On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for what Jesus Christ has done for me. I’m also extremely grateful of the family he has provided me despite my many failures and efforts to try to make our lives “better” by “working.” He has saved us, from me :-).
This is probably one area where I struggle the most, but I’m finally seeing some success in it. To truly know if I’m being successful you’d have to ask Beth, but I’m definitely getting better and this former area of weakness is now becoming an area of success.
I’m a workaholic. Those of you who have been around me, already know this. I like to have everything sorted through, organized, planned, prepared for, so that when the time comes for action, for the doing, everything is smooth sailing.
When things are work related, or honestly when things are anything but family related, I want to make sure everything is on point. For example when I was in graduate school getting my masters of divinity in counseling. I spent at least 8 to 10 hours everyday reading, writing, and studying. No, I am not joking, that’s literally how much time I spent :-). I wanted to give it a hundred percent and in my mind I had to devote as much time and energy into by studies as possible.
I neglected my lovely, young and beautiful, she still is young and beautiful by the way, wife Beth. I would use my “busyness,” this idea/idol of, ‘I have to be able to perform to the best of my ability,” to neglect her and NOT spend as much time with her as I definitely could have.
Now that I look back, it was such a waste… Truthfully, at the end of the day if I didn’t get an A would it have really made a difference? No, not really is the answer. But because of that failure, I am now becoming a better husband and father.
I really wanted to succeed, and truthfully the fear of failure is what motivated me the most. I really wanted to do a good job and help others be successful. The only problem was I would held everyone else, but my family. But I am getting ahead of myself.
As usual, I threw my entire heart, soul, and might into my job. Often spending the hours of 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM at the school, working. Then, once I got home, I would answer emails and the like until I was finished, only to wake up and do it all over again. I look back on it now and realize how foolish I was.
Lucky for me I had a phenomenal boss/principal who was willing to guide/mentor and assist me. But those positions required a ton of work and long hours. And I’m not even talking about the athletic director position and that was a lot of work too :-).
But the point of the story wasn’t that I worked a lot, it is that once again I became consumed with working, with the job, I allowed myself to be robbed of a lot of opportunities that I could have spent with Beth and my kids, Axel and Kenna, my son and my daughter.
Once again, I let my overactive work ethic consume me. I neglected one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me, my family.
Finally, after 34 years (that’s how old I am, I’d like to think I was born with this :-), I am able to let go and not be such a workaholic. Now do I still struggle with trying to get everything done? Yes! Immensely. But I am much more successful at putting down work stuff and being present with my family. Being part of Mercy Hill Church and their small groups has helped me a lot with this struggle. I’m now able to leave some things undone and save them for tomorrow, which is something I could never do preciously.
I know this may seem corny and kind of weird not Fitness related, but I think the carryover is evident. How many of you have failed, and failed, and failed, and just feel like giving up? If I hadn’t had those failures and experiences above, I never would have had the success that I’m enjoying now. I truly am enjoying my family and not secretly despising them because they are getting in the way of work.
I am now able to spend more time with my family and not be so task-oriented and so busy. I’m getting much better at putting things down and being present and enjoying my kids, my wife, and our family.
This Thanksgiving Day, I’m most thankful for the successes and the failures God has placed before me and how he has faithfully carried me through them. I haven’t always been the best at learning through these failures but because of them I am experiencing great success in regards to family.
What is it in your life, that if you stopped doing it or started doing it, it would make a huge positive impact in your life? For me it was putting down work and spending time with family. It could be a lot of different things for you. But the point is identify something that you need to get rid of, or something you need to add, that will make a huge impact in your life.
I hope that helps, I’m thankful for all of you, now go be awesome!
KELLEN LAKE – I still struggle, but getting oh so much better via God’s grace : – ).
PS – Have a great Thanksgiving!