altEstablishing an attitude of gratitude is always a goal. I become more mindful of this goal especially during the holiday season. With a busy farm, four kids in school and a new family business nearing its opening, I have been feeling overwhelmed. I recently caught myself in the middle of a bit of a pity party. I get grouchy, I get behind on my responsibilities and I sometimes raise my voice to get my kids’ attention. I’m not perfect.

This week, I reflected on how awful it feels to witness to the ingratitude of others. I saw it with our children and some others. It stinks. I called myself out for not being a good example to the people in my life. I crashed the pity party and started counting my blessings.

I’m thankful for our beautiful farm – even when our cattle get out in the yard for the fourth day in a row. I’m grateful for the cow pies fertilizing our grass. I’m thankful for our oldest son, who joyfully rounds cattle back up into the pasture with our blue healer, Dixie. Even when she barks at coyotes and keeps me up at night, she’s dutifully protecting her family.

I’m thankful for our home. When laundry is piled high, and the floors are muddy, this is my happy place. I’m thankful for the messy family who lives here too. There is never a dull moment in a house full of children. Ours make me smile and laugh every day. My greatest joy is being their mom.

I’m thankful for my parents. They are so gracious to us. Recently, they took a day off to be a part of Veteran’s Day ceremonies at the two schools our children attend. I’m proud of all who serve in our nation’s military. Nothing compares to the swell my heart felt watching my dad honored by our children for his service. My mom is a steady example of someone who has always managed to balance being a helpful wife, present mother and doting grandmother while serving in her community.

I’m thankful for the people who help us on our farm. Recently, we worked several head of cows and heifers. It was one of the best days of working cattle, I think we’ve ever had. We were so appreciative of our local veterinarian for coming out on a rainy day to preg check our herd. Whether sorting out a cull cow or running the head shoot, Dr. France jumped right in. He and his clinic staff have been a blessing to the cattle, horses and dogs on our farm.

I’m thankful to teachers who push our kids to learn. Even on the days when I know our children haven’t behaved their very best, I’m blessed to know their teachers love them anyway.

I’m thankful for the friends who have jumped in to helped us work on the buildings at our new business in recent months. We were able to squeeze in a meal at the farm after a weekend mixed with deer hunting and hard work. A home-cooked meal cannot ever repay these folks for their friendship, but the fellowship is heartwarming.

I’m thankful for my faith and for the opportunity to start over when I’ve had a rough day. I’m thankful for my husband and friend who I get to venture through life’s ups and downs with. There is always something to be thankful for. Thank you for reading, neighbor!


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