Have you ever had a moment where it felt like you were lifted out of your body and got to see your life from a birds eye view? It changes your perspective doesn’t it? I had that moment two days ago. I was about 8:45 pm on Saturday evening, and we had just gotten home from an exhausting afternoon of sight seeing and shopping with my nieces and our three daughters. While I unpacked the van, everyone was in the house upstairs taking baths and preparing for bed. In the quiet of that still, almost summer evening, I took a walk to the end of my driveway to check the mail and for the first time that day I experienced quietness. It was almost magical!
Walking back up the driveway, I saw my life on display. One side of the garage was open with the minivan sitting right in the center. I took a step back and looked up at the entire house, the house that my wife and I have built together. Then, I began to think about what was going on inside the house. Everything I’ve prayed for, we have. Not a lot of people can say that. I’ve always wanted to be a husband, father, and lead a family. Check. My wife and I also have looked for to the opportunity to be what we call the Joseph’s of our family. That essentially means, we feel responsible for sharing our lives with our extended family, being there for support in whatever capacity makes sense, because at the end of day no one makes it alone. Everybody needs family, and it’s our job to look out for one another. That’s why our nieces are currently staying with us. Check.
So, in that moment while I was definitely exhausted from a week of newly parenting teenagers, (a seemingly impossible task for which I daily feel ill-equipped hence the 3 new books I’m currently reading), I was also grateful. Grateful that we even have the capacity to intervene and offer meaningful guidance in the lives of our family members. Of course I felt a little sheepish for complaining and being so disgruntled for essentially getting what I’ve always wanted, a big home filled with kids (there’s a lesson in there somewhere about being careful what I wish for I guess).
I’m also humbled. More than anything, I realize that parenting, just like any important leadership role, can’t be accomplished on our own. We need support from our village of friends, family, mentors, etc. Most importantly, we can’t carry the daily pressures of getting everything right on our own shoulders. For us, parenting is about planting the right seeds of leadership and decision making ability, establishing appropriate boundaries, and then believing that you’ll see the right results in the future. Faith is what gets us from point A to B, when we don’t know the terrain (and even when we think we do). So, I’m leaning more now than ever on the best Father I know.