How to Choose the Right Tools for the Job

“Come on, I’m desperate!” the cowboy pleaded!

I knew he was in bad shape and I did feel bad for him but there was no way I was giving him my horse!

It was a beautiful sunrise as we all unloaded our horses out of the trailer.  The quiet stillness of daybreak was soothing to my soul. I was exactly where I belonged in life and soaked up the blessings all around me.

Choosing the right tools

We were helping a friend move cows and calves back home from summer pasture. It was about a 20 mile journey. We all knew how long it would be before we agreed to go. Not to mention all the hills, draws and creeks we would have to cross before it was over.

When you’re moving cows with calves at side you need to let them take their time so you don’t run the weight off them. Yet you still have to keep urging them on, especially as the miles add up.

The hills were starting to wear the calves out by about mile 10. So it was taking quite a bit of convincing to keep them going. By about mile 15 an older cowboy, who had chosen to ride a 2 year old colt, was “out of horse”. This was way too long of a day for a young horse to try to tackle.

As we fought our way up and out of another draw the young horse just quit. He’d had enough and couldn’t go any farther. All the urging on in the world wasn’t changing his mind.

Right horse After quite a bit of effort, the cowboy climbed down and led the horse forward. The young horse reluctantly trudged along now that the extra weight was gone.

You’ve probably heard the saying “choose the right tool for the job”. I can tell you, a 2 year old colt for a 20 mile ride wasn’t the right tool for the job. He was young, immature and hadn’t had enough miles with a rider on his back to handle what that ride threw at him.

How many times do we do the same thing in our own lives? When a circumstance comes up our reaction is to try to tackle it in the natural. But we’re not fighting against flesh-and-blood. So choosing a natural reaction to our situations is choosing the wrong tool for the job.

God gave us the tools we need to stand firm in faith in Ephesians 6. We have to choose to pick them up and use them though.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:11-13

Belt of truth

We can stand firm knowing the truthfulness of God’s Word.  It gives us confidence to stand up to the devil. We have truth on our side we don’t have to settle for believing the lies of the enemy. When the devil comes after us we can speak truth over the situation.

Breastplate of righteousness

The devil is going to come after us with everything he has, it’s just a fact. But we’re equipped and protected with the righteousness Christ has given us. So when the enemy slings lies at us we can stand up to his accusations. Jesus gave us the grace to overcome!

Your feet fitted with the gospel of peace.

The gospel gives us stability and protection as we do battle. We’re equipped to share the good news with others. When we’re serving in the Kingdom of God our focus is Kingdom work and not self serving.

Take up the shield of faith

Our faith is vital to take our stand against the enemy! With it we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. So as the fiery darts are being flung our way, our faith keeps our eyes on Jesus. Without Him the battle is lost.

Helmet of salvation

Our salvation is what gives us hope. I love the visual of putting our helmet of salvation on. It covers our mind which can lead us astray so easily. Yet the hope we experience because of it helps keep our mind focused on our eternal hope.

Sword of the Spirit

The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. This is our only offensive weapon and it’s meant for hand to hand combat. This is why it’s so important to memorize scripture. When the devil is on the prowl we can go after him with the truth of God’s word.

We’re going to encounter difficult situations. It’s part of life. It’s important to know the right tools to use for those situations. The mighty tools God gives us help us to defeat the enemy!

Are there any pieces of God’s armor you struggle to put on? Let’s talk about it!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Can You Feel God’s Love in the Hard Places?

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in my weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9a

Have you ever felt like you’ve had the wind sucked right out of your lungs? Or that you’re suffocating under the weight of your heart breaking?

It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to think or prepare in any way.

Jag was a working dog. He was a handful as we started training. He was full of tension and didn’t always deal with it in the most appropriate ways. I struggled to figure out ways to help him.

But, his heart was so big and he had so much try I just couldn’t give up trying myself.

I discovered through Jag it can include animals as well. We had been through the fire together and the bond formed through it was amazing!

A wonderful bond develops when a person weather’s a storm with someone else. I discovered through Jag it can include animals as well. We had been through the fire together and the bond formed through it was amazing!

Border Collies are a stoic breed by nature. So looking back it doesn’t surprise me that he never let on he was in trouble. We were moving sheep for several hours and I noticed he started to favor a hind leg. Yet he still didn’t want to quit. When he was still favoring it the next day I raced him over to the vet.

It’s amazing how fast things can go downhill. I wasn’t prepared. My heart wasn’t ready for what happened next. I’m not sure it ever is. We discovered he had a tumor strangling the main blood vessel into his heart. He was bleeding out internally and despite my vets best efforts we were unable to save him.

So many people tried to tell me he was “just a dog”. I suppose if you’ve never felt the loyalty of countless hours spent together it would seem that way.

So many people tried to tell me he was “just a dog”.

I suppose if you’ve never felt the loyalty of countless hours spent together it would seem that way. My heart felt like it had been ripped out and stomped all over. I had been cheated and on top of the hurt, anger soon followed suit.

Yet in the middle of it all, God met me. As I was crying out to God in anguish I could almost audibly hear a scripture reference whispered to me. I raced to look it up and sobbed tears of release as words I’d read many times took on new meaning.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Only God! He’s there for us even when it feels like our world is falling apart. He loves us in the hard places when we have doubts. He holds us up when we’re struggling to move forward.

There were still valleys of heartache to travel but I was grateful to feel God’s presence with me in those valleys. He wants to strengthen and hold us up in this life. Let’s allow Him in to do just that!

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

It has been several years since Jag went on ahead and every now and then I still shed a few tears. More often than not though I smile over the memories and am reminded of how faithful our God is in the hard places!

I want to share a poem with you I have always loved. It sums up the love and loyalty God gifted a dog with so beautifully.

Loyalty

God summoned a beast from the field and He said, “Behold people created in my image, therefore, adore them. You shall protect them in the wilderness, shepherd their flocks, watch over their children, accompany them wherever they may go – even into civilization. You shall be a companion, an ally, a slave.

“To do these things,” God said, “I endow you with instincts uncommon to other beasts:  faithfulness, devotion and understanding surpassing that of people. Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death.

Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to the faults of people. Lest it impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words. Let no fault of language leave an accord beyond that of people with any other beast – or even people with other people. Speak to your people only with your mind and through your honest eyes.

“Walk by their sides; sleep in their doorways; forage for them; ward off their enemies; carry their burdens; share their afflictions; love them and comfort them. And in return for this, people will fulfill your needs and wants which shall be only food, shelter and affection.

“So be silent, and be a friend to people. Guide them along the way to this land that I have promised them. This shall be your destiny and your immortality.” So spoke the Lord.

And the dog heard and was content.

Author unknown

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

3 Practical Ways to Learn to Trust God

The day started out bright and sunny with so much promise. Loping along on my little horse alongside my brother and dad. The day was beginning to unfold and there were many adventures left to be had.

I was living every little 6 year old girl’s dream. Well, I’m not sure every little girl dreams of living completely off the grid in a tiny, chicken wire, stucco house but it was the one of the biggest highlights of this gal’s young life.

We lived well over an hour from the nearest town and spent every day of the summer horseback. It was glorious.

On this particular day we were out checking fence lines. Life wasn’t the hurried mess we often find ourselves in in this day and age. It was just a day of glorious adventures with my family.

I was never one short on words, especially when I was young. So the questions flew out of my mouth almost as fast the wind blew through my hair. Dad always humored me well answering my questions and making me feel completely loved and safe with him all the time.

We were miles and miles from home as the clouds started to roll in. In the wide open country of SE Montana you could see storms coming from many miles off. Dad decided it was best if we headed for home and hustled a bit in doing so.

The sky was growing darker by the minute, the wind was beginning to howl and the temperature took a drastic turn south. My little girl heart just knew to stay close to my dad as he would know the way.

It wasn’t too long before the rain started to pick up and the drops got larger. I lowered my head and trusted my horse to follow my dad’s. Suddenly something hit me on the top of the head. Then another and another. Ouch, it kind of stung. I had spent enough time outside to immediately know the hail had arrived in full force.

They started small but quickly grew in size and amount. My dad pulled his horse up and my brother and I followed suit. There was a cutbank we had been running alongside and my dad spotted a badger hole. He took a quick look inside and then had my brother and I stuff ourselves in there the best we could. He leaned over the hole covering his head the best he could and shielding us from the pounding hail.

Okay, I have to admit, I’m not sure which I was more scared of at the time. The hail outside or what might still be inside the hole with my brother and I! I just closed my eyes and trusted my dad.

Dad had to know we were scared about going into a badger hole. But, he knew what was best for us and we had to make the choice to trust him or not.

3 ways to learn to trust God.

Get to know Him:

We need to spend time getting to know God. We won’t trust someone we don’t know. So we need to get into His word and discover the heart of God. Once we know Him personally it makes more sense to trust Him.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:9 (ESV)

Learn from past experiences:  

Just as I had learned to trust my dad from him proving himself trustworthy in prior experiences the same can be said for God. As we go through life we’ll have opportunities to put our faith in Him and learn to trust Him more each time. We need to recall those past experiences and thank God for them often so our trust in Him can grow.

Oh Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You plan them long ago, and now you have accomplished them. Isaiah 25:1 (NLT)

Tell Him about our fears:

When I first went into the badger hole I was too scared to tell dad I was scared. Guess what, it added to my fear!  Once I told dad I was scared he was about to help reassure me. When we keep our fears in the dark they grow even bigger in our mind.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

We go through so many things in life where we aren’t sure what’s scarier, what we feel on the inside or what’s happening on the outside.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Perspectives shift in the light of Jesus

When I was young I used to ride a giant of a horse. My dad would saddle him for me and I would shimmy up his leg until I could reach the stirrup. From there I would continue the climb to the top of that mountain I called “Butch”.

Then Butch, my sister and I would head out across the deepest ravine on God’s green earth. It was every bit as wide as it was long. Rough around the edges and full of crevices throughout it. I was sure there were snakes all through the bottom so my sister and I would race as fast as we could through it.

My youngest son with his horse, Spades.

It rocked my world when my dad told me that the horse I had rode when I was 4, 5 and 6 and was sure was over 17 hands tall was a mere 14 hands. What!?! No way.

And that huge ravine, which was deeper than most oceans, you could easily drive a pickup across.

The funny thing is…those mountains that seemed so big when I was little weren’t nearly so big as I grew up.

My perspective changed.

How often are we so focused on the mountain we see in our life we don’t really see the truth of it’s size? We focus on our problem so much that it grows and grows, completely out of proportion to what it is in reality.

We chip away at the situation in our strength somehow believing it will make the mountain smaller. When it reality, God is already SO much bigger than any mountain we see in front of us.  

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:23-24 (NLT)

Now I’m not downplaying the size of many of the problems in our lives. They can be very real and loom large.

But, when we keep our focus on Jesus our perspective changes. You see, our God is still on the throne and no problem or situation escapes Him. We can trust Him to help us speak life into our situations.

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:14 (NLT)

As our spiritual maturity grows our perspective changes.

Just as when I was little and Butch looked like the biggest mountain I could climb so were my problems when I didn’t have the maturity to focus on God.

As I grow in my walk and get closer to Jesus the problems are still there. I wish I could tell you they weren’t but they are. But now it’s different because I don’t focus on my problems. I look up at the One who puts all things in perspective. He wants to help us realize that nothing we face in life is bigger than the God we serve.

It’s all part of the process of the growing and we should expect our perspective to change as the world grows dimmer because our focus is on the light and hope of the world.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All

I’m excited to be sharing the following post over at www.wearehisdaughters.com

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:8-10 (ESV)

The good news of Jesus’ birth came to the shepherd’s first. Maybe this seems like something completely insignificant but nothing with God is without purpose.

I probably relate to this piece of information more than most as I am a shepherd. Not in the same exact way as the shepherds from the Bible, but still a shepherd. Thankfully I don’t need to live with them 24 hours a day but my whole livelihood is dependent on the animals we raise. It’s not a hobby I do on the side, ranching is our sole source of income.  Continue reading “Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All”

Busy time of Year!

I’m so sorry I’ve been absent for the last couple of weeks. I haven’t fallen off the globe or been sucked into some kind of black hole. Well, I guess maybe, the black hole of lambing.

 

May is our busiest month of the year, like by a LOT. We’re finishing up calving, going to brandings and then throw in lambing out about 500 head of sheep in 3 -4 weeks too.

I promise I’ll be back with more regular blog posts in June but I just wanted to touch base quick.

Life is good. The weather has been outstanding for lambing. The ewes are in the best shape I’ve ever seen them in. Both of my sons are around to help and I couldn’t ask for better help.

Every year I think I’ve seen it all when it comes to sheep. Every year I’m reminded that’s simply not true. I keep my little notes app handy as I’m driving through pasture’s to record the lessons God teaches me through this amazing season. As a side note my talk to text feature on that app makes it quite a game to figure out what I really said from what it recorded!

Here’s a few picture’s from lambing so far. To see more of them regularly follow me on Instagram (@LauraAHicks) where I share more frequently.

God Bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Represent Who’s We Are

It’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air. New baby calves are running and bucking with excitement. Lambing season is knocking at my door.

I’m blessed to train and use Border Collie’s to help with ranch work. They’re born with the desire and instinct to work livestock. We also select for dogs that are eager to work as a team with a person.


There’s nothing quite like working with a dog to accomplish a task. 

Communication is crucial. The more we work together the better we read each other.


Sheepdog trial season is just around the corner! It’s time for me to shake the cobwebs out of my dogs training. I want to be ready and have my dogs represent well.


In all honesty I really want them to be able to shine. I want our relationship and communication to be on point.


It’s the same with how we represent God. I personally want my relationship and communication with God to be evident to those around me.

We can talk about how how we’re following Christ until we’re blue in the face but if our life doesn’t reflect it, we’re fooling ourselves.


My dogs, like us, aren’t robots. They have free will and like us can make choices. Sometimes their choices aren’t the best but when we work together the outcome is best.

The same goes in our relationship with the Lord. We have free will to make whatever choices. God does not call us to be robots, He wants us to come willingly.

When we are in a right standing relationship with God we are in continual communication with Him. 

The closer we are to the heart of the Father the more our choices will reflect our relationship with Him.


I want my life and my choices to reflect the love of Jesus.


The analogy of my dogs and me is not perfect because I am not perfect and neither are they. Fortunately for us, God IS perfect so we can trust Him all the time. Whereas I make mistakes in my relationship with the dogs and so do they.


I’m blessed that my dogs really desire to hear my voice most of the time. They lean in to listen and want to please me. Sometimes they believe they’re right and I’m wrong. At that moment a correction is necessary.


The same can be said for us and we will need a correction to steer us back in the right direction.


God corrects us with love and mercy to get us back on the right track. How we respond to that merciful correction speaks to our trust in our loving Father.


Let’s lean in and keep our heart eager to hear to our Lord’s voice!


Ready to respond to the slightest whisper from Him. Submitting quickly when we’ve made a mistake and head the right direction.


In all we do and all we are, let’s represent Who’s we are!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Real Dedication

This may seem a little off topic for me but please humor me. This dog taught me so much about unconditional love and as such opened my heart to a deeper relationship with our Lord.
I’ve been training and competing with Border Collies in sheep and cattle trials since the summer of 2000. Zac was a gift from God right at the beginning of my career in the stockdog world.
I recently wrote a short story about him and shared it with 
Chicken Soup for the Soul. It was selected for their new book 
Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog. 
I’d like to share it with you as well as giveaway a free copy of the book. See below on how to enter!
Zac was a working Border Collie. He was also my teacher and partner. Some people would say his life revolved around working livestock, but he loved working with me even more.
I had just started training dogs to work livestock when Zac was born. The minute I looked into his big, brown eyes, I knew he was put on the earth to be mine. The connection was immediate.
He was one of the smaller pups in the litter and not the most athletic of the bunch but he could be downright bossy with livestock. He’d politely “ask” once, maybe even twice, but the third time there were going to be consequences for any animal that didn’t obey him.
One day in the prime of Zac’s life, a massive fire raged in the buffalo pasture next to one of our summer pastures. My husband was on the fire line and called over the CB radio to ask me to move our cows and sheep out of the way of the fire. I quickly saddled a horse, grabbed Zac and my other dog Kat, and loped out across the hills to hustle the livestock to safety.
Several hundred disoriented sheep were pressed up against the fence in the middle of a huge cloud of smoke. There wasn’t any time for subtleties. “Get ’em up!” I hollered to the dogs. They knew from past experience and the urgency in my voice that it was time to push, and push hard.
The sheep resisted at first and tried to beat the dogs back. The dogs and I won out, however, and over the hill we went with the whole bunch at a high lope. They raced on until we came to a water tank.
The sheep had been standing in the smoke for quite some time, and they hit the tank hard. The lambs were still quite small at the time, and many got shoved right in. They couldn’t reach the bottom and were already exhausted, so it didn’t take long before several of them were in real trouble. I jumped off my horse and started grabbing the lambs nearest the edge to drag them out.
The tank was both deep and wide, and many lambs were out too far for me to reach them from the edge. I started pulling off my boots and was headed in to pull them out before they drowned. Zac had been watching me the whole time, and before I could even put a foot into the tank myself, he jumped in.
He swam out and grabbed a lamb by the tail, and like any good lifeguard, dragged them one at time to the edge where I could pull them out. He didn’t quit until the last one was rescued. I didn’t say one word to him during the process. He just knew what needed to be done and shot into action.
As we both stood there trying to catch our breath afterwards, I reached down and stroked his head, reminding him once again how much I thought of him. He gently wagged his tail and looked deep into my soul like he always did.
There wasn’t much time for affection or to kick back as we still had cows to move away from the approaching blaze. We hustled off in the direction my husband said he thought they were last seen. As we topped the last hill, they were already crossing a fence that had been cut to let firefighters into the buffalo pasture. The dogs and I worked quickly to herd the cows back to safety.
As we were moving them down the first hill, Kat heeled one cow to hurry her as Zac crossed behind her. A heavy kick from the cow landed squarely on Zac, and he went flying through the air. After what seemed like forever, he landed hard. I raced down to check on him, but before I could get there, he was already up and headed back to work. I figured he was okay, and we continued moving cows for another hour.
When all the livestock was safely out of the way of the oncoming fire, the dogs and I headed for home. We took a much-needed break and lounged around for a bit. An hour or so later, I walked out to feed the dogs, and Zac couldn’t stand up. He tried several times, but despite no yelps of pain, it was evident he was hurting. I quickly set out with him on the hour-long drive to the nearest veterinary clinic.
My vet checked him over and discovered through an X-ray that Zac’s hip had been broken. My heart ached for the lousy job I’d done of looking out for my best friend. He never whimpered or cried when the cow kicked him. Not once did he try to quit in the hour of pushing cows after it happened. There never was a growl toward the vet or me as we poked and prodded to fix what must have hurt so badly.
As I fought back tears of regret, Zac lay on the steel table and licked my face, reassuring me everything would be all right. He was right, as usual. He healed, and we had many more years of partnership. Despite some arthritis in his old age, he lived a long, wonderful life, always by my side. I will forever be grateful for the gift of Zac’s faithful heart and his dedication to our work together.
Enter to win a signed copy of this Chicken Soup book below. 
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Step out of the Comfort Zone!



Sheep need sheep.


They’re designed as a herd animal. Isolation literally causes them to panic and eventually shut down.


Maybe I’ve been spending a little too much time with sheep, but there is a ton of information we can learn about ourselves and our walk with the Lord by observing sheep.


Sheep are a prey animal and as such are wired to be quite fearful. It’s self-preservation.


It can also make it downright challenging to get them to come out of their comfort zone.


Is it any wonder in scripture we are so often referred to as sheep?


Know that the Lord, He is God! It is he who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3 (ESV)


We love our comfort zone. We want to be right in the middle of our own “flock” where it feels safe and people already know and love us.


I was recently invited to a Writer’s Retreat only a couple of hours away from where I live. There wasn’t going to be a soul there who I’d met in person yet.


It would have been easy for me to go and keep myself isolated. I have close friends at home, my family and my church. This could just be a quiet, solitary weekend away to write, right?


God had other plans.


Not only were there amazing women of God there but they pulled me right in. We jumped right out of that comfort zone and headed for the deep water.


There was no chance to feel panic or shut down due to fear. God was showing me how quickly He can orchestrate deep bonds between fellow believers.


It might not feel safe outside the tight knit group of those we already know but if God is calling you to go, He will go before you. When we follow God out of our comfort zone and invest in relationships we discover another level of fellowship.


Following Jesus into the deep is where our faith becomes stronger.


Be brave. Step out into the deep end of relationships.


Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

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I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Family Ties

Sorry for I’ve been so absent lately. I have been super busy with hosting a sheepdog trial as well as fall ranch work. I’m trying to me consistent with blogging but ranch life is a lot of things but consistent or on any kind of schedule isn’t one of them!


Working daily with family is such a blessing but can also be a challenge. For some reason we have a tendency to be the hardest on those we love the most. Maybe it’s because we feel safe with them. In ranching we spend SO much time with each other that there can be times when you just need a break. Unfortunately at certain times of the year that’s just not possible.


Fall is a busy time in the ranching world. Hay needs to be hauled home and stacked, ready for the all to quickly approaching winter. Lambs need sorted off  and sold as well as ewes dewormed and flushed to prepare for breeding. Booster shots need to be given to the spring calves. Fall calvers are busy having their babies. Pregnancy testing spring cows happens as well as selling spring calves. A whole year of work comes down to what can be a volatile cattle market most days.

Saying life can be stressful is an understatement.


Way to many times that stress comes to a head and boils over with harsh words cast too quickly at our loved ones. Never even a thought given to how much damage those words are causing.


Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger,but harsh words make tempers flare.


I’ve been married to the same man for 23 years and we have ranched together and worked side-by-side every year since I was 18 years old. We spend a lot of time together! Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world but sometimes when you’re in the heat of the moment real life can be tough.


So when that cow jumps over the fence and my husband is screaming I can either scream right along with him and escalate the problem or I can remember what God says about getting rid of all harsh words and choosing the gentle answer. In the moment I can often feel like I’m entitled to an outburst but I know God’s ways are best. Oh, how I wish it was easy but my flesh screams to have it’s way.



Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.


I have found that my flesh’s solution to tense situations with harsh words does nothing to help the situation. God knows best as always. Harsh words make tempers flare. There is no way my anger, rage or harsh words will help diffuse any extra emotions my family is feeling from a stressful situation.


On the other hand by being kind, tender and gentle I can help deflect more tension, anger or harsh words. I truly love my family and don’t want to make those closest to me suffer because I think I’m “safe” to say whatever I want. They deserve my best!


The only way that’s truly going to happen when you’re in the middle of a tense moment is to intentionally take a deep breath and ask God for help. Our flesh will fight against it but take our thoughts captive and make our flesh submit to the spirit.


Our loved ones deserve our tenderness and forgiveness that Christ showed us!