From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 13 - 11/22/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Peace of Mind

by Tom Heydt, Jr.

I haven't always lived a good life. Like most people, I've made my share of mistakes. For a long time, I was just plain selfish. But I knew something was missing, I was seeking for the "good life" - trying to get rid of the knot in my stomach and the torture in my mind.

Only in the last 10 years have I learned to answer the question, "What is a good life?" for myself. I found that the key ingredient to having a good life is consistent peace of mind in my life. My peace of mind finally came when I got my priorities right.

My first priority had to become God and my relationship with Him. Second came my relationship with my family. All other things followed from there.

If I keep these two priorities in the forefront of my life, my peace of mind is consistent and true no matter what life throws at me.

When I gave my life to Jesus Christ and made Him my Lord and Savior, my life changed for the good. Before I took this step, I was self-seeking. It was "What can we do for Tom Heydt to make Tom Heydt feel good today?" But this attitude was totally hollow. The big something that was missing was peace of mind. I had to take responsibility for my life, and stop blaming others for my problems. I had to humble myself, and apologize to my family. I started attending a good Bible-based church and learned through the Bible valuable principles with which to live my life. I learned what it was to be a good father, a good husband, and a good friend.

A good father. A good husband. My children and my wife are my life. I can't live without them. I can't describe in words the love I have for my wife and children. It is so complete. I look so forward for my oldest son, Luigi, to come home over the holidays, knowing that the cottontail rabbits will become a great table fare as we go on our yearly rabbit hunt. This is a biggy, I can't wait!

The e-mail updates from my second son, Zachary, who is preaching the gospel in Mongolia, come every day, but still not often enough. He's coming home for a weeklong visit in February!

I faithfully follow my youngest son, Vincent, around school as he participates in his many school activities. They never get old or routine. He and I are anxiously waiting for the arrival of snow so we can hit the slopes together. Skiing is close-time for us.

Spending time with my children is living a good life. They are all so different in personalities and they each make my life so full. I take an active part in their lives and frequently advise them about the things that I have learned in my life, and hope they won't make the same mistakes I have made.

My wife, Louann. Wow. I mean she's such a big part of my life. Faithful, loyal, an awesome mother, wife. She stuck by me when I didn't deserve it. She is so steady. I have no better friend, she is a complete partner. A good life is family, and for me, family begins with my wife, Louann.

It gives me great joy to live in close proximity to most of my wife's family and mine. Because of that we are able to come together as a family for various occasions, such as birthdays, and enjoy good food that Grandma has toiled to make for all of us. After all, good food is a high priority for a good life!

I enjoy seeing Grandma's face when her children and grandchildren are devouring her homemade pasta, which they usually request for all occasions. Oh yeah, Grandma can put on a good feed.

Being together and seeing in each family member the uniqueness of their personality and being able to be a part of the important events of their lives is living a good life. The "come-together" of this family is not a struggle, it is a joy. It is something that enriches my life greatly.

A good life does not have to be complicated. It can be simple. I appreciate the simple life of Sublette County. This area offers a simple life if we will just flow with it. Fishing and hiking with family and friends till our hearts are content. Telling stories around the fire, laughing and sharing the great solitude of our mountains. Having the thrill of climbing a high peak and live to tell about it! How many places can you spend a week in the mountains and not see another person or see very few? Going to the town park in Pinedale when you are 45 years old in the middle of the night crawling around on your hands and knees with your best friend hunting night crawlers! Standing in the middle of the river on a beautiful Indian summer day catching bullheads for the winter ice fishing. The peace and tranquility is all around us in this great county if we will just embrace it. Watching our county folks rally around the Punchers State championship bid and observing such a class act from players, coaches and community on that day. Simple things, but so important. This is such an incredible place to live.

Last but not least, to be blessed with good health, and a good job in a great industry.

I need to end where I began and that's with my relationship with the Lord. I always refer back to this. The Lord is the center of my life, and I must have a daily relationship with Him. From this relationship flows the other priority in my life, my family. The Lord and my family, this is a good life for Tom Heydt, Jr. 0

Photo credits:  Sue Sommers

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