Recently during one of those unusually warm evenings this past winter, I was sitting outside with my wife tracing the separation of stars in the sky. Okay, actually I was looking up in the air trying to think of something inspirational to say!?!?! As I recall some significant events of the past few years, I couldn’t help but to reflect upon, and appreciate the family and friends in my life that have supported me in my times of “great ideas”.
My wife, Sandie has disguised herself for many of these years as my “dream-endorser”. Even today, when a new “great idea” is presented to her, she still smiles as if to say, “Please realize I believe this “great idea” to be crazy, however since it is less crazy than some of your other “great ideas”, go ahead, I’mmmm with you”.
These “great ideas” began with moving to Northern Michigan in 1984 to be part of a “new” business. When asked about moving, Sandie said “sure, we’re young; we have a one year old son, no real assets, no real responsibilities, of course, let’s go”. I was so excited; I think now I actually missed the sarcasm in her voice. We moved to Michigan, only to return about two years later. It wasn’t a total loss though; we added new friends and our daughter, Emily to our family.
While there have been many other “great ideas”, I can only remember Sandie getting particularly upset regarding one of them. This occurred when I “informed” Sandie that this particular “great idea” was the best of all. Let me offer some advice. Do not “inform” a supportive spouse. “Educate” them, but do not “inform” them when it comes to a “great idea”, no matter how great it is!! Years ago we made the commitment that we would never go to bed angry with one another. This noted exchange resulted in nearly an entire night “challenge” of this commitment. It was about 3:00am when she said, “Would you just admit you are wrong so we can go to bed?” Oh, was that all you wanted; I thought you wanted me to throw out my “great idea”. “Sorry Babe”, let’s go to sleep.
One of the “greatest ideas” I have ever been a part of was being a founder of Agape for Youth, Inc., in March of 1989. Family, friends, and even strangers at the time, were all so very encouraging. I can still remember my father asking me “are you scared”? I replied “yes, actually I am”. He said “good, fear will either motivate you, or stagnate you…you make the call”. I can honestly tell you there have been a number of times over the years this “call” has been put to the test. I remain now, and forever thankful to continue to have this opportunity to serve youth and families, with the greatest of co-workers, foster families, adoptive families, and reunification families I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside.
In closing, I owe so many for their prayers and encouragement, a debt I can only repay through continuing to “serve with excellence”. Thank you all for being a part of Agape, and our 24 years of serving youth and families throughout Southwest Ohio.