One of the most enjoyable parts of my leadership journey over the last 5 years has been watching my wife, Michelle, blossom like a rose.  She has never settled for mediocre and continues to break through to new levels in our marriage, her parenting, her faith and leading our wonderful team.  Enjoy this post and a glimpse into the life of Michelle.

God Bless, Matt

Our family loves to read, including our kids.  So when I asked our 8 year old if she had read today, I was surprised to hear her ask me, “Mom, does reading the Monopoly cards count as reading?”  Her desire to cheat her reading reminded me of my life a few years ago when there were areas of life being neglected, not nourished, as I skimmed through life.

I was a mom of 3 young children also working 60 hrs a week as a part-time pediatrician.  I was an example for many women of the ideal “working mom”, displaying the appearance of balance between career and family.  Yet, behind the scenes, I hurried from one activity to the next, busying myself as the master of multi-tasking.  I was time-starved, struggling to do it all.  I was scattered in too many directions, wearing too many hats.  I found myself skimming with my time, my relationships, my work performance and my faith.  I was striving to give everything I had in every role yet exhausting myself because it was never enough.

For me, skimming was resetting my alarm to get a few extra minutes of sleep on work days.  It was offering lame stall tactics to my kids like “In just a minute!” when I couldn’t give them the attention they needed in that moment.  It was delinquent medical records needing to be signed, or back rubs promised to my husband being delivered with an I.O.U.  Life in skimming mode was texting friends instead of calling them because I didn’t have time to genuinely connect.  Being on overload was neglecting my Bible reading and prayer time.  All of this skimming with my time and relationships left me feeling frustrated, exhausted, stressed and guilty.

Yes, I was skimming in every area of my life, teetering with no margin built in.  There was nothing left in reserve for unanticipated situations or “divine appointments” in my day.  Have you ever felt the same?

I felt like I was putting a band-aid on one area of life to control the bleeding temporarily while I was being pulled to the next area of hemorrhage, yet never feeling like I gave the previous person or event my complete attention.  I remember the feeling of driving to work rushed and late with just enough time to do morning rounds at the hospital, praying for no new admissions or babies born during the night because I hadn’t allowed enough time before heading to the clinic for a full day.  Then, I’d call home quickly to say good morning to the kids who were asleep when I left each morning.  I wasn’t giving patients or my family the full attention they deserved.

There was an alternative way to live!

I wanted to live a purposeful life with fulfilling relationships and the availability in my heart and calendar to do God’s will.  As I started to learn from the TEAM training system and mentors like Lisa Hawkins, I recognized how dysfunctional my skimming was.

I started a process of reading, praying, and studying the role models of people in our TEAM community.  I re-evaluated my priorities, started building a community that created lives of significance, and applied proven financial principles we learned through TEAM.  I finally started to break the cycle of bondage and despair that plagued me over the years and all of this allowed me to retire from my medical practice over 2 years ago.

Today, we continue to build communities of people who are striving to live intentionally for excellence.  I believe I am obeying God’s call to pursue excellence in all areas of life and to live my priorities of becoming a Godly wife and mother, supporting and serving my family and TEAM community, and homeschooling our 3 kids.  What a blessing!

I hope my choices encourage others to stop living hectic, superficial lives and to start making a difference where the difference matters – in our faith, family and other relationships.

As I write this, my daughter reads “Peter Pan” at my side.  Today there is no skimming.  Freedom truly is sweet!


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14 Responses to Skimming

  1. Angie Johnson says:

    what a great post Michelle you did an amazing job. i use to dislike reading when in school because they told you what to read and i was never into those books. i wanted to read informational books even as a small child now i love reading books and its hard to find me without a great book.

  2. Kelli Sager says:

    Wow ! This is a great article Michelle ! Thank you so much for being transparent enough so that people can see that even the people , we think , ” have it all ” , have struggles & are in need of help in some , if not all the areas of LIFE . We love watching you from afar and can’t wait to read future articles !

  3. george guzzardo says:

    Matt, Excellent article!!! George

  4. Kevin Hamm says:

    Thanks Michelle,

    Your choices have been an encouragement that busy people can get this done. Keep up the great work.

    Kevin Hamm

  5. Jammie says:

    Michelle, Thank you for sharing with humility, transparency and class (as you always do). I believe this post will effect so many who share your inner feelings and the pressures of the world, but aspire to create the margins you speak of and now have the Team vehicle to provide that option to be successfully explored as you have shared here. Thanks again for being a wonderful example for me and so many others!


  6. jackiefrey says:

    What an encouraging article Michelle. Nicely written.
    God Bless you, Matt & your family.
    Jackie Frey

  7. Michelle, I couldn’t agree more. Re-evaluating your priorities and making time for your highest priorities will allow you to have time for the truly important things in life. You’ll begin to make a difference rather than simply keeping up with the busyness of life.

  8. Michelle,
    Wow, wow, wow! You are an amazing communicator and have such poise with all you do. I appreciate you sharing your background with us all, as you inspire many with the challenges you have overcome. Blessings to you and your family!


  9. Michelle,
    Wow, wow, wow! You are an amazing communicator and have such poise with all you do. I appreciate you sharing your background with us all, as you inspire many with the challenges you have overcome. Blessings to you and your family!

  10. Larry Wieberdink says:

    Your composure and grace are only exceeded by your honesty and transparency. Thanks for sharing with us rough hewn football guys your perspective from a caring and sensitive mom. As we all grow in our journey to Live Intentionally for Excellence we take heart from your wonderful example. Thanks so much for the post.
    May the Lord continue to bless both you and your family,
    Larry Wieberdink
    Stealth Red Eagles

  11. Gary Severson says:

    Michelle, it’s been such an inspiration watching you and Matt grow together as a couple and live your lives intentionally for excellence. Your example shines through the eyes of your beautiful children and all the people you serve so selflessly. Erika and I feel so blessed to be on this journey with you! God bless ~ Gary Severson

  12. Lori Maas says:

    Thank you for this amazing artical! The part “Life in skimming mode was texting friends instead of calling them because I didn’t have time to genuinely connect.” Wow!! I did that!! I called it “being smart with my time!” But that is not the truth . . . oh oh, back to another Trust lesson!! Thank you for this awhaa moment!! Thank you for another stepping stone to my growth in trusting and feeling safe enough to make the time to build relationships in a healthy way . . . by communicating verbally as often as possible!! Thank you Michelle! Mark and I appreciate you and Matt so much.
    Lori Maas

  13. johngraff01 says:

    As I’m reading all the things you were doing in a given day, I thought ‘what about the 80/20 rule (pareto principle)?’ But then it hit me. As important as though things may be, it was still a matter of obligations over priorities. Time was truly needed to stop the madness eh um, skimming! Penny and I are so proud to be in this leadership battle with the likes of a Matt and Michelle Mielke! Thank you for your profound perspective.
    God bless,
    John and Penny

  14. Jen Anderson says:

    I am always amazed at what you would accomplish on a daily basis before Team and while building your team. I am often overwhelmed with being a stay at home mom with 3 kids, juggling all of their needs as well as all the other commitments as a wife and mother. Your background inspires me to continue to break out of my shell, build my confidence and put more and more effort into Team and the launching of LIFE. Your words are so encouraging. I am so thankful to be on this awesome journey with you!
    Love, Jen

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