How will you Measure 2019?

Trüly Making A Difference

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I said good bye to 2018, I read numerous people’s post and I was amazed at the frequent comment, “We had a horrible 2018,” and I thought to myself, really? How can you say that!? But then I remembered that each of us measures things differently and often it is related to how we assess the world that we live and what we have experienced. To be honest, the Baker’s had a year of tremendous heartache, but we also had a year filled with joy! Did the bad out way the good? Most likely it would depend on which family member you asked. There were tears of sorrow and tears of excitement.

As I journey through my cancer struggles, the goal is to remain positive. I believe most of my days, I accomplished that goal. On the days I don’t, I am reminded quickly that my life is filled with blessings. Every night, I do inventory of my day, asking myself, “How did you do today?” As a therapist, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a daughter and a human being. Some days, I go to sleep pleased, some days I don’t measure up and vow to do better!

On one of my dark days, I found myself at work struggling to be positive and “whining” to anyone who would listen! In walks my new client. She sat down sharing with me that she had lost her sister, Mandy. I am a certified grief counselor, and even though I am trained and have sat with numerous patients, walking someone through their grief is never easy. She continued to state that her sister died of cancer, specifically ovarian cancer. She was 36 years old, a single mother of two young boys and was only diagnosed 13 months prior to her death. “There it was!” You know the moment! That moment you realize that the person you are listening to has been placed in your life by God to straighten you up and make you wake up. I knew that God had heard me complaining, and sent a message to me, “Knock it off Baker, it could be worse,” and he was so right. I knew she was there to also help me. We cried and hugged. Message received. (When I reached out to this patient to get permission to share, she responded “Absolutely and how ironic that you asked today, today is the four year anniversary of Mandy’s death”)… another sign?

I want my 2019 and your 2019 to be filled with only joy, but I know that I am being unrealistic. Life gives us turmoil, pain, and sadness. We each must discover how to measure success, based on ourselves not based on others or what society deems important. The key is to measure, so that you can look back in December 2019, knowing that you did make progress!

~ TrüBeliever Story ~

Meet JJ. Here is his story and how he measures a life lived well. “I started skiing when I was 18 years old. I was in great physical shape and weighed 185 lbs. I’ve skied at least once a year (sometimes 2 or 3 times) for the last 29 years. But then 2010 happened…….

On July 21, I was starting a pivot for the first round after we had been shut off for a while due to rains. I noticed that the end nozzle was plugged. I decided to clean it real quick. I unloaded my 4 wheeler, slipped on my rain gear and rode into the wheel track. I should make the disclaimer that any normal, intelligent person would have went up to the center point and shut down the system, but I had done this bush fix before so I wasn’t concerned. The plan was when the pivot quit moving, I would set my ladder up quick on the pipe, run up the ladder in the rain, pinch off the hose with the vise grips, unscrew the nozzle and run down the ladder. I’ll clean the nozzle, wait for the pivot to move again, reverse the order and voila! Problem solved! Everything was as planned, until I was standing on the ladder screwing the nozzle on. The pivot started moving before I was down. No big deal, right? My ladder flipped up and over backwards with me at the top of it. My four wheeler, which was parked under me, was where I landed. I felt something snap.

I rolled off the four wheeler, now I was laying on the ground. I couldn’t move initially and knew that I was seriously hurt. I was able to radio back to the shop, and waited for help. My mind surveyed the situation, fearful that they would not find me in the tall corn. Eventually I got on my knees and crawled out to the road which was only about 200-250’. As one of my employees came to rescue me, he found me laying helpless in a pool of blood from the cut on my head.

I had seventeen stitches in my head and I fractured L1, LL4 and L5. L3 was broken and L2 was so shattered that it didn’t exist any longer. I’m actually a half inch shorter now! I didn’t require surgery because that vertebrae was completely gone. I was fitted with a Turtle shell and after a few days, sent home to recuperate for 12 weeks.

At the time, my kids were 13, 11 and 9 years old. My wife Jody and I had just celebrated 16 years of marriage. It was the hardest thing that our family and marriage had ever endured. I had never been in the house for an entire day before that, let alone several weeks.

My life had changed. I could no longer scoop snow or grain for any length of time and had chronic back pain. I couldn’t lay flat on my back, stomp my feet hard (to clean my boots off), ride long distances, sit in church, or at a basketball game without extreme discomfort. I ate Ibuprofen and Tylenol like Chiclets.

I started drinking Truronia regularly, and my back pain started to subside. I’m now religious about my drink. It is miraculous how good I feel. Now I can sleep on my back and when the Pastor gets long winded, I can tolerate sitting there until he’s finished! I can walk, snow ski, and farm!”

JJ recently measured his progress this past month……

“I flew to Denver and met my kids, Sam (20) and Max (17), who had already been skiing for the past two days. We hit the slopes! We skied and boarded from when the lift opened until late in the day. I kept up with them shoulder to shoulder all day. It was minus 12 windchill with a 30 mph wind, but we had a blast. I crawled in bed exhausted and worried that they would have to pry me out the next morning with a screwdriver! Guess what, I woke up and I had not one ache or pain! Nothing!! We hit Day 2 equally as hard. We tackled the blacks, blues, steeps, terrain park obstacles, all of it. I was mystified as I survived without aches or pains. There’s only one thing different this year than the last 29 years and that is Trüronia.”


Pictured above is JJ, his wife Jody and their three kids. JJ and Jody live on their farm near Hastings, Nebraska. He is a farmer, husband, father, and avid liver of life!

May you find the best way to measure 2019……..and celebrate all that life hands you good and bad.

Until next week……check out Truronia @, and keep me posted!

**Gina Baker has been battling Stage 3 ovarian cancer since 2014. She is a farm wife, mother, grandmother, and a mental health therapist. She is a blogger for Trüronia and can be reached at