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Easter Sunday is April 20th. It is my favourite Sunday of the entire year because it is the day I celebrate God’s deep love for me with the resurrection of Jesus. In our Sunday School group we are studying the book of Romans where it is made very clear how our faith in Christ gives us new life and the hope of heaven. It’s no surprise , Easter is a “quiet” holiday compared to hectic activities of Christmas preparation.

What would it look like to pay more attention to the true message of Easter this year? How could we show more folks the love of God in practical ways? When can we take an opportunity to explain that Christ rose from the dead and was seen by more than 500 people ? They saw him physically. That’s why Christians have no fear of death, and that is an amazing reason to celebrate !

This past winter has been a hard journey. “ People can exhaust you. And there are times when all we can do is not enough. The best of love can go unrequited.” says Max Lucado in his book “Live Loved.” I take great comfort in the words of encouragement that Lucado writes, but more so in God’s word: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you that you also love one another. “(John 13:34) “And let us consider one another to stir up love and good works. “ (Hebrews 10:24)

Coaching farm families in transition is challenging. Many times I offer folks to consider a change in their approach to stop exhausting each other with conflict, and move toward love and respect. As I was driving on the Trans Canada highway to a family meeting I spotted a railcar with a huge graffiti message which read “ Jesus loves you !” That one can stay on that train forever as it crosses the country. Later I was in Langenberg where the “Save Room for Dessert” Café offered me steel- lasered magnets with great Easter messages: Rejoice ! Spirit ! Give ! and even Kiss ! These treasures were far move valuable to me that the 16 different rabbit statues in a popular home décor store that don’t represent the true meaning of Easter to me.

Rabbits are part of the spring fertility rites of the old country cultures, and eggs are part of the same vein of thinking when they used to roll eggs over the land to “make it fertile” in the spring. Regardless, hunting for Easter eggs can be a fun family tradition, and one that our neighbourhood used to love to share !

When a young woman marries a farmer she brings with her the traditions of Easter that her family found important. The young farmer also likely has less love for the rituals than his new wife does, and this can cause conflict. The joy and adventure of marriage is carving out new traditions and meaning for your new family unit. This is just one example of the types of adjustments that daughter-in-laws need to make when they become part of a farm family team. She also may value celebrating faith, so she packs up the children for church faithfully each Sunday while her hubby attends to the endless chores of the farm. Here is another conflict, trading time for family, faith and letting go of work. This life/work balance as it is commonly called, is not ever balance. It is an ongoing polarity or un-resolvable issue that just needs to be managed, because it is never checked off the “to do “ list.

Very soon our new book, Farming’s In-Law Factor will be printed, and we are excited to share practical tools for all in-laws to have more harmony and less conflict on family farms.   Forgiveness is a key issue. The model of forgiveness that Jesus gave us helps families let go of past hurt, and embrace a new start or chapter. The families that I coach who have a model of forgiveness that they employ and a way to make “quick repair” are much better off than the families that continue to offend, hurt and frustrate one another.

As of March 15, 2014, I have been writing in this paper for 19 years. The babies who tore the pages of Grainews on the floor apart are now tearing up the gravel roads in their pickups. They are also the ones calling me for new insights on how to have their folks say “I love you son, and I am proud of you.” Ten years later they are back asking how to get some equity. Twenty years later they are asking what control looks like. Seasons of the year mirror the seasons of life. What is going to be different for you this Easter compared to the many Easters you have already witnessed?

Do you have energy to get up early for the sunrise service? Can you add a few special touches to your dinner table to make everyone who gathers around it glad that they came? Do you have the courage to invite the family members who have distanced themselves, yet really need to be loved unconditionally?

Easter calls us to look at renewal and resurrection. We are given new life in Christ when we accept his gift of forgiveness for us. We are given the comfort , wisdom, and counsel of the Holy Spirit when we become believers. God loves you more than you will ever know, and now is the time to embrace His unending love to energize your life, and give your farm family the best legacy ever: the legacy of richness in relationship towards God, and richness in relationship with each other.

I would like to know what changes you have made since you’ve been reading this column over the years. Send me encouragement , address mail to Box 957 Boissevain, MB R0K 0E0.

Have a wonderful Easter !

 

 

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Elaine Froese, CAFA, CHICoach has been called “Canada’s Farm Whisperer” by Faith Today magazine. Engage her resources to empower your farm team.

Visit elainefroese.com or call 1-866-848-8311. Buy her new book for Mother’s Day !

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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