Family Matters.

My beautiful wife!

I used to think I knew how to love my wife and raise my kids. I was an expert on the subject.

Then I got married and realized I have no idea how to do either one.

I have spent the last 8 years of my life learning how selfish and lazy of a person I really am. I had no idea I was so self-centered.

The thing that keeps me coming back to make an effort again and again is that my wife and kids love me no matter what. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but they’ve always been forgiving and loving.

The truth is, I don’t love my family enough, starting with my wife. She’s truly amazing, and I’m determined to focus on how to love her more.

Focus, Phil!

I have three main areas of influence in my life right now.

1) My family

2) My church

3) My business

I’ve spent my adult life trying to figure out how those three areas fit together. It’s been a challenge. It’s a little crazy sometimes.

Then sometimes I’ll forget all three of those things and try something completely different that doesn’t fit anywhere.

‘Focus, Phil!’ is a challenge to myself to remember the important things and focus on what really matters in life.

Short or Long?

My 6 year old daughter has been learning the concept of time. “How long will it take to get there?” she’ll ask. My answer, “Oh about thirty minutes.” “Daddy, is that short or long?”

I never know how to answer that. Depending on what you’re doing, that’s a really short time or a really long time. 30 minutes is a long time to sit at a stop light, but a really short time to pay a mortgage. For a 6 year old stuck in a car seat, it can be really long.

One thing we encourage our girls to do when we’re driving is to enjoy the scenery. Right now is harvest time, and they love checking out the big tractors and talking about corn and soybeans, or animals that they see, or whatever. Sometimes that passes the time for them.

Like our car rides, the summer of 2011 lasted forever for me. We were behind on our bills, business was slow, and we were having trouble with our day-to-day obligations. It was a slow, painful ride that I don’t want to do again anytime soon.

One particularly difficult weekend that summer, a friend brought us some food to help us out. I had found a forgotten box of pancake mix in the cupboard, and she just happened to slip some fresh blueberries in with the rest of the groceries.

As we ate our blueberry pancakes that night, I had a chance to stop and enjoy the scenery. And we made it through the summer.