Four and some change years into our marriage, we have found ourselves back in start-up mode. Good friends are moving, church and community decisions linger, the business is struggling, grad school looms, and finances are under strain.
The start-up mode is exhausting. Long hours, uncertainty, and too many choices to count are the mark of a new endeavor. We long to build something big and beautiful but are unsure of the steps to get there. As an entrepreneur, this is a familiar space.
There are small questions that run through my head. How do we build a successful business? A business that is thriving financially and loving employees well? How do we ensure my man gets into PT school? How do we save more and spend less?
But truthfully, the heart of all of it is this. How do we build a life?
We know where we want to go. Our desires are for thriving community, a church that resonates, service that builds the kingdom, a marriage that is joy-filled, careers that are stewards of our gifts, intentional choices, and slow days. We long for John 10:10, the promise of abundant life. But the question still remains in the back of my mind, how do we string together our choices and days to create something beautiful? To grow out of start-up mode and into a gear that is made up of a touch of stability and security?
We have found ourselves vision casting then backtracking to make action lists. Though it sounds fancy, the action steps are small tiny drops we hope will grow into an ocean. Occasionally, we throw the dice on a big gamble because we have learned you don't build things with a halfhearted swing. At night, we read Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala and pray for discernment and obedient hearts as we wait to make new choices.
In the morning, we faithfully do the tasks we are called to each day. I let our pup run wild in the yard, he goes to work. I clean the kitchen, he takes an exam. And we, hopefully, build up a little more direction with each step of faith.
Above all, I pay attention. Because if you miss the start you will regret it in the middle, so I gather moments and hoard them in my heart. The start-up is what makes the growth gratifying.
How do we build a life? I'm not sure but I believe it may have something to do with embracing and stewarding the small, and at four and some change years in, it feels like we are just starting.
Lord, build it up.