Column: Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: The Good Life
From around nine years old on, I transitioned from wanting to be the next LeAnn Rimes or Shania Twain to wanting to do something with cattle genetics. Throughout middle and high school, whenever “what do you want to be,” cropped up, that was my answer.
Fast forward a couple decades, and I get to spend my days ranching, and farming. My husband lets me play a key role in choosing the genetics we use, and entertains some of my “weird,” conversation topics about cattle bloodlines and EPDs.
When we had kids, we agreed our top priority was to raise them ourselves, like our parents did, and I have been able to stay home and do that. Both our kids are alive and healthy, we have a large home, and a year ago we started going to a local church’s after-school kid’s program, which has led to fantastic friendships.
Perhaps this all sounds a little surreal, or braggadocios. But, that is far from my intent.
I could have said we ranch, but not in the area code or zip code I would have chosen, nor with the “right” breed of cattle. Half our time is eaten up with farming. We run finicky old equipment and high mileage pickups to make it all work. I get to stay home with my kids because we sell meat on the side to generate cashflow. I squeeze phone calls and emails into every spare minute of an already full schedule, plus spend Saturdays selling at the local farmers market. Our home is large because we added a double wide onto my husband’s grandparent’s 1940s farmhouse, and five years later few of the house projects are done. My children are so darn healthy they exhaust me. I have made friends in the last year, after spending over half a decade relying on phone calls, Facebook messenger conversations, and occasional run-in’s with old friends.
I have the choice of perspective, just like everyone. However, that doesn’t mean I am not shown what my perspective should be. Philippians 4:6-8 tells me not to be anxious, to make my requests known to God with thanksgiving and prayer. To focus on those things which are true, pure, lovely and of good report.
Then, Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Ephesians 2 says we are all God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
So, God purposely placed the desires of my heart within me, and laid out the path for me to walk toward obtaining them.
It sounds simple, and it is simple. However, I tend to fall into the path of my second description of my life more often than I am proud of, and in recent months the need to change that has been laid upon my heart.
It really came to a head during an interview on mental health, when the interviewer asked me what causes my mental health to decline. I had to think, and my response was that it declines when I take my eyes off Jesus. The more I get wrapped up in the world, the worse my mindset, and consequently my mental health, becomes.
It’s a tough gig here on earth. Whether I choose the good kind of tough, or the bad kind of tough is up to me, and there is a difference. Fortunately, even when I lose sight of that truth, God continues taking me along the path He has chosen for me, filled with the desires He placed within me.
Life in this world is a long marathon of a battle. But the outcome is already known, and it is good. Even when our work here is heavy, it is worthwhile, and there is comfort in knowing it is temporary.
We have a great book in the Bible to reveal to us both the battle and victory, in addition to how we are to act and what we are to do along the way. Spend some time in it, and you’ll realize you were also uniquely and wonderfully made to do what you do, where you do it, in this time.
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