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Why I Love My Church Family

“Sometimes I just wish my family would show me some respect, and appreciate what I do around here”. Under the shadow of a picture of Jesus at the Last Supper, a weary farmer shares his deep frustration within a complex family business. I ask him about the love and care he has outside of his folks. …No response.

I wonder if his friends have stopped calling, and am curious if he is planning to go to church this Easter. He had mentioned that he likes to help out the church camp with their hay and horses in summer.

Do you know what the “Last Supper” is? It’s the time Jesus, the Son of God, served his disciple’s bread and wine in order for them to remember Him. At Easter, people who are Jesus followers celebrate the resurrection of Christ. He was killed on a cross, shed blood to take the place of our sins to make us right in the eyes of God. He broke the bonds of death by rising from the dead, the day in which we celebrate Easter.

This year I am celebrating my 27th Easter with my church family. I have a wonderful group of people who are brothers and sisters in Christ who care for me and love me deeply in a myriad of ways. I thought it was time to reflect on all the ways they care for me, because I am respected, and I don’t take my church family support for granted.

If this is the year for you to cross the threshold of the local church doors for the Easter Sunday service, here’s some benefits of being there all year round:

LOVE …Unconditional support . My Dad and my siblings live far away. My church family greets me with a smile, hugs me, and asks me how I doing…and means it. Their creative notes in the church mailbox are gifts of love throughout the seasons. Their words of appreciation are like salve for a deep wound of loneliness after time away on the road.

FAITHFULNESS….Prayer in good times and in bad. We have prayer pals who pray for us on a regular basis. Prayer is adoration, confession, thanksgiving and making request of a loving God and Saviour. How good would your spirit feel knowing the comfort and consistency of someone going before God on your behalf?

SERVANT HEARTS…Willing to go the extra mile. Our church family has built houses together, combined the Foodgrains Bank quarter with 20 machines, and pooled resources to help many families in distress. The heart is renewed with hope when it serves someone else in love. Teens at our church serve the seniors, travel to Mexico, and meet regularly to grow stronger. Their hearts are a wonderful encouragement to the parents.

JOY…Laughter is a healing balm to the soul. We experience joy when we share answered prayers as part of our church family news in the service on Sunday mornings. We weep when we listen to the hospital trials that have brought miraculous healing to a women in deep physical pain, who has been released. We celebrate milestone birthdays with tea parties, potlucks, silly gifts, and tons laughter. Joy is here.

PATIENCE…Growth…learning, stretching. The bumper sticker reads “Be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me yet.” We are not perfect, but we are growing, and forgiving one another when we offend, hurt, and just don’t get it. Churches aren’t buildings, they are groups of growing people who practice forgiveness and grace in their lives, because they are a redeemed and thankful group of people.

GENTLENESS… Deep care. A group of women meeting to study the gifts of being a woman spent time to write a note of encouragement to every woman at the table. This note is priceless. It’s a gentle reminder of the deep love and care for one another. This church family attends several different buildings on Sunday mornings, but it doesn’t matter. They all sense a deep thread of concern and care from their sisters in the Lord.

KINDNESS…Loving connection.. God is particularly concerned about the care of the poor, widows, and children. Our church family provides weekly fun and study for young children, teens, and people seeking to grow closer to Jesus. My love language is meaningful touch, and a hug or a squeeze on my shoulder keeps me going . The teens are given a senior’s hand of congratulations for their musical gifts .Those people suffering loss are enveloped in strong arms of loving attention.

CELEBRATION…Singing from my soul is part of my heritage of singing in vesper services as a Canadian Girl in Training, campfires, and college retreats. This week I sang Psalms at the top of my lungs in a motel swimming pool with great ecoustics. It was one of those sacred moments of praising God in deep water, resounding joy as the notes bounced in a cathedral toned space. Easter is the highest celebration of the Christian’s year, and we invite you to join us with thankfulness for the hope of heaven that Easter brings.

PEACE… Safe place to be real, just who you are. When I share stories in front of my church family I usually end up crying. The passion and pain I witness during the week sometimes overwhelms me, and my church family understands. They pray for me, they hug me, and they encourage me to use the gifts God had given me to share with others. My pastor is an awesome leader, and a friend.

I love my church family, and I hope you’ll find one to love you this Easter Come and see that God is good. “…Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34,35. NIV)

I’ll be watching for you.

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Elaine Froese is a Christian catalyst for change. She encourages farm families with her speaking, retreats, CD’s and book.

Fixing Your Time Stress Mess

60 minutes

Workaholics will discover helpful strategies for managing their time stress. Gain understanding for the tensions of your age and stage on the farm. Learn why some problems are not solvable, but just need to be managed as polarities. Self-renewing people are joyful and productive producers.

$15

Rave reviews

“A joy to work with, heard loud and clear. When the farmers laughed or asked a great question, I knew they were listening and really wanted to learn from her. Her tips were easy to understand. It was just about understanding that conflict happens, and to have the confidence in yourself to ask for what you want. In the glowing review from farmers after her presentation, I knew they had heard that loud and clear.”
Maddy Berner, Event Planner & Communications Coordinator, National Milk Producers Federation National Milk Producers Federation
“I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your virtual kitchen table chat with Arlan Academy. My wife and I signed up as it was exceptionally relevant to our current journey with potentially transitioning to her parents’ farm. The session was able to cover so many aspects of these crucial conversations and hearing you speak to both sides of the conversation was eye opening for my own perspective on this topic. It seemed to be very well attended and sounded like there were many other people who would echo my thoughts and feelings on it.”
N. Oakley, Farmer, Ontario
“Elaine helped me allocate $1 Million of assets the night I listened to her. Elaine’s presentation brings value to the use of my services in my office.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealth Management
“I recently joined in and listened to your Healthy Farmer Agriwebinar for FMC. I truly enjoyed hearing your perspective and even went and grabbed my Mom, away from her work, to come and listen in on some of your main points as well! One area that really stood out for me, both personally with our own succession plans and with our clients, was your discussion involving "Instant Influence" and how ready are you to change? I loved this concept!”
Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet, Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
“You speak like you’ve been sitting at our kitchen table! You know our family issues well. I am feeling more comfortable understanding what we now need to do. Elaine Froese is real.”
Audience Member,
“I attended the meeting you spoke at in Stratford Ontario recently. We held an emergency family/farm meeting today because of issues that I had enough of. We used a 'talking stick' like you recommended and wrote a chart of rules. The rest of the family thought the idea that we needed a meeting was worth rolling their eyes over, until we got started. The younger ones were quick to clue in that they now have an opportunity to be bluntly honest. The older ones took a bit longer to believe they could truly say what they think. In the end, the meeting needed two sessions because there was so much to talk about… and so many things people didn't realize were a big deal to the others. Your lessons and encouragement have given us the tools we need to get to a better place in our relationships and our business. Truly thankful.”
Kim Martin, Dairy Farmer, Ontario
“Helped me develop my framework to start having constructive and meaningful conversations around the farm.”
Tennille Wakefield, Farm Partner
“Some great lessons, Elaine! You continue to do some remarkable and potentially life-changing work.”
James Mitchell, Principal, Conversations Consulting
“Our family had a good farm meeting yesterday afternoon. Your Fairness video was a great topic of discussion. One of the action items after the meeting was to have my two non-farming siblings watch the video before the next big meeting they are involved with on the farm. It will be a great conversation starter as we catch them up on our current plan. As they are younger, we also hope it will help them to ask new questions that may not have been on their mind.”
G.G., Farm Family Legacy Coach, Alberta
“Elaine gives me excellent tools that help me work with my clients!”
Laurianne Osmack, Financial Planner / Partner, Doell Osmak Wealth Management
“She has a sense of “knowing” quickly what is happening in the family dynamic. Her messages to her audiences drive home what needs to be done next to solve the complex issues of farm transition and conflict resolution.”
Audience Member,
“Eye-opening. Excited to open the door of communication with my spouse and farm family.”
Ashley Hoppe, Farm Partner
“The Strong Farms, Strong Families session gave farm families an opportunity to meet face to face with Elaine Froese... hear her own story, experiences and skill set. From this information packed session and related materials, families could identify areas of success in their journey and other places they need assistance. The greatest take away was that participants could see that Elaine Froese is someone they can trust with the things that they hold most precious.... their family and their farm.”
Nancy Atkinson, Nobleford Ag Society, Alberta
“Elaine’s real-life scenarios help her audiences know they are not alone, knowing there are creative solutions to help them get the life on the farm they have always wanted.”
Audience Member,
“A long time female client who had refined the art of procrastination was so moved by the end of your presentation that she accepted your permission to “drop the bananas.” She contacted me soon after for an appointment to do some planning which included the selling of the family “Century Farm.” A very, very emotional decision on her part that was not likely to have occurred without your presentation.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealthy Management
“I just have to say… that your work is amazing and I have never forgotten your teachings from our session in Williams Lake at TRU. It is super important work. I know so many people going through the trauma of succession. I hate to use that word, but I was an “out-law” and know it can get terrible. I continue to forward your emails on to others. Keep doing what you do! You are amazing. You kind of walk into the fire regularly… and with a smile. Proud to have met you.”
Megan, BC Rancher
“As my husband and I eagerly started the course we were optimistic and excited to be taking this next step in our Farm Transition. We were starting to question ourselves and whether or not we were just being selfish and greedy, and if this Farm Transition was still an option for us. We barely got through the first Module and were already having such a huge relief. As we moved through the modulus there were so many times that we just sat back with our hands in the air and thought YES. My husband and I would smile with relief because all of the concerns that we have been struggling with were relevant and came up in the modules. We really enjoyed the course and are excited to move on to the next stages to find our farm resolution.”
Shannon Gilchrist, “Get Farm Transition Unstuck” online course participant
“My hubby farms with 2 brothers and parents, and it’s become a really toxic place. No communication, no respect, etc. Twelve months ago, my husband’s brothers told him they don’t want to work with him anymore and offered him a pay out. His parents did nothing to stop it! He had no choice but to leave. Three months later, we moved off the farm and into town. He has been offered heaps of jobs and is now truck driving and carting hay and grain. We have tried communicating with his parents about what happened but they are not interested. So basically my hubby has lost his family. Very sad but we as husband and wife are overall in a good place and moving on to create our own life. Please continue on with all your wonderful work in helping families on the farm. I continue to tell any farmers I know about you, that they must ‘google’ you, and read your books.”
Donna, Farmer, Australia

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