God, Family & Country… Are Priorities that Simple?

I’ll be honest. Today’s blog is not the one I had originally intended to write. Today’s blog isn’t one I ever wanted to write! Yet, for the past six days, I’ve found myself thinking about my life here on earth. I have found myself asking this question, “If I Died Tomorrow, Would I Have Done Enough”?

Amy Hild Latham Hi-Tech SeedsI’m old enough that I have attended many funerals, but I was not prepared for yesterday’s funeral of a young friend killed last Wednesday in a traffic accident. Amy Hild, a graphic designer at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, played an instrumental role in getting my weekly blog post published. She inserted photos and videos, as well as created one-of-a-kind graphics to support my key messages. She was always ready to help an old pig farmer with technology.

Many times I would ask Amy to explain the same thing to me over and over ––like how and where to upload videos. Even though it seemed like I would forget from one week to the next, Amy was always patient and helped me with a smile. In fact, Amy is remembered by thousands of folks for her energy and kindness.

Amy’s untimely departure from this earth got me to thinking about death, and all of my “unfinished business.” I’m constantly pulled in many directions. As much as I try to keep my priorities straight, I constantly wonder when enough is enough. I know my priorities are: God, Family, and then Country. But is it really that simple!?

As much as I dislike writing about me, today I’m going to share my story in hopes it makes a connection with someone.

I am an elder at my church, but is that enough? Am I leading the next generation to follow? It’s difficult just keeping me in line most days, but I know there is always more that can be done. Here I try to let my faith lead me. Two big projects are in the works: a building addition and helping veterans adapt to coming home.

Family is Enough
I have a big family: five kids, 10 grandkids with another grandkid on the way, plus news of the first great grandkid. Here I know I can never do enough! Because it’s a life style, I also think of my farm when I think of my family. I feel like I haven’t done enough for my farm either. Before I was raising a family, I was building toward a large farm operation. I was even classified as one of those 1970s young farming “tigers.” Then the 1980s Farm Depression took the wind out of that sail. With a growing family, I need an off-farm business to afford to live. As a result of that decision, our farm has stayed small. Given current grain prices, I know much more needs to be done!

I put all my volunteer work under the category of “country.” Yet farming and country are intertwined. Most of the issues we have with farming are caused by off-farm influencers. Fewer than one percent of the population actively farms, but 100% of the population is concerned with what they eat. Such “non-farm interests” have caused me to be involved in politics. I understand how policy is set and regulations are made. Our elected officials are being influenced by many, so I try to be an influencer!

As much as I do, I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing enough. Most days I have more than one meeting I can, and should, attend. Farm chores must be done every day. My family is always on my mind. My faith is what brings it all together!

Amy Hild also had a strong faith. Like me, she had developed an appreciation for rural living. She saw the best in people and did her best to help everyone she could. Here’s a look at how many of her blogger friends will remember her: