A Woman Not of This World.

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“If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19.

Growing up in a Christian home, you always hear about being “not of this world” or the persecution that Christians will one day face. As a young child you think, “This is not true. All my friends care about me! No one is out to get me or hurt me. Doesn’t everyone love Jesus like I do?” But as you grow older, you face much more reality. Not everyone is kind and compassionate. Not everyone loves Jesus like you do.

In very recent events, a march that was for Women has began to turn heads, and frustrate and infuriate everyone, including women of God. There are signs that discuss feministic sayings, while sporting female reproductive organs as costumes, discussing the right of abortion, and even slandering the God Almighty that we all love and adore… but let me rewind and back track. What is all this commotion about? What does all of this boil down to? Is it really that we are second to men or have we completely forgotten why women were even created?

Just today, a post was on Facebook, and it was a photograph of two women, holding a hand made sign, at this march, that read:

“If Mary had had an abortion, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”


After seeing that, every Christian woman went through multiple emotions: anger, resentment, fury, unexplained hurt. My Lord and Savior, once again has been stripped down to nothing more than a man with a humanly mother. And apparently, that mother should have aborted him. What is this world that we are living in today?


As I watch and read everything going on, and as I try and control my own emotions, I can’t help but think that, “God still loves them.”

And then, I see another post and my emotions go wild, I hear a small voice that silences my worldly thoughts and views. That voice says, “My Child, I still love them, even if tears are falling. I still love them.”

Then, stopping dead in my emotions and thoughts, I think, “I have to be Christ-like. I must be Christ-like. I need to remember what our plan and purpose is on this earth.”

We have enough women who are tough, rude, course, full of fame and fortune, greed, vanity, and popularity. Why not, Women of Christ, Women Not of This World, why not be meek and mild, tender, soft-hearted, compassionate, ordinary, humble, and have virtue. We need more women to have a compassionate side, to embrace ones that are hurting. If we really want to make a change, love has to be the foundation. We are called to love everyone, just as Christ did. We are all the sinners, the soiled, so why are we passing blame and judgement on each other?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

{Let that verse be your anthem, let it be your battle cry, and if you have to walk into battle, and least be clothed in as much love as you can possibly contain.}

Dear Women Not of this world,

Instead of slandering the march and the ones in the march. How about sending prayers their way. Instead of bashing abortion, why not send out a loving hand to a woman or girl who is having one or who had one. Instead of running in fear of women who are of other religions, why not invite them over for lunch. Instead of saying “well she deserved to be raped,” how about raise awareness amongst boys and girls alike on how to identify serious situations and how to remove yourself or someone else. How about just love. Love others with your whole heart so that Christ shines through constantly and so that satan cannot put out your light. And bless as many people as possible.

Bless the woman who had an abortion. Bless the Muslim woman. Bless the woman who loves another woman. Bless the woman with an outwardly opinion. Bless them all.

“A kind hearted woman gains respect…” Proverbs 11:16

Forgotten Classes.

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Now, before there is a freak out from educators saying that every class in the school system is needed to succeed, I would have to agree. Math, Science, Social Studies, and English are all important. The thought process of algebra or being able to dissect a sentence have important use for every student, across the nation. But with a simple google search of “things I wish I had been taught in high school,” those lessons were not pulled up. The things that most wish they would have learned are things not written in a textbook or even taught on a projector. They are life lessons. Real life things.

These were some of the repeated items that were pulled from multiple blogs/websites when the line “things I wished I had been taught in high school”:

-How to deal with stress-How to change a tire-How to balance a checkbook-How to write a resume- Handy skills-Time Management-How to think for yourself-

Now, to the title of “Forgotten Classes,” slightly dramatic, yes, but not near as off the wall as many would think.

There is an eleven letter word that sums up all of the “I wish I had been taught” moments, this word is slightly deceiving based on the connotation that many have placed on it.

Agriculture.

Whaaaaaaaat? Agriculture. No way. That is where you learn about cows and farming, not checkbook or time management or dealing with stress…. Oh but it is.

Agriculture classes and the extra-curriculum that comes along with it FFA events and SAE projects all teach those moments. And here is how:

  1. Agriculture classes are based on real life experiences and have multiple teaching moments, both inside and outside of the classroom.

These teaching moments happen, even when the teachers were not meaning too. Road tripping to a stock show, a tire blows on the trailer, truck full of students, time to teach. Get them out and show them, in the moment, how to quickly and safely change a tire. Quick lessons. Along with that, agriculture classes teach that not everyone needs to go to college. WHAT. Pump the brakes. Rewind… what!? Yes. Not everyone is cut out for college, many learn, that they need to head to a trade school (which is nothing short of a remarkable education). They learn with their hands. These are the guys and girls that go on to become amazing horse trainers, welders of all trades, the plumbers, the electricians, the dog groomers. The jobs that many look down on as insignificant, but without them, life would become a mess… and pretty quickly.

2. There is more professional development involved than many would assume.

Those blue and gold jackets that FFA students wear every day not only symbolize the organization that the members are apart of, but they also teach how to be poised and polished in rain, snow, or extreme heat. Ask any member of the Texas FFA if corduroy is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, they will tell you a list of stories, but they always laugh and smile. They wear that because they know it is required of them, and it is a part of their job. Also, there are multiple times when, standing at a cattle show, you could strike up a conversation with the owner of a large breeding operation. Networking happens in the least likely places, but happens so quickly you never saw it coming. Resume building? No problem. There is a contest that is called, Job Interview. Yes you read that correctly. Job Interview. Students write a resume and cover letter, and also go through a mock phone and in person interview. They are then critiqued and judged based on that. HOW COULD YOU NOT WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR JOB INTERVIEWING SKILLS?!

3. Lastly, how to deal with stress and time management skills.

I know, every day there is a small part of stress that we all like to refer to as life. It happens. But in the agricultural classrooms around the country, stress is shown in different ways and ideas are found. These “stresses” are short lived because, usually there are many others involved. The stresses that happen are followed with quick reaction times and solutions to the problem. Along with time management skills. Most in agriculture programs have at least one or two projects whether those projects are animal or mechanics or something entirely different. They must balance core curriculum classes, then head to ag classes where they keep up to date on record books (pretty much a check book… holy heck they learn how to keep balances of that), then are handed a list of dates that they will be gone for contest or show or all of the above, oh wait, did I mention that most are highly involved other parts of the school! These can include but not limited to one act play, FCCLA, Student Council, Athletics, but then throw in outside activities like church youth group or rodeo and these students have a full list of items on their plate, constantly! But they learn time management, but they also learn a valuable lesson, when to say “Yes” to a task and when to know your limit and say “No, I am full, but I know someone who would be incredible at that job.”

 

So, for all of you saying that you missed out on those opportunities, hopefully you can share some light for future high school students. Agriculture classes are not just about cows, sows, and plows. These classes development your leadership skills, time management, learning the quality of life, friendships that last lifetimes, and most of all, your willingness to succeed in life… not just high school.

When curious about what classes develop you into an adult that can survive and strive in performance in the real world, remember those forgotten classes.

 

Bless the Ag Teacher’s Husband.

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Yes, You read that title correctly.

Bless the Ag Teacher’s Husband. 

Everyone knows the Ag Teacher’s wife. The lady who is practically perfect in the eyes of the students. The one who’s hair is always perfectly done, make-up is just right, and always sporting the latest fashion, but incorporates National Blue and Corn Gold into their fashion collection. The lady who is at almost every event. They show up to help decorate for banquet; they constantly lend a helping hand; they try to make it to every stock show or state convention that they can. They even show up for events not directly incorporated with the Ag program or the FFA, such as football games, PTA meetings, school board meetings, decorating for homecoming or prom. And every Ag/FFA member knows that the Ag Teacher’s wife, inevitably, becomes your second mom, and they dang sure will discipline like you are one of their own.

But, in this day and age, there are women Ag teacher’s, so… What about their Husbands? Where do they fit in? Do they truly understand what they are getting into…? Is it different for the Ag teacher husband as compared to an Ag teacher wife?

Like:

Do they volunteer with the booster club? Will they help on clip day? Are they going to get mad if my shoes smell like crap? Will they decorate for banquet? What about helping get the boys collars straight in official dress? And snacks?! Will they make snacks for trips? Will he be upset when we say we will be home in 5 minutes, but in reality, we haven’t even left the school? What about when we send pictures that we think are SO cool? Will he be just as stoked? Will they listen to judgers practice? Or watch, over and over, the Ag issues team? Can they possibly begin to understand the excitement of getting hotels at a discount during stock show season? Will they get annoyed when we begin to recite the creed without even thinking? Will they be able to understand the spreadsheets we put together for everything in life? Do they understand that the children will grow up in the back of an Ag truck because FFA kids provide free babysitting?! Will they understand!?

The answer, to every question I feel is… yes. They will gladly take on any role that they volunteer or, are volun-told to do. However, there will always be a slight difference between how they perform the duties that they will be assigned.

-They will show up for booster club meetings, because there is usually free food. Which is a BONUS, because that means leftovers get to stay in the fridge just a little longer.

-Making snacks.. probably not, however, they will make a midnight run to walmart to be sure that you have at least something to snack on while waiting in line to unload at stock show. Beef jerky, Pringles, and Gatorade anyone!?

-Even with FFA contests and official dress! He will grin and bear it when he hears, for the 12 millionth time, the Ag issues team script or the creed. He, will not, voluntarily, listen to these speeches… that one of those volun-told moments that tend to happen. Oh, and FFA colors, he definitely will be wearing, as long as you make sure he has that shirt on before he leaves for the day.

-And decorating for banquet, of course! They can toss some table cloths and pretty emblem center pieces along with the best of them. Always remember, there will be an FFA momma coming right behind him, to “tweak” on the decor that he so graciously put up!

Those Ag Teacher Husband’s will be some of the most patient men you will ever meet. They will  be able to jump in and deal with a stressing hog, or listen to the tears of a teenage girl who just broke up with the love of her life. He will know and love those kids, just like you do. He will stay caught up on all the gossip and will have his own opinion on disciplining the problem child in 3rd period. Keep in mind, they will put aside their masculinity for a minute or two to help purchase extra sets of panty hose for official dress, carry a purse or bag, and cut flower steams to help prepare you for the next’s days lesson in floral design.

So thank you to the Ag Teacher’s Wife who help so much,

but bless those Ag Teacher’s Husband’s.

The Glass Barn.


Often, Agriculture has rocks thrown at, what many perceive, as a solid structure. But in reality, the rocks being thrown are through a glass… barn.


The Good, the Bad, and {even} the Emotional. 

Agriculture is one of the most emotionally based industry that is constantly cut down by groups, such as PETA. PETA is able to grab consumers by the heart strings, and begin to pluck out cords. They pluck cords of sorrow and sympathy for the plants and animals that agriculturalists deal with, but then, they begin to pluck out cords of anger, bitterness, and even hatred towards agriculture producers and anyone closely related to agriculture.

Consumers want to know the “story” behind their food, but when agriculture begins to tell their story, PETA (or groups like them) jump in and play their little heart string songs, and end up swaying those consumers.

So here we go, to all the consumers out there, sitting on the fence, trying to decide who to believe. To the consumers who believe everything that PETA says or posts on social media. To the producers who are tired of fighting against these groups, so you continue to farm, ranch, provide food and clothing to the population but take the negative hits in stride. Well, here you all go, the glass barn, the good, the bad, and the emotional side of agriculture. The facts, the figures, the human side.

The question is now, should agriculture begin telling their story with the emotional side, to grab your heart strings and begin playing a tune, or should they begin with the facts and figures?

How about we do both, side-by-side.

Let’s begin by calling PETA’s bluff on two posts that have been floating around the internet the past few months. 1. That you must kill sheep in order to obtain wool. 2. That Artificial Insemination or A.I. is actually rape.

  1. If you walked up to any 8 year old, 4-Her, who has a sheep project, you will be educated more, in 30 seconds, about sheep projects and sheep production than PETA will give you in 15 years.

The good: Sheep are not killed for wool. Wool is grown, just like hair on our head, constantly. Sheep are then sheared… as in shaved, like a buzz cut for men, and that wool comes off, they go on living their life. Death does not come for sheep EVERY TIME THEY NEED TO BE SHEARED. It is, essentially, a hair cut.

The bad: Sheep are used for food production. Often, referring back to the 4-Her, the lambs are sheared before stock show. After the stock show, they are put on a truck and sent to the processing plants, in order to provide meat for people to eat.

The emotional: I have seen 8 year olds to 50 year old moms cry at stock shows as they are loading their animal. They cry because of the fact that the show is over, or that they didn’t do as well as they were hoping, but some cry because they will, in fact miss that animal a great deal! They also know, that is their job. As an agriculturalists, no matter how attached you get to those animals, those animals serve a greater purpose, and that is feeding the human race. Tears are shed, and then dried and then they prepare next year for the choosing, raising, and showing of these animals in order to be a provider. This is what every producer will go through, every year.

2. Artificial Insemination or A.I. is this: the injection of semen into the vagina or uterus other than by sexual intercourse. There is a “straw”, that contains semen, that is slipped into the vagina or uterus and then the semen is injected. Any woman who has every been to the gynecologists has experienced something of the sort, especially if that woman is pregnant or has been pregnant. Cattle are not A.I. unless they are in heat (or during their time of the month) because the semen will not take. Just like any human woman. There are ideal times, locations, and even temperatures that effect how that animal will take to being bred, even if it isn’t naturally.

The good: Breeding through A.I. is usually safer for the females than natural breeding. Often, in horses and cattle, the studs (or stallions) and the bulls can become extremely aggressive and often hurt the females. With A.I.ing in place, the producer will still be able to utilize the prized bull or stud on their property without hurting the females in the process. Producers can also get outstanding genetic lines but using A.I. because they can buy semen from around the world, have it shipped to them and then use it on their females in their herd.

The bad: A.I.ing is not cheap. It has some expensive costs associated with it, not only for equipment but having the proper man power to provide the service. Producers are not going to put money into a management practice if it isn’t going to positively effect their production and their animals production.

The emotional: Sometimes the mares or cows or sows, do not take. They simply, for some reason, the semen does not take when they try, that time, to A.I. Which means, those producers are out that money, time and effort and have to go back to square one. It can also mean that that particular animal isn’t feeling right or performing to her best abilities. That can cause red flags. Along with that, if they do take, babies will be born! Everyone likes babies. To the rancher wives, they are cute little things that they can take pictures of and “ooh” and “ahh” over. Even the ranchers can’t help but show emotion. It means new life, and new opportunities.

Next, let’s move on to the dreaded GMO, Hormone, and Antibiotic in food talk. Oh my!

  1. Every thing you consume that was once living (plants and animals) contain hormones. 2. GMO’s are not chemicals 3. Antibiotics are not in the food you eat.
  1. Everything you consume that was once living (plants and animals) contain hormones. Hormones in plants are not the hormones that people often associate that world with. When we think hormones, we think Testosterone and Estrogen. Two main hormones in the human body. Plants do not carry those particular hormones. They have their own, that help in their growing abilities, as well as utilizing the process of photosynthesis. In animals, they have hormones that we have.

The good: Hormones help to grow the bodies or stems of the beings that we, as people need. Without hormones, corn wouldn’t grow, fish wouldn’t swim correctly, and cattle wouldn’t reach sexual maturity at the rate that they currently do. Hormones are vital for all living beings to grow and mature properly. There are growth hormones put into cattle to help promote faster growth and performance will be better. Those hormones can be closely related to steroids in humans, and for many athletes, injecting themselves with unnatural steroids and people think it is okay! But for plants/animals who NATURALLY produce these in order to, live, it is absurd.

The bad: The word hormone has a very negative connotation that effects things drastically. We know that, as agriculturalists. We continue to try to educate and explain that hormones are vital for all living beings, but sometimes, people do not want to hear it.

The emotional: Go sit in on any Geneticist lecture and listen to them. They love this stuff. This is where the science side of agriculture comes in. You can hear there passion in how those hormones are present in order to provide the growth and even the feeding that they need. They nerd out! That is the emotion, they have a passion for what they have learned, what they teach, and what they work with every single day.

2. GMO’s are not chemicals. GMO’s are not chemicals. GMO’s are not chemicals. Hopefully that has been burned into your mind. Definition of GMO or Genetically Modified Organisms: the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. From that definition, how is that considered a chemical. The basics of GMO’s are this: taking a characteristic of, like a cactus, a plant that can survive on little water, and then put that characteristic, or gene, into a plant that needs a lot of water, like alfalfa. The goal is that you can produce that particular crop with less water. So it is production efficiency.

The good: GMO’s have revolutionized the agricultural production industry. Farmers are able to produce more food on less land and with less resources. That means, that the less water that is used on crops, can go into your homes for faucet water, toilet water, and to shower with. This also means that farmers are able to produce crops and use less pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers because the crops have been modified against bugs or grow in soil that has less nutrients than what they actually need to survive.

The bad: Let’s real talk for a minute. We do not know the long run effects of GMO’s, but at this moment, the technology is revolutionized enough that there is no proof of any long standing effects from GMO’s. The problem is, we aren’t sure how many times genetically modifying plants will soon effect them to a point of no return. But again, there is science backing it.

The emotional: Why would producers produce food that they know is harmful to people, when they will be feeding that same food to their family…? I have seen a cotton farmer, in Lubbock, Texas, crying, screaming, stomping and staring at the sky, begging for rain, because he is a dry-land farmer (meaning he depends solely on natural rainfall), and none was coming. He needed the rain, for the cotton to grow, to get an income, to feed his family.

3. Antibiotics are not in the food you eat. This is a hot topic for many right now, because even parents are questioning vaccinating their own children, so why would livestock be anything different to them. Antibiotics, all antibiotics, have a withdrawal date. This means that if the animal will be going into food production, you MUST go by those withdrawal dates. If the date on an antibiotic is 30 days out from processing (or slaughter), then the producer is not supposed to give that medication to the animal any less than 30 days.

The good: The withdrawal dates are set in place, in order, to provide safe food for ALL. With the withdrawal period, that gives the animal enough time to completely flush out the antibiotic in order for the meat to be safe for consumption.

The bad: There is always “a few bad apples” that ruin it for the rest. Antibiotics are often used after the withdrawal date, for reasons that they should not be used, or just after the date causing residue left over in the meat. Not good.


All of this information has been said to say, do your research. Correct research. Research that is backed by professionals. Contact Agriculture Universities, call the industry professionals, get the facts!

Agriculture is complex, there are no black and white answers. It is a culture, along with a science.

Remember, PETA is good at tugging at the heart strings initially, but then skew the facts. Agriculture gives the facts, but sometimes forgets to give the emotional side.

So here it is, a viewing into the Glass Barn, and this barely scratches the surface of agriculture. Agriculture isn’t shady or private or closed-up in dark barns. It is everywhere, all around you, and if you truly want to learn more, open your ears and eyes and let the producers do the talking before you jump to conclusions.

-From,

An Agriculturalist

 

E.Coli almost killed me

And I didn’t blame agriculture!

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I have one degree in agricultural education. I am pursuing a second degree in agriculture with an emphasis in education. And I almost died from a food borne illness.

Here is my story:

Since my undergrad was in Agricultural Education, a semester was spent student teaching, and so began my many days at stock shows, validations, a classroom, and in the truck. I have always been a decently healthy eater. I will eat my greens, cook my meat all the way through, and I will not eat something if it just doesn’t taste right, but…


One week before I was hit with the sickness, I was at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. We had spent the two weeks with 8 steers, and then a large amount of heifers and two cow/calf pairs. It was a solid two weeks of work, but extremely beneficial watching my students succeed in the show ring. Now at the fair, the eating situation is a little different. We are usually scarfing down fair food while sitting right beside our animals in the barns. It isn’t the most sanitary but for any show man or agriculturalists, alike, it really doesn’t bother us too bad. They have to eat. We have to eat. Just how the world goes round.

The before day E. Coli hit (Thursday), I had just finished up a day of teaching and my cooperating teacher and I were heading to the Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Waco. The plan was to meet up with the students and parents already there, make sure everything was good and then head to the hotel for a good nights rest; to, then wake up early to get the Livestock Judging Team to contest. We got to supper around 9pm and I didn’t feel wonderful. I felt dehydrated and had that lack of sleep feeling, so I picked through my supper and I headed to my hotel room.

That morning (Friday), around 3, I woke up to the worst pain and sickness I have ever been through. I am not one to share gory details, but I will do anything to not puke, and I could not control myself. I was bed-ridden all day. I couldn’t keep soup, bread, crackers, peptobismal or even water down. I could barely lift my head, let alone open my eyes to watch T.V. I was getting nervous, but I knew there had been a stomach virus going around the school so I figured I was hit with the 24-hour bug.

The day after (Saturday), I had to check out of the hotel. I managed to find the strength to get up, shower, and even do my hair and make-up. I went to the stock show grounds, and could barely walk, but I found my way to our cattle stalls and sat down. My cooperating teacher and his family decided that we needed to go eat something besides fair food. We headed to McAlisters and I ordered a small baked potato with nothing on it. I had two bites and knew I better not try anymore. On the way back to the grounds, I got another extremely sick feeling. I ended up spending the last 3 hours, at the Heart of Texas, in and out of the bathroom. The worst thing ever is getting sick in a stock show barn bathroom. On the way back home, I ended up getting in contact with one of the doctors at the hospital where I was living, and met him at the ER. He pumped me full of fluids and I drove myself home.

That next morning (Sunday), I woke up feeling decent. I was able to move a little more and even kept some water and toast down. I was pretty happy. But, come Monday morning, I had little to no strength. I barely got myself out of bed and into the living room. I laid on the couch the entire day. I had no strength to stand up, so in order to change a DVD, I crawled from the couch to the TV, which was less than 5 feet away. I texted my doctor and was told to come in on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, (I do not know how) I found motivation to get up, get clothes on, and drive the 40 minutes to the doctor. The minute he saw me, he told me I was being put in the hospital. I was sent to the hospital, admitted, and immediately had fluids being pumped into me.

My heart rate was elevated, blood sugar low, oxygen stats low, and I was extremely dehydrated. I couldn’t help but think that this is way more serious than I ever thought it would be, and it scared me.

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The Selfie 

I was hospitalized on a Tuesday and did not leave until Friday. I am not a big person. I am 5’3″ and around 123 pounds, and I lost over 12 pounds.  I weighed around 109 pounds, and I was able to get full on half of a kid’s meal at any restaurant. None of my clothes fit me properly and I was still really weak.

This was something I had never experienced before and I never want to experience again.

 

I was told that, had I waited much longer to go to the doctor, I would have died.


And yet…

Going through all of that, I never once thought about blaming agriculture or the food system or the stock show industry. I had somehow ingested the E.Coli bacteria, no telling how; possibilities could have been that the food I ate was undercooked or maybe because I had been dealing with a sick calf at the show; never-the-less, the fact of the matter was, I became sick {maybe} in the exact industry I love.

But… I didn’t write this to scare anyone, or to make them hate agriculture even more. NO. I wrote it to show that illness’ are not biased. They do not care who you are or where you come from. One thing I did take away from getting this sick is I take it upon myself to be even more food safe savvy. I wash ALL produce, I make sure to use a meat thermometer when I cook, and I wash my hands even more religiously. I am pro-active in my own food safety but I still trust the industry!

I believe that every farmer, rancher, feedlot manager, USDA inspector, and researcher are out their for OUR (as in the public) bests interest because these people feed their families the same thing that they are promoting is safe. They are experts in the field, so why wouldn’t you trust them…?

If you are sick, you usually go to a doctor. An expert.

If your car breaks down, a mechanic is where you head. An expert.

If your phone breaks, you usually send it in to be fixed. You send it to an expert. 

So, then, why would you not trust the experts in the field of food production and food safety?

 People that I like to call “mommy bloggers” or companies like PETA always bash the agriculture industry and people believe every word that they say without even once thinking “Hm, I am not sure if that is true. Why don’t I call the local County Extension office or the Agriculture College at the University and see if I can get answers?” Those people do not have real informational research to back their claim and yet, what they say has GOT TO BE CORRECT. But when true experts try and discuss those items, everyone doesn’t believe or they freak out.

I am not sure about your personal stance on this topic, but I am pro-agriculture.

I am pro-agriculture even after being hit with E. Coli and almost dying. I chose to trust the experts in that industry, so why can’t you at least do correct research if you are a skeptic?

E. Coli almost killed me and I do not blame agriculture.

-Hope

 

Political Correctness.

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I am not one to begin to talk about political correctness, mostly because I am young and still learning the ways and nature of this world; but the more I see and hear and begin to understand, the more I feel that there is a need to explain some details. Now, I know not everyone will agree with me, and that is okay. What I am asking, is that you take a moment to hear another persons story, another persons side to the issues at hand.


Now, I am a brown haired, blue eyed, white young woman, who has one college degree and is currently working on a second one.  I grew up in a southern Baptist home with two conservative parents who raised me as such.

Let me stop right there… I do not know how many of you have already rolled your eyes, and clicked off of this, because all you are thinking is “typical. A white female talking to us about politics, let me turn this off before she does something crazy.” However, if you haven’t, keep reading.

From that first sentence you could almost assume that I am a typical, over privileged, white woman who has a one track mind and does not take value or precedence for anyone or anything that doesn’t fit into my perfect little box. At this point, I would tell you to stop assuming… because there are many things you do not see.

I am white, but my lineage has far different things in me, including Native American; Comanche and Cherokee and Chickasaw to be exact. I do have three tribes in me, my family is diverse by nature. With that, I do not think people even consider what the Native American tribes went through… I believe they have been the most heavily oppressed, gun downed and disrespected on American soil. And yet, there has been no uprising from them in recent media, no violent protests, they do not harbor on what used to be. Now, some say I could be biased, and I would say, you are correct.

I also agree with the statement “All Lives Matter.” Many would begin to curse me stating that agreeing with ALM means that I do not understand or I am avoiding to see the truth behind the matter of the movement and that I am one of the reasons for BLM movements. Again, I would also say, there is more to me that meets the eye. I grew up in a family that would be labeled as “under privileged.” I did not get everything handed to me, nor will I ever. My parents, both have worked hard since I can remember and still there is always more month at the end of money. My elementary and middle schools were not on the worst side of town, but they weren’t necessarily on the best side of town either. I was a minority in those schools. My best friends were Black and Mexican, I was called “Esperanza” while rocking corn rows.  I made it known that my best friends, were my best friends, I never saw color, and neither did they. We saw each other as a shoulder to cry on, as guidance, as laughter, as best friends. I would joke with them about fried chicken and tortillas and they in turn would laugh at my apparently all-to-noticeable Texas draw and my love for tutus and cowboy boots. The reason I say All Lives Matter is because I do not want to segregate one friend from the other, one life from the next, because we are all equal, even if we aren’t treated as such. I am not naive. I know how this world is. I do know that their are some races that are oppressed. I saw it first hand with my two best friends, and I stood up for them, I tried to make it known but the truth of the matter is, I couldn’t change anything. I could just love on them each and everyday. But I also chose to not make a statement or throw out my opinions because than it would only add fuel to the fire.

Like I said, I grew up in a conservative, christian home, but unlike other homes like that,  I grew up dancing for 17 years, perfecting my talent in tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, lyrical, the list goes on and on. I have a love for all arts; whether it be dance or painting or music or theatre, you know, the more “liberal” things in life. I adore listening to classical music or sitting and chatting with a Hindu woman about the art that is solely adored in their culture. I see people for people.

I have been to a poverty stricken foreign country, and did not want to leave. I did not want to leave because I wanted to stay and be “that white christian woman who is trying to save the world and put a good deed check next to her name,” no. I did not want to leave because I loved the culture; the love they had for their family and friends and strangers. They took every chance they could to spend time with each other, love on each other, and lift each other up. Time was not a limiting factor for them. Time. Stood. Still. If I could bottle up the love that I felt while being down their and bring it back to the States, I would in a heart beat.

All this boils down to this, there is too much hate in this world that is publicized, when in reality, I believe, there is a lot more love that goes on, but no one wants to see that side. We need the gossip, the gore, the wicked, the hated. We need the ugly. Why? I do not know.

Why not talk more about the love. “We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19. Why not love like Christ loved, and I am not saying this as a conservative-bible thumping woman who wants to throw Jesus Christ down your throat at any chance I can get. I am meaning it as, love like the MAN Jesus Christ was. Whether you believe in Him as the Son of God, the Lord and Savior or you just believe that He was a man who shows up in a book, He is definitely a role model. Just like Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr. These men loved on people, ALL people. They used their words some, but even more so, they utilized their actions, they were humble by nature and they demonstrated as such. They rallied together and pressed on, but did so without violence. And guess what. They all were killed. They were killed for what they believed in too.

They were oppressed, pushed on, shoved on, called names, spit on, had their property destroyed, and they continued to love people. 

Jesus Christ hung on a cross, killed by His own people. Gandhi was shot down by a radical. Martin Luther King, Jr was shot down. 

I go on and on to make this point, stop judging others by the color of their skin, by their religion, by their status in society, by anything.

Because, by the worlds standards, my political correctness went out the door years ago.

I am an educated, conservative, Baptist woman who has danced along side gay men, walked in a Catholic church with my mexican best friend, stood alongside a close family friend who told me all about her family back in Nigeria. I love all people, all walks of life.

So if political correctness is what this world is wanting, if hatred and disrespect is what this world is wanting,

then I definitely do not belong here. 

 

Be a Peter Pan; Be a Wendy.

pp

Growing up, Peter Pan was the ultimate idol for every child. He had this charismatic nature about life that we all had a slight envy of… and especially for us girls, we hoped to be a Wendy.


Peter Pan never wanted to grow up, he wanted to remain a lost boy forever, flying towards the second star on the right, straight on, until morning; and yet, Wendy, who seemed to have the best time of her life, knew she could not remain in Neverland forever…

she went back, she eventually, grew up.


I don’t know about you, but some of us are definitely the Wendy’s. We had our fun in childhood and now, here we are, in our 20’s, adults. The Wendy’s grew up. The Wendy’s found love young, an everlasting love that Tuck had for Winnie, that Gus McCrae had for Kate; genuine and deep love. They then got married, and began their life of jobs, marriage, and the beginning of new life: babies. The Wendy’s are the ones that {seem} to have their lives together. They have the fairy tale look, the love, the house, the family, the friends… everything.

Then…

There are the Peter’s. The Peter’s are the ones who have dabbled in love, and still have yet to find the right one; the one that sets their souls on fire, that continues to give them butterflies, or keep them on their toes from a nervous excitement. The Peter’s have said goodbye too many, felt hopeless and confused, rushed into love only for love to leave them again. The Peter’s are also the ones who are striving to succeed in other endeavors besides family building. They are developing a career, going through or finishing school, moving around 700 times because they have an unsettled spirit. These are the ones, in their 20’s who seem to not have their life together. They get asked questions like:

“So has your dating life picked up any?”

“When are you going to settle down and be with someone?”

“*Insert name here* was a good one! Why didn’t you keep them around?”

“Oh… you’re still in school…? Do you really need that Masters?” 

Let me tell you… the Peters in this world feel like  t i m e i s s t a n d i n g s t i l l. They look at the Wendy’s and wish, pray, or rain dance daily to be given that opportunity. There hearts are unsettled at the fact that they haven’t achieved their own personal goals and ambitions, on top of, not gaining the love, marriage and family in a “timely” fashion.

You see, the Peter’s feel two types of stresses, they get the stress of the world saying BE SUCCESSFUL, GO TO COLLEGE, GET THAT CAREER, while on the other side the stress from family and friends saying GET MARRIED ALREADY, I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE STILL IN SCHOOL, HOW CAN YOU FIND SOMEONE IF YOU ARE WORKING SO MUCH, QUIT BEING SO PICKY.

I would like to say, it is okay to be a Wendy. If you have found the love that sets your soul on fire, do not hold back, for any second, regardless of timing or age. Love has no boundaries and if you are blessed to find that love in your teens or 20’s, why run from it? Why try to escape from it? Pursue it and find that family and marriage and dream life with your dream job and dream spouse. Do not settle for anything less than extraordinary. But Wendy’s, treasure your Peter friends. These friends have backed you and will continue to back you at every single milestone moment of your life. They are the ones who talked to you after your first date with Mr. Forever, they arranged or were present at your engagement, they celebrated and danced the night away at your wedding, and they held your baby in the hospital, and tried to hold back tears of happiness and pride. The Peter’s wish for more for themselves, but wish for even more milestone moments that they can celebrate with and for you.

But for you Peter’s, listen up, do not compare yourselves to the Wendy’s. You have a far different path that this world is taking you on, and you are not standing still. Do not get discouraged if the world and others around you are moving forward and getting through life and, some days, you can barely get ready in a timely fashion, let alone be responsible for others. Time is not your enemy, it is a small reminder that you are achieving your dreams. Build a life that makes you proud enough to share it with someone else. Keep up the good work, but don’t let the negativity of the world and even your own thoughts surround you, because you have done some thing that the Wendy’s haven’t gotten to experience… building you. You have learned that with faith, trust, and a little pixie dust, you have been able to fly with the wings that you have built, yourself.

So remind the world that you are a Peter! It may seem you are moving slower, passing time way more graciously than you should, with things that may not matter to most, but they mean something to you. Do not get discouraged on yourself, because, although eventually you will grow up, live for the here and now. Embrace the idea that you can move or travel wherever your heart pleases with no boundaries and no rules; embrace the fact that you are a learner and you would be okay with getting 17 different degrees in things that may mean absolutely nothing to some, but to you, it is a whole world of new opportunities; embrace the fact that you have no idea what in the hell you are doing with your life, but you are doing it, you are getting by on a wing and a prayer. And, embrace the fact that time is on your side, and that your plan and your future may need to take a little longer because it is developing into something far greater than you can ever image.

Remember, it is okay to be a Peter, it is okay to be a Wendy, but also strive to . . .

fight for your fairy tale. because it does exist.

-Hope Sorrells