Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Hope, Joy, Peace, and Christmas Cheer!

Hope doesn’t fade for long,

It hides and at times seems to run away,

But hope is the friend that sticks around,

Hope is the call from my mom making sure I’m okay,

Hope is my dad teaching me how to work,

Hope is my teachers encouraging me.

Joy is here for the holidays,

And it is here to stay,

Because joy is not based on a situation,

Joy comes from the hope that has been given,

Joy comes from a sacrifice that was made, 

A sacrifice that carried the weight of all my mistakes.

Peace is what keeps me going,

It has been given not taken,

Times have made peace hard to find,

But much like hope and joy it comes with those who I share it with.

Christmas brings me joy, hope, and peace,

But it wasn’t Christmas that brought these gifts,

It was someone who loved me enough to forgive me,

It was someone who encouraged me,

It was someone teaching me how to work,

It was someone calling to check on me,

And it was someone sticking around in the tough times.

During Christmas time it is easy to get caught up in all the amazing things this time of year provides like the candies, the presents, or the whole family getting together. Let’s not forget about Christ being born in a stable to eventually grow up and give us the gift of forgiveness. I think that is the greatest gift of all. Be the hope someone has, bring joy to your family gatherings, help others find peace, and even if it seems impossible let’s forgive others just like Christ forgives us. 

Merry Christmas,

Caden Sixberry, State Treasurer

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The Gift of the Present

In a world that often moves at a frenetic pace, with endless to-do lists and a constant barrage of distractions, the art of living in the moment has become increasingly elusive. Yet, amidst the chaos, there exists a profound wisdom in embracing the present. 

One of my personal favorite quotes says to "realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have." These words encapsulate the essence of living in the moment. The past is a collection of memories, and the future is an unfolding mystery. The only time we truly have is now. When we immerse ourselves fully in the present, we open ourselves to the richness of life.

Just last week, my teammates and I watched as our “Days Left to Make and Impact” countdown clock ticked just below 200 days, putting into perspective just how fast time passes. It truly feels like just yesterday we were introduced as State Officers, stuffed in “The ‘Burb” on our way to Washington D.C., spending long days and nights at the Indiana State Fair, and interacting with FFA members during conference season. Most recently, we’re venturing several hundred miles across the state of Indiana to connect and interact with various businesses. In each stage of our year, I’ve found myself looking at what’s ahead instead of what it is that I am amidst. In an effort to embrace the present, I have discovered some easy ways to open myself to the richness of life.

Looking for the Joy in the Little Things - Whether we’re engaging in an energetic conversation while traveling or karaoking in our living room, meal planning or writing curriculum, I have made an extensive effort to look for the joy that is surrounding my teammates and I on a daily basis. 

Leaning into those Around Me - One of the sweetest gifts that this year has given me is company. By reminding myself that I have been given the opportunity to surround myself with, undoubtedly, the best people in the world, I have been able to really embrace the moments and memories spent with FFA members, my teammates, and new friends alike. 

Being Grateful for the Ordinary - Practicing gratitude has allowed me to consistently remind myself of how blessed I am to be living in the moment that I am in. As I work day-to-day, I think about how beautiful it is that I’ve been given the opportunity to serve in this capacity. 

In a world that often pulls us in various directions, the art of living in the moment serves as a guiding light, reminding us to savor the beauty of each passing moment. Those are just three ways that I am making an effort to bring myself back to reality, even when there are things that keep my mind jumping to the future. In this holiday season, I encourage each of us to look for joy in the little things, lean into those you’re spending your time with, and practice gratitude. The present is truly a gift, and the only thing in this life that is promised.

With an Abundance of Love,

Kelby Roberts, State President