Today would have been Chad and I’s 18th wedding anniversary. So in his honor, I’m going to share a little bit of his (our) story……..
Chad was an ironworker for most of his adult life. He started doing that sort of work in 2000, the year after we were married. He spent many years working away from home, working in harsh weather conditions, having sporadic work, or working tons of hours. There really was nothing steady about the work and when he did work, most of the time he was away from us. Still, it paid well and had good benefits so we dealt with the ups and downs.
Then a time came when he started doubting what he was doing. As our marriage was maturing, he was less impressed with the behavior that surrounded him on a daily basis. He got tired of hearing about everyone’s one night stands and how those that were married hated their wives. He got tired of the stories about how drunk everyone was the night before and how they planned to do it all over again that night. He got tired of having to be away from us in an atmosphere that did nothing to add value to his life, save a paycheck.
He decided that he wanted a change. I had backed him for several years on stepping out and working for himself, but the opportunities just never seemed to pan out for some reason or another. Doors just kept being shut. We continued to pray for an opportunity for him to be a business owner and to become self-employed.
Then the day came. One of his friends had been dabbling in the wood cutting industry for years as a side job. Through hours and hours of deliberation, prayer, excitement, and fear, we decided that this was the path that God had for us. He finished up his last job with his employer and that was it……we were on our own.
A dream and a prayer.
Chad only ended up doing this job that he absolutely loved for about 9 months before it took his life. However, that time was absolutely priceless. We started this company with his friend’s (business partner) one piece of logging equipment and a saw or two. We had zero money in the bank. No income. One job to get them started. They worked daylight to dark. When needed, I worked alongside them to help out. I also managed the checkbook, insurances, phone messages, etc. Pretty much whatever we needed to fumble through for the business side of things.
There were many, many ways God had to show up in this business venture. Many days that the tank of diesel we had in the skidder was the last fuel we had and no paycheck in sight. Many days of broken or stuck equipment. Many times that the log truck didn’t show up to take the logs to the mill (which was the only way we got any money). But every single time, the Lord came through.
One time, a landowner’s guys showed up with cans of diesel for the guys to use and repay whenever —-he didn’t know that we didn’t have any fuel. More times than I can count, my mom showed up with groceries for us, just because—not knowing that we were struggling to get to our next payday. We had family give us cards with money just to say that they were rooting us on and telling us to take our kids somewhere fun. Over and over God provided what we needed, and sometimes just what we wanted.
Just as the business was starting to get off the ground; just as paychecks were becoming a possibility, just as we were experiencing a little wiggle room in the budget, just as word of mouth was getting us several calls a week for jobs to bid……………………..
This dream of my husband’s took his life.
You might look at this and say, “What a waste. He should’ve stayed where he was. He should’ve stayed safe“.
But you would be so wrong.
He was doing what he LOVED. He was available to us when we needed him. He was around like-minded, God-loving people all day. He was showing this world that he could do anything that he put his mind to. He was working incredibly hard every day and feeling like he was on top of the world.
He never doubted, even for a minute, that he should’ve been somewhere else. God told him to jump and he did. No questions asked, no fancy laid plans……just 100% faith.
I had finally gotten to a place in my own life, right before this adventure, that I was trusting God completely for everything. When things were hard, my first thought was to pray. I would immediately feel calm. When we needed something, I would pray about it and have total confidence that God would provide……and He did…..every time.
This blog has pretty much been my journal for years. I let you in on what is going good in my life, what is going bad, what I’m learning, and what I’m studying.
I have, however, been very hesitant in sharing too much as of late. As I look back over my posts, I realize that I seem to have a breakthrough, then share it, then in a month or two, I’m whining about this injustice yet again.
It’s like a constant cycle of I’m going to do this, oops, I didn’t do it…….I am FULLY committed this time, serious, swear, I’m gonna do it this time………..over and over and over…………
Honestly, I’m tired of it. I have started on some pretty high goals for this year, but I’m scared to share them. They are the same goals that I’ve made every year, and yet, the next year, I’m right back to the same place.
I also voice these goals to my family and lately, they have been calling me out. At first, I was irritated with it. “How dare you tell me that I’m not keeping my word. Who are you to call me out? I have this, this, and this—that’s why I haven’t done it yet”…….blah, blah, blah.
Can you say excuses?????
The more I think about the mindset that Chad had when he started working for himself, the more I am driven. I am inspired. He never ever let failing be an option. He never ever let it come out of his mouth that it may not work. He constantly said, “Honey, this WILL work. I will NOT let it fail. Our family needs this, I WILL make it happen”.
I want that. I want that drive. I want that determination.
I have heard that the word “try” is just an impending failure. If you are going to “try” to do something, you are giving yourself an excuse to fail. Don’t TRY, just DO.
I have failed to do everything that I’ve TRIED to do!!!!! I always tell others that I’m trying to lose weight, I’m trying to work from home, I’m trying to be a good wife or mom. And yet, I’m not doing any concrete, consistent things to make this happen!
You cannot build a dream on a wish, you must build on action. Daily, consistent, intentional action.
It changes now.
I have committed to do something every day to move my business along; not learn something then not apply it, DO something.
I have committed to work out at least 5 days a week; not try and see if I can fit it in, MOVE 5 days a week.
I have committed to read something from God’s word and pray at least 10-20 min DAILY; not if I have time, MAKE time.
This time it’s just different. I feel different. I’ve surrounded myself with those that see value in where I’m going in this life. I associate with people that understand that taking care of yourself isn’t because you are vain and want to look good in a bathing suit. I’m following leaders that love God and mimicking what they do.
DOUBT KILLS MORE DREAMS THAN FAILURE EVER WILL
I’m done with the doubt. I’m done with the second guessing. I’m done with worrying if anyone else will like it or approve of what I’m doing or not doing. I’m done with feeling like I’m not worth it. I’m done feeling like I can’t do something or giving myself the out of “trying”.
Chad was a perfect example of trusting God and His plan for his life. He knew where he was going and he never faltered. When the storms came, he just adjusted his sails; he didn’t totally change course. He never felt that he was failing because he didn’t get to a certain point by a certain time, he just kept plugging along. One foot in front of the other. One log at a time.
So, in memory of him, I will push on and upward. No more stopping. Finally excited for the future because this time, you will see change………….
What stops you from living the life of your dreams? Are you stuck in doubt, fear, or trying? What will it take to move you forward?
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