Monday, March 13, 2023

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses is a full-time job! As an only child, my parents have been my best friends and biggest cheerleaders for as long as I can remember. Although I've kept them quite busy over the years, they have never missed anything; any golf match, FFA event, livestock show, or any big moment in my life. I could never put into words how much they’ve taught me and supported me, but I decided that I shouldn’t keep all of their wisdom to myself! Here are just a few of the many things my parents have instilled in me -

  1. Show Me Your Friends and I’ll Show You Your Future.

    My mom has many famous ‘quotes’ she loves to recite, but this might be her favorite of them all! Every time I had typical elementary friend struggles, and even still today, she reminds me that the people we surround ourselves with, make a bigger impact on us than we think. We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our purpose, and challenge us to become better. She would always tell me that ‘we become like those around us’, and it’s always been my goal to surround myself with people who have similar goals, dreams, and ambitions. My closest friends are people that truly work to make me better, push me to reach my goals, and keep me accountable. Thanks to my mom, I’ve learned how to find the BEST people to call my friends!

  1. Proper Preparation, Prevents Poor Performance.

    Whether it was a contest, a performance, a livestock show, a golf match, or even just a normal school day; my mom never failed to teach me to be prepared. Laying out my clothes for school the night before became my way of making sure I was on time in the morning. An hour on the range and putting green every night after practice gave me the extra time to prepare for long 18-hole matches and the multiple hours in the barn every night to practice with my calves and sheep always paid off when it came to show time! Practicing speeches multiple times every day always made me feel more confident and comfortable on contest day! Whatever it was, my momma always made sure I knew the importance of preparing for EVERYTHING!

  1. It Builds Character.

    While this is a running joke in our family, to say every not-so-perfect circumstance ‘builds character’, it is more than a joke! No matter how many tough things life throws our way, there is always a lesson to be learned. Character means to do the right thing even when nobody's watching; and teaching me that every situation in life can be a learning moment to build my character, was something my parents always loved to remind me of.

  1. Do Your Best

    Before every contest, livestock show, golf match, or event, for as long as I can remember; my dad would tell me “As long as you do your best, that’s enough, and we will always be proud of you.” This was something that always stuck with me. He instilled the motivation in me to always give my all into whatever I did, and that no matter what the scores or results said, I could be proud of doing my best! Even to this day, before any speech I give or event I attend as a State Officer, I text my parents and they always respond with, “Do your best, we love you!”  

  1. Pray About It

    This one was HUGE growing up! Before a big test, my parents would tell me to pray about it. Before an interview, my parents would tell me to pray about it. Before walking into the show ring, my parents would pray with me. Before I opened my letter of slate, to become a State Officer, my parents prayed with me. Before any road trip we ever took as a family, my family prayed together. Hopefully by this point, you got the idea :) No matter what, prayer has always been the answer in any situation. My parents still pray with me every time I leave home to come back to the center. My parents pray for me before every event I do as a State Officer. They continually inspire me to always turn to prayer, even in daily tasks, no matter what! 

These are just 5 pieces of wisdom my parents have shared that have always stuck with me. I am forever grateful to have parents who will stop at nothing to love and support me in all I do. Hopefully you can gain just as much from their wisdom as I have :)

                                                                                            - Mary Jones

                                                                                             State Northern Region Vice President

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