Fresh starts. I absolutely love them. I love Mondays, and new seasons, and I love the thought of a fresh start with a New Year. Although I’m not a “resolutions” type person, I do like having a word for the year. I find it gives me perspective and encouragement, along with a focus. This year my word is:
It’s been 12 years now since we dropped everything and moved to the middle of nowhere to pursue our dreams of ranching & sustainability. As first-generation ranchers, starting with not much, it’s been HARD. But as I look back, I see the evidence of God’s hand in it all…the good & the bad. 2023 was a year in which God gently drew me closer into Him. He opened my eyes and gave me a deeper understanding of who I am IN HIM as well as all He has for us when we draw closer to Him.
Ranching is so inconsistent, unstable, and often unpredictable. We always do our best to plan, prepare, and set out to accomplish our goals, but there are so many outside factors that affect our life. Nothing is for certain. I love this life, but all the highs and lows made me a very stressed and anxious person.
“He must increase, but I must decrease,” John 3:30, was constantly being whispered in my ear. To do that requires me to intentionally make room for Him. This required seeking Him, praying, taking time to listen to Him, and ultimately, obeying Him….even when it didn’t make sense. Even when it seemed to go against what the world would tell you to do. It meant removing a lot of static and creating a quiet space for Him to come in.
But with obedience and surrender, came fulfillment on God’s end, through direction, guidance, and provision. He ALWAYS met me. And His faithfulness led to a deeper faith & trust.
And through all of this, I realized, we are exactly where God wants our family to be and we are doing exactly what He has called us to do. For too long, I’ve allowed the inconsistencies and instability of this ranching life to toss me to and fro. And in order for God to fulfill all He has for our family, I need to press deeper into Him.
I need to be ROOTED in Him.
Because the more I am rooted in Him, the more everything else falls into place.
This past week, as I’ve been realizing all this, the Lord lead me to this verse:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its ROOTS by the river, and will not fear when heat comes, but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7 & 8.
So in 2024, I’m trading in fear and anxiety for being ROOTED in Christ and in all He has for us:
Being ROOTED in the land and how we steward it
Being ROOTED in the livestock and how we care for them
Being ROOTED in our family and raising the next generation
Being ROOTED in our business of feeding, providing for, & serving others
Being ROOTED in our community and building it up thrugh growth and prosperity
Being ROOTED in pursuing the dreams God has put in our hearts
Being ROOTED in the joy of the work the God provides as well as enjoying the fruits of our labor
And I’m going to have one heck of a good time doing it.