Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Blessed Beyond Measure

Blessings. A beneficial thing for which one is grateful. It’s a word I grew up with, but never considered. A word that always surrounded me, but who’s individual acts I never recognized. In the last 345 days, I’ve had endless “Blessed Beyond Measure” moments. From day to day, I lose track of how often I feel content, full, and overjoyed. From day to day, I lose count of the times I feel blessed. Many people refer to their blessings with three words: “Faith, Family, and Love.” I’ve noticed my blessings come in the shape of People, Principle, and Possibility.

“I am convinced that different people awaken different beasts in you.” Every time my cousin Colton came home from football, he reminded me of how much of a beast he is. He’d pull up his sleeves and glance from one buff arm to the other. Colton took pride in his “beastliness;” his strength was one of his many attributes. Although sports brought out a genuine pride in Colton, there was so much more to him. Since fifth grade, he chased after his fiancé, Nikki, with more heart than I’ve ever seen in a boy, and now a man. I can still remember our car rides home from youth group, which were filled with big brother moments anytime I mentioned a boy. Like Colton, we are each filled with multiple attributes, or “beasts.” As I traveled around Minnesota this year, I noticed “beastliness” in me I never knew was there. What I find pretty wild is that each of you brought out a different “beast” in me. My homegirl, Megan Stich from Royalton, brings out the believer in me. With each hug from Megan, I know that my goals and dreams matter just as much as anyone else’s. Scott Folz of Willmar reminds me of how hungry I am to be better. Each day, Scott works to improve his skills as a leader and grow membership in his chapter. Kierra Carter from Hancock, shows a quiet but rambunctious soul. Watching her grow at the State Greenhand Leadership Conference and recently be elected to the Region III Officer team reflected my own spirit of sweet surprise. Mitch Morris from AFSA brings out the quirky confidence in me. From Skype chats to replicating the same picture every time we see each other, Mitch lives all in without the concern of what others think. I’m blessed because of the “beasts” people have helped me identify.
Mitch and Sophie in the original "quirky" picture

Principle: a kind of rule, belief, or idea that guides you. My adventures in the blue jacket have given me belief after belief, many of which I have adapted for myself. I believe in the future of agriculture, and the leadership it requires to reach that desired future. Each day, I live by the rule that I can improve, because FFA members don’t give up. I also live by the idea that FFA is a place where everyone can hang their hat. Over and over again, FFA members have proven this belief to me. Abby Stumpner from AFSA has a knack for science, and found her niche in the state and national AgriScience Fair. Josie Lang of Sleepy Eye and Anna Zwach of Tracy have a love for random dance moves and “adventure hats.” Their unique personalities found each other and prove to be one of the best friendships I’ve seen come out of our organization. Some of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, result from Minnesota FFA members. They open my mindset and give me beliefs that define who I am. My principle has been established through my faith and the blue and gold – I couldn’t be more blessed.

Like Shawna, my first FFA jacket
was the first of many possibilities.
“All things are possible to him who believes;” Mark 9:23. Walt Disney was famous for believing in dreams, and more than ever, Minnesota FFA members are turning dreams into reality. Believing in your end goal can make your future much more achievable. I realized this at my first state convention. State President, Shawna Conrad, was giving her retiring address. At one point, she shared the story of owning her first FFA jacket, something she never thought would be possible – yet she did it. This is exactly what I needed to hear to believe that I too, could make more things possible. Soon, I was building my future like it was going to be bigger than the White House. My mind wasn’t set on what I could do, but what I would do. Five years in FFA gave me the principle to believe in a customized future and the tools to make it possible. Because I believe in possibilities, not just dreams, I am blessed.

Blessings. A beneficial thing for which one is grateful. According to the definition, I believe each one of us is blessed. Take time to notice the people who bring out your best “beasts,” the principles you’ve decided or want to live by, and the possibility you have to form your future. I benefited from and am grateful for people, principle, and possibility. You too, can be blessed by the same things. Today, thank those people, write down your principles, and map out your possibilities.

Last but not least, thank you – it’s because of each of you I know I am blessed beyond measure.

For the Final Time - Stationed by the Flag,

Rebekka Paskewitz
Minnesota FFA Reporter

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