Ranch moms — Let faith guide you in hard seasons

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A tribute to the hard-working moms for Mother’s Day and words of encouragement for raising kids during challenging times.

I never knew how humbling motherhood would be until I stepped into the role.

Years of infertility left me feeling hopeless, sad, and alone.

I wondered if I would ever know the joy of being a mother.

I prayed for God to bless our family with a child.

Then in His perfect timing, our family grew — a daughter in June of 2014, a son in June of 2016 and our baby in May 2018. Prayers answered -- my hands and heart were full!

Since then, our family has also welcomed an additional eleven foster children to the ranch, and our home is generally loud, messy and joyful — full of arts and crafts and muddy footprints on the kitchen floor from hours spent outside playing.

And despite my roles as a rancher, agricultural blogger, speaker, boutique owner, children’s book author and beef advocate; the most important job I’ll ever do is raise my children and prepare their hearts and minds to thrive in this broken world we live in.

To be honest, this task seems extraordinarily hard given the current state of society. When I read the news headlines or scroll through hateful banter on social media, I sometimes fear for my children’s futures and worry if I’m doing enough or preparing them fully for what lies ahead.

I see the discourse in our cities. I see the political divisions. I see generational pain and trauma pouring into our streets. I see the media feeding into the divide. I see the trampling of our Constitution. I see the blatant disregard and even disdain for our faith. I see the ignorant assumption that our basic necessities — food, fuel, water, clothing and electricity — will always be available. I see the deterioration of our personal liberties and freedoms. I see the censorship, the group think and the bashing of adversaries.

It’s disheartening at times to want to fix the world and not know where to start. As a mother, this weighs heavy on my mind. But I know if I’m to change hearts and minds in my community and in this world, I must start the work at home, with my children.

And thankfully, I don’t have to do it alone. I have Jesus.

Now perhaps some might argue that sharing my faith on a beef blog is inappropriate. If you wanted to be preached to, you would go to church and listen to a sermon. Fair enough. This blog post isn’t going to float your boat.

But as I’ve stated many times on this opinion-based BEEF Daily blog, my faith is intricately weaved into everything I do as a cattle woman, as a writer, as a wife, as a mom, as a steward of the land and livestock, and as a producer of nourishing beef and life-enriching by-products.

My faith carries me through tough storms. My faith prepares me to walk with faith, not fear. My faith gives me strength when I feel week. My faith guides my steps where I falter. My faith gives me grace in the seasons of motherhood and ranching that are particularly challenging. My faith also calls me to love my neighbor, and man, do I sure love and appreciate all of you who have tuned into this BEEF Daily since I was a young college kid with stars in my eyes headed home to the family ranch after college.

On this Mother’s Day, I want to send a special salute to the cattle women and cowgirls who do it all and make it look easy. My thoughts are on the mothers, the grandmothers, the moms-in-waiting, the moms who have lost, the moms juggling parenting, work and everything in between, and the moms who are in a difficult season.

I know the walk is hard and lonely at times. I know the fruits of your labor won’t fully come to fruition for years and years. But know the work you’re doing is important for the future of agriculture, the future of families and the future of this nation.

I’ll close with this message I read recently on Facebook from Alex Cravens. She shares a message of hope for weary and worried mothers battling with insecurities and fears during these challenging days.

Cravens writes, “Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be. God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.

“Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God. Train them up in the authority of His Word. Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control. Empower them to know they can change the world. Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it.

“Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan. He knew Daniel could handle the lion’s den. He knew David could handle Goliath. He knew Esther could handle Haman. He knew Peter could handle persecution. He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it!

“Don’t be scared for your children but be honored that God chose YOU to parent the generation that is facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime. Rise up to the challenge. Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters!”

Happy Mother’s Day! Cheers to all of the strong and loving women out there on this special day! I appreciate you!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Management
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