Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Well, adopting 2 kids puts a lot of family stuff back on the front burner. Which is where most of it should be anyway. What I really mean is that the family machine can be a little rusty in some areas if you have some fudge room. However 2 more lives in our home pushes the limits of space/time and forces me to deal with some things I could otherwise ignore in my own self, my own marriage, and my family. There’s just no room to hide our inadequacies in the closet or shove them under the carpet. It all must be dealt with in order to bring about health.

So far, it’s forced me back into some family life reading:

  • I’ve re-read two great reads on keeping family first: Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley and What Matters Most by Doug Fields. Both basically challenge me to say no to all the right things so I can say yes to all the best things. Both are great, quick, and insightful reads.
  • I’ve also just finished reading Patrick Lencioni’s newest book: The Three Big Questions for a frantic family. I bought it the day it hit the news stands the felt need was so high in my life. Shannon is now reading it and then I’m hoping we’ll put it into full practice. (More on that in a future post I’m sure) It’s a leadership parable that reads easy and applies some business planning tools to the most important organization on earth: the family. And if you ask me, it’s a MUST READ for all families in the United States that I’m aware of. I believe it will really help our family have a basis and clear directive for how and why we make the choices we do. I found myself saying, “dude, that’s us” about 50 times as I read this little book.

This transition has also brought to the surface 3 critical things I need to come to grips with in my life:

  • ALONE TIME: I need alone time to be healthy. I often don’t get enough of this- just time for me to read, pray, think, sleep, dream, etc. I need to schedule and block out regular time to keep myself healthy. When I let the demands of family and ministry push this away, I jeopardize my ability to be a healthy part of the process and instead become part of the problem. I get cranky, dissatisfied, and start living by the demands of the day instead of my priorities. I’m learning to say no to stuff to keep this time sacred. In fact, this past week I said no to a wedding, 4 ministry tasks that I needed to get done but I had no time to do (God brought others instead!), and a post-season soccer coaching request. But I still have a ways to go.
  • MARRIAGE TIME: My marriage requires and deserves time. Maybe you are super-married people and this is a duh for you, but sometimes, due to the demands of parenting, money, and ministry- our marriage can get our leftover time. There are clothes to wash and mouths to feed and lawns to mow and bills to pay- and it all takes time- and sometimes in comes out of “our” time. I’ve uniquely felt the sting of this in the past month as the pressure and demands of the adoption process increase- it’s forcing us/me to evaluate what gets my time and what does not. My marriage must get some of my best time, not extra time. This is not bonus if it happens, it is a failure when it does not.
  • THE DOMINOE EFFECT: Yeah, I suck at dominoes. There, I said it. I suck at acknowledging how one decision affects another in 2 major areas: my time and my money. I’m learning to get better at this, but it’s hard to always say no to a “last minute phone call” that inadvertantly means I now have to rush to get home for dinner, when the later was way more important than the former anyway. It’s hard to take note of how swinging by and grabbing a cup of coffee affects the bottom line of a gallon of gas or even how much gas I have to play with since I drove to get java. It all dominoes into other stuff and adding two more kids into the mix is forcing me to deal with this issue in my life: I need to daily monitor the downstream affects of my small decisions on the big picture of sanity and priority.


  1. Good Stuff, thanks for sharing your story and the resources.

  2. amazing..i needed to read this. i find myself reading your blog more and more these days. i have learned so much from you over the years, how many now?? who knows, but apparantly i have much more to learn from you. thanks B, i can’t begin to tell you the impact you have had on my life. all the years you thought i wasn’t paying attention, i totally was. i think i thought i needed to act like i wasn’t interested in order to “fit in”?? whatever, glad the “dumb” years are over =)
    so glad God put you in my life.
    love you lots =)

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