Surviving on Thriving in 2006
Are we cherishing our marriages, our families, our livelihood?
I’ve been getting a few phone calls lately from very discouraged, frustrated farmers. When I ask a farmer what his main goal for 2006 is, he quickly says, “survival”. When I was at a dairy farmer’s trade show this week, a seed grower from the Red River Valley said “things will get better, my family is great, and I’m thankful for that.”
I cherish my faith, my family, and my freedom to grow in a peaceful country. I challenge you think about what your theme is for 2006.
I’ve picked celebration. Our son graduates in June. Our daughter is studying hard, and spending time helping with hurricane Katrina relief. We’re having a BBQ and concert on our farmyard in July to celebrate 25 years of marriage. My dad turns 80 that same month, and in late October I’ll be a fabulous fifty years old! It’s time to celebrate!
Could you choose courage as your theme? Take courage to go back to school to learn some new income-generating skills with the financial aid of the Canadian Agricultural Skills program? (Call 1-866-668-2277 in Manitoba, 1-866-452-5558 Alberta, 1-888-887-7977 Saskatchewan, 1-800-622-0232 B.C, or go to www.agr.gc.ca/renewal).
Courage is defined as “bravery, boldness…nerve oneself to a venture…courage to act up to what one believes.” (Oxford Concise Dictionary)
Many farm families need to have some courageous conversations this winter while they are trying to make sense of their future choices. “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).
Take courage to ask from a position of curiosity.
“I’m curious about your thoughts on letting go of some things…I’m curious how you are feeling about our relationship and what we need to change… I’m curious if you’ve let the kids know lately how much you love them.”
Fodder for my work comes from all directions . I deeply believe that when the next 12 months zoom by and you reflect on 2006 you won’t remember a lot of the challenges, but you’ll keenly remember the conversations of encouragement, love and conviction that inspired you to get beyond just surviving, and actually start thriving!
My glass of water on my desk is always half full, not half empty. I’m wired to be a positive person, but I feed that approach with God’s wisdom, the Bible, and by relating to people with the love of Jesus. I’ve decided that my celebration of life this year will include bolder conversations about God’s deep love for people, and His desire for us all to use our gifts to bring people out of despair, and into relationship with a Saviour who promises abundant life now in 2006.
Elaine Froese is a catalyst for creative communication and change.