In the aftermath of Team T-Rex (yes, our 3 1/2 year old daughter wanted to be a T-Rex dinosaur for Halloween so we all ended up in dinosaur costumes) and the sugar coma, we shift into November and a month full of significance. The obvious is Thanksgiving, featuring an extended weekend full of turkey and arguably some of the best leftovers, followed by the ever popular Black Friday and Cyber Monday. November is packed full of awareness initiatives for a number of worthy causes. Did you know National Peanut Butter Lovers Month is in November? It looks like we‚Äôll be appreciating the Reese‚Äôs Peanut Butter Pumpkins all month long. On a serious note, from Alzheimer‚Äôs Disease, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, long-term health care, National Stress Awareness (November 1), World Diabetes (November 14) to ‚ÄúMovember‚Äù an initiative designed to create positive change for men‚Äôs health, there is a lot to take in this month. One cause that can often get overlooked is National Adoption Awareness Month. With a goal to increase national awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system, it can seem daunting to know where to begin. You can start by marking your calendar with a couple of dates - Sunday, November 12 is Orphan Sunday and Saturday, November 18 is National Adoption Day.¬† If the word adoption brings an immediate reservation or hesitation don't worry, you‚Äôre in good company. In November 2013 my wife and I were blessed to be a part of a group of people who stood beside us, prayed with us and believed we would soon be adding a new addition to our family. Little did we know at the time, our new addition would come through the adoption process. This post could easily be the first in a series of dozens (if not hundreds) about the incredible journey we have experienced by saying ‚Äúyes‚Äù to adoption. Our little T-Rex is one of the most incredible blessings I‚Äôve experienced and a beautiful reminder to me as a father what unconditional love is. As much as I love my daughter, it pales in comparison to the love my heavenly Father has for me. When you put that in perspective it changes everything. The fact that we were each chosen before the creation of the world and predestined for adoption by God is mind-blowing. Despite our flaws and imperfections, God loved us enough to give his son so that we could become his sons and daughters. The opportunity we have to extend the hand of adoption to a child in need of a forever family should cause us to pause - not react based on our emotions, but respond in a way to make a difference. The statistics are staggering and right now more than 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted. Every story is different. If you wait to figure out where your perfect fit is you will continue to wait. My prayer this month is you will open your eyes, ears and heart to see, hear and feel how you can become part of a child‚Äôs story.
One thing entrepreneurship has quickly taught us is that before you can hire people to do ‚Äúall the things‚Äù you personally have to do ‚Äúall the things‚Äù, including the stuff that you hate and the stuff you‚Äôre no good at. The reason? Because there is no one else to do it. Personally, I‚Äôve framed the store, hung shiplap, kept the books, input stock orders, and broken down MILLIONS (maybe an exaggeration) of boxes. I haven‚Äôt really done any of those things well, but they had to be done. Lance, Lauren, and Tiffany have also done things wildly out of their comfort zone and expertise, to ensure they got done. While sometimes menial tasks can get in the way of our vision for where we want to go, they still have to get done. The quote below from Jennie Allen describes this better than I can‚Ä¶
A lot of my job is outside of my gifting and outside of my happy place. I‚Äôm a creative who created and now I have to do a lot of uncreative work to keep everything healthy and growing. I can hire and delegate and hand off and I have and I do and I will. HOWEVER as a generation, we are desperate to find jobs we adore and are perfectly in our sweet spots. But it‚Äôs not a realistic view of work. So whether it‚Äôs mothering, medicine, CEO, sales, teaching, ministry, writing or so on... it is important to remember toil in work was a part of the curse and it is difficult and you do the things you don‚Äôt like because it‚Äôs RIGHT and OBEDIENT and HOLY. And on the days work is fun- smile and celebrate and on the days work isn‚Äôt fun- don‚Äôt rethink your whole life. Do the work. And through it we are becoming more humble and holy.Find Jennie's Instagram post here.
Seasons come and go. It seems cliche but it‚Äôs what we start to expect as we get older. Another humid fall in Florida and one of the most active hurricane seasons in history have many ready for this season to be over. Hurricane Ophelia became the 10th tropical cyclone in a row to reach hurricane status (since Franklin). That is something that hasn't happened since 1893 when Grover Cleveland was in The White House, 124 years ago. For the past few weeks I‚Äôve been a part of a men‚Äôs leadership group meeting on Monday mornings at 6:00am. The emphasis is making the most of the influence we have each been given while maintaining a perspective that our time is limited. Time is a precious commodity and we are each equally allotted the same 24 hours in a day, never knowing when we‚Äôll encounter our last 24. This week Pastor Darryl presented the four levels of friendship because who you are with today is who you will become tomorrow. True friends, not those who simply share a common interest (Level 1), prioritize our needs (Level 2), or even guard our secrets (Level 3), the Level 4 friend is loyal and will suffer with you through the joys AND pains in life. It‚Äôs not a convenient friendship, it‚Äôs committed, and it takes time to develop. I appreciated the reminder early Monday after spending the past weekend with Wes, Tiffany and Lauren in High Point, NC. We attended the largest furnishings trade show in the world where we had access to the latest trends, new releases, workshops, keynote speakers, and more. With everything at our fingertips my greatest takeaway was the time we were able to spend together, a Jones-Hinton weekend. And while it wasn‚Äôt relaxing in the sense of a ‚Äúgetaway weekend‚Äù, I appreciated the meaningful time and conversations we had. Not the conversation about products and trends but the conversations about our faith, marriages, and the intentionality (or lack of) we were applying. If you have spent any time around the four of us, you know how dynamic and contrasting each of our personalities can be. If you were sitting near our table Thursday night you may have even questioned our love for each other. But that is the beautiful thing about genuine friendship - you open up and communicate at a level that isn‚Äôt ‚Äúnormal‚Äù. Level 4 friendships challenge you to be better, to be accountable, and stretches you to another level. According to Jim Rohn, ‚Äúwe are the average of the five people we spend the most time with‚Äù, which means we have to invest the right relationships. Walking out Monday morning we were reminded to audit our friendships and make time for a friend. If we don‚Äôt feel like we have the time, we need to make an excuse to make time for a friend. So who is the one friend you need to make time for this week? One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24
_x000D_ _x000D_ Whenever someone asks me how I‚Äôm doing, I have a bad habit of responding something along the lines of ‚Äústaying busy‚Äù, or ‚Äútrying to keep my head above water‚Äù, or ‚Äúdrinking from a fire hydrant‚Äù. Always something about how much I have on my plate, as if there is something in my soul that screams "BE BUSY!!!" There is something in my nature that makes me feel like if I‚Äôm not busy, then I‚Äôm doing it wrong. It‚Äôs almost become the default line of conversation, like talking about the weather. ¬†I have no idea why I fall all over myself to prove how busy I am, like it‚Äôs a badge of honor._x000D_ _x000D_ The question is this: why do we glorify time of busyness and minimize times of rest?_x000D_ _x000D_ The more I reflect on this, the more I realize that my busyness is self-inflicted. Despite my endless task lists, I‚Äôm never done. It‚Äôs a hamster wheel. The more things I knock off the list, the more things are added. I‚Äôm enslaved to not just doing it all, but trying to do it all perfectly. The thing I‚Äôm slowly realizing though, is that by adding more to my plate, I‚Äôve sacrificed the ability to do two or three things with excellence in exchange for doing 10 things ‚ÄòOK‚Äô._x000D_ _x000D_ But why are we (am I) on this quest to begin with? All of our (my) busyness does nothing to impress God. So who are we (I) trying to impress? Has to be each other, right? Colossians 3:23 (NLT) gives us a great reminder to ‚ÄúWork willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people‚Äù._x000D_ _x000D_ It‚Äôs funny how we have selective memory about certain verses. I always remember the ‚ÄúWork willingly at whatever you do‚Ä¶‚Äù part of this verse. It‚Äôs my biblical reminder to work hard, but I can forsake the second part. It‚Äôs easy to get caught up in the hard work part and ignore who we are doing it for._x000D_ _x000D_ I love the concept of a rhythm in life. I crave routine, both daily and seasonally. I believe God gives seasons of busyness and seasons of rest. The ebbs and flows gives me great joy because I know in times of rest that God is about to grow me through something and in seasons of busyness that there is a break coming. It‚Äôs a beautiful design, but it took me a long time to realize that I can find rest in the midst of busyness. It‚Äôs not always one or the other. It can be both. I know launching a new store and brand isn‚Äôt a season of rest, but I also believe that we can carve out minutes per day, or an hour or two per week just to rest in who He created us to be._x000D_ _x000D_ And yes, if this sounds more like a self-pep talk, it‚Äôs because it is. I need to constantly remind myself of God‚Äôs design for us. It‚Äôs so easy to get lost in task lists and be overwhelmed about all of the stuff that hasn‚Äôt even made it to the task list yet. Remember Paul‚Äôs word in 2nd Corinthians 12:9 ‚ÄúEach time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."_x000D_ _x000D_ Take a few minutes a day. Not hours pouring over your journal, but a few minutes while we‚Äôre driving to the office, waiting on the kids, before you go bed, to reflect on all God has given you. You will realize that it doesn‚Äôt take a clear schedule, or ‚Äúinbox zero‚Äù, or a vacation to find rest in Him._x000D_ _x000D_
Famous from Shakespeare‚Äôs Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Capulet (whose family is adamantly opposed to the Montague‚Äôs) asks Romeo Montague, ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.‚Äù Maybe the flower would smell the same (even with another name), but would it elicit the same emotion? So what‚Äôs in a name? Significance. Identity. Legacy. In a name we claim ownership of who we are and what we stand for. We defend the honor of a name in ways that transcend generations and time. The Rockefeller‚Äôs, Kennedy‚Äôs and Carnegie‚Äôs - the list goes on and on. In the world of sports we claim our favorite teams, and cheer obnoxiously with ownership when we have nothing to do with the outcome. In the fashion world we desire to obtain certain brands because of the association with the name (or label) is important. We have reset the table and are inviting you to pull up a seat and enjoy the next chapter with us. Lord & Lady is now Cape House. We will continue to provide everything that makes a house a home - and while the name may have changed, our passion has never been greater. We can‚Äôt ignore the fact this has humbled us AND reminded us how blessed we are to be in this position. Lesson learned, check. More time, effort and financial investment than we anticipated, check. Greater potential, check. This has become part of the story we will share for years to come. A new name becomes part of our identity and part of the legacy we create. And history has proven some of the most significant legacies that ever developed didn‚Äôt occur because the individuals involved planned for it. Bringing our faith into perspective is important because we built this business on the foundation that God has blessed us to be a blessing. We have been positioned to pursue people and relationships for something so much greater than a ‚Äúhome and hospitality‚Äù store, a commitment that will supersede a name change. Abram didn‚Äôt plan to become the ‚Äúfather of nations‚Äù at the age of 99. But God had a plan and Abram was willing. He became Abraham and his wife Sarai became Sarah, and had a child when she was 90.¬† A great and powerful nation was born through them and all nations on earth were blessed through Abraham. Jacob took the backseat to his older brother, and through manipulation stole his brother‚Äôs birthright, deceitfully received another blessing that wasn‚Äôt intended for him and then wrestled with God. In the end he was given the name Israel because he struggled with God and humans and overcame. Saul, who persecuted the early church, was literally (cue Manfred Mann) Blinded by the Light and then became the Apostle Paul, arguably one of the greatest individual historical influences. What‚Äôs in a name is significant, and we are even more excited about what the future has in store for Cape House. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and encouraged us through this chapter. We look forward to writing the next one with you. A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.¬†Proverbs 22:1