Harvest my Blessings : Happy Thanksgiving 2019

Harvest my Blessings : Happy Thanksgiving 2019   | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

When I, Connie, take the time to look around and harvest my MANY blessings, I always have to ask, “Is Jesus enough for me?” Stopping to take time is incredibly hard for me in this season of life on the ranch, as I try to serve four generations daily. There is always something pressing for me to do. 

Stop, Reflect and Harvest my Blessings

When I do stop, reflect and harvest my blessings, especially in the recent light of the passing of two dear friends of Grieb Ranch, Janet Maddux and Carolyn DeBlauw – known to us for over 50 years, I drink in the freshness of life. Jesus is enough.

Harvest my Blessings : Happy Thanksgiving 2019   | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch
Morning Light on Grieb Ranch photo by Stan Willems

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Colossians 1:17 NIV

As I reflect, I find myself appreciating the gorgeous sections of the ranch, watching the little ones compete on horseback and naming new baby calves.  When I pause and focus on the giver of all the blessings, I get to harvest the blessings of God’s amazing promises…eternal life, forgiveness, our health, strength, peace and daily guidance.  Yes, He is enough.

Harvest my Blessings : Happy Thanksgiving 2019   | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch
A family that rides together

“LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you.  Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”

Isaiah 33:2 NIV

Live, Laugh, Love – Abundant Life

Agriculture sustains life. If not for the products of the land or the produce of the trees and fields how would humans and animals live? This gives us abundant life. Who created it all? God. He’s the master provider and protector. It’s all part of His perfect design.

What is That Perfect Design?

Live, Laugh, Love - Abundant Life | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

John 10:10b. Jesus states, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. “

NASB John 10:10b-11
Live, Laugh, Love - Abundant Life | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

Abundant Life

As a rancher it is reassuring to know that Jesus gives us the perfect example of a what it means to be a protector and provider for everything under our care or watch.  Through the provisions given to us on the ranch we are able to have abundant life here on earth and an abundant life is in store for us in heaven.

Live, Laugh, Love - Abundant Life | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

As we protect and care for the people, animals and land He has put in our care we also count our many blessings . . . fruit from our trees; raising beef with value, quality and consistency; the beauty of the many flowers on our hillsides and around our homes; and the blessing of family and friends with whom we work alongside.  This is our abundant life here on earth.

Live, Laugh, Love - Abundant Life | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

How do we protect and provide for everything He has given us so we can enjoy our abundant life? Colossians 3:23 tells us how, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  

Thankful for Mom’s Example

Thankful for Mom's Example | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

Thanks Mom for blessing our lives with your Godly example. You demonstrated the value of God’s word as you guided us to His truth. Without fail, each morning after breakfast we, “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11.

One of the biggest highlights of my life is fitting in a quick trip to see my parents, who live in another state.  I am so blessed to still have both of my parents!

Although Mom is  getting more and more forgetful, she still loves the Lord with all her heart. For years, every morning after breakfast Mom would read her Bible and a devotional to whoever happened to be at her table.

The other day when I was visiting, Dad reminded me to “get your Mother’s Bible, so she can read to us.”

Thankful for Mom's Example | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

Even though I live hours away, I love to picture in my mind my Mom and Dad sitting at the breakfast table reading God’s Word and enjoying each other’s company.

Along with the breakfast and devotions we enjoyed a table graced with fresh flowers (like one of her favorites-baby pink roses) from her yard.

– Margie Grieb Runels

Proverbs 31:28 “Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:”

Thankful for Mom's Example | The Story of Ranching at Grieb Ranch

When great grandson “A” visited Grieb Ranch he loved to sit and listen to his Great Grandma and jabber through the morning devotions.

I Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills

As little Mr. A (6th generation Grieb) looks out Papa and Grandma Great’s picture window through the ivy frame past the avocado trees to the neighboring hills on the Grieb Ranch . . .  this passage comes to mind.

Psalm 121 NIV

I lift up my eyes to the hills – Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber;

Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life;

The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.


The Annual Cowboy Church


The annual Cowboy Church happened again here in August.  As usual it was a fun evening out at the Clark Ranch in Arroyo Grande. Here is an excerpt from the evening devotion given by Stan Willems.



Grieb brand


Right now it is calving season on the Grieb Ranch

“Not too long from now we’ll be using a branding iron to brand our fall calves.  We’ve been looking out for these calves for some time, in anticipation of this coming gather.  Now these calves have no clue just how much care has gone into them just to get to this point.  We’ve watched over their moms and watched for any possible problems leading up to and through calving time.  In truth, we’ve been looking after these little critters from before they were born.

Now this brand means a lot.  It’s a permanent mark of just who these animals belong to.  It’s actually a record of legal ownership.  This brand on a calf means we’re going to watch out after this animal.  If is happens to get sick or injured, we’ll do whatever we can to make it better.  If it happens to stray off the ranch, through some gap in the fence, we’ll find it and bring it home.  We’ll make sure the little critters are well-fed and have all the water and grass they need to grow up big and strong.

In the same way, if we find an animal on the ranch without our brand, it means it belongs somewhere else;  and so it’s put back through the fence outside where it belongs.  I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but the unbranded are kicked off the ranch. I like cows, they’re just not all mine to keep. An unbranded range animal, especially a motherless calf, is a maverick.

Now you might be wondering at this point just what all this is about.  We’ here it is.  In the Bible, Eph. 1:13 says this: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”  As a believer in Jesus, I’m looking forward to being rounded up and taken to God’s ranch.  I know that has been His desire from the beginning.  Check out what Jesus say in John 3:16, John 10:10.  So why doesn’t everybody have this full and abundant life?  It’s because we’ve all gone maverick.  Romans 3:23 puts it this way, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”  We’ve all been born unbranded.  Without that spiritual brand, no one can enter God’s ranch of Life.  We were all born unbranded, outside the fence, separated from God.  But God doesn’t want us to be unbranded mavericks.”

Also read Romans 5:8, I Corinthians 15:3, 4, John 14:6

We can receive the brand by placing our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.  Read John 1:12 , Acts 16:31 and Eph 2:8,9

Have you placed your faith in Jesus?  Do you wear heaven’s brand?


Miscellaneous 1-4_2011 210

You have shown me how to give of myself.

You have shown me leadership.

You have taught me to be strong.

You have taught me the importance of the family.

You have demonstrated unconditional love.

You have demonstrated a sensitivity to people’s needs.

You have handed down to me the important values in life.

You have handed down to me the idea of achieving one’s goals.

You have set an example, throughout your life of what a mother and woman should be like.

I am so proud of you.

And I love you forever.

– Susan Polis Schutz

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Happy Mother’s Day from the Grieb Ranch


Flowers Spring to Life


Can you see the cowboys and the cows?

picking flowers for great grandma

Picking flowers for mom

Spring has sprung at Grieb Ranch so we see amazing spring flowers – both wild and planted – come to life all over the ranch.

It is at this time of the year when Isaiah 40:8 comes to mind,
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Each flower is so intricate and phenomenally created, but it only lasts for a short time.  In contrast, the word of our God stands forever.

Spring 2017 traveling scenery 2017-04-03 002

Have a Blessed Easter from the Grieb Ranch

More Spring Garden 2017 2017-04-09 011
Grieb Ranch Photos: Connie Willems
Flower photos: Sharon Jantzen


Beautiful Rain

Papa on Kubota Happy New Year.jpg

Beautiful Rain

Beautiful rain has graced the hillsides on a more regular basis so far this winter. This has given Connie some time to read. One of the short articles from Directions – the National Junior Angus Association Newsletter, Fall 2016 –  written by Macy Perry caught Connie’s eye and she wants to pass it on . . .

Today Matters  Life-man, does it go by fast.  I mean, you never really realize how fast time goes until it’s gone and you can’t get it back.. …Recently, I’ve thought extensively about a motivation book I’ve been reading for my horse judging team…titled Today Matters by John C. Maxwell.  Maxwell really digs deep in how important today is and how to make the most of what you are doing in the present.  Maxwell outlines 12 different areas as keys to success, which include attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values and growth…..”though you cannot go back and make a brand-new start, my friend, you can start now, and make a brand-new end, it reads. 

We can’t change what has happened in our past, but that’s not the case with our future.  To change the future, you must start today.  If you make a commitment to a goal you want to achieve, start now and stick with it.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed in the past.

“Anything worth having is going to be a struggle.  Commitment doesn’t come easy but when you’re fighting for something you believe in, the struggle is worth it,” writes Maxwell.  Keep this mind when you question your goal and what you are doing today.

Take this advice from Maxwell and his book and don’t let your life pass you by.  “Time is the most valuable coin in your life.  You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent.  Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.  Follow your passions, chase after you goals, and never forget what’s most important to you.  We all only have so much time in our lives so make today matter.

Rain makes the hills green and supplies the livestock with food. So with the Grieb Ranch hills covered with beautiful green grass Connie also read the book “Every Child Every Nation Every Day” by Robert J. Morgan

The Grieb Ranch wants to take Reese Kaufmans advice: “He advocates plunging into each day with an attitude of adventure, for Jesus promised us life more abundant.” (John 10:10B).


Count Your Blessings

“Count your many blessings . . . Name them one-by-one,” are lyrics from a childhood song that now rings through Connie’s head this time of year.

Holding puppies.jpg

Now her grandson loves counting from one to ten.  He counts everything from six new puppies, five tomatoes in a cluster, four eggs the hens laid,  Thomas the train and his three cargo cars,  his two cows Peaches and Pudge and their calves PJ and Percy, and one little brother.  He counts things Connie tends to overlook, on their way to do some seemly mundane chores.


So in the process her grandson is teaching her to count again.  “Often I become so immersed in things I haven’t finished or things I don’t have that I fail to see all the good things around me.  I have forgotten to count the new friends made this year and the answered prayers received, the tears of joy shed and the times of laughter with good friends,” says Connie.

“My ten fingers are not enough to count all that God gives me day by day.  Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.  None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your dids, they would be toomany to declare: Psalms 40:5.  How can we even ben gin to count all the blessings of salvation, reconciliation, and eternal life?

Let us join David as he praises God for all His precious thought about us and all He has done for us, when he says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand”

(Ps.139:17-18).  Excerpt from: LETS’s LEARN TO COUNT AGAIN!” Keila Ochoa-Daily Bread

As we celebrate Thanksgiving let’s thank God for His COUNTLESS BLESSINGS.



Got Milk? Get God’s Word


This mother cow’s baby calf died, so a Holstein calf (dairy calf) was grafted to this mother cow who enjoys her “new” baby.

Desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.  I Peter 2:2

The Grieb girls, Wynetta, Margie and Connie for years (Connie Jr. High through college) worked as a team to raise drop calves (calves we got from a dairy).  Twice a day the many calves had to be fed milk from bottles or buckets.  We had many other chores to get done in the morning before school, in addition to feeding the drop calves. So during drop calf raising we got to drive to school rather than ride the bus. Milk was essential to the growth of these calves and our profits depended on it.


Right now, it’s calving season at the Grieb Ranch which keeps us alert and available.  The most essential thing a newborn calf needs is the colostrum (first milk) from the mother within 2 hours.  The most essential thing we need each day is the milk of God’s word.

In the devotional, Hope for Each Day Billy Graham reminds us, “Just as our bodies need food, so our souls need spiritual food.  Without it we become malnourished and weak, susceptible to every temptation and unable to do the work God calls us to do.”

Where do we find this spiritual food?  In the Bible, the Word of God.  The Bible reveals Christ, the Bread of Life and the Water of Life.  If we fail to partake of this spiritual nourishment, we will lose our spiritual vitality.

Societies around the globe do not enjoy the freedom we have to read the Bible: They don’t have access to God’s word. Yet, the problem for most of us not that we don’t have access to the Bible, it’s using a Bible-actually picking it up and reading it.

Don’t be content to skim through a chapter, merely to satisfy your conscience or because of some long-established habit.  Rather, read it as if your life depended on it.  Meditate on it, memorize it, hide it in your heart so it permeates your whole being.  A small portion well digested is of far greater spiritual value than a lengthy passage scanned hurriedly.