Pen Work…


My dad was a man of few words. He was a cowboy, so life lessons were taught through everyday situations. Whatever you were doing…saddling a horse, feeding livestock or driving down the road, there was usually a life lesson in what was being done. Sadly, I didn’t realize this form of life training until much later.


When I was old enough to start working cattle with my dad (which was a lot younger than you might expect), I remember him offering this word of advice, “When you enter that pen of cows Stacy, let ’em know you’re there. Cause a pen of scared cows will end up getting you hurt.”

In the book The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst I read a statement that caught my attention. Lysa stated, “We must let our identity not our insecurity, be the first thing that walks into every situation we face – every decision we make.” Now that statement coupled with my dad’s cowboy wisdom brings me to this legacy lesson.

When my dad said, “let ’em know you’re there” he wasn’t instructing me to walk in afraid I was going to get hurt (insecure or in a panic). Flailing my arms about with a loud voice was sure to get me hurt. He was telling me to walk in being confident of who I was…sure of my position and direction.

Once I stepped into the pen those big cow eyes (all of them) followed and watched my every move. Some out of fear and others out of curiosity, but when they realized I knew where I was going and what I was doing they settled in to me being in the pen with them. They became more at ease. However, I still needed to weigh every decision made in that pen to ensure they never felt threatened by my presence.

That’s the same with what was said in The Best Yes. When you enter into whatever situation/pen you are facing you have to enter it knowing your true identity and that God has given you everything you need to navigate through the stares of wide-eyed curiosity and fear. As the eyes of those watching follow you they will become more comfortable with your presence because they can sense your confidence and assurance of your True identity.

As I continue to walk this journey without the physical presence of my Dad, I know his cowboy wisdom will always be with me. And because he planted that seed, not only will I become more comfortable, but those sharing this pen with me will too.  Becoming more and more confident in letting my true identity show itself first.

As with most lessons learned in life it will require a growth mindset. A mindset that creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who
delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not
fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
Psalm 37:23-24

This is part of series honoring my dad called “The LESSONS of a Cowboy”


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