The Blessing of Busy

Mar 28, 2024

While in South Dakota last week we went to Hill City and ate at the Alpine Inn. At lunch they do authentic German food. I had a brat plate with sausages, homemade sauerkraut, pickled cabbage, spaetzle, and homemade bread. It was delicious! While eating, my daughter Mikaela thought it would be fun to learn how to make some of those foods, so she and I hatched a plan to start picking nights to make new foods. We promptly found an online used bookstore and ordered books with old world recipes to learn Greek, Italian, and German cooking. This past Monday Michelle had a board meeting to attend after work, so Mikaela and I decided to whip out dinner. Our recipe books had not arrived yet, so we had to work from my memory. I coached and she cooked. She tenderized the chicken, blended an egg wash, breaded the meat, seasoned, and seared it in olive oil. Then she layered the chicken breasts in the pan and smothered in sauce before placing the chicken parmesan in the oven. From there she whipped up some garlic risotto and steamed green beans. We were able to learn of the value of cleaning as you go and using cooking/waiting times to set the table and clean dishes. She finished the meal, poured Michelle and I a glass of wine, thanked God for the food, and we all enjoyed it as a family. Prepping and cooking that meal took an hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish and I loved every minute of it.

We are in a busy season of life. I’m blessed to have a lot of moving parts at Ag Partners that demand a large amount of my focus and commitment. Mikaela just finished her cheerleading season and has immediately transitioned to golf. Brody has both soccer and baseball going right now. Michelle teaches 56 club, leads Revelation Wellness classes, serves on boards, and keeps everything moving in the right direction. That doesn’t include other school activities, work around the house, church activities, time with friends, and more. The activities I listed may look different than yours, but you are probably just as busy as I am.

In the past I’ve found myself being frustrated or irritated about how much stuff we have going on, but I’ve come to realize that it’s that fullness that maximizes opportunity. I came to that realization when I figured out that I would be trading all these great opportunities for simply more downtime. I say “more” because we all do have downtime, and if I (and probably you too) am being honest, downtime equates to sitting on a couch watching tv or looking at meaningless stuff on my phone. I personally don’t want to look back and see that I traded a full life to watch other people live theirs.

The situation is largely the same for us at Ag Partners. We have a lot going on and that is an amazing thing. I can’t imagine wanting to work somewhere that is ok with the status quo or isn’t willing to work to create a better business because it makes us busy. We should all eagerly push forward in each new season because there’s a clock on this window of opportunity, and just like in our personal lives, the opportunity for others depends on our willingness to contribute. If Michelle or I weren’t willing to give rides or coaches, our children may not have the same level of opportunity. Likewise, if someone on our operations team isn’t willing to make deliveries when they’re already busy, our sales team would miss out on that opportunity. If our back-office team wasn’t willing to ensure inventory, purchasing, billing, reconciliation, and more happen, the sales team would lose their opportunity.

The point is that we’re all busy and we all have seasons that are busier than others. But that shouldn't keep us from joyfully embracing that opportunity, because that’s what it is – OPPORTUNITY.

That leads me to my two challenges for you this week… Embrace the opportunity to do more.

In your personal life, find a way to spend some time focusing on someone you love. Making time to remove distractions while cooking with Mikaela was incredibly rewarding. I was able to talk about what was on her mind, laugh together, and soak in another memory with one of God’s greatest gifts to me. I challenge you to do the same and I promise you won’t regret it.

On to our busy schedules at work. Give the effort to view every task, no matter how small or large, as a steppingstone toward winning together. This spring, as we dive into what is for many of us one of our busiest seasons, I challenge you to seek out additional ways to contribute, to innovate, or to streamline processes. Whether it's mentoring a newer team member, optimizing a workflow, or simply bringing positive energy into every meeting, your extra effort can impact the others around more than you know. Remember, our collective success is built on individual acts of initiative and excellence. By contributing a bit more, you not only enhance our team's performance but also pave the way for your own growth. Let's embrace the busy season not as a burden, but as an abundance of opportunities.

I’m thankful that you were willing to go to work today, that you took the time to read this, and for being a part of what makes this world wonderful!