Have you ever been asked “What is your greatest asset?” What do you think you would say? Would it be a talent? A cultivated skill? Maybe it’s a spouse or the ability to communicate? We each have a great asset. We have something to offer the world through our passions and purpose in life. At the same time I think we all get confused, just as I did, as to what our greatest asset in life truly is.
Lately I have been working so hard to get Journey Principles into the hands of those who so desperately need it. Everywhere I look I see people stuck in overcoming their adversity and in their own struggle. For many people Journey Principles has helped them get unstuck and moving again. Our heart for others has been beyond reproach. We love people and want them to experience joy but recently it has come at a great personal cost. My wife and children have barely seen me as the team and I have been writing, taping, planning, coaching, podcasting and more. Every day is filled with meetings and planning so we can help those we seek to serve. Late last week my wife sat me down for a few minutes of my time. While it hurts to even say this, it took me a solid 10 minutes just to get my brain off all the lives at stake and into my own home. My faith dictates that my first ministry is my home. My priorities draft says Jesus, family, the call (JPI) and everything else. At first the talk came across as frustration but what was she really saying to me? It is simple. She was saying “I miss you, I miss us and don’t forget about your first ministry, US!” She was right and I knew I was working too hard and needed time with them, just as much as they needed time with me.
It’s hard to think about the disparity between the calling and how, over time, it challenges priorities. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am doing as I am called. But I am also called to love my family, which meant something had to be done. That day, thankfully, we recorded a podcast with a fantastic woman, who had already been where JPI is headed. Her name was Michele Cushatt, author of an awesome book called “Undone: A Story of Making Peace With a Unexpected Life”, for the record it’s a must read! After the show I already had the stress in my heart and with Michele sitting there off air, I asked her something that has helped me refocus.
Here are three things I learned from Michele, in addition, all the awesome stuff she shared in the podcast (which you won’t want to miss):
- Finding a work and home life balance is a myth. Hang with me here, when she explained it made so much sense. It’s not that balance can’t be found, it’s simply intentional through healthy boundaries and relationships. For example – If my wife, Karen, and I set a boundary that I am to put my phone away when I walk in the house, then, for her, it builds trust when I honor our agreement. But when I do not, it causes stress in our relationship. It’s not saying my over intent was wrong, only that our boundaries have been broken. In order to effectively help anyone, I must have the support of my best friend, my wife. We must have healthy boundaries for us to maintain a healthy relationship. Because she and the boys replenish my weakened state simply through quality time.
- Look for the boundaries, not the balance. Michele encouraged me to sit down with her and intentionally set boundaries in how we would operate. Karen knows my heart for people, she knows how it affects me when I watch people struggle. At the same time finding healthy boundaries helps us grow. Karen knows that once I start, I have a hard time stopping until its finished, but what about her and the boys. I am to be present as part teacher/disciplinary and part pastor. Having boundaries solves the issue before it becomes one. The secret to setting boundaries is to start with the home first and then work your way out towards the workplace.
- Don’t put it off, it’s far too important. While we wait our children are growing older and our spouse is growing more distant. If we wait to set boundaries we will look back and only have the times we chose other things over our home. And then we wonder why our children can’t manage money or choose a quality spouse. We must set the example.
So I will ask you, what’s your greatest asset? I think if you are honest with yourself, you will look back and see that no asset is greater than your time! My time is the greatest gift I can give anyone. It is the one thing that I can never replenish no matter what I do to try. Now, what will YOU do in order to cherish your greatest asset?
In Your Service