Husband, Father, and Business Owner
We all wear many hats and spin a lot of plates. By hats I’m obviously referring to the different roles we have in life. As far as the plates go, I’m sure you have felt so insanely busy that it was all you could do to keep life’s “plates” spinning. If that has not been your experience then I say bully for you, but it has most certainly been true for me. Here are some of my musings on said roles and a few thoughts about those plates.
I am not the best husband in the world. I get angry and impatient when I should shut my mouth and just listen. I place high expectations on others because things that are obvious to me should be manifestly obvious to everyone else—so if it’s important to me, of course it’s important to you. I have failed to recognize the value my wife brings to our marriage solely on the basis of who she is and not what I expect her to be, or what I imagine her capabilities to be. Thankfully, by God’s grace, over the years I have begun to see her value as she is—not as she could be. I am learning to treasure her desires, gifts, and abilities as they are, rather than basing them on some nebulous expectation that I place on her based on the mood of the moment. She’s not perfect, of course, but that’s the point. I have the privilege of showing her grace amidst imperfection. Unconditional love and acceptance when she falls short and internally berates herself for what seems like failure. To encourage, but not demand, that she take reasonable risks so that she can grow. I am learning to create an environment in our home that fosters spiritual and, by extension, personal growth. And I really, really suck at it. Thankfully one of her strengths is patience, and I’m thankful that she is willing to wait for me to catch up.
The best job God ever gave me was being a dad to the four humans I call my kids. They are, by far, a bigger blessing than they could ever know, or I could ever have dared to imagine. Rebecca and I freely admit that we’re not sure we understood love until we had Noah, our firstborn. To understand the immeasurable, unending love that I felt for him was perhaps the first time I could really process God’s love for me. To be sure, I believed in God’s love through Christ and accepted his atoning work as directly applicable to my sin problem. I understand and believe that it is by His grace that I am accepted by Him and granted eternal life. Still, I understood this love in a deeper and more meaningful way than ever before when I became a father to those four amazing kids. Are they perfect? No. No, they are not. Not at all. Not even close. Sometimes they are horrible, ungrateful, rude, and disrespectful. They, like me, are a work in progress. They grow daily in God’s grace and are learning to navigate this life through a lot of trial and error. But man, do they make me laugh, and feel content, and blessed. Early on I missed a lot of time with them and, at one very difficult point in my marriage, I could easily have lost them. I am so thankful for God’s ability to restore broken things.
Owning a business is the worst job on the planet. That’s why I don’t recommend it as a job. Owning a business (for me at least) is a calling. I did it because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I will keep doing it until I can’t do it anymore. It’s been a struggle and a war but having the opportunity to meet some of the amazing people I have met—to be able to call them friends—what I do every day is a great privilege. The balancing act of work life and family life is hard. I feel as though I rarely get it right. I try to err on the side of family, but in some ways, this can feel more stressful because I’m always aware of what’s not getting done. Frankly, it’s not made any easier by the fact that I really enjoy what I do. What I said is true, business ownership is hard, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it.
My plan is to keep working at walking by the mercies afforded me in the moment. I will fail, but I will press on. I will also occasionally succeed, and so I pray for the good sense to push forward even harder rather than rest in momentary victory. Life is the worst thing that could happen to you—so don’t let it happen to you—go and make something of it.