Living a Cowboy Life

Too many times and in too many places our hectic lives have sucked out our desires and passions. We have been convinced that it is okay to lose sight of what sets our hearts on fire because we need to provide for our family.

By falling into this trap we lose a part of ourselves and rob our family of all that God asks us to give to them.

I have experienced and witnessed this too many times. There are those “go-getters” that are driving the machine of industry each day. They are climbing ladders and finding ways to create new markets and new streams of income for their businesses. But, when asked if they spend that same time pouring themselves into their family, I get a blank stare. Usually followed by a justification such as, “well, I mean…I do the best I can”.


That is where it happens, the Thief has robbed a family of the gift of time. And with that the world slips a little further from Christ and a little closer to meaninglessness.

So what do you? How can it be changed or at least curbed? What are the ways that a person can reclaim their family while driving business forward and finding the harmony with their faith and mission in life?

I would suggest that you step back and take a look at life with a Cowboy’s eye.

The Cowboy life is one filled with both great perils and great achievements. Cowboys tend to work while there is daylight, meaning long hours and hard work. Show me any good ranching operation, and I will show you a family that is always involved. They all work and play together. It is not a one man show. Each family member plays their role, but all of them understand what the other does. It is truly a team that wakes each day to take on what needs to get done. I would suggest that we refocus our perception that Dad (or Mom) has to leave to go to work (and I am not sure what they do, but they get paid for it), to one that says, “Dad is off to work to do his role as part of our family”. This changes the attitude from a “me to we”, or the Cowboy way of doing things. I believe that if we would remove the barriers we build between work, family, faith and mission life, we would be able to function in each area as a whole person. Bringing all the gifts that God has given us to each area. All of a sudden we would be able to pick out where God is at work in each area. We would be able to see where God has been preparing us to take on the next challenge. I truly believe that would change the world.

I would recommend you taking these actions today:

  1. Make a list of the time spent in the 4 areas of life (Work, Family, Faith, and Mission). Be honest and log the time. Set this aside on a piece of paper.

  2. Write down your desires for each area. Dream big and write it down. Set this aside.

  3. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in the 4 areas of life. 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “my full attention”. Set this aside

  4. Lay out each piece of paper in front of you and see if your time spent is lining up to your desires and if your desires are receiving the investment of yourself through enough time to make them a reality.

My guess is that you will fall short. We all do. But, by taking the steps to write it down, you have now moved from just dreaming to documenting. You now can begin to work your desires into your current jobs and schedules. You can use your list to prioritize your time investments. This will help you to have a simple tool to decide where to put your time and talent. If you spend time evaluating where you are against where you want to go, you will be able to make decisions that pull more “we than me” into your life. It will give you the ability to apply your same gifts you use at work to your family. You will be able to step closer to that Cowboy way of life.

The Cowboy does work hard, but he also plays hard and stands at the ready to help family and neighbors. Each of us has the ability to be intentional in how we give of ourselves and bring our family into our daily focus. Ensuring that they also get our best.

See you on the trail!

Who is in Control?

I am really excited to share with you all an area that I have a hard time understanding. This is a place that I stumble with almost everyday. It is a struggle that I have in life and am finding a way to a greater hope by placing my trust wholly in the Holy One, Jesus Christ's Love.  
In the face of a pressing need for answers and solutions to life's problems - answers that are not quickly forthcoming - trust in the Wisdom and Power who is Jesus Christ - and know how to wait.

The next story has had profound impact on me and is one that I have been holding since 2007. I hope you enjoy this short story and then find your children and hug them.

Dennis Rainey tells a story of a missionary family on furlough, staying at the lake house of a friend.  On the day in question, Dad was puttering in the boathouse, Mom in the kitchen, and the three children, ages four, seven, and twelve, were on the lawn,  Four-year-old Billy escaped his oldest sister's watchful eye and wandered down to the wooden dock.  The shiny aluminum boat caught his eye, but unsteady feet landed him in eight-foot-deep water.  

When the twelve-year-old screamed, Dad came running out.  Realizing what had happened, he dove into the murky depths.  Frantically he felt for his son, but twice, out of breath, he had to return to the surface.  Filling his lungs once more, he dove down and found Billy clinging to a wooden pier several feet under.  Prying the boy's fingers loose, he bolted to the surface with Billy in his arms.  
Safely ashore, his father asked, "Billy, what were you doing down there?"  The little one replied, "Just waitin' on you, Dad, just waitin' on you."
Young as he was, the boy no doubt had a history with his father - a history of feeling safe, protected, accepted, and loved.  He knew from experience that his father delighted in him.  Naturally the boy had a healthy, positive self-image: he had come to know that he was loved, and he had felt knowledge of his father's faithfulness.  Cooler head might judge the boy presumptuous and asset that he had showed reckless disregard for his safety.  He should have taken control of his desperate situation, they would say.  And surely there is a measure of truth here.  However, when taking control becomes our routine response to troubled relationships and worrisome problems, God is not our co-pilot, he's not even aboard."

See you all on the trial!


Raising the Next Generation

By: Greg Meyer

As I sit in a unique place in the world where I get to observe the corporate world, the non-profit world, and live life as an elder inside my local church; it has provided me with the ability to gauge what really matters.

As I sit in this place I have taken stock of what I believe we can contribute to help curb what appears to be an ever-increasing demise of core values and ethics within our boardrooms, our homes, and just about everywhere in between.  I have sat with the knowledge for a while now and I bet most of you reading this have seen the same things happening. 

It really made me consider what can I do.  What is my role in all of this?  How do I engage and what do I do to help? What role does God want me to play in this?  Certainly it is not as a Monday morning quarterback.  It can not be that I was just supposed to mention a few words about how things are going in the world, shake my head and then go on with my day job.  So I began looking for what my job is. In the bible John talks about judgment day.  He actually just calls it the day.  That is the day when everyone is called to account for his or her life.  At first read, that scared me cause I have not always rode the right trails in life and many times have been up some pretty bad creeks.  But I dug in and listened. Judgement Day is not about my sins or the things I have done in the past, because Christ died once for all.  Praise Jesus!  No, Judgement Day is about what I did with the talents that God gave me.  How did I use my mind, body and soul to serve Him and the Church.  How did I follow the only law that Christ gave, to love Him and love others? In Luke, Christ states that He came to fulfill the Law but then gave us a command. That command is to Love our Neighbor as ourselves. 

Summing up, we are all heading towards a meeting with God where we will have to report out on how well we loved our neighbors, using the skills and talents God gave us. 


If you feel a bit of burning in your heart, that is God stirring you.  Hold on to that! 

What you do with it matters.  I would like to point that feeling in a direction. 

Let’s pour what we have learned and who we are into the next generation.  Give them all your tools and skills that you have accumulated, so that they can be better equipped then we were.  Help them, guide them, teach them. 

All you have gained in this life can not be taken with you.  It only matters how you use what you have been given now, in this life. 

Get busy giving to the one thing that can survive us and contribute to building God’s Church here on earth.  That is the kids. 

Here at OFC, we want to arm you with the tools and experiences to intentionally pour into children.  We are making changes and shifting our operations by formulating curriculum and expanding the reach of our work.  We will still very much tie our adventures to Fish and Cross Ranch in Colorado where we all get to live like Cowboys and Cowgirls while learning to establish a Code to live by.  In addition, we are looking to carry our message to the ends of the earth.  It is my belief that the world is in need of people to speak into the lives of children and to mentor them.  My goal is to give you some of those tools. 

We need your help.  We need you to engage with us, with you family, with your church and within your businesses. 

Please reach out and we can plug you in to what we have going on and how you can be part of taking that message forward. 

Saddle up folks.  The days aren’t getting any longer. 

Know where to draw the line

A life well lived can only come through a life lived with purpose.  

I wonder if that is the measure that God leads us to when he is asking us to "drop our nets and follow Him because He will make use fishers of men"?

I would submit that a great deal of how God uses a man comes from the way that the man uses what he has been given in the world.  I am not referring to the number of possessions, of even spiritual giftedness, rather the heart that is brought to the table every day and in every way.  

God has the incredible way to blow our lives up in such a way that we can not help but step back and be in awe of what He is doing.  

Now, that sounds amazing, but it is crazy scary and so big that a man can't take it all in during any given 24 hours of a day.  Rather, it takes years to understand why we are brought from to the mountain tops and then to our knees.  Sometimes in the same day.  

So what do you do each day to live a full life worthy of the inheritance that God has so gracefully given to us through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ?

I believe that today it takes a solid understanding of where you come from, where you are going, and what you are willing to do and not to do.  

Unpacking that a bit: you have to dig deeply into the foundation you have built your world on.  Being willing to remove the crumbling stones and place in the new pieces that will not crumble even in the biggest of storms.  Step 1 would be to evaluate and then improve the base package of your journey (spirit, mind, and body).

Step 2 focuses on where you are going.  How you set your sights every day will drive every behavior and decision you make.  The question then is, what is the one thing that you are going to do today that keeps your sights where they should be?  If God tells us to "not turn to the right or left, but rather keep our focus ahead because the journey is long and the road is narrow.  Wide is the path that leads to destruction, but narrow is the path to everlasting life", this helps us to know where to draw the line.  If it is not bringing us to a closer relationship with God, going against His Word or tearing down our faith or robbing us of hope, then get away from it!  Know your limits by knowing yourself.  

True to a good country dance, the 2-step, a person can set course daily by grabbing hold of the truths above.  Know where you came from and where you are going and what lines you will not cross.  This can help you live out your calling, your mission, your job, you life if a manner that glorifies God.

Live each day with Courage

by: Greg Meyer

Raising early each day to meet what God has laid before me is both amazing and humbling.  Remembering that I don't have answers to life's questions; yet, I am called to live each day with courage.  That is what it means to embrace the crazy adventure that God has uniquely called each of us to. And by living, I don't mean life with a little "l", I mean Life with a capital "L".  

Living inside of God's promise is all that I have to do be able to embrace what he has for me.  That is not to say that there is not a process and loads of prayer, discussions and thoughts that go into understanding the "what" God wants me to embrace.  Those are topics and strategies I want to share later in the year.  What you need to understand at this point of my story is that it is filled with miles and miles of mistakes and a carnage on its trail that runs on over the next mountain.  But that is the old me talking. The one that is dead. 

It is not the new man that I am called to live like, mentioned in the Book of Romans in the Bible.  It is not the new man who is embracing the promises of Isaiah, where it was foretold that I would not grow weary, but rather be lifted up on wings like an eagle. It is not of the man who knows that no weapon formed against me will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). 

The question then is why do I keep getting stuck in a conversation with my old, dead self?  The one that tells me I will not make it, that I don't have what it takes, or that I don't have all the skills that others possess, or it has been done before so who would listen to you.  

I let the zombie out and gave it power in my life.  Yikes!

Okay, so that I don't lose all of you, do any of you have fear in life?  If it is anything other then fear of God, then we are submitting ourselves, our family and our very destiny to the god of this world.  He breathes fear...fear that will control us if we let it.  So we have to stand tall and we have to have COURAGE!

We have to recognize in that moment what is a lie and what is truth.  I have found that once I can name what that lie is, I can take the stand in life to move past it.  I can call on the promises of the Word of God and He will deliver me through the battle.

Fear grasps many of us on a daily basis (I am not exempt here at all), so what are some baby steps you can take to begin to grab hold of the reigns and live with courage? To me they look like this:

  1. Pause, take a breath and recount the day when your feelings of fear or anxiety arose. All fear has a source. Find it. You have to have a baseline to work from.

  2. Write down what you are feeling. Just let the diarrhea of thoughts come out on paper.

  3. Review what you wrote and identify what is truth and what is a lie. Most of the time, you will be able to see it in writing. Then, compare it against God's word and finally find someone to speak with who is a mentor in your life.

In most cases, this seems to help folks figure out how to get back in saddle and ride on.  I pray that it helps you as well.  

See you the trail!


Summer 2018 Wrap Up and Prayer Requests

By: Jenai Kostenko - Summer 2018 Director

Welcome back to the trail, we are so excited you are along for the ride! 

Outfitters for Christ (OFC) wanted to take some time to reflect on this past summer. Earlier in the year, during the winter season, this ministry eagerly awaited the work that God was going to do as He prepared a new season, a season of life and a season that was built up from the cold. We sat in the confidence of our hope as we planned for multiple kids to come and experience God’s hand in their lives. We had prayed that God would bring those who need a safe place to walk with God and a thin place to feel His Holy Spirit move. Let me assure you, that that prayer was answered. Fish and Cross Ranch is such a unique place for someone to experience the creator, it is a place that requires trust in the Lord as you do things that are challenging and growing. 

This summer, five different groups came along for the ride and got to experience the Cowboy Code of the West and grow in their relationship with the Lord as Outfitters for Christ poured into these groups with spiritual truth and experiential learning activities that point back to the message of Christ. It was amazing to watch these kids break down their walls and open a space for vulnerability. God had everyone there this summer for a purpose, and it encouraged all of us to see the kids accept the invitation and walk through the open door willingly, to change the broad path that they were walking on into a narrow path that leads to life. 

The summer groups included: the Boy Scouts from Chattanooga, TN, the Local Yampa Youth from Colorado, Willow Point Baptist Church from Shreveport, LA, Broadmoor Baptist Church from Shreveport, LA, and Focus on the Family Colorado Adventure. We are thankful for each group, and we are amazed at how God orchestrated each week to perfectly fit the needs of each group. 

Many kids took a step and shared their stories with one another, and gave the Lord control over what they had been through and what they will go through in the future. The kids told God their deepest burdens, and nailed those things to a cross in front of one another. It was powerful to watch. On top of that, it was great to watch kids act courageously as they experienced riding a horse for the first time, and participated in challenging team work activities. Seeing an outpour of love and intentionality amongst everyone as values, hard work, teamwork, and trust were taught throughout the week undoubtedly proved to us that God’s hand was orchestrating this entire summer. 

After this summer, we are continuing to pray for everyone who came. On behalf of Outfitters for Christ, we are certain that our faith grew as we watched the summer unfold. We are thankful for the Holy Spirit who led us and strengthened us as we prepared for each group to come. We are thinking about you all as you enter the Fall season, and we look forward to re-connecting with you as we plan what is ahead. 

Below are specific things to be praying for: 

* Prayer for direction and vision as the 2019 summer is being prayed for and planned for. 

* We are specifically praying for God to bring up faithful interns to help lead this ministry during the summer and dedicate themselves to growing in their own relationship with the Lord. 

* We are praying for opportunities to continue to serve “at-risk youth” in the local community and communities around the nation. Our focus is to pour into the lives of those who cross our trail here at the ranch and provide materials that can be used long into a person's life journey. 

* We pray for our current partners and for new partnerships to enter this year.

Work Week at Fish and Cross Ranch

Hear an update from the summer director, Jenai Kostenko, about work week at Fish and Cross Ranch and a special thanks to all those who came out to help. 


We want to give you an update on our praises and victories after seven days of working hard this week on the ranch to prepare for the summer ahead. Many volunteers came to serve Fish & Cross ranch by cooking, cleaning, building, or babysitting.

Work week is intended to give back to the Snyder Family for the hospitality and stewardship that Fish & Cross Ranch offers Outfitters for Christ, and all of the amazing groups that come through during the summer. We feel so valued and welcomed as a ministry, and it wouldn’t be possible if it were not for the patience, love, and support that Al and Teresa Snyder have for us. It is an honor to carry out their vision for ministry here on the land that God has given them.

We would like to praise and thank Ron and Joan Meyer for their service of tractor driving and cooking during the week to help the ranchers, and to feed the volunteers and staff here as they work hard. Nick Meyer, their son, and his three daughters Ashlyn, Megan, and Kenna also came. During the week, they were all so eager to help and complete any chores or projects that were given to them. The girls also helped the staff by babysittying and caring for our ranch kiddos. It is a joy to see young people who value hard work, and I know that we could not have done it without them.
A special shout out goes to Eric Wygand, who did a tremendous job this week with numerous building projects. The biggest project he completed was finishing the deck at the lodge. It took him so long, but he powered thorugh without one complaint, and definitely impressed us with his expertise. Eric will be staying through the following week to help lead the Boy Scout group that is coming in for Outfitters for Christ. He has a lot of knowledge for the boys, and we are excited to see how God uses him.
Lastly, the Outfitters for Christ staff is a tremendous victory this year, and we are in awe of how the Lord provided this amazing group of people. Their work ethic and consideration for the ranch, the family, and the cowboy code are proving to be a blessing already.

We are immensily thankful for a successful week of service, and praise God for His hand in it all. To Him be the glory and let us continue to use our hands and feet to serve him!

Please be praying for the Boy Scouts from Chattanooga, TN to come in safely, and that their experience here would mark their hearts and their lives for eternity. Please pray against fear, exhaustion, and lies. God is doing good things, and we give Him the full power to work through us. 

~ Jenai  

Summer at Outfitters for Christ

Howdy friends! 

We feel like it has been forever since our last chat, but we have been busy preparing for the summer season. We are excited to welcome five groups to experience the Cowboy Way at Fish and Cross Ranch this summer. If you hop over to our staff page you can meet our new summer director, Jenai Kostenko, and learn about our wranglers who will be serving our campers during their adventure with OFC. 

As we enter into this summer season we ask that you would join us in praying for our staff and the groups who will be making the journey to Yampa, Colorado. We ask that you specifically pray for safe travels and open hearts for our campers. Below are the specific names of the groups coming in, along with things to be praying for:

  • Boy Scouts from Chattanooga, TN - prayers for safe travels and a relaxing and fun filled week at the ranch. They will be partaking in team building activities, as well as, completing some projects for the ranch so be praying over safety and work ethics. 
  • Local Yampa, CO Retreat - we have the amazing opportunity to love on kids from the local town of Yampa. We pray for open hearts and minds while they spend time away from the families, just down the road, at OFC. 
  • Willow Points Baptist Church - Prayers for safety as they travel from Shreveport, Louisiana. Pray that God provides the right kids in the ability to be away from home. Pray that the staff can be examples of work ethic in what it takes to live our values like the Cowboy Code, balanced with being the hands of feet of Christ. 
  • Broadmoore Baptist Church - Prayers for safety as they return to the ranch from Shreveport, Louisiana. We are excited to have them back as one of our longstanding partnerships. We are excited to minister to the next group of young people from this church and we pray that there would be an out pouring of love and interactions with the Holy Spirit. 
  • Focus on the Family Colorado Adventure - As our Father/Son, Father/Daughter retreat of the summer, we pray that families would be able to reconnect with one another and enjoy the time creating memories at Fish and Cross Ranch. We look forward to partnering with Focus on the Family for this retreat and serving them as they experience the Cowboy Way. We pray for the retreat to fill and that God would place fathers, sons, and daughters at this retreat to impact them like only He can.

As we serve the campers over this summer we ask that you pray for extra energy to radiate from our staff. The enemy will do whatever he can to make a mess of things, and we pray that in the name of Jesus there would be no interference with these groups. The Lord continues to do amazing things through the ministry and your covering of prayer only strengthens the shield of faith. Thank you in advance for your prayers and thoughts during this summer season! 

See you on the trail! 

P.S. - Check our Facebook and Instagram pages for weekly updates on our groups and their experience at OFC. 

The Foundation of Integrity Rests in Your Actions Not Your words

A story of TEZO The Top Hand

By: Al Snyder 

Psalm 78:72 - And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.

It’s an early summer morning on the Fish and Cross Ranch. Tezo knows it’s going to be a long, hot day.  He packs his saddle bag with a sandwich, an apple and two bottles of water. He already has his horse saddled, as the rest of the cowboys wander into the barn for their own morning ritual.  The sun is just peaking over the east ridge as they load their horses into the stock trailer and head for lower pastures.

It takes hours to gather all the mama cows and babies out of the thickets, coolies, and spring ponds.   The older cows are eager to herd up. They just seem to know that they’re headed for higher pastures of lush summer grass.   But then, there’s the heifers; young mothers with their first babies that were really enjoying the shaded water holes and warm weather of the lower country.  Some are good moms, staying with their babies and some are…Well a bit forgetful and on occasion lose their babies.

The cowboys have already made three trips up and down arroyos. Their horses are soaked with sweat, some with dry mouths (they forgot water), and most are thinking the worst is over! One Youngster proclaims, “we have ‘em all Cow-boss, let’s move out”. Everyone heads south with the herd, whoop ‘in and holler ‘in for reasons unknown, since the cows know where they are going.  But Tezo knows at least three heifers have lost their babies.  He has mentally recorded the ear tag numbers as he heads east, away from the herd.   In short order, Cow-boss sees Tezo brining up 3 calves and reuniting them with their mothers. He throws a glance to the Youngster but no words are spoken.

 Three hours into the drive and the herd is spread out over a mile now.  Mama cows are bawling for their babies and babies are crying for their mamas. 600 head of cattle, all calling for mama and calf at the same time, each with their own unique identifying moo.

Tezo thinks to himself, ‘if humans would just listen to the parents and parents to their children with this intensity and focus.’  The older cows know that they MUST find their babies, give them a drink and reassure them that they are ok.  But then, there’s the heifers; they run out in front of the herd, noses down into the fresh green grass, eager to move up hill to find more.  Far behind, at the back of the herd, 20 babies have gathered into a bunch and are playing what appears to be a game of tag.  

Tezo took up the drag position, eating dust and keeping everything in line, although his age and experience would dictate a place near the front, on the flank.  He smiles as the Youngster holds that spot. The Youngster is running wild, scolding old-mamas for not moving faster, shouting un-pleasantries so the other Cowboys will know “he’s in charge”

Suddenly, one calf stops dead-in-his-tracks, “Where’s mama”!  “She must be back at the water hole.   The calf bolts toward the arroyo where he last saw mama.  Tezo’s quick to follow.  First a slow trot, then a gentle lope trying to surround the calf.  No use, the calf is now wide-open headed toward a steep gulch.  Without hesitation or breaking stride, Tezo builds a loop.  He’s now running wide-open himself toward the cliff. 

By now, nearly every cowboy is watching wide-eyed and certain that the calf, the horse, and Tezo are headed over the cliff, everyone except Cow-boss and Tezo himself.  Ten yards to disaster, his loop is in the air and as it comes to rest around the calf’s neck, he has already fixed his dally and is slowing his horse.

And then, there’s the heifers…The first-calf heifer comes running, keenly attuned to her baby’s cry.  The pair reunites to loud cheers from cowboys and a bit of rancor from the Youngster.   Tezo, steps down, releases the calf to mama, and silently coils his rope while stepping back on his horse.  He rides back to the herd, looks at the Cow-boss with a very slight tip-of-his-hat.   He takes up the flank position recognized by all as the Top-Hand on the ranch.  The Youngster, without a word or any fanfare, heads off to ride drag.   

The bible is filled with many Tezos and numerous examples of how God wants young men, and women to live their lives with integrity and trustworthiness through their actions.  

Galatians 6:4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,

Proverbs 20:11 Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?

Are you leading with your actions?

Do your actions demonstrate integrity in all you do?

Are you words few, pointed and kindred, lead by actions of a Top Hand?

T. Tilman
E. Emmett
Z. Zeke
O. Owen





A discussion between a Dad and Daughter

The following series is intended to share my heart and the heart of my daughter.  We are separated by miles, time, schedules and all of our responsibilities.  Our hope is that we can share what we have experienced and learned from a fathers viewpoint in 21+ years of raising a daughter and in a daughter's viewpoint of teaching a man to be a dad. 


Dad: Overwhelmed, stressed, concerned about direction, worried for what my kids are doing and if they have what they need to make it in this life.  CONCERNED.  Add on top of this what I see in this world and what is happening everyday.  Terrorism, murders, broken hearts and broken families.  There seems to be more and more exposure to the ugly side of this world beginning at a very young age. 

What do you do if you are a parent?  What do my children need to survive and, Lord willing, thrive given the above? 

God's promises never fail, but Eden feels so far away today.  

As a father, I am on my knees pleading to God for help.  Most of the time I find myself there because I have just stumbled on my face....again.  I ask, "God, what do they need from me?  How do I show Christ-likeness given the world? What traits and tools can I put in my kid's hands to be prepared for the daily battles?

As a Dad, raising kids with the heart of a Cowboy /Cowgirl, I would capture these thoughts in a phrase something like this: "Love all those who God leads across your path. Trust is precious. Stand for what is right and watch the ornery rustlers run." 

There are three biblically rooted messages in that phrase; Love, Faith and Hope. I wonder, do my kids get that? More importantly, do I exemplify that? 

But here I stop myself, because I have been trained by the world to give the impression that I have it all together and I can lead this family and my children where they need to go.  "I have it all sorted", "I know the way".... 

I have to ask myself, "Do I really know where I am going, so I can show them where they should go?"

Some days it feels so frustrating to not know for many years if your work, sweat, worry, blood and tears have been enough.  But that is why God calls those who follow Him to tend the Harvest, in other words, have the patience to grow what you planted. 


Daughter: You can see it in their faces. WORRY. My dad always said that it was (and is) his job to worry about us kids. That always gave me comfort, still does actually.

Then there’s this roars it’s head almost on the daily. Whether we admit it or not it is lurking beneath the surface.

As the oldest child, I’ve always had a keen sense of the stress that lurked in the family. My parents may deny it, even tell me not to worry about it, but sometimes it almost feels palpable. Add on all the stress that kids face these days and you have a perfect storm.

Dad wonders how to prepare us kids to face the world, to conquer it, to thrive. He probably stresses about this...He stresses over my stress not to mention his own stress. Parents *insert eye roll here*

Yet as invincible as we may feel, stress can take a huge toll on everyone, kids included.

As I’ve grown up, and moved out of the house, there are days that I wish that I could run away from the stress. I wish to physically shed the stress that lurks in my school work, job, sports, whatever.

But here’s the thing, we can thrive. We were made to thrive. Dad always prays about us surviving and thriving. In order for us to thrive we have to communicate about what causes us stress. We have to communicate with God, our parents, mentors, or even a trusted friend. 

Speaking from experience, the more you try to hide your stress the worse it becomes. This is not something that can be dealt with later, it must be dealt with now. I thank the Lord that my parents talked to me about their stress and made me talk about my stress.

So speak up, talk about it, then conquer it! Do not let your stress lurk beneath the surface. Face it head on and conquer it. Conquer it with your kids, conquer it with your parents, but most importantly conquer it with God for “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” Romans 8:37