It’s the day after Christmas here in Colorado and I’m reveling in the fact that there’s nothing like Christmas on the ranch. The kids are home, and it’s great. And that’s not just because I woke up to a blizzard and had three additional hands to get everything done. It’s because the family pulling together just seems to make it easier to get into the spirit of the holiday.
Ranch kids understand the value and meaning of sacrifice. Anyone who’s been entrusted with the job of taking care of God’s land and animals understands that their wellbeing is the first priority.
Kids don’t always appreciate this at the time, but it’s a tremendous blessing to work side by side with your parents in the family operation, after school and on weekends. That’s because the kids can’t escape the discussions and decisions that involve the business and the family on the financial side. Living on a ranch doesn’t make kids immune from materialism, greed or selfishness, but it does tend to mitigate it.
Even on Christmas morning, there’s a realization that responsibilities must be met. I’m not saying that living on a ranch makes one more likely to have a relationship with God, love and appreciate one’s family, better understand the importance of living in the moment, or have more gratitude for all their blessings, but I think it makes it easier.
I’m sure I could have similar feelings gathering around the tree or going to a church service with my family in Los Angeles or New York City. For me, however, I think it’s easier in the country, where it’s so much easier to close out distractions and to feel close to God, family and the other blessings that completely surround you.
Just this morning, I watched as my two boys destroyed their mom’s freshly cleaned floor, as the mixture of mud and snow on their boots and clothes melted into one big mess. But their laughter was real and heartfelt as they detailed how they had tried to turn over a feed bunk, broke through the ice and both ended up falling down.
They may have been soaked and cold, but they were committed to a cause – and that cause had helped them align their priorities, God, family, cattle/land, and making a difference.
God came here for a reason, and He put us all on this earth for a reason. To me, those reasons never seem so crystal clear as on a Christmas morning on the ranch. I can’t help but feel a little guilty but tremendously grateful.
I hope you all had a wonderful and Merry Christmas!
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