In response to a survey taken of business people in China asking them if they had to give up either their family or their business, 60% picked their business over their family.

Yes, you’re shocked.  So was I.  But upon further reflection, I’ve wondered if we were totally truthful, and our answer was kept confidential, would our responses be that much different?

Our businesses and our careers are important to us.  Judging by the energy I’ve expended on business, I could possibly be called out on this.

Eleven years ago, LeAnna and I drove our oldest son to the Cleveland Hopkins Airport.  He was heading off to Flagstaff, Arizona to enroll as a freshman at the Northern Arizona University.

It was an early morning drive.  On the way we passed a number of police cars on an entrance ramp to I-77.  A motorcyclist had lost control on the banked curve.  From all appearances, he or she, prepared or not, had just met their Maker.  The visual memory of that event is indelible.  Was this an inauspicious start to Paul’s launching out on his own?

Why are we, who chose to place our lives in the hands of the Living God the first to sometimes worry and doubt?

Little did we know that in moving to Flagstaff, God was bringing into our lives one of the most precious gifts we’ve received – a daughter-in-law whose love for our son is only exceeded by her love for the Jesus.

Charly Anna

Just hours ago I returned from taking not only Paul, but also Sommer, and our three grandchildren back to that same airport.  We drove past that same intersection.  My mind reflected back to that dark day 11 years previous.

Paul’s entire family headed back to Prescott, Arizona, just a few miles from Flagstaff, where they will be spending a two week vacation with Sommer’s family.

This picture of Sommer I took at our family Christmas Eve gathering tells you more than I ever can about the woman that Sommer has become.


She home-schools our three grandchildren.  They live in one of the two old farmhouses a couple hundred yards from us.

Sommer has taught all of us the art of being gracious.  She is accepting to a fault of other’s shortcomings.  She is seldom critical, is blessed with a buoyant and contagious optimism, which affects all with whom she comes in contact with.

I recognize that Christmas is the season when we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child – but this morning my heart swells in gratitude as I celebrate the life of our daughter-in-law that God also gifted us with!

So, of course, I would say that my family comes before my business.  I only hope that my actions substantiate that.

Olivia - she's just like her Mom!


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