I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do, any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
This is an old saying that I borrowed from a book I am currently reading. It has resonated with me since, especially in light of a recent birthday celebrated. Let’s take a very quick journey to the year 2009.
Inaguration of President Barrack Obama
Pittsburgh Steelers are Super Bowl champs
Michael Jackson’s death
The Chicago Cubs file for bankruptcy (the beginning of a new era for the cubbies!)
Tiger Woods car accident and reveal of his multiple affairs
Octomom gives birth!
Evelyn Viola Hosking is born and my motherhood journey begins
I can’t even believe that I have a 10 year old. Where did the time go? They say long days and short years, but it doesn’t really hit home until you are folding clothes and have to decide ‘is this mine or hers?’ I think back over the years. All the thing that we have done and all the ways our life has changed. I finished veterinary school and got a masters. We moved from Kansas and I did an internship. We welcomed 5 children! We renovated a house. We moved. We learned how to grow our own food. We acquired chickens and ducks and a Frank waggers. We opened a farm. Finally, we started living the ultimate family life.
Often, I look back and wish I was different. Do you ever feel like that? I wish I had been more present and more patient. I wish I had enjoyed the moment more often instead of ticking the to-do box. I wish I had sat and played instead of trying to get the last load of laundry folded. I wish I had laughed instead of scolded. Shown grace instead of shame. I wish I had parented more out of love and faith instead of guilt and worry. I wish my ego was less and my heart was more. I do not wish for more time, I would have wasted that just the same. Instead, I wish my revelation had come sooner, my mindset shifted earlier and the foundation of values and priorities for our life had been different from the start.
Today, my faith and my family are the most precious parts of me. By action and not just proclamation. Maybe you are thinking, ‘girl, you crazy!’ but it’s taken me about 10 years to get here. This world values idols that are seductive and desirable. From an early age we are programmed to pursue these pleasures with passion and purpose so that we will find joy and fulfillment in life. For me, the end of the pursuit left me tired, selfish and full of regret. My life spent longing for the destination, I found myself without purpose and confused. Some of that still lives on, if I let it.
So, how and why did we change? First, we prioritized our health. When you care enough about yourself to make simple changes in your lifestyle so that you feel the way you were designed to feel, your whole perspective on life will shift. Things that never seemed possible before become reality. Second, have you ever heard the saying, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with?” Choose your friends wisely. We surrounded ourselves with servant hearted, mission driven, positive people and we started to become the average of them. Third, we started asking ourselves questions we had stopped asking. Are we fulfilled? In faith, relationships, finances, time, etc.? Then we took it a little deeper and asked, what do we want our lives to look like? Today? Next year? Ten years from now? We answered them thoughtfully and honestly. Then we had to decide, what were we willing to do (and not do) to create it?
This did not happen overnight. This has been a 10 year journey in the making. It is not easy. We are human. Culture is persuasive. We fall into old patterning. Fear, pride and insecurity creep in all the time. We are constantly evolving, we are constantly learning and we have to constantly be willing to grow. The key: creating a heartfelt connection to our why. The vision that we cast for our life is guarded by our hearts and everything we do flows from it. #proverbs
If your life looked exactly the same a year from now, would you be ok with that? 10 years from today is closer than 10 years from tomorrow. The time will pass regardless, but what we do with it will change the way we get to experience it. We have all been gifted unique and beautiful talents, don’t let the fear of man keep you from the life you deserve. Our greatest tragedy is regret of a life not lived.
For us, Mother Teresa said it best:
If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.
That is exactly what we are going to do.
With love always,
The Ultimate Family Life