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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

A Perfect Day

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

As I stood watching the ol’ red tractor noisily chug across the green pasture, I sighed. A sigh of deep contentment. The sky was as blue as blue could get dotted with white, fluffy clouds here and there. The grass was green from all the rain and sunshine lately. It was quite picturesque.

Soaking up vitamin D as my husband’s chief gate opener, I was not on the clock per se, but was completely in my element. Out-of-doors on one of the most beautiful days of the year. So beautiful, I feel guilty for coming in to write about it.

I watched as my husband put out hay for the herd. Usually they are hindrances to his progress. Curious- they watch closely. Hungry- they cannot wait to get their tongues around the dry, yellow grass. But today they were absent and uninterested.

He was able to put the bales out quickly and we stood at the top of the hill looking down onto the herd spread out over the hilly pasture. Each cow’s head down slowly making progress in the green grass. Some animals were down by the pond getting a drink. Some were sitting down in the sunshine chewing his/her cud. Everyone was happy and content.

“Why can’t every day be like this one?” I wondered to myself. A day formed perfectly. Contentment resonating in my soul. Beauty appearing in the minute details of God’s creation.

I smiled answering my own question. Knowing that I like most everyone else would grow complacent about days like this if it was expected every single day. One enjoys the view from the top of the hill better after struggling through the depths and darkness of the valley.

At the apex of the most beautiful day of the year, I stood hand in hand with my husband taking it in with our senses. Trying to record the scents and sounds and sights mentally for future reference when days are less than perfect. Grateful that this is our life for now. Enjoying life as it comes.

Get out and enjoy today wherever you find yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

We have so much to be thankful for this year. God has so richly blessed our family and our ranch. As we count our blessings, we want to take the time to thank you for playing a part in our life.

To our customers, thank you for your support and for spreading the word to others.

To our readers, thank you for subscribing to the blog posts and for your encouraging emails.

To our friends and family members, thank you for always being there when we need you.

From our family at Cross Creek Cattle Company, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! May you have an incredible time feasting on food and conversation. May you reflect on your blessings and show your appreciation and gratitude. May you have an even better year than last.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks in 2013

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, most Americans begin verbalizing things for which they are thankful. We purposefully count our many blessings. We can be thankful for tangible things like a new member of the family or the intangible like freedom. We can also be thankful in unexpected ways like for an illness that set our feet on a different path. The point is to find an occasion to give thanks in all circumstances.

My husband and I have always tried to teach our children to have thankful hearts. Simply saying, “thank you,” is a great place to start. Wanting to instill a sense of gratefulness in my children I asked each of them this question. “As it pertains to living on this ranch, what are you most thankful for?”

Clayton (age 17) “I love the quiet and solitude.”
Kyla (age 14) “Freedom, liberty, and justice for all.” (She insists she is not being a smart.)
Jake (age 12) “I love getting to watch, pet, and be around baby calves.”
Isaac (age 7) “Riding my bike while Buddy (his puppy dog) follows me all down the road and pasture.” Later he added, “Oh, and the bunny rabbits that I see.”
Andrew (age 5) “Horses- riding, watching them run, petting them, and feeding them.”

Anytime that you ask a child a question, there is a big chance that you will be surprised by their answers. Notice it is the little, everyday things for which they are thankful. My husband and I also shared our answers, but you will probably find them more predictable.

Lane “This is a great place to raise a family.”
Lara “I am most thankful for the opportunity to raise a family here in this environment where they can be free to play and explore as well as learn valuable skills. In many ways it is sharing my childhood with them.”

As usual I am more wordy; however, the sentiment is the same. We love it here. We consider ourselves greatly blessed.

What are the members of your family most thankful for in regards to your home? Regardless of the answers, it is fun to see how your children respond.

Gratitude

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

My husband and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary soon and we want to go on a weekend getaway. I began searching for ideas of places to go. We don’t want to use most our weekend traveling so our destination needs to be relatively close. As I scoured the internet searching everything from fancy hotels to bed and breakfasts, I ran across one place not but an hour away.

It is a bed and breakfast on a ranch. Some of the amenities listed free of charge were things like hiking through trails, sitting on a porch swing, and fishing. Other amenities that they charged extra were horseback rides, picnic lunch by the lake, and a ranch tour. I added up the costs for a weekend stay and was taken aback. Wow!!

I never thought of my life as a vacation. The thought of that is actually funny. I guess because I know first-hand all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. However, the thought that I live in an amenity-filled world made me stop and get some perspective. I have written many times how lucky we are to live on Cross Creek Cattle Company; it is not a new realization, but do I wake up each morning knowing how blessed we are?

Regardless of where you live, we can easily take for granted our circumstances, our health, our family, etc. We don’t count our many blessings one by one. We get bogged down in the routine. Seeing that people will pay big money to enjoy the pleasures of living on a ranch made me once again remember how lucky we are. We get so busy that we forget to take advantage of our surroundings. Take a walk, smell the proverbial roses, pick dewberries and wildflowers, pack a picnic lunch, go fishing. Enjoy your life; don’t just go through the motions.

I tell my children all the time “live a life of gratitude.” Be thankful and content in all circumstances. It is easier said than done. But as the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…” He reminds us that it is a learned skill; it is not innate.

Today I challenge you to look around your home whether it be a tiny yard in the suburbs or a small apartment in the heart of a city. Find something for which to be grateful. Make a list. Think about the tourists clambering to have a taste of your life. Then we will all realize how good we have it.

When It Rains It Pours

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

God has heard our prayers and He has used this winter to replenish our land. Throughout December, January, and now February, we have received inches and inches of rain. We observed how the first rains soaked the parched earth and disappeared leaving little evidence of their momentary appearance on the soil. The earth drank deep trying to quench its thirst.

As the weeks passed and more rain fell, we observed how slowly puddles formed in the ruts of the dirt road. The sun quickly evaporated the water or it slowly soaked into the soil. To my bare feet (the winter has been quite mild), the ground felt saturated and replenished. The cracks in the soil were no longer.

The rains continued and the puddles formed pools of water trickling downhill. The dry creeks were filled with run-off and the ponds were once more brimming with water. For the first time in a long time, you had to consider the possibility of getting stuck as you drove across the pasture. The trees, bushes, plants, and grasses relished in the life-giving liquid sent from heaven. The land is healing. God has heard our prayers!

Even more rain falls in torrents. Creeks swell and water spills over some roadways. The water level in our lake climbs a foot. You cannot walk anywhere without sinking in gooey mud. No longer can you drive through the pasture unless you are riding on a tractor.

The kids are unhappy at the prospect of yet another day spent indoors. My garden plot longs to be tilled and sowed, but is currently only suitable for growing rice. How much rain will fall? I fight the temptation to complain. Mud and wet footprints spoil my tile floor. I fight harder.

Why do I think that I know better than God? To combat my temptation to complain, I search for something. Something for which to be grateful. Something to share with my children, who are also fighting their own temptations to wish all this rain away.

I say, “I love hearing the sound of rain falling on our metal roof.”

They look at me surprised and a bit puzzled. I press the oldest in the room, “What do you love about the rain?”

Kyla looks out the window. “I like watching the drops of rain fall into the puddles.”

“Ohhh, yes! It is beautiful to watch the circles dance across the surface. Thank you for sharing that with us.”

We continued to go around the room making ourselves find some reason to be grateful for the rain. I reminded them and myself that rain is a blessing. We need to be thankful and guard our hearts from discontent. We don’t know what the future has in store, but God does. We can trust in Him to give us what we need when we need it.



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