Need a Boost In Your Spiritual and Mental Health?

Mentor Mama:

Today we are going to be talking about how connecting to the land, animals, people, and God can lead to life-changing results in our spiritual, mental, and physical health. Our guest today, Cloe Parker will be talking about how the power of connection changed her life and how she shares that gift with others.

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Mentor Mama:

Cloe Parker is a regenerative rancher and connector living in the pristine mountains of Colorado on her family’s ranch, along with hundreds of cattle, an abundance of grass, and a few good horses. After hitting rock bottom, Cloe completely changed her life to focus on one thing— connecting. Now she helps hundreds of families enjoy peace of mind with Colorado’s finest meats and leads an example of what living connected means with human to animal, human to earth, human to God, and human to human, one connection at a time. Please welcome Cloe.

Cloe Parker:

Thank you so much for having me on. This is such an honor, and I’m so excited to talk about one of my favorite subjects.

Mentor Mama:

This is so fabulous. I wish our readers could see what I can see, but Cloe is actually outside, live on her ranch right now and I can see the beautiful background. It’s just such a joy to have you here. Thank you so much for being with us. Cloe, why don’t you start out by just telling us a little bit about your story and how was it that you had to hit rock bottom to realize the importance of connections?

Cloe Parker:

I’ve always grown up on a ranch. We’ve always had cattle or sheep or just livestock, so I’ve always been outdoors and loved animals. Growing up in my childhood, I feel very blessed because of the experience I got to have of playing in irrigation ditches and listening to birds sing and everything like that. Then about like 13 or so, there was just like a transition and I kind of started distancing myself from the things that truly mattered, like connection, and like my family, like the land and animals. And about that time I had like a small little sheep business and I just slowly, over the next few years, just started to not be as intentional and present when I was with the animals or on the land or with my family and that really led me through the really hard years of dealing with lots of anxiety and it got to this point where I was like so suicidal and had depression and it was just really, really awful. Thankfully by the grace of God, I never did anything and I’m still here today. There were two deer that I saw when I was running one day. There was this beautiful hill and these two deer just ran across, and it was kind of that moment that God just really showed me how much there is to live for and what I had been missing, and not too much longer I saw this tiny little pink flower that was just so beautiful and through that, and then through a mentor, I just realized how important it is for my soul and heart because I really do see God and when I see God through like a sunset or listening to the birds sing, I just reconnect with the things that truly matter. There are still moments where I just am on my phone where I wish I wasn’t or things like that, but when I’m really intentional and I do go outside and watch a sunset or, we have a bottle-calf right now, and I just feed it a bottle and I don’t get distracted and it that’s truly been life-changing and I’m so grateful for that.

Mentor Mama:

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so neat to see how God used that hardship in your life now to be an encouragement for others. Tell us a little bit about ranching and how that ties God together.

Cloe Parker:

I love agriculture and ranching because it always humbles you, but it also shows me, God, more than I see elsewhere. I don’t know if you can hear, but the birds are kind of singing or there’s just this beauty, that you can’t miss that there’s a God just because of the things that I experience and it’s little things that I have to be aware of like little, everyday miracles that you have to look for like, a calf living even though it was a struggle or, just going and moving a group of cows and it all goes smoothly. There are just all these little moments that I really, truly do just see God. Ranching also makes me pray a lot because it’s like, okay, God can the cow just go that way, please? And it just shows me and it just reconnects me really to God more than anything else in my life. I’m just so grateful for that and I believe everyone can see God in those little, everyday miracles and they exist every day. You just have to search for them.

Mentor Mama:

Yes, and you really have to be intentional, which I can see that’s exactly what you’re doing. Connections have been so meaningful for you. Help our listeners understand how they can have meaningful connections.

Cloe Parker:

My first piece of advice is to put any technology and your phone down. We live in such a time that we can know about what’s happening across the world, but sometimes we don’t know what’s happening in our best friend’s heart or what’s going on with a stranger. So, first I just encourage you to put your phone down, just turn it off. Then if you want to connect with nature, going on a walk on a trail or somewhere is a great way to start and just listen and feel the sounds and just kind of use your five senses, like what are the birds singing, or can you identify some birds, or what does it smell like? Then I believe we also have a deep need for community and people, and once again, we live in such an individualized world and it’s really hard on all of us with loneliness, so I just challenge you to maybe check in with somebody or just send a text and be like, I’m just checking in, seeing how you’re doing, and then also check in on yourself, like how are you doing? And always be in prayer. I started doing this new thing of thanking God for things that may come in the future, instead of asking, thanking him, and just living in a place of gratitude. It’s another good idea, and I challenge you, to know where your food’s coming from. Maybe it’s your meat or your vegetables or whatever, but there are farmers and ranchers nationwide and farmers’ markets are places you can go to buy food so that you really can know where your food comes from and meat is a good way to start buying directly from a meat business as our family does. So those are just some ideas of how you can do connections and it’s not difficult. It doesn’t need to be difficult. A lot of it is just putting intention into it.

Mentor Mama:

Absolutely. You know, we’re right now up in Northern Wisconsin and we just went for a fairly short walk last night, but we were walking past these lilac bushes that just smelled absolutely heavenly, which was a delight, and then we turned around to walk back and Taylor said, “mom, look,” and there were these little lady glass slipper plants that only bloom this time of the year and they look like little Cinderella slippers. They’re amazing. So yes, it’s taking the time to appreciate and enjoy nature, and like you said, using all your senses, I love that. What are some of the favorite parts of the work that you do?

Cloe Parker:

I think that there is death and there’s life and you see it, not on a daily occurrence, but definitely, a lot and it really makes you appreciate life and realize how precious it is. I think there are just so many core lessons that I’ve learned through agriculture, like how precious life is, but also, the little things like watching a calf being born or watching it stand up for the first time is just such an incredible experience, no matter how many times I’ve seen it, or just watching the animals and how they interact. I’m also grateful for the community and people in agriculture—there are so many things, but I think above all, it’s how God does really exist and he really is in this world still, even though sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into how much evil and bad and awful things there is and suffering, but there’s also a lot of good and beauty and ranching just reminds me of that. Whether it’s as simple as a sunset, or in the springtime, all the frogs croak and it’s all these beautiful sounds.

Mentor Mama:

That sounds so amazing. What does an average day look like for you? I can imagine there are people listening all across America that have no idea what ranchers do day in and day out, and tell us how long have you been doing it and how old you are now? Because I think it’s so amazing.

Cloe Parker:

My parents have been ranching since I was a little girl, so I grew up in it and I’m 19 now. A day in life varies on the season. Ranching is very based on the season. So right now, we’re kind of towards the end of spring and beginning of summer and we’re in the mountains so we get irrigation water, which is just water from the snow melt, and then it goes down the rivers and then goes down the ditches so we can irrigate our fields, so it’s a lot of moving water and moving tarps and just getting the water to go where we need it to go to flood the fields. Then we’re moving cattle, we’ve practiced regenerative agriculture, so we want to make sure the soil is healthy and one of the ways we do that is just watching how the plants grow and timing our grazing, so we’re moving our cattle, not every day, but pretty close to that. I like to do it on horseback. We have a meat company, so today actually, we ship meat nationwide, so that’ll be in the afternoon. Then there’s always the chores like I mentioned there’s a bottle-calf, so I got to feed him twice a day, then I’m training a puppy right now who’s going to be a cow dog soon. So, there are little things like that. Then I also try to do things that are not related to work too, like seeing my family or hanging out with friends, but yeah, there are lots of things going on and as summer progresses, we’ll move our cows even more often because the grass is growing so fast and we build electric fences, and checking water, checking fence. Every day is different, which I like.

Mentor Mama:

Do you have any fun stories?

Cloe Parker:

A couple of weeks ago we were calving. So, all the cows are having their calves and my dad comes in, and this was a few weeks ago, so the grass wasn’t quite green and we were still feeding them a little bit of hay and he comes in and he is like, there’s a cow having trouble. That can happen sometimes when cows are calving. Most of the time they have the calf on their own and we don’t interfere, but this time we did. And so, we all go down there and she’s in with a group of cows and we got her so we could pull the calf because we had to assist her and the calf was a really big calf, which happens, and it was her first time having a baby, so sometimes there are complications. And so, we pull the calf and I help and my dad’s there, and then the calf, it finally comes out and it’s alive, which is a huge blessing, but then the mom, which sometimes happens, doesn’t want to have anything to do with her baby because it was just such a big deal for her and traumatic. So, then we kind of tried to coach her into seeing her baby and taking care of it and she just wasn’t interested. So, we brought her to the corral and kind of put her in a little pin with the baby and we kind of let them be for a little bit to see if they could figure it out. It was about sunset, later that day, which was like two hours after the baby had been born, and the baby was standing, its legs were all wobbly and it was nursing and mama was taking care of it. So that’s a good day.

Mentor Mama:

That is a beautiful, beautiful story. And wow, you do see God at work just in everything that you do, day in and day out there. The connection between the land, animals, people, and God it’s just so beautiful. Do you have anything specific that you’d like to share about how God’s Word has been an encouragement to you?

Cloe Parker:

As a rancher, I like to read. There are a lot of Bible verses that relate or talk about sheep or cattle and I think that helps me really relate because I relate to that. And just how through generations, like they’ve had cattle or sheep or been farmers or ranchers. God’s (Word), it’s so powerful and sometimes it feels so complicated like you could get one thing out of a verse, and then it’s something totally different. I like to like listen to a podcast or something to dive really deep into even a section of it, but just even if it’s just that I read a verse or something every day, it just really makes me think, but I also just want to live my life as close to what he calls me to as I can and one of the ways I believe he speaks to us is through His Word, so I try to read it every day. I love the relation to agriculture because it is so tied to God. We all need food and we all need water and it’s so important and even though we might not all live on a ranch, we all eat probably three times a day and that can just be a way you can connect with God and just use that food to nourish your body.

Mentor Mama:

Yes. I can assure you after this podcast. I think so many of us will be even more thankful for what we’re putting into our mouths.

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Mentor Mama:

How have you been faithful, would you say as, kind of, living fearless and a life full of love because of God’s grace?

Cloe Parker:

Fear’s something I’ve struggled with before and it doesn’t magically just disappear. I feel like it’s always going to be there because we do live in a fallen world, but I’ve learned that if God really wants me to do something or even if like I don’t have the strength, sometimes I just don’t have the strength, which also kind of relates to fear, just to pray and to lean on him. I’ve heard that before and I’m like, yeah, but does it really work? But it really does because there’s this supernatural light that shines and can shine on us and give us strength and peace and healing and I truly believe in that and to lean into that and that’s God, and suffering’s not going to disappear and I’ve experienced that a lot in the last few months. My mom was diagnosed with cancer. So, it’s been a lot of suffering and stuff, but something that somebody said to me when I said something about like life sucks. And sometimes it is, and it’s really, really hard, but just remember, this is not your home. Like your home is so much greater, so much better. I sure hope there are horses and singing birds and all that, but there’s also so much beauty and there’s love and no suffering. So, on those days where it’s really hard or you don’t know what to do, remember this isn’t your home, but it does matter what you do here and to live your life with intention and connectedness and above all to do it for His glory.

Mentor Mama:

Yes. Above all, for sure. What’s the best advice Cloe, would you say that you’ve been given?

Cloe Parker:

That’s a tricky question and I’ve kind of been thinking about that and it wasn’t like direct advice to me, but it was this idea from a mentor, really. I think in my mind, I kind of knew about connection, but I didn’t have a word for it and she was just talking about how, like with ranching, it’s you see life and death and life is so precious and it teaches you all these little things, but more so, it just grounds you and it connects you because you can feel the earth beneath your feet and the rain falling down. And she just presented this idea of connectedness and put a word to it. And it sounds like a big subject or daunting, but it’s really not, it’s very simple. It doesn’t take that much time but it really is life-changing. It’s just so different. It’s changing your paradigm and just thinking about things differently, like when you’re playing with your kids or when you’re talking with friends or when you’re on a walk, just really being intentional and present. And I got to say most of the time that does not involve being on your phone or scrolling through Instagram. So I think I’m actually going to change the table instead of that’s like the best piece of advice I’ve kind of been given among many other ones. Like this is not our home life when life sucks, that’s some really good advice, but I’d also give advice or encouragement to all of you to just do one thing today that connects you and grounds you and rejuvenates your soul. Maybe that’s five minutes in prayer. Maybe that’s a walk. Maybe that’s going to the farmer’s market. Maybe that’s calling a friend. Those are just a few ideas, but I’d really encourage you to do that because you will be amazed at what it changes for your life.

Mentor Mama:

Absolutely. Those are great suggestions. Well, Cloe, tell us how people can find out more information about you if they want to get connected to you?

Cloe Parker:

Absolutely. If you want any meat, grass-fed meat, parkerpastures.com is my family’s ranch. Then as far as me, I’m just getting started on this journey of sharing about connections and I do have an email list that is the best way to connect. Can we include a link here because I can’t remember the exact name of the link?

Mentor Mama:

Yes, we can. We will include a link.

Cloe Parker:

Kingdom Ranch, and I’m just getting started on this journey because I’ve realized how powerful it is and I want to share it with the world.

Mentor Mama:

Absolutely. And you just have such a unique background and a beautiful way of helping people feel connected and just to be reminded is so important and so encouraging. Cloe, before we go, I want to ask you some of our favorite Bible study questions. Do you have any favorite journaling supplies that you like to use to enhance your Bible study experience?

Cloe Parker:

I do. I like to write down all my prayers and just get my thoughts out of my head either before or after I read my Bible, it just really helps me to be more present and not so distracted with all the thoughts or things I’m worried about. I also like to like pray and just quiet my mind before I do that, as well as to do it from a place of gratitude because it’s easy to get sucked into like, I want or I need, but also just to be so so grateful and just to do everything from a place of gratitude when I’m reading my Bible or doing a Bible study of thanks and thank you God for this or that or whatever it is. So just doing things from a place of gratitude has really helped me.

Mentor Mama:

Lastly, what is your favorite app or website for Bible study tools?

Cloe Parker:

I like a good podcast or a YouTube sermon. I don’t know if that really counts as an app.

Mentor Mama:

Sure, that’s great.

Cloe Parker:

Just listening to something to dive deeper because sometimes the Bible’s kind of hard to understand and to have someone talk through it in different parts and the different meanings, honestly, that’s been really helpful for me.

Mentor Mama:

Excellent. Cloe, thank you so much for being here today to share with us the power of connection and how that helps us grow in our faith and relationships with people and most importantly in our personal relationship with Jesus. Thank you so much.

Cloe Parker:

Thank you so much.

Mentor Mama:

And for our readers, if you are interested in learning more about Cloe, be sure to sign up for her newsletter, which we will have linked here. You can also share any comments with us on this podcast and we will check them out here. Lastly, head over to the Coffee and Bible Time website for our prayer journals that will help guide and document your prayer life at coffeeandbibletime.com. Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today. We love you all have a blessed day.

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