I am a wife, mother, rancher, writer, and owner of this here website. But believe it or not, I haven’t always been those things. And to be honest, I didn’t step into some of these roles very willingly.
Becoming a rancher, a writer, and a small business owner was never on my radar. Those things were most definitely not part of my plan. And while becoming a wife and mother was always part of my plan, how I stepped into those roles went vastly different than I had imagined it would.
How I met my husband.
The first time I remember seeing my future husband, he was wearing an old worn out felt cowboy hat that had a silver bulleted hat band. His sunglasses were set on the back of his head as if that’s where his eyes were. His shirt was one with wild Hawaiian print, and his jeans were tucked into the tops of his boots.
At that time, I did not fancy him “a catch.” I fancied him a weirdo.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to be friends with this guy let alone date and eventually marry him. But alas, that is exactly what happened.
Turns out he’s not as weird as I thought. To make a long story short, we eventually became the best of friends largely in part due to our mutual affinity for Oreos and milk. And that friendship blossomed into a more serious relationship, largely in part due to my bestie/cousin/college roommate Sheila.
I guess you could say feed yards were kinda my thing.
I grew up on a feed yard (the same one where my family has been raising beef for more than 40 years) and went to college and studied feed yard management. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in animal science with an emphasis in feed yard management and went to work on the animal health crew at a corporate feed yard.
My years at the feed yard were some of the very best of my life. I married my favorite human. We brought two of our three babies home. I formed lasting relationships with those I worked with. I was learning all I could and was on my way to becoming a manager. And if not for Mr. FFB receiving an offer for his dream job, I might never have left the feed yard.
But, alas – Mr. FFB did receive (and accept) an offer for his dream job. And I did leave the feed yard.
I was reluctant to leave. I loved it there. I loved the work and my co-workers. And if I’m being completely honest, I just wasn’t entirely excited about the (huge) learning curve that would come with full-time ranch life, where everything is different and every day (that they’re not in school) is take-your-kid-to-work-day.
But after some major prayer, a little fit-throwing, and a whole lotta ugly tears – the decision was made. In late September 2013, I resigned my post at the feed yard and began my new life as a stay-at-home-mom and rancher. And wouldn’t you know it, the move eventually led me to writing and creating this little corner of the interwebs.
I wasn’t always real keen on “the plan”.
In those situations, God led me and sometimes pushed me down the path He’d created just for me. It took me a while, but eventually I came around. And looking back, I can see His hand in it all.
Those experiences have helped shape not only who I am today, but also the way I listen and lean in to what He is calling me to do and who He has called me to be.
At this point you might be thinking, “well that’s great T, but what does any of that have to do with me? That’s not my path. I didn’t think my husband was a weirdo when I first met him. I’m right where I always thought I’d be.” And that may be true.
God doesn’t have us all walking the same path. Aside from loving Him and loving one another, we don’t all have the same callings or gifts. You might be married to the man who was always “of your dreams” or doing what you always thought you’d do. But I think it’s safe to say that at one point or another you’ve felt called to something that you put off doing because you were afraid, felt unqualified, or doubted whether He was truly calling you.
Maybe you’re there now. Maybe you’ve felt a nudge or heard a whisper toward something that you’re unsure of.
But here’s the thing, while He hasn’t given us all the same gifts, He has given all of us gifts. And He wants us to use them. More than that He wants us to enjoy them and share them with others. He does not want us to hide them away to collect dust on shelves of our soul out of fear and doubt.
Think about it – when you give someone a gift, do you give that gift with the intention that they put it away for safe keeping or do give it to have them use and bring them joy?
Our God given gifts are no different, they’re given to us to be used. They’re meant to bring us joy and bring joy to those around us.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Did you catch that?
We should use our gifts.
Our gifts are not meant to be hidden away. And I’ve found that when we aren’t hearing His whispers, or we’re just being stubborn about what He’s calling us to do, He uses people, situations, and His spirit within us to remind us of our gifts and guide us into our callings.
He moves through people, repeating messages, hirings and firings, through hardship, through being in the right place at the right time. He moves through every moment of our lives guiding us on His perfect paths for us. He uses every day to encourage us to grab our gifts, dust them off, and use them.
So, what are you waiting for, friend? What’s holding you back from stepping into your callings and using your gifts?