It's Saturday night and I'm waiting to pick up my older two kids after their participation in the play at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. I was able to rake, dump leaves, mow the lawn, get a nap in all while wearing a T-shirt on this crazy warm November day and as I kick back at my computer I'm thinking about worship tomorrow morning. Last weekend I was able to present encouragement to men at the Men of His Word conference in Rochester, WI around the idea of a Great Marriage and I wanted to share an encouragement that I took away in getting ready for the talk.
Honestly, it's been a month of being stretched over the past 4 weeks as we've been helping my wife recover from surgery. She is doing well, but we've both been surprised at just how much work has to be done in recovery. It's just a much slower go than we were thinking and it's actually pretty crazy just how busy things are in this house. As I prepared for the talk last weekend I had 5 encouragements that I wanted to give to the guys when it comes to serving our wives, but one that has been helpful to me in other relationships in my life. John Maxwell is a leadership speaker and he shares that one of the key values of a leader is to "Add Value" to people. If you endeavor to lead, or if you are thrust into a leadership position in your company, your sports team, your college classroom or in your family, one of the best ways to simplify your purpose is to "Add Value".
This month I've done more driving than I care to admit, but I'll share three things that I learned and hope they might encourage you.
1. As the Dad and as the Pastor of my "Family Church", one of my focus points over the past 6 weeks has been to decrease the anxiety in my house for my family. For me, that has meant getting up a bit earlier to get kids to school earlier. It has meant biting my tounge and not correcting right away, but allowing for more listening and lastly, not allowing my frustration at things like finances or schedules to get to me so much and certainly not be so visibly frustrated. That has been a big help in lowering the anxiety for my kids and therefore a lowering of anxiety in my house (and for me!!)
2. At Innovative Weather, I had to let go of the leadership a bit and let my senior staff lead. I just couldn't do it all and it was so good to see how far many of them have grown. Giving young people an opportunity to step up and help in major ways is something that we need to be willing to do more frequently. The time off forced me to let go and in doing so I found out what my leadership impact has been, both what I do well and it exposed areas of communication that I need to do better with.
3. A smile means "We're OK". I believe one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me is my wife's smile. It's not that it's just beautiful, but it means something important to me. Her smile means "We are OK". Ladies, did you know that for a lot of men and this includes brothers, friends and husbands, even customers - your smile for some reason let's a guy know that he's OK. As Melissa gets a bit better, I see that smile more often and it does something to my heart and my attitude that fills me up in ways I can't get anywhere else.
There was a lot more, but that's all I've got for this Mic Check! Be sure to check out the Blogs online for some additional notes coming up later this month! In the meantime, how do you Add Value to your family?