortable situations to help me when I was having a hard time. The generalization I am using isn't meant to say that there isn't any cooperation. I am so thankful for the people that have stepped over the gap from both sides and made some progress possible. The reality is that those willing to straddle the gap are few and far between, but I hope to be a part of solving that problem by helping to understand the problems and encourage commitment to bridging the gap.

In our state I have many young friends that also lead in their counties. They face the exact same challenges that I do. My generation likes to multi-task. And we aren't feeling useful until we have about 10 huge projects going on all at once. Our heads spin constantly. We check our phones all the time. We are making progress when all others see is "wasted time." Here's the thing...we are farmers first. Our farms WILL BE FIRST on our list of priorities. We will not neglect our family or our livelihood for anything. We are not at the point of retirement or even close. We have to move as fast as the world moves around us to be successful. Today is not the same as it was 25 years ago and it will never be. It will change. It will evolve. It will move on with or without us. And we refuse to allow it to leave us behind. 

My generation of farmers believes in doing things to better ourselves and our world. We want to be involved. We want to change things. We want to get along and make everything work for the success of our industry. And the thing that I hear that causes more damage to our industry is something that is said and thought constantly. Do you know what it is?

"It's the way we've always done it."

That makes me a little sick to think about. It isn't working. The way it has always been done hasn't protected us from activist groups. From people who believe that conventional agriculture is the devil's spawn. It hasn't kept government regulations from choking us out. It hasn't stopped lies and falsehoods that threaten my very way of life from being printed or showing up in a news feed or on the nightly news. The world has changed and so must we. The train is moving...get on, get off, or get out of the way.

I have personally had my share of hurt feelings and disappointment. I have lost sleep and been sick over the way someone treated me or another person I invited to participate in different events. And most of the time it was because someone didn't understand why something was done or why it was different. I have learned, though, that I can't let it run me off. I can't let it make me quit. I can't let it make me lose sleep or take from my family. If I quit and let a little bit of stubbornness discourage me then I will not only be hurting myself, but also my industry. 

One time I said something that must have made sense. It was something about one voice being a whisper, but if we all speak together we become a shout. And a shout can be heard. We can't expect a generation of hard core, wise, in it for life folks to understand all of the changes we want and need, but we can do our best to help them understand the world we live in. The average age of a farmer is 57. They can't run us off and expect agriculture to survive. We are the next generation. The next ones to be a little stubborn and set in our ways. We are needed. We are absolutely necessary for the future. There is very little middle ground, but that middle ground is the only chance we have. A house divided cannot stand. And an entire industry depends on our ability to bridge a generational gap that is, at least, the size of the grand canyon.

I am not retired. Not even close. I do not have free evenings, free days, free weekends, or time to spare. I have priorities and demands and a farm and family that will get my first shot at attention. I have the ability to work from my home. I have the ability to manage several things at once thanks to the Internet, my phone, and my computer. This may not be the definition of involvement and commitment from 25 years ago, but it certainly is the picture of commitment in today's world. 

I will put everything I have into organizations that help secure the future of my farm. I will give my all to make sure The Milkmaids have the opportunity to farm the land that the Milkman has kept in his family for a few generations. I will not give up, give in, or give away my right to fight for my livelihood. I'll always protect what I love.

Agvocating isn't always easy, but it is always important. I teach my children that it is important. They will grow up telling our story. They will grow up defending our farm. They will know that they cannot let a little adversity get in the way of their  success. 

Take the time to evaluate where you stand on the things you are passionate about. Make sure you are one of the folks helping things move along and not the one chained to the John Deere model B demanding that we not move on. (look it up...I had to) We are all on the same team. We all want agriculture to succeed. Is it such a hard thing to give up "the way it's always been" to keep agriculture alive? I would hope not. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dairy of a Dairy Wife: Excuses, Jesus, and Hammocks

Okay, okay. So I’ve let myself (and maybe you guys) down a little. My goal was to have at least one post a week, but I missed last week. I have lots of excuses. One of them is that we actually got to go on a mini vacation. The Milkman, Milkmaids and I went with my family to Branson for a few nights. We got to go to Silver Dollar City, Dixie Stampede, and do a little shopping and a lot of eating. It was really nice to go do something as a family. My other excuse is that it’s summer. That means the Milkmaids are both home almost every day and I have to do the taxi driving thing where I drive us here and there and this camp and that lesson or appointment. 

When I write most of my posts I have to sit down and focus and finish the whole thing, but that doesn’t very well happen when my two Milkmaids need me every few minutes. Not really NEED me, but don’t you know that the best way to get the attention of your children is to sit down and either look comfortable or start doing something that you would rather not be interrupted doing. That is making it rather difficult for me to focus, but it by far ranks in the top 3 of my favorite distractions. 

So here I am…sitting in the car with my laptop, at violin lessons. Milkmaid #1 has been taking lessons for almost 2 years and Milkmaid #2 hates coming. Luckily Grandma Moo-Moo keeps her for the 30 minutes we have lessons. Heaven forbid #2 be trapped in the car while #1 works on her violin playing skills. Then again…if #2 is with Grandma Moo-Moo I get that 30 minutes to try to read, do a little work, or type up a blog post for my sanity and your entertainment. Thank goodness for the little things!

Summer is going way better than spring so far. The rain has kept coming fairly often and the crops keep growing, Praise The Lord. We still don’t have the barn completely finished, but it works. We have been able to get the Milkman a new (to us)  farm truck and just today we (he) got a new (to us) tractor. Sometimes you find a deal you can’t pass up and you drive halfway across the state to get it! The Lord has just blessed us beyond belief. You have to sometimes realize that you aren’t just taking the bad with the good, but the bad brings the good. If you allow God do to what He does best and quit trying to interfere He makes things happen that you can’t even dream up. 

By all accounts we should have gone out of business. Yes, milk prices are (luckily) good this year and cattle prices are outstanding and feed prices are lower than they’ve been in a while, but with the dwindling number of small dairy farms and the incentives to sell out (high cattle prices) not many folks would have rebuilt. And as I reflect on how this year has gone and all the decisions we had to make without much time to think about it I know that we did what God had planned for us. It was by design that we have 2 good friends in the dairy business so close to us that could handle our herd and that we had so many neighbors and friends that helped us. I have no doubt that we still have our farm because God has a plan for our lives doing what we love.

I have said it all before…and maybe you’re tired of hearing it, but that won’t stop me from repeating myself about my faith and love for God and what He’s done in my life.

I have a hard time seeing how people don’t believe in God and don’t have any faith. I have friends that are agnostic or just don’t really believe that there is a higher being. They know my faith, and know my belief, but it is difficult for me to understand them not having one. I was obviously raised in church and my family has a strong faith base…a long, long line of it so I am a little one sided on the topic. I have made it known before that I completely understand why people wouldn’t want to go to church and why people wouldn’t want to call themselves a Christian. We don’t make ourselves a very desirable people with all our judging and hypocrisy….so I completely understand that, but the part about not believing in anything? I can’t say it seems “sad” because there have been times when it seemed like it would be easier to believe nothing. But I don’t think I could go from the faith and belief I have to believing in nothing. 

The only reason I have faith in humanity is because I have my faith in God. We are without a doubt, the most destructive creatures. We easily hurt each other and disregard what we are responsible for. The only redemption I can understand is God. 

Sometimes it just comes down to the end for me. If I am wrong the worst that will happen is that I spent a lifetime believing in something that didn’t exist and then I die. End of story. If I’m right….people that don’t believe and haven’t found salvation suffer an eternity of hellfire and misery. I tend to be someone that weighs consequences heavily before making a decision and maybe that’s why the previous argument would be enough to make me search for some truth and I’d be hard pressed to disregard it completely. On that note, we, as Christians, should be a little more excited to spread that little bit of eternity information….lots of people will be wishing we told them, or that they’d listened when someone did.

As Christians we are supposed to go out and spread The Word and live as good examples of Christ and we aren’t always very good at it. I’m not. But I want to be. And as much as I believe I do this blog for me, I know that I wouldn’t have done it if God hadn’t laid it heavily on my heart. I am not a Christian writer, but I hope to use this to share my faith as well as my life and loves. 

I hope you will all forgive me for missing a post last week….I was busy being momma, dairywife, daughter, taxi driver, and all those other things. The Milkman did see me sitting in my new hammock one day last week and began writing a song. He was singing “Oh, it must be nice to be a dairy farmer’s wife!” and he was belting it as he drove by the backyard with a load of mixed feed. I could hear the beautiful melody over the tractor and the mixer wagon. As much as his tune might fall out of his bucket from time to time it was beautiful to me. It really is nice to be a dairy farmer’s wife. Thank God that it is nice even when it isn’t easy. Those hammock days are few and far between, but somehow the Milkman always sees me at those times…