The hard work of home.
I love coming home. As someone who travels for 80% of my work the return home is a retreat - for sure. I know that when I am walking through the Nashville airport I am only an hour and a half from being with my kids and wife. Even just the thought energizes me at the end of a work trip. I pull into my driveway, park my truck and step out into my yard. It never fails that I pause in that moment and thank God for what I have been given and what this work I do help provides. I pause because although I am thrilled to be back home where I recharge - I also know what awaits me on the other side of the door. What is there? More work. Work I enjoy, but it is still hard work.
Checking back into my life at home used to be very challenging and, depending on how long the trip is, it still can be. Home is hard work. I have closer relationships with my "coworkers" at home and a couple of them even rely on me for their existence. I have a "coworker" who covers for me when I am away and she deserves a break when I make it back. Sometimes I feel like I work two jobs: work-work and then home-work. Both have people to please, deadlines, goals and dreams. I don't want to fail at either of them, but I am so tired from both. Why am I choosing to do things that are hard and tire me out? I would be lying if I said I have never thought: "life might have been easier if I was a bachelor with no kids living in a studio apartment." Honestly - it would be easier; so much easier.
If you are married with kids you know I am right - it would be easier. In comparison though, easier sucks. Let's talk about easy things:
It is easy to eat at McDonalds
It is easy to watch TV all day
It is easy to work a job you are too good for
It is easy to skip church on Sunday
It is easy to have superficial relationships
Now, let's talk about hard things:
It is hard to work a job that challenges you
It is hard to acquire wealth
It is hard to maintain a lifelong committed relationship
It is hard to give up sleep to build a relationship with your child
It is hard to be involved in your child's education
It is hard to instill good values in the lives of your kids
It is hard to save for the future
Hard is awesome.
I tell my son all the time that he can do BIG things, he should be brave in life, if he wants to be happy he needs to be good and his hard work results in reward. These things are not easy at all - but they are awesome.
Let home be hard work. It is hard to have honest conversations about dreams, desires and feelings - but marriages are stronger when you do. It is hard to make time to build your relationship with your son - but there is more joy in life if you do. It is hard to give up watching football to instead watch your daughter's dance recital - but you won't regret it when you do.
It isn't natural for us to choose hard over easy, it is a habit that takes time to form. It is a habit worth building though.