Does this Relationship Killer Affect You?  

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”  Actually who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  

                              ~Marianne Williamson

I agree with Marianne!  I love this quote, but it’s my pride in the form of comparison and a competitive spirit that often get in my way.  Sadly, it has even acted as a relationship killer in my life.  I ‘know’ that all of us are unique and we have each been gifted with special talents.  I firmly believe we have all been set apart to do something extraordinary!  But I also know that comparison in our social media cluttered culture today are easy to get stuck in.  

The shift in my heart and mind away from comparison has come only from knowing and understanding the truth about what my Creator says and thinks of me and all of His beautiful people.  Because the enemy of my soul tries to remind me daily to look to the right or to the left.  But God asks me to look straight to Him, and to compare myself only to Him.  Today I practice a daily renewing of my mind in Him and His Word.  I am enough with and through Him!  I don’t have to be anxious or worry about what someone else is doing today.  I don’t know about you, but I want to live out what my Creator has uniquely planned for me!!!  After all, in the end it will be between me and Him, not me and others.  But He will ask me, “Ana, did you love?”  

Another reason I love the quote above from Marianne—because we all need to step out and stop shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around us.  That means the woman or man next to you, is meant to shine.  That means that YOU, yes YOU were created to shine!!  We are all meant to shine!!  And we all have our own unique shine because we were each created with a purpose that we carry out until our last day.  I believe most of us have an expectation and desire to do our best and to be great however when an expectation that starts with a good desire starts controlling us it then becomes an idol in our lives.  Too often competition or comparison becomes an idol—especially between women.  Frankly, I am sick and tired of this!!!!!!   I can hear plenty of—AMENS!  Plus I know I am not the only woman to write on this topic.  Our aim needs to be uplifting those around us with all the glory and honor to our Heavenly Father.  Our aim mustn’t be to lift ourselves up, and for real this has been a struggle for me in my past.  Today I am not bound by the chains of a comparison and self-promotion like I once was.  I will always be vulnerable to these things but now I know a better way to live and love thanks to Jesus Christ!! 

A comparison and things like self-promotion, envy and pride etc. are relationship killers.  What if we lived in a world where we intentionally built each other up???   What if we admired each other strengths, talents and we helped cover each other’s weaknesses???  That would be one amazing world!!!!!!  Think of all the extraordinary things that would happen as a result—mind blowing!!!!!!  We all have times in our lives when we’re not ‘who’ we want to be, we’re not ‘where’ we want to be and we’re not doing ‘exactly what we saw’ ourselves doing. Guess what?! The only one who can change your life is you, you have to change your thoughts, which will change your behavior which will in turn change your life. We all need help from mentors and friends.   Most of all we need a relationship with our Maker to renew our thoughts and minds.  Our relationships suffer greatly or become nonexistent when (pride) comparison takes over.  It starts in our hearts and minds, we can keep the toxic thoughts and feelings there and thus in our relationships and let it continue to tear us all apart but I believe we were made for much more than that!!! I KNOW YOU and I WERE MADE FOR SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!!!!! I challenge you, my reader, choose intentionally to uplift those around you, be their biggest supporter and encourager.  So today and everyday I ask you to join me and say, “I choose intentionally to uplift the women (and men) around me—to be their biggest supporter and encourager.  SAY—SHINE, JUST SHINE!!!!  

After all… ūüėČ for all us women!!  

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

~ Madeline Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State (first female to hold this position) 

 

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The Foundation of Self-Esteem 

Since high school I’ve been on a journey of ‘increasing my self-esteem’.   I used to stand on the fact that I was a dairy woman, I was a dairy cattle owner, I was a past dairy princess and I held ‘all these leadership positions’ etc. to build my self-esteem.  I looked to all of my achievements to build and hold myself up.  I looked to all of my skills, talents and capability in dairy too.  I also looked to my relationships to build me up.  And I have read numerous articles, read different books, gone to qualified counselors, listened to wise people, and to numerous inspirational speakers, videos etc.  However I believe that the key I was missing up until recently is the fact that self-esteem without a firm foundation in my faith is unfounded.  It is only with a firm foundation that I can thrive!  I am overjoyed to know and understand this now!!  God’s plan for me is who I hope to be.  I can only know that plan and have self-esteem when I am standing on Him.

“We are all starved for the glory of God, not self.  No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem.  Why do we go?  Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self. Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance of his own self image?  It is a great sadness that this is the gospel of the modern world.

The Christian Gospel is about “the glory of Christ,” not about me.  And when it is —in some measure—about me, it is not about my being made much of by God, but about God mercifully enabling me to enjoy making much of him forever.”

John Piper, ‘Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ’  (pages 15-16)

Today I praise God because I can rejoice and rest in my relationship with Him!!!  My significance, my self-esteem, and my confidence comes from above!  And hear me out—I am not done building my foundation for self-esteem, I have to be reminded daily that this will be on-going for all my days on this earth.

5 Tips for Internships

As a John Maxwell Team Certified Coach and Dairy Woman by trade, I bring you my very first podcast>>>5 Tips for (SUCCESSFUL) Internships!

If you are hiring interns, have hired interns in the past or are going to be hiring one or more interns in the near future, please share with your interns! NOW, if YOU ARE CURRENTLY an intern these are helpful tips for your success!

My internship experiences are very deep in the dairy industry however I know that these tips can be helpful no matter the industry!  Please, if you fit in to the categories above feel free to comment with more tips for success as many young and old alike are embarking (or have just embarked) on internships for the summer!

Why take these tips from me?  My personal internship experiences are as follows:

Midwest Dairy Association, Industry Relations Intern, South Dakota

Maddox Dairy, Dairy Production Intern, California

Prairie Gold Dairy, Dairy Heifer Raising Intern, South Dakota

Maddox Dairy, Dairy Reproductive Trainee, California

Riverview LLP, Dairy Production Intern, Minnesota

Alta Genetics, Sales Support Intern, Southeast United States

I can confidently say that I had and have a positive relationship with each one listed above and it is all because of the great people I had the opportunity to learn from! ¬†I would not have learned these five tips if it weren’t for each of my experiences. ¬†Have questions about my internship experiences? ¬†You can search my blog to read about them and see pictures or send me a message as well! ¬†I wish you all the very best in your current and future internships experiences no matter if you are the one hiring or the one applying!

Listen here for 5 helpful tips for successful internships!!

5 Tips for (Successful) Internships Podcast 

Go for the GROWTH!! 

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m grateful for the opportunities God has provided for me to grow.  Before I go on, I want to have a shout out here to my family and especially my husband, Salvador.  I am thankful that he encourages me in my calling.  In so many ways he is helped me to become who I am today.   I also have to say that as a mother to our dear little Prudence, she also pushes my growth on a daily basis! I bet any mother reading this can attest to that about their own child, or children! 

So, as I have pursued starting and running my own business as a mom entrepreneur, I have learned each and every day—I have much to learn!!  I joined the John Maxwell Team a little over a year ago and during that time the John Maxwell book, Intentional Living, rolled out.  At that time, I was just trying to sink my teeth into all of the material of this blessed program which is way more than anyone could ever go through in their lifetime!  The President of our team, Paul Martinelli, has made sure of that!  You see, I have been filled with good intentions for most of my life and of course I’m a little biased to, wink, wink!  Since I was young little girl I can sincerely say I wanted to make a difference—I wanted to support those around me, both animals and people!  I truly believe we all want to live a life of significance; we want our time on this earth to matter.  That’s exactly what John Maxwell’s book, Intentional Living, is all about.  

Here are a few highlights I have learned from John Maxwell’s book, Intentional Living.  First, that it’s not enough to just intend to pursue a goal, it’s not enough to just plan on it, and it’s not enough to just desire it.  He asks us to look at our actions over the past week, month and year.  I need to search myself and see if my life is characterized by good intentions or intentional living.  Do I take actions or do I just intend to take action?  It’s not enough to have a heart to make a difference.  One has to take actions and most importantly, to take actions, one has to think on the things he or she will do!  My challenge question to you is, what are you doing to make a difference in the lives of those around you? If you’re unsure about your life and how you make a difference, I encourage you to reach out to me I would love to have you in an upcoming mastermind group!  You can’t start when you get good, you have to start to get good!  

Here is a testimonial from one of my fantastic clients, Renee!  She is a rockstar realtor who completed the Intentional Living Mastermind this year in February!  CONGRATULATIONS, RENEE!  You are going places my friend! 

Ana was an excellent facilitator, she takes the time to listen and respond professionally with encouragement. It is very apparent that she has studied and understands all the material.  I learned how to break through limiting beliefs.  I also learned how being intentional on a daily basis helps you reach your goals faster and with more clarity as each day passes.  I would recommend joining a mastermind group with Ana Ruiz to anyone who would like to not only improve their business, but improve their life. Her knowledge and coaching exceeded my expectations! 

The journey for Renee, just like each of us is so unique and filled with times of excitement and also times of frustration yet there is SO MUCH more coming, ALWAYS!!  For more information regarding an Intentional Living Mastermind email, anaruiz@johnmaxwellgroup.com.  

Who I am, Thanks to God 

I can’t stop thinking of the way my husband challenged me to look at my life yesterday.  I am grateful he loves me enough to throw the truth in my face when I need it!!  He made me so upset yet called me out because I have been hiding in fear. The opportunities I have had, the things I have said I desired and yet the choices I have made that weren’t always congruent. Life is too short to regret the past and wish to shut the door on it. It is about time that I decide to be who I am!!! Ana Schweer de Ruiz!! I am daughter of the Most High, loved and cherished. I am saved by grace! I am redeemed!! I am one who once sought success and significance for my own selfish desires but now want to achieve WITH others at my sides!! I want to help make more leaders who want the same!! I want to help change the world for the better. I want to help people see how their lives matter. I want them to step forward in to the plans God has for them! I want to help the dairy industry grow stronger leaders and deep lasting values that will make us transparent for the public eye. I was once headed into veterinary school with my head as big as Texas full of pride because I was all about me on the inside. Now I desire to be a leader who calls out greatness in her fellow colleagues and clients and not one who crowds the room with her pride and ego. I will be one strong enough to do the right things at the right time for the benefit of human and animal health. I will not let money rule my heart but rather my heart will be ruled by the things that break it to drive me forward. Both humans and animals…the orphans, the young, the widows, the lonely, the lost, sick and tired…the outcast the overlooked. I pray that God would use me as a mighty tool to bring others closer to Him, that they would love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and mind. That I can be a wife and mother who places her family above all else on earth. That I can be a friend who truly loves and cares. That I can be the hands and feet of Jesus to all those that I am blessed enough to serve. No matter where the road leads me may I always remember who I have been, what God has done in my heart and life and who He is calling me to be!!  

But for the Grace of God, There Go I…

The past few weeks God has impacted me on His amazing grace.  It’s an overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance that I can’t help but share on my blog.  The saying ‘but for the grace of God, there go I’ has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  Feelings of gratitude overwhelm me as I reflect on my life, from all of the blessings and opportunities to each of the trials and challenges.  Reading about Paul’s perspective in the Bible on grace in 1 Timothy 1:12-17 especially touched my heart. 

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display has unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.   

1 Timothy 1:12-17

I enjoy hearing who Paul used to be (previously known as Saul see Acts 9:1-31) not because he was some grand person, but because his testimony has such an impact on showing me how far God will go to pursue just one of His many children.  Above you read and see Paul describing who he used to be, that no matter what he had done and how he felt as though he was the worst—that God showed him mercy and acceptance.  I understand God did this so that we can all realize no matter our circumstances or choices His grace is enough. 
But for the grace of God, there go I.  God has made that saying very meaningful to me because if it wasn’t for His grace where would I be?  I could just as easily be trying to round up people and sending them to die as Paul did.  Today I understand that there’s NOTHING that I’ve done to be who and where I am.  It is ONLY because of God’s grace I am who I am, and where I am.  Even though I have made (and still make) decisions in my life to reject God, which for me means trying to control things.  God still pursues my heart.  I understand now that a self-directed life will only lead to heartache.  It’s only after I turn my life and my will over to God that He can reach my heart in a way that only He can.  I have been so blessed to see God’s grace displayed through loving people around me.  Today because I make the decision to let go and let God, His grace can flood in to give me the secure love that I so desire and searched for in many other things.  Knowing and understanding that God wants to hold my heart secure and to give me serenity if I will just trust Him is absolutely amazing!!!  

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13

God’s grace is put on display for us in many ways, from loving people in our lives, different life lessons, and programs etc.  Thankfully the greatest display that God has made of His grace was through the death of His only Son, Jesus Christ who died for each of us.  I hope and pray that you’ve been able to experience God’s grace in your own heart and life.  If you haven’t and want to know His love and grace, ask Him move in your heart and life and show you His grace today.   

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them‚ÄĒyet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

1 Corinthians 15:10

Learning to Embrace Who I Am

In the past year and a half my aspirations and beliefs about what it means to be a woman have evolved quite a bit. ¬†In 2014, I was about to enter into the doctor of veterinary medicine program at Iowa State. ¬†Based on conversations I had with a mentor of mine, I realized that the veterinary profession may not really be what I was born for, that it may not be how I can best fulfill my purpose. ¬†As a millennial (influenced heavily by feminism even without realizing it at the time) I had the belief that what career choice I made would determine my happiness. ¬†I also thought that I had to achieve a great title, to be in a certain position to be credible, to be ‘important’ in today’s world.

Born in 1989, my parents raised me in a Bible reading and believing home. ¬†My parents for all of my life had been dairy farmers until last year in April when they sold the milk cows. ¬†While growing up my mom stayed at home and was the primary caregiver for me and my five other¬†siblings and my dad was always around working on the farm. ¬†For certain reasons my biggest role model was my dad growing up. ¬†I feel I spent the most time outdoors working alongside him and idolizing his profession as a dairy farmer. ¬†I wouldn’t change a thing, my dad will always be one of my heroes. ¬†But for all the hours I spent outdoors, my mom also trained me to do anything and everything that was required in a home and over time has become a hero of mine too. ¬†I am thankful that I was taught to work hard outdoors on a farm and work hard in a home. ¬†It hasn’t been until recently now that I’m expecting my own baby and about to be a momma, that I have thought more about the role that my mother has¬†played in my life. ¬†I’ve always been grateful to her and have a feeling I will become a whole lot more grateful to her, as soon my baby arrives!

So why am I telling you all of this ? ¬†I fully support anyone with high career aspirations. ¬†I am not here to tell anyone how to live their life or what their purpose is. ¬†I just want to share my experience. ¬†My life looks so much different than what I pictured it would a year and a half ago. ¬†In the past year and a half I’ve struggled greatly with this thought, that I have to achieve something great to be important, to be of significance to others. ¬†I have realized that my true value does not come from my accomplishments. ¬†However it used to, my value came from my accomplishments and others approval of them. ¬† My happiness depended on everything and everyone around me. ¬† Today I understand that my true value is determined by my God-given abilities and the gifts that he’s given me to share with others. ¬† I also understand that happiness is a decision that I make on a daily basis. ¬†I know that I could use my abilities to become a veterinarian or anything I want, but I no longer feel that I HAVE to become something in order to be of significance. ¬† My highest calling is to serve and help those around me just as I am. ¬†My passion is in my faith, and my priority is my family. ¬†While I always want there to be a dairy animal in my life I’m waiting on God for His answer on that. ¬†I know I’ve been very blessed in my life. ¬†I am thankful for all the women in my life besides my momma—women from California to Minnesota, South Dakota, all the way down to Georgia—who have shown me what it means to be a woman. ¬†I can be proud of the fact that I am a woman, and that I want to live out my God-given purpose in a very feminist world. ¬†Today I finally understand what one of my mentors was trying to teach me long ago, I’m a life giver!

Homemade Pie NOT Impossible to Make for Christmas

After all the work that goes into Christmas, all the preparations, cleaning and decorating the home, shopping for and wrapping the gifts, making dozens of cookies, picking out the perfect choice of meat, potatoes, green beans…and the list goes on forever it seems!  

On Christmas, besides having all the house preparations my family had to milk the cows, then clean the equipment, bed all the cows in the milk barn, feed all the animals on the farm including any young stock, make sure the waters are all thawed, check the calving barn for calving cows, bed the young stock with extra warm straw for a comfy bed and the list could go on and on.  The day was long before it even got started so I hope this recipe might come in handy to any busy farming folks out there!  Thank you for all the hard work you do to make sure we all have ingredients for yummy delicious pies!! 

So how can you fit in a homemade pie to all the chaos even if you are or aren’t milking cows this Christmas—it’s quite ironic because it’s called impossible pie. THANKFULLY it’s far from impossible to make as it forms it’s own crust and takes only ten minutes of prep!  Even better, it can help you to stick to a more balanced diet this Christmas with 290 calories, and 8 grams of protein per slice.  To find the nutritional information, I created the recipe on MyFitnessPal with the specific ingredients below.  Some of you may have heard of this delicious recipe which can be dressed adorably a number of ways, for example adding whip cream and cute Christmas sprinkles!  However my favorite part is that I have been able to change its nutritional profile to contain more protein, and less sugar! 

As I stated earlier, the pie only takes about ten minutes of preparation as it forms it’s own crust.  Let’s check out the recipe below so that I can show you how to get your own impossible pie in the oven for this Christmas. You also may be wondering how did I bump up the protein and lower the sugar in this recipe??? Let’s find out my secrets below!!

Impossible Pie 

4 Eggs

2 Cups of Fairlife Milk (I used Fairlife Whole Milk, but you can use Fairlife Skim Milk for even lower fat content.  This is the protein secret, besides what the lovely eggs add above, the additional protein in Fairlife Milk helps me make this recipe more balanced.)

1/2 Cup of Flour (Gluten-free flour is an option with this recipe, making it a gluten-free pie!) 

1/2 Cup of Domino Light Sugar Stevia Blend (This is my secret to keeping the sugar low! This is equivalent to 1 cup of regular sugar.)

1 Cup Coconut (this is optional but highly recommended) 

2 Teaspoons of Vanilla (Watkin’s Vanilla is what I prefer.) 

1/2 Cup of Butter, softened (Everything is always better with butter!)

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender until a smooth consistency is reached.  If you used coconut it also depends on how finely chopped you prefer the coconut.  This pie makes its own crust while baking.  The coconut especially rises to form a golden, delicious and textured crust on top.  

Grease you pie plate, preferably 9-10 inch pie plate.  TIME SAVING TIP: Bake on top of a cookie sheet to prevent any oven spill.

Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  When pie is finished a knife will come out clean from the center, only a little liquid should be on the knife.  

 

For some more fun and delicious dairy recipes for this Christmas check out the links below!

Playing Well with Udders

In my life just like many before me but maybe not all, I have had to grow A-LOT in the area of self-awareness.  We are all born with a clean slate, innocent and pure minded.  The things we learn about ourselves and what our subconscious beliefs become, determine what we will do and where we will go.  Ultimately I have come to realize (with the help of some coaching) that my subconscious beliefs are what truly control my choices—my potential.  The more that I am focused on my own personal growth and increased self-awareness the more I am reaching toward my own full potential.  The John Maxwell Team has been teaching me so much these past eight weeks and I am very excited that I have the opportunity to be a ‘river and not a reservoir’ with the core learning programs.  God makes a way for each of us but we have to take action to get us there.  I will be learning and trying to push my own personal growth for the rest of my life and I look forward to helping others do the same.  So here’s to playing well with udders! (Others of course ;))  As I learn and grow, my relationships with others can become even richer and let’s include all my bovine friends in that too!  They are such goofs I usually can’t control the laughter they help me experience on a daily basis!   

 

Dairy Woman + Baby 

It’s official, my husband and I are expecting in April 2016!  Since my husband is such a Jersey cow fan and I am a Holstein cow fan—you’ll get the picture. Wink, wink, we are starting our very own small ‘cross-bred’ herd!  It’s exciting!! I was blessed with only some morning sickness and exhaustion in the first trimester along with the other ‘normal pregnancy symptoms’.  Now in the second trimester I’ve been feeling great.  Check out our cute announcement below.  We know all the registered cattle breeders out there will get a kick out of this!!  Beneath it is what a real registered Holstein pedigree looks like.  If you want to be able to read a pedigree please visit, How to Read an Official Holstein Pedigree.