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!