A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

19 February 2019

Hello everyone,

 

When I was growing up, life seemed so much simpler. For everyone, I believe, it does feel that way. When you’re in junior high, for example, the only things you’d hafta worry about are: cleanliness, making sure your school homework is due on time, and staying out of the way of school bullies. Right now, I’d gladly go back in time and live at least one day during my junior high years, but not to do it again – rather, to remember who I was back then and how I’ve changed from then until now. Also, I wish I could have at least one more conversation with my grandmother again. I miss her every day, and unfortunately, it wasn’t until she passed away that I came full force with the abrupt realization of how fast time really does go. I remember visiting her house when I was a child where she served me tea and cookies, only to grow up and walk through the now- empty house as an adult.

 

I’ll give you an example of how fast life goes: in the above picture is the welcome sign to Leith, ND, where my mother and her five siblings grew up out in the country. This tiny, sleepy town only has one working business: the bar, and the remainder of the buildings sit still, silent, and closed down, boards up with stories left to tell.

imagesThe above picture’s building used to be the post office. I’ve looked through the windows before, and there are still fliers left hanging up inside it. One year, the town was having an anniversary celebration, and it was fun to see most of the buildings open, walk around inside them, and inspect how life once used to be. In the early 1900s, my late great-grandpa Julius ran the town creamery with his father and then with his brothers. His wife, Gram Margie, used to tell us stories when she was alive, stories of harsh winters spent where my late grandma Rita and her brother sometimes walked to the creamery to stay warm instead of walking all the way home. One afternoon when I was a teenager, I sat with Gram Margie in her assisted living family room, flipping through old, black and white photos  and asking questions; the stories she told me really struck.

 

Country music legend Alan Jackson (who happens to be my all-time favorite country music artist by the way) even touches on such details within his song, “Little Man.” I grew up listening to old country music legends whenever we traveled to town or even thirty miles away where the best and most affordable grocery store was for us. My mom even had it running on the house stereo as we helped her clean house on Saturdays. It gradually became a comfort to me, and to this day, I refuse to listen to “modern” country music. You can’t beat the classics like Clint Black, Alan Jackson, George Strait, etc., and I find it sad that a lot of school kids nowadays don’t even know who those people are. I consider them part of my childhood, as well as part of who I am as a person. Why? Because it was those songs that we listened to as we traveled to places with my parents. And it was those car rides that made me think and ponder my life and who I was – not in a negative or depressing way, but just pondering how far God had taken me thus far. Whenever we went to Leith, ND, which was at least once a year, it was like coming home. Not only did we get to see my maternal grandparents, but we got to appreciate even more country side living and how it’d shaped us as human beings. I feel the same way with my parents’ home, especially now that my maternal grandparents have now passed on and we don’t visit Leith anymore. I’ll always be a country girl in my heart, because that’s how I was raised.

 

We each have our story to tell, and one day, we’ll tell those stories to our grandchildren and, God willing, great-grandchildren. I hope and pray that I get to do that one day, to tell them about my life and the blessings God has granted me. Nowadays, as my husband and I work every day, as well as work to get a bigger place to live with a baby on the way, I realize we are starting our own legacy. At one time in their lives, our grandparents were doing the same things. Then, suddenly, one day they wake up in their old age and realize their spouse is gone and they can barely walk. I wish I could’ve asked my grandparents more questions, such as how they’d handled life challenges when they were building houses and creating their families. What were their thoughts, feelings, and ideas? How did God so creatively chart their life courses?

 

You’ll get busy with taking care of the house, raising kids, and working – and then bam, before you know it, you’re sitting in the nursing home pondering your life. It’s rather sad, really, but it’s also needful, because it makes you want to cherish those good memories and good times more and more every day. I know I’ve written a blog post similar to this one before, but I cannot stress even more of how important it is to cling to life and cherish every moment. What kind of legacy do you plan to leave behind? And how do you want to live your life? Hopefully not with regret.

 

As I live my own life, in the here and now, I plan to enjoy the good moments, wonderful times, and pleasant memories as often as I possibly can. Because before you know it, in a blink of an eye, life ends and all that remains are the stories that your children and grandchildren continue without you.

 

If the empty, closed down, and boarded up buildings could talk, they’d tell stories on who had lived or worked in that building. In fact, they’d probably never stop talking. Story after story they’d tell of the human beings who stepped foot between those walls, busy with life, going about their business with no thought at all how maybe, just maybe, that very business might be closed down one day. Old ones die, and houses that were built with two hands by an in-love couple who raised a houseful of children are now left behind to rot.

antler1downloadleith

Look at the house in the second picture above – it’s dark, empty, and lonely, left behind by a happy family that grew up laughing, playing games, and learning about life. Look at the buildings in the other pictures. They’re all empty, abandoned, and alone, no longer wanted and no longer needed. Gives you something to think about it, doesn’t it? There were once memories in all of these similar type places throughout the country. The buildings could tell us story after story.

 

Back in the 1900s, I can just imagine the hustling of an old shop’s door jingling open and closed as the workers carried out their business. Young women in their thirties, with long dresses and thick coats, stringing along several small children, to make a deposit at an old bank that no longer exists, or to mail a letter in a post office that is now closed down. Their husbands are at home, farming the land. The children they carry along were our grandparents. If you think about it, it steals your breath away to ponder how life begins and changes in an instant. When an old one passes, new life begins, and so forth will life continue until Judgment Day. We’re only here for a short time, after all – only 80-100 years, if we’re lucky. Let’s make the best of every moment and every day that we have left. One day, after we pass, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be following in our footsteps: growing up, graduating from school(s), getting married, having children, buying a house, raising the children, and then, growing old. Before long, our memories become farther and farther away from our future generation’s minds, and one day, a child picks up a picture of you eighty years later and asks her grandparent who that is. Then, after an explanation, that picture will be placed back in a drawer to rest.

And in the mean time, our grandchildren and great-children will one day whisper,  “I hope I make her proud by carrying on her legacy.”

 

JMK~

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Offering Editing Services 

Hello everyone,

Beginning today I’m offering editing services for anyone who needs something edited! 😀😀 Please share this among yourselves, and let me know if you have questions! 🙂

Editing Services

Are you looking for a professional to write and edit something of yours? A poem, short story or manuscript or any other documents? Are you on the verge of sending something into a publisher and need another’s eye about what you have written? You’ve come to the right place! I will edit and proofread your documents while providing free feedback and criticism to you at a single cost.

Why Me?
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis on Writing. I also fourteen years of my own experience, including college, to professionally give you a good writing and editing approach.

How does it work?
You contact me via email or social media with your attached document you would like edited. If it is a short story or manuscript, I will provide free constructive criticism in comments throughout the work. Constructive criticism is nothing personal against you or your work, but something critics give on a regular basis. It is not mean feedback, but honest, creative, and direct feedback. I will give you honest and creative approach that will be most beneficial to you and your work. Examples of things I’d comment on is research done for something in the story, or POV aspects.

What do you look for when editing?
Sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, POV within paragraphs, and that the paragraphs are indented correctly. When editing, I will also determine what readers would like about certain parts.

What is the cost?
Manuscripts; books of poetry or short stories – $50
Individual poems or other documents- $20

How do I pay?
Through PayPal, find my account under name Jenna Kinzler (brown hair with black sweater and scarf), and send to this account. Otherwise, I can give you my address and you can send a check.
How long will it take? (Depending upon project):
Manuscripts- 2-3 weeks
Other – 3-5 days

Exceptions
I will not accept material about or eluding to the erotic or sexual nature which includes bestiality, rape, incest, or alternative lifestyles. Also, please only submit works that carries as little profanity as possible. If you have any questions about these, since there may be exceptions, please contact me. It is better to ask questions than to miss out on an incredible opportunity for your work to be edited professionally.

Need more info?
Please contact me via one of my social media pages seen here, or by my email: books_jmg@yahoo.com.

Thank you! I look forward to working with you all! I promise you it’ll be a rewarding and exciting experience for both of us!

Goals for Fall & Winter 2018~

25 September 2018

 

Hello, everyone!!! 😀

 

I am BACK!!! Back and ready to roll! 🙂

 

Some of you may be wondering where I was for two months. Well, I had been busily studying away to get my insurance producer license. For a month and a half, I took classes and studied for four exams for Property & Casualty insurance – only one in which I passed on the first try. Monday of last week, I finally passed the final exam. Along that time, I had sacrificed every evening to studying. My life only consisted of church, work, and eating. Friday evenings were the only time I used to spend with my husband. Otherwise, I was studying away, and I learned a lot and it was so very worth it. But now, I am back, and so excited to discover what God has planned for our lives. I’m also so excited for evenings spent with my husband again, and free time to do chores around the house, hobbies such as writing, knitting, reading, and playing piano. I’m so excited to get back into the business of writing and editing again – Lord knows how much I missed it.

 

Therefore, below is a list of goals I hope to accomplish before the end of this year, 2018. Hope you all enjoy, and comment your two-cents worth as well. I also enjoy hearing from fellow followers.

 

  • Finish editing my completed manuscript, “The Dead Sister” and send back to my beta reader.
  • Complete my knitting project (round table decoration runner) and give as a gift to somebody this Christmas.
  • Play a couple piano songs that will influence me as a pianist, songs I’ve been waiting to complete for a long time.
  • Get 2-3 novels read before the end of the year, including the newest book from my favorite author, Kate Morton: “The Clockmaker’s Daughter” (so excited!).
  • Get more organized around the house and maybe do some planning about the kind of decorations I’d like in our new home next year.
  • Start learning to sew by beginning a sewing project with my mother.
  • Start writing a new book with a catching title and a beautiful, thrilling storyline.

 

Now, it’s your turn! If you wish to join in the fun, let’s get to know each other better, people 🙂 Copy and paste the list below into your comments and complete it, or else send me a message if you prefer not to say. I’d love to get to know my followers better – whether you’re on WordPress only, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram 🙂 Come, and let’s be friends!

 

Hope to talk to you soon! Below is the list:

 

  1. Your favorite fall activity is:
  2. Your favorite fall hobby:
  3. Such hobbies such as knitting and sewing are_____________.
  4. Who is your favorite author?
  5. Favorite book genre?
  6. Favorite past-time?
  7. Outdoor or indoor person?
  8. Coffee, tea, or neither?
  9. Preferred weekend activity?
  10. State or province you live in?
  11. What you’d like my page to show more of? (Be appropriate, please.) __________________
  12. Was this list a good idea? Yes or No?

 

Blessings always,

 

JMK~

There’s a Lack of Beauty in the Worl

2 March 2018

Hello everyone,

I love a good book as much as the next person. My favorite are suspense novels, a genre I also write, where the story incorporates drama, romance, life lessons, and everything else in between. Kate Morton books are the best; with every twist and turn, you expect the book to end one way, when it actually ends a different way. I have a short pile of suspense novels in my home bookshelf just waiting to be opened into, read, and enjoyed.

It’s the same thing with a person, isn’t it? Every person in the world has their own unique abilities, their own beautiful personalities. Only God can see who is good and bad, true to His Word or ignoring it completely. But He also sees all the disrespect in the world; the anger, hatred, and rebellion. All that terrible sadness – don’t you think that makes God sad? This world that He created torn apart like this?

More and more these days, I see nothing but negative headlines in the news today. For some odd reason, people find it funny or at least interesting to have disrespect toward things or people that they shouldn’t have disrespect to. Whether it’s players in the NFL, the NFL in general, celebrities, executives, governing leaders, musicians – you name it, the disrespect is there. Even more so, the HATRED is there. There’s too much impatience in the world today, too much rebellion, too much ignorance of God and His Word. But this isn’t just about God and His Word – it’s also another matter, a subject that many of us ignore because we don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. People are gonna do what they’re gonna do – that’s the way we think.

But we shouldn’t think that way. Instead, we should reach out to others and help out as many as possible. We should set a good example toward others. You know, a smile in a stranger’s direction goes a long way. It could even make their day – or, even better, be the best experience they had all week. Give food to the homeless. Set an example to your children, nieces, and nephews that all of the world is not all ugly. Parts of it is, but we can’t make it all good. All we can do is do our part – and the best part of that is by living the way Jesus wanted all of us to live. Obey the Gospel. Have a faithful & regular prayer & Bible study life. Make solid time for God & His Word. Then, go out and spread the Gospel to others. Something as simple as giving a spare Bible away is planting the seed.

I look at the news today and see that there is so much ugliness, especially in the media. People are wrongly accusing others of wrongdoing. People are not being kind to others. There is too much anger, frustration, and hatred. Too many people protesting for stuff that is really not going to matter at the end of the world. What IS going to matter, when we all stand before God on Judgment Day, is whether or not we lived according to His Word. Whether or not we obeyed the Gospel, gave respect to others, never talked badly about others, always held your tongue, and tried your hardest to set a good example to others and helping others out. The best example I have is whenever you see somebody in the supermarket, in a coffee shop, on a sidewalk – maybe an elderly person fell down. Maybe accidentally spilled their coffee all over the floor. Maybe somebody was carrying a stack of books and one bump and they all fell to the floor? Instead of watching that person, watch how many people ignore them and continue on with their lives as if that person clearly didn’t matter? Perhaps they didn’t NEED help, but just think about the kind of wonderful day you’d give them if you stepped out of line to get your coffee, to go to your job, etc. just to help that person? And you know what? It’ll make your day, too.

I think I’ve told this story before, but I remember when I was in college, I was on my way to class. I passed by a hallway just in time to notice a woman, who’d been pulling a wagon filled with books and supplies and other things for the department in which she worked. Suddenly, the wagon toppled over, and dozens of pens, pencils, notepads, and books toppled out.

And of all the crowd of students heading toward the doors leading outside in which I was headed, I was the ONLY ONE who stopped. The only one!!! I was absolutely appalled. For a moment, I stopped walking to observe the lady who clearly could’ve picked all that stuff up herself, but think of the embarrassment she probably felt, making a mess while everyone glanced her way on their way out the door. Think of the stress she probably felt, because she’d piled those supplies in her wagon just right. And I was the only one who stopped and hurried over and instantly began helping her put her stuff back in her wagon.

“Thank you so much!” she exclaimed in a relieved smile, a big bright smile on her face. “I really appreciate your help!”

“No problem at all!” I insisted, and cast her a smile of my own.

And for the rest of the day, and still to this day, seven years later, I still think about how relieved and happy she was for me to help for only a couple minutes. To help her, when everyone else had decided not to.

Don’t be so in tune with your own lives that you forget about helping others, about looking after others who aren’t just your loved ones, they are strangers. They’re children. They’re people in need or even people who aren’t in need but could use a helping hand – just to make their day! J How wonderful that’ll feel.

Come on, world, let’s stop being so disrespectful and angry. Let’s stop the hate and all the rebellion. Let’s listen to our parents, who always know the best thing for us, and let’s help others. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt. Let’s work on our road rage.

Don’t get me wrong – nobody’s perfect. But if we all worked a little harder to make someone else’s day and being more respectful and kinder – wouldn’t the world be that much more beautiful?

Think about it.

Enjoy March 🙂

JMK~

What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

It was a calm and sunny, spring day. A family drove their silver Jeep Cherokee down the interstate. The husband and driver, Bob, reached over and tenderly placed a hand over his wife’s slightly swollen belly as she smiled lovingly over at him. As he concentrated back on the road, the wife glanced backward at their two-year old daughter in the back seat, babbling away as she played with the stuffed animal she held between her delicate chubby fingers.

Bob turned a corner, prepared to bring his family to their destination for the weekend. But suddenly, out of nowhere, a drunk pickup truck driver lost control of his F-150, instantly killing all four passengers of the silver Jeep…

A half hour later, as the ambulance, firefighters, and policeman gather around the broken vehicle, they discover the dead members of the delicate family, so once full of life and happiness and love.

2 February 2018

Hello everyone,

Over New Year’s weekend, I attended a relative’s funeral, someone I had known and cared about. Doing so, I witnessed a part of the funeral preparations, and the one aspect of it that really stuck with me the most was the obituary part of it. The funeral home had sent a single sheet of paper for the family to fill out – which included the basic information of the now deceased relative such as birth date, birth place, children, grandchildren, etc. And then, at the very bottom, it had given 2-3 blank lines to fill out for the person’s hobbies, interests, and a bit of info on their life. 2-3 lines.

2-3 LINES????!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

Sometimes, when my husband and I are sitting in church together, or even when we’re in the living room sitting together with the cats where I’m catching up on writing and he’s playing video games – I look over and really look at him. I mean, really look at him. I’m planning on spending on the rest of my life with him, grow old with him, one day raise kids with him – all that. But what if God has other plans? What if my life, or, I should say our life, is as fleeting and short as the children and couple of the true life story above? When my uncle Jerome was 23, he must have assumed that he was going to live a long life – but no, he was lost in the waters of Costa Rica. When my sister Kayla was two, my amazing parents probably thought that she was going to one day to grow up to be a beautiful young woman who would one day get married and have children. But no, instead she didn’t even reach age three before our good Lord took her to be with Him.

When you see an obituary, you don’t see a long life. You see a brief bio about that person’s life – anywhere from three to five paragraphs long. Life is but a fleeting shadow, and it must be cherished. You might know somebody and think, Oh, she was such a sweet person. But what kind of unique sweetness did that person have? What was it about them that made them sweet? He had the craziest sense of humor. Well, everybody does, really. What was it about this person’s sense of humor that made it special? Are you seeing what I mean? A family sees the meaning and the wonderful relative’s life within an obituary, but a stranger only sees a life. I like the kind of obituaries that are a newspaper’s page long that really depict at least a bigger taste of that person’s life. But still, it’s just a taste. Therefore, what kind of legacy are we trying to leave behind in the now?

Doesn’t it scare you that your life could end out of the blue and we won’t be ready? And it scares me also that, even though I know where I’m gonna go in my eternity, the legacy I leave behind to strangers is unknown. Why should we care, you ask? Because we are loving and living our life right now, the only one God has given us, and people deserve to know how we lived our lives and what made it more unique and special than anyone else’s life.

That’s when it’s important to do two things to make yourself ready just in case it happens tomorrow: plan your funeral; and make yourself right with God.

Planning your funeral may sound morbid, but if you really think about how short life can be, especially since tomorrow is never guaranteed, then doing so is a good plan. What if your family planned something you wouldn’t have wanted? Granted, you’re not around by then, but wouldn’t you want it planned your way instead of a way they think you would’ve wanted? Perhaps you may even be disappointed if you knew what they were planning. In fact, my late uncle Jerome planned his funeral before he went on his mission trip, and his family actually used it for his actual funeral.

Secondly, making your life right with God is most important. Read Acts 2:38. Baptism is essential for salvation. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sins in true repentance toward God. Confess to the ones surrounding you prior to being baptized that Jesus is the Lord of your life. Immerse yourself in the water, and be cleansed into a new creature, buried into Christ and wash your sins away. This simple rule from the Bible brings you into eternal life. Then, attend church regularly and try your hardest to live a life pleasing to God. Trusting in God after that will bring such peace and joy to your life, in a way the world will never provide.

Finally, make sure that you leave behind a life that your relatives will be talking about for years. Where it won’t be a simple burial of your body and moving on. Leave behind a life that brings happiness and love to others. At my funeral, I want people to come up to the front and talk about good times that were spent with me, and funny things that I’ve done or said. Best of all, it’ll be a celebration of life, because I’m finally with the Lord and my sister Kayla, and that makes the whole life journey all the more worthwhile.

Take care, everyone and I hope you all will at least think of my advice 🙂 You never know, it could change your life for the better. Comment if you have questions 🙂 have a good February!

JMK~

The Ultimate Anxiety Cure

5 December 2017

 

Hello everyone,

 

If you’ve read my blog at any point or another, you recognize that I am a Christian, a woman of faith. I know that many of you out there don’t believe the same thing I do, but my hope and prayer is that though my words within either my blog or within my own novels, I may be successful in convincing at least one of you to at least give God a chance.

 

Anxiety is a depressing word, isn’t it? But we have a pretty amazing God. He is our ultimate Source for everything we need in this life, as well as want. We can trust Him with everything and anything. And sure, we can pray and pray and pray about it. But are we really praying about it? Are we really giving God not only full control, but complete trust that He will take care of whatever anxiety you have?

 

As a quiet person, anxiety happens for me at least every day, some days more than others. I can stress about anything and everything, especially situations that bring me out of my comfort zone or where I am forced to be confrontational. It is very difficult for me to be this outgoing sometimes. To most people in the world, whether you’re a Christian or not, it’s much easier to be outgoing and to approach uncomfortable situations. But for me, it can be very difficult.

 

I recently read a devotional on my iPhone’s Bible app that stated that when you pray and you still feel burdened about what you were praying about, you didn’t really pray to God about the problem. Instead, you just told Him about it. Praying about something – and really praying about it – is giving it all to God with complete confidence in Him that He will make everything turn out all right. We may not know yet on how the situation is going to turn out, but no matter what, God has our backs, and He always pulls through for us. God has a beautiful & unique plan for our lives, and as long as we keep attending church on a regular basis, studying His Word, praying regularly, and doing our best to be a shining example to others as He has instructed us in the Bible, then we really can’t go wrong. I’m not saying there’s not going to be ups and downs along the way, or even that the situation we’re faced with turn out perfectly. But, as I’ve read somewhere before, “God makes a way when there seems to be no way.” That’s something my life has gone by, and I’ve discovered that many a time in my life, that saying rings true.

 

This Christmas, perhaps you’ve just lost a loved one and are searching for answers, or at least comfort and peace in the midst of your struggle / trial. Maybe you don’t know how to afford Christmas presents for your kids this year, or maybe you are not looking forward to seeing a certain relative during the holidays. Maybe you have to work over the holidays, or even, maybe you’re alone this Christmas. No matter what you’re going through, pray about it. But not just pray about it, give God ultimate control & love & peace in your life. This is a hard lesson I’ve had to learn within these past couple of months. When you pray & surrender everything to God, but trust God that He’s really, really got this – then you will feel, within your chest and heart, ultimate peace. Peace that is so real you can feel it within your own body. Burdens are lifted from your chest. Your anxiety begins to disappear, and suddenly, the obstacle you’re about to face doesn’t look that bad after all. Because God is amazing and nothing is impossible with Him.

 

I hope you all have a safe, warm, and happy Christmas holiday season! And a Happy New Year! Blessing to you all, and thank you all for still putting up with me and continuing to read my blog posts. 🙂

 

JMK~ 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

3 November  2017

 

Hello everyone,

 

I was eleven years old when my mom thought it would be a neat idea if my younger sisters and I joined 4-H. So we joined the Silver Lake 4-H Club in our hometown, named after a lake in the area. I wasn’t too crazy about it at first, being shy and all, and I wasn’t up for joining “clubs.” But once we started, I learned to like it, love it, and then, years after graduating from high school, missing it.

 

When I was fourteen, my family and I attended an event that gave honors and awards to those at the Fargo, ND college, NDSU, for those who had made lives and careers that all began with 4-H, and who also had been greatly involved at NDSU. My late uncle, Jerome (remember him? Click here if you don’t), had been greatly involved in NDSU, which began from his deep love of 4-H. He’d loved it so much he’d made a career out of it, and that night, Jerome had received an award of his dedication. We all looked on, proud smiles and matching pink flowers pinned to our chests. My family and I took the award in his place and in his honor. The gentleman presenting the award had many great things to say about Jerome. I had proud tears in my eyes when the man mentioned that Jerome’s family was there, and everybody looked over at our table where we sat, applauded, and even gave us a standing ovation. Because Jerome had been that brilliant of a person.

 

Ever since that day, I worked even harder to present myself as a worthy participant in the nearby 4-H county fair. My sisters and I presented sheep, chickens, and rabbits as animals nearly all the years that we performed. It was a TON of work every year from 2001-2008. I cannot even fully express in depth how much work it truly was, particularly with the sheep. It was even extra work when you chose to take non-livestock items to the fair, which included food, sewing and construction projects, painting projects, and the like. In the  year 2003, I got a Reserve Champion award for my writing project novel that I put into the fair, which brought me to the state fair in the Twin Cities, MN. It was very much an exciting experience, although unfortunately, I received a red ribbon (compared to the best blue ribbon award) for my participation. My book deserved FAR better. But in 2004, I received a Grand Champion ribbon for the best wether lamb (which is a young ram) in the open class showing. Along the way, I became disappointed, unhappy to happy, excited, and proud. Along the way, I had a deep adoration for the animals I presented every year. It was especially the hardest and saddest when we had to sell our young rams every year. Working our hardest from when they were newborns to after the fair; it was a yearly struggle that was difficult for all of us.

 

The following are ten things that I learned about 4-H throughout the years:

  1. Remember that it’s not the awards that you receive, but what you learned from the experience and how it has affected you as a person.
  2. Animals are God’s creatures, and they have individual,  unique personalities all their own.
  3. Don’t let anybody just go around and tell you that your animal or your work of art that you placed into the fair is meaningless compared to theirs. Make sure to defend yourself, but do it in a way God will be proud of.
  4. Trust that God has a beautiful plan for your life, which far exceeds any awards you might receive.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, for everyone’s story is different and everyone’s way of learning is different.
  6. The amount of money the state takes away from 4-H’s funds that they receive in 4-H animal auctions is highly unfair. The 4-Her worked HARD for that animal. They deserve every penny of it.
  7. As my mom used to say, “there’s always next year.” Don’t give up. Keep trying to work hard and keep learning everything you can about 4-H and the 4-H projects you work on. You never know, it might turn into a career one day.
  8. Don’t get mad if someone got a higher award than you, for it will not get you anywhere in life, and such attitudes are filled with nothing but selfish desires.
  9. Don’t forget to smile as much as possible. If you’re all hot and sweaty from bathing that sheep lamb and you don’t want the judge to think that you hate 4-H, because you don’t, it’s really just the hot weather – just keep smiling!
  10. Keep going back to county fairs every year, no matter how old you are, and keep telling stories about the 4-Her you truly were.

 

Recently, I attended a county fair, and as I walked through the corridors of the non-livestock 4-H projects such as gardening, sewing, and painting, I kept smiling to myself. That had been me at one point in my life. A person who may have never been involved with 4-H can walk through such projects in the fair and think, “oh, that’s nice. That must have been a lot of hard work,” and will never TRULY realize the depth of that hard work like us 4-H admin do. I saw every stroke of the paintbrush, every piece of tightening thread, and watering of the flowers that day. I KNEW what it was like to work hard like that, because I lived it. And you know what? I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about putting their kid through a club or special activity. It’s free, and the amount of work that it amounts to will be SO worth it in the end. Trust me, it WILL be worth it.

 

 

Have a great week! 🙂

 

 

JMK~