Can We Change the World?  

Across the United States there are countless dairy women and men working hard to care for cows so they can produce high quality milk each and everyday.  It has been an honor to get to know more of them throughout my life and especially in sharing parts of their stories via my Facebook page earlier this year during the month of June.  At this time in my life I know the dairy business as a privilege.  It is a privilege to care for the beautiful creatures, and it is a privilege to care for the land.  The land and animals are not ours, we are merely stewards of them.  It is important that we seek to improve the care of both.  Thankfully there are countless men and women doing just that.  But I also realize that there’s so much more that all of us can do no matter our vocation.  This might be shocking but did you know that most cattle in the U.S. have cleaner water than 748 million people around the world do?  To do our best, to change the world for the better is something that leaders have been inspiring for centuries.  I believe we as people no matter our industry are trying to do better.  I know that we want help our fellow man.  In agriculture I believe we are trying to transparently produce food but further than that we need systems to transport that food where it is most needed.  More than that we need people with the desire to help and to serve with no agenda.  There’s a book, ImpactWe Can Change the World, I read this year and am reviewing regularly, it is by Kirk Gilchrist.  This is the description: 

Can we change the world? Can an individual actually have a part in shaping their environment? What about the United States of America? Did God raise up this nation to effect the world? And if so, why? Impact: We Can Change the World, helps us to understand how easy these questions can be answered it illuminates the realities that we as the church world and as a nation were created for exactly this purpose — to change the world. 
This booklet both challenges and inspires as it presents the jewels that make up the crown of sacrificial giving. Giving is not only our privilege, but we are created to function best as a giving people. We are called to change the world. And we can do it! Explore the how’s, and whys and dos that transform us into the most powerful servants on the face of the earth.

Why am I reviewing this regularly??  Because God has used it to changed my life.  It has helped me to understand that we were all created by a creator to keep creating for Him.  We are designed to give.  As Ana, I am called to change the world in the way that I can.  You too are called to change the world!!  We don’t know how to do that on our own, we need guidance, to keep growing and learning.  What we can know and trust today is that God can see what we cannot and so we must follow Him to get a realistic view of how we can impact and change the world around us.  One of my favorite books says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  How can a person who is separated from his or her creator function well?  How can a branch perform if it is cut off???  For example, when a cow has a calf we have to feed it colostrum ASAP.  The calf must have the colostrum!!!  WHY??  It’s immunity, life and future depend upon it.  In the same manner our lives depend on if we are fed spiritually from our life source.  One of the details farmers know about feeding colostrum is that it needs to be done ASAP for immunity so that nothing else tries to take its place, such as bacteria.  What if we as people had the same posture in feeding ourselves from our life source?  Could it be that you are like me and you’ve been missing the ‘colostrum’ a.k.a. words of life, and are deformed inside because other ‘bacteria’ a.k.a. negative messages about your worth and your value, or your past have taken its place?  You see when a calf gets the colostrum nothing can take its place and its immune system is strengthened, but if the calf doesn’t—bacteria come in and can cause damage for months or even years to the calf’s life.  Those bacteria rob the calf all that it can be.  You were created to do something extraordinary!  There’s a plan for you, to change the world in only the way you can!  Remember, consistency is KEY!!  A calf cannot miss it’s colostrum or meals and we can’t either!!  We don’t need to give the ‘bacteria’ a.k.a. negative messages about our worth, our value or our purpose, a chance to get in to our lives and rob us of all that we can be.  I hope that this inspires you to seek life giving words each and everyday, first!   

So can we change the world?  YES!!!  We have to stay connected to a life giving source, for me there’s only one source, God’s word—the Bible.  Whatever it is that you do, you can change the world!!  You were born to be a powerful person who brings something special to all that you put your hands and mind to do.

See what this message from God in Impact:We Can Change the World can do for you, order yours here today.  The world needs you.  

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What Do You Hunger For? 

A. W. Tozer once said, “we are all the sum total of our hungers.” James Allen in his book, As a Man Thinketh, states that “the soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it loves, and also that whih it fears; it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of it’s unchastened desires–and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.” Most all of us want more out of life yet he also said this of us as humans, “men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.”
Contentment is an important virtue but contentment with our inward state in relation first to our spiritual growth and then our growth as human beings spells inward blindness. You see if we believe we have arrived we will not go any farther because it would be foolish in our eyes to waste time on such things. It can be easy to believe we have arrived when we have not. The key is this, we never arrive. Cultivate this mindset in your spiritual life and your personal growth. It will take you higher and further than you or I can imagine.  So what do you hunger for?  

3 Ideas to Stay Motivated in Daily Life

They say the only constant in life is change.   I have done my best to enjoy each and every step of my journey because of God’s grace, including the fun days and the not so fun days.  With all the changes in life one might think we could all ‘stay on our toes’.  I know from personal experience that it takes more than just my own thinking to keep me motivated, that is for sure!  I understand how daily life can tend to become routine deterring our creativity, spontaneity and motivation.  Here are three ideas that help me stay motivated in my daily life.

1.  Find learning opportunities that spark your curiosity

Whether it’s a local small group, an online webinar, a local or virtual mastermind group, a speaker, a coach to help you reach your goals or a new hobby that requires some practice or lessons.  Find something that keeps your brain engaged at a higher level on a daily and or weekly basis.  This will help you stay more productive.  I find that if I am looking forward to an opportunity and anticipate that more is coming, I will push harder to finish my current task(s) preventing me from enjoying it.  

2.  Read inspiring motivational quotes and books

In this digital age it is disgustingly EASY to waste time on a smart phone.  Instead of letting my phone distract me from productive tasks I allow myself to read motivational quotes and listen to books on the Audible app.  Various social media apps for example Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and even Facebook have people or pages to follow that constantly display motivational and inspirational quotes.  There are also many motivational speakers and authors whose web pages you can subscribe to via email.  For example, John C. Maxwell, a renowned speaker and author, has a daily ‘Minute with Maxwell’ coaching video I’m subscribed to.  Turn apps and subscriptions into things that help inspire you to accomplish your goals, not distracts you from them!  In my personal experience and because my faith is so important to who I am, I have to share that keeping myself grounded in the Bible is key.  This allows for me to see more and more of God’s vision for me, which helps me to stay motivated more than any of the things I listed above!!!  

3.  Listen to motivational speeches and podcasts

YouTube as well as MusicTube are great places to create playlists of motivational speeches and videos.  MusicTube is similar to YouTube but allows you to download the video and play it anytime without the use of the internet which saves $$ on data packages.  Just search for motivational speeches and believe me, there will be plenty!!  Take advantage of them!  Four of my favorites are Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Eric Thomas and Les Brown.  Don’t forget about podcasts either, there is an abundance of great content out there, you just have to look!  Here’s a place to start>>>Check out my friend, Brent Kelly’s BizzGrowl Podcasts at https://player.fm/series/the-agent-leader-podcast.  

Hope these 3 ideas help you stay MORE motivated in your daily life! 

Endless Training

We all come in to this world as one and we all leave as one.  What we do here can make all the difference.  I listen to Eric Thomas, an author and motivational speaker, almost every day and that is where a lot of my inspiration for this post came from.  Check him out on etinspires.com.  So what are we all doing here on this earth?  What can we do that can make a difference?  I don’t look at life as a competition between me and another person.  I look at it like I’m competing against my last challenge.  If I could overcome that challenge then what can I do next?  Or if I didn’t overcome that challenge, what do I need to do to prepare for success?  It makes no difference how old you are.  But the hour you rise in the morning is key.  I consider a good start around 4 or 5.  That’s not early, some think 2 or 3!  I love to wake up and have more of the day ahead of me, than behind me.  We all get twenty-four hours…but how you use them is what counts!  Each day is a training day in my book and every day I can get better or I can stay where I’m at (or worse, but let’s stay on the positive side! ;))  This applies to nearly every detail in my life and in yours as well.  So what challenges are you facing today?  Are you overcoming them?  What do you need to prepare for success?  Do you set deadlines for yourself with goals, small or big?  How are you competing with yourself?  Are you just settling for average you?  

Right now I have challenges before me that I am slowly overcoming with the help of God, my adorable husband and family of origin.  I am working to prepare for the next challenge.  Have I set deadlines, yes!  Am I doing all of it because it’s what someone else wants? No!  Or do I feel pressured or obligated to prepare?  No!  But all of the training is necessary for me to reach higher.  So here’s to not settling for an average you, and to endless training!!  Remember there is not just one path to greatness, but it all takes a LOT of hard work.  No matter where you are in life, keep pushing for what you want.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way!  God Bless and good luck!! 

From Stomachs to Souls with Dreams and Goals!

Well I cannot believe I have already been working here at Watertown Holsteins for just over two months!  It has been a huge learning experience already as I am working with my family, and gaining new responsibilities on the dairy.  The time that I was without a Mac was actually a blessing in disguise.  Even though I missed blogging a lot, it’s been hard to get back in the swing of things!  However that time allowed me to reflect on my summer, my college career and decide what goals I think God wants me to pursue in the near future.  I always learn a lot during an experience but even more from reflecting on it as time passes.  As I look back on my summer I feel blessed to have been given knowledge, training, hands-on experience, and friends at Maddox Dairy on my internship.  It was an inspiring place for me to be!  I set out for California in May after graduation excited to see more of the dairy industry in another state.  But I didn’t realize that I would learn and gain so much that it would change my life.

When I arrived, I felt like an olympic athlete before he or she walks in to the Olympic training center for the first time.  He or she feels excited, nervous, proud and just can’t wait to get to work!  Because for me, as seriously as an olympic athlete takes their training, I take mine, as I prepare for a career in the dairy industry, in agriculture.

My journey through dairy started when I was just a young little girl, but it has a long, long ways to go.  In the last few weeks of my internship I had a chance to practice artificial insemination, trim hooves, shadow the manager, and shadow the veterinarian of the embryo transfer program at Maddox and RuAnn Dairies.  For everything that I was taught during my internship, I told the folks there I ought to be paying them for letting me come!  For me, it was a one of a kind experience.  Through the internship this summer, my college career and in the recent weeks I have determined that I am going to full on pursue my dream to become a veterinarian.  It is a dream I have had since I first watched a vet fix a cow’s displaced abomasum here at my home farm when I was about eight years old.

Ever since it’s one of those dreams that has always lingered, even as I pursued and completed my degree in dairy production from South Dakota State.  Through college, I went back and forth many times wondering and asking myself “what do I really want?”  To me it is a huge commitment and when I was trying to make it before it wasn’t the right time in my life.  I can see now that my faith along with all the experiences and activities I committed to in college helped me become what I am, and I believe they will ultimately help me reach my goals in this life.  Now, I know of course that I have to be accepted to a veterinary school, and that itself is extremely competitive.  But now I have the right attitude and motivation for going after that acceptance letter.

I believe it is important to follow and trust God in making decisions.  Even though I don’t always do that; I am trying to more and more each day.  The biggest thing we all have to do in this life is admit that we mess up, we make wrong choices, follow the wrong path.  The best thing part is that God is always there to put you back on the right track.  There are always consequences for our actions, but He never gives up on us!  Sometimes I wonder why on earth God gave me the passions I have, but then I remember that God put them in me for a specific purpose.  I also know without a doubt that His timing is best and that He will give me the strength I need.  When I was young I never dreamed that my generation would have to produce enough food for 9 billion people by 2050!  Not only that but we have to do it more efficiently with less land and resources!  On top of that, as agriculturalists, we have to advocate and prove over and over again that we are doing our very best to produce wholesome food from the land and animals we value and care for.  Everyday I am thankful and happy that I can help feed the world!  For me feeding the world isn’t just about filling stomachs either, it’s also about feeding souls too.  I have many dreams and goals that align with feeding stomachs and souls, but first I am going to follow my dream of becoming a veterinarian.

We all only have one life, just as an athlete may only get chance to attend the Olympics.  We have to make each day count!  Life is meant to be lived with purpose, it is not just a right you have.  It has been given to you by our Creator above.  It is my task be a part of agriculture, to bring honor and glory to God through it, to love others as He does, to help grow and produce the needed food, and to trust Him to make it all come together.  The road ahead will be tough, but at the end of the day I KNOW He knows what is best.  In reality, we are all like Olympic athletes training for the race ahead.  It is just that some of us are “in the training center” and some of us are watching from the outside.