As work-from-home parents, the daily grind of managing our business while trying to raise kids can become overwhelming at times. Don’t get me wrong, working for myself and being able to work from home and spend extra time with my family is a huge blessing! But I think one of the dangers of my job is overworking. As work from home parents, we spend so much time striving to serve and pour into every aspect of our lives: our children, our spouse, our job, our friends, our church, our house, and not mention our business. We often forget to make time to focus on ourselves and take some time to evaluate our thoughts, goals and dreams. In the race of life, I’m learning I have to intentionally set aside time to examine my life to see if I’m actually accomplishing what I set out to accomplish.
This past week I had the amazing opportunity to embark on a trip centered around refocusing, reenergizing, reflecting, connecting with and inspiring ME! Since I’m always with my family, it’s always a little hard to voluntarily leave them, even for a few days. God used this time to continue to build and shape me as a father, a husband, a friend and a man so I could return home refreshed and feel better equipped as a leader and servant to them.
I spent this week reveling in the beauty of Northern California in a cabin in Lake Tahoe with 20 other men who own their own businesses and have families of their own. The purpose of this trip was to refine our goals and dreams by sharing in community and building each other up.
The Apex Mandate.
The purpose of Apex Mandate is for men to come together and build each other up and help plumb the deep areas of each other to continue to grow personally, professionally and spiritually! The Apex Mandate is about moving forward in life. It is about recognizing the lies the enemy has thrown at us, and holding each other accountable so we can continue to complete the work we were designed to do on this earth.
In addition to community-driven soul-searching, we also got to go on adventure together. We rode snowmobiles, snowboard, set out on hikes, and learned how to relax. To top it off, we even had a private chef who prepared amazing meals where we got to enjoy fellowship over dinner.
Truth be told, I’m a major introvert. I was scared (to say the least) about staying in a cabin in the mountains for 3 days with 20 other guys (did I mentioned we all shared rooms?)
God used this trip to break down walls in my heart. I am learning that the more I step outside of my comfort zone, the more I grow and get shaped into the man God has designed me to become.
Being able to connect with a group of men who are entrepreneurs with like minded goals, and like hearted faith was one of the greatest things for me. The time spent together hanging out and living life together is one of the the things I have had missing in my life. I understood even more how my guarded attitude traced back to lack of trust and the feeling of inadequacy.
One of the quotes from writer and author Bob Goff that was shared this weekend really stuck in my mind: “I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them.” This hit home with me because I have always looked at friendships so wrong. I have gone into a friendship thinking how can I fix the person to make them someone I think they should be. I’m now seeing that I need to continue to pursue what Bob talks about and just love on people and want to fellowship with them and live life with them!
I am learning that we were not created to do life alone. I tend to be self centered, prideful and closed off to the rest of the world. In the past It has been very hard for me to let anybody else into my life and share in life together because of a lack of trust. The thing I am starting to realize is that the enemy uses this mindset in all of us to close us off from others so he can manipulate us and mess with us. Two years ago I hit a turning point where I decided to open myself up and to mend hurts and work at rebuilding bridges to positive, life-giving relationship. That decision has rocked my world! I have been changed. It may not be as physically apparent, but internally I am free. And this freedom continually comes from me spending time on myself, spending time reflecting on my Savior, Jesus Christ, and sharing in fellowship with like-minded leaders and friends.
If you feel like your life lacks purpose or if you have lost the vision of the purpose in your life, or like you are overworked, uninspired, or stuck, I encourage you to take time for yourself. Plan time to recharge, refocus, and reconnect to your dreams, your creator and your calling in life!
Maybe it isn’t realistic for you to take a trip cross country to stay in a cabin with 20 other people, but start to think and plan your schedule to give yourself more “ME Moments”. Maybe wake up an hour earlier everyday to sit quietly and reflect. Or sign up for that class or retreat you have been wanting to go on! It’s even better if you can join a group of people who also want and need some genuine community while they rededicate themselves to live purposefully.
Whatever you do, don’t accept the status quo and remain where you are…Dream BIG and move forward in your life!