Matt Testimony – Part 9

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(Part 9/11)

“I feel like my wife, Mina, and I, and our two kids, have more stability now than we’ve ever had. There were times where we didn’t have any stability. We were raising our money; we were living donation to donation. Sometimes we could make our bills, sometimes we had to pull from the credit card. It would have felt like ‘Matt you are not providing stability.’ I wasn’t in the sense of American culture, but my wife and I agreed that the risk of what we were doing to provide our kids with this world perspective of traveling around the world was way more worth it than trying to play the American dream. So how was I leading? I was leading by having that conversation with my wife and us choosing to live this life together and how we knew it meant we might not be able to pay our bills. But it was worth it to us to be seemingly unstable in an American perspective, though we were very stable in our family dynamic. We had stability but it was a family dynamic, it wasn’t a financial, or American dream, dynamic. I was willing to humble myself and go ‘I can’t provide in the same way as if I were to just get a typical job. But we agreed we don’t want to do that right now.’ She was like ‘No, we can do that later. Let’s just get wild, book tickets on credit cards, travel the world and we’ll pay for it later.’ And now we are. I’m stable, she has a job in real estate that’s growing and woah look we’re doing it now. Maybe we should have pushed it a little longer!

Leading in a family, I think of the stories I’ve heard from those men and women that are leading in their families. Even after they’ve done everything to make the money, provide all the best things for their kids, at the end of the day their kids said ‘Ya but you didn’t have time for me. We weren’t connected. All you did was that’ and they’re like ‘What do you mean, I tried to provide a stable, flourishing thing.’ And at the end of the day, most of the kids said ‘Ya but I just wanted you.’ So there’s a balance there. How can we make a stable home, relationally, so we’re together? We have a rhythm of eating together and being together. It might be in a little one-bedroom apartment or it might be in a big house, but as long as we keep that everything else can change.

Especially now with Covid, all these parents panicking providing for their children; do your best but also be mindful that provision isn’t just the nice things, provision is the time. The kid didn’t ask you to go work, he’s just asking ‘Hey play ball with me dad or go fishing with me.’ ‘I have to work all the time’ doesn’t do any good for kids in the family.

To be honest, at this stage of my life at 42, I just don’t pray for things that I want any more. My prayer is at this stage of my life is ‘Lord what do You want?’ I’ve learned it’s so much more peaceful to just go ‘Lord what is Your vision in this situation, what is Your will? I just want to be obedient to that because that is going to be the thing it lands on anyway so why am I going to waste my energy wishing for a different way when You have a better way?’ And it might not seem better to me right now, but it’s obviously better for me in the end. At 22 if you would have asked me where I would be at 42, I would have told you a completely different thing. Now at 42, I couldn’t have imagined being here because I can’t imagine being in a better spot than I’ve ever been.”