Burn the Boats

I am starting to love our story. For a long time, I wished it was someone else's story. The things I love about it are what we have learned through hardship. God has become real and alive to us.  I think my takeaways are: perseverance, hard work, commitment, risk management, and above all else, spontaneity.
That would sum up our story, I think.

Young, stupid, and reckless? Maybe. We have heard that at almost every risk we have taken. I remember the first time I heard that at 18 when I met Tim on the 3rd day of college....."It's dumb to date someone right when you start college, you just got here. What are you going to do? Date him for 4 years?"
"Why yes. Yes I will." And I did. And I married him.
I could list out the other ridiculous decisions we have made, but this post would be too long.

Here is a post back from when we hit rock bottom here, here, and oh... here again.

I am so proud of Tim for following his dreams, not giving up, and working hard despite failure. We have been blessed to have mentors in our life since college. Tim has been mentored for the past 3 years by a man we met when we were at another rock bottom point after losing it all, after we started over. We had just barely gotten back on our feet, Tim finished HVAC school, we renovated a house we bought for $40,000 that was 800 square feet, and we were getting traction. His first job in the industry was making $10 an hour and working insane amounts, he was the lowest man on the totem pole. He did this for 2 years.  And 3 years ago, he was told there was no more work there. At this low point, this man who stepped in our life and started mentoring Tim got him and interview and Tim landed a commercial HVAC job. It was a turning point for us again.

This man not only helped Tim into the commercial industry, but pushed him into pursuing after his long term goal. 3 years ago, it seemed silly. Tim wanted to have his own HVAC company. It was a silly thought from what we had just walked through. And too "big picture" for me at the moment. I just wanted a minute of stability before we chased the next dream. He didn't want to just work for himself, but start an actual company and fleet of trucks.
And we got that stability and owned it for 3 years. About a year ago, Tim started lining things up to have his own company. We saved. He studied. He read 1,000 books. He signed himself up to take the State Licensing Exam. In order to have your own company, there is a state exam you have to take.
Tim took that test back in the fall and passed. Our dream became a little more real.

Following that, we spent the remainder of 2014 doing research, making a plan, and doing about 1,000 logistical paperwork duties. Summit was the name we kept landing on. We had to register it, buy the website, get licensed, insured, branded, and file papers with the city. We became a train in full force. Tim told his current employer and they were gracious to let him stay and keep working. That was a blessing because we did not want to start until we were ready.

After all the work had been done to launch the company, I think the reality started hitting. Being without a job cuts to our core. We know what it is like to be in a bad spot. It is incredibly hard to willingly and intentionally go back to risking that when you reach a place of stability. We started coming up with Plan B. Safety nets. How could we make ourselves safe? How could we quickly have a "back up" if things didn't work out. These became our conversations.

Tim told his mentor about it and talked through some plans if his business did not make it. And, his mentor told him a little story you might all know:

(Excerpt from www.burningboats.com)

'It was the year 1519 and Hernán Cortés, with some 600 Spaniards, 16 or so horses and 11 boats, had landed on a vast inland plateau called, Mexico.
The Span­ish con­quis­ta­dor and his men were about to embark on a con­quest of an empire that hoarded some of the world’s great­est trea­sure.  Gold, sil­ver and pre­cious Aztec jew­els were just some of what this trea­sure had to offer any­one who suc­ceeded in their quest to obtain it.
But, with only 600 men — none of whom had encum­bered them­selves with pro­tec­tive armour – con­quer­ing an empire so exten­sive in its ter­ri­to­ries could only be under­taken by a man with a death wish.
This dar­ing under­tak­ing was made even more insur­mount­able by the fact that for more than 600 years, con­querors with far more resources at their dis­posal who attempted to col­o­nize the Yucatan Penin­sula, never suc­ceeded.  Hernán Cortés was well-aware of this fact.  And it was for this rea­son, that he took a dif­fer­ent approach when he landed on the land of the Mayans.
Instead of charg­ing through cities and forc­ing his men into imme­di­ate bat­tle, Hernán Cortés stayed on the beach and awoke the souls of his men with melo­di­ous cadences – in the form of embla­zoned speeches.
His speeches were inge­niously designed to urge on the spirit of adven­ture and invoke the thirst of life­times of for­tune amongst his troops.  His ora­tions bore fruit, for what was sup­pos­edly a mil­i­tary exploit, now bore the appear­ance of extrav­a­gant romance in the imag­i­na­tions of Cortés’ troops.
But, iron­i­cally, it would only just be 3 words which Cortés’ mur­mured, that would change the his­tory of the New World.  As they marched inland to face their ene­mies, Cortés ordered,Burn the boats.”
It was a deci­sion that should have back­fired.  For if Cortés and his men were on the brink of defeat, there wasn’t an exit strat­egy in place to save their lives.  Remark­ably though, the com­mand to burn the boats had an oppo­site effect on his men because now, they were left with only 2 choices — die, or ensure vic­tory.  And fight they did.
We know today, how Cortés’ deci­sion to burn his boats panned out.  Hernán Cortés became the first man in 600 years to suc­cess­fully con­quer Mexico.'

So, out the window went our Plan B. We adopted the "Burn the Boats" mentality and went ALL IN. No back up plans. All our energy focused on success and not on an exit strategy. I love it.

We hope you will pray as we embark on this new journey. That we would find favor and have wisdom with what we are doing. Our dream is for a company, not a one man show.  It will start with us and we will grow and hire. We could not be any more in awe of God and how He REDEEMS all the time for us. Where there is risk, there is loss, but where there is loss, there is redemption.

If you are not seeing God's hand in your life, it could possibly be you are living too safe. That you have it all under control. The areas where we have seen God the most are the areas that we have completely lost our minds and taken a huge risks. God loves it when people need Him. Let Him be the Father that He is.

I am thankful for all the support we have already had. I am grateful for this opportunity, and praise God that the American Dream is still alive and well.

 Way to go Tim, and Happy Birthday Summit Heating and Air!!! Lets do this!!
Does anyone else love that Summit is Timmus backwards? I now call Tim, Timmus. Don't look back!

Logo/Branding by Greg Sykes.


A Birthday Wish:: 33 Years Old

Its rare that I remember my dreams. I know I have them. But, unless I recall or tell someone immediately, it is as if it never happened. Isn't that weird how we forget some so fast? Its like there is a block and you cannot recall it. Mine last night was as real and clear as if it were real life. Never had such a vivid dream before.

9 years ago this month we were announcing to our family we were going to be parents! David was on his way... Motherhood has been such an incredible journey. However, adoption takes Motherhood to an entire different ball game. It has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done being a mother to a child who did not have a mother for 7 years. So hard, that sometimes I am in complete shock of what I actually have done and committed to. Why in the world did I think I could absolutely do this? What "qualifies" me to handle it, know what to do, and just expect everything will turn out okay? I have never doubted Zach was 100% the child for our family, but I constantly question my ability and strength to raise him.

I see a lot of ugliness in myself sometimes parenting a child that is hard. Some days I wonder if I will burn out. I question what I was thinking taking a child with special needs that I knew nothing about. Not knowing what true disability he even actually has. I need a reset button on myself some days. I can carry a heavy load that is not mine to carry. This mama can feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders to get it right, know what to do, and fix it.

The truth I am brought to time and time again is that the Lord is the only one who can completely heal this boy. I am a steward of him and my other children. I can do everything I can as a mother, but the Lord is the one who sets the lonely in families, heals, restores, gives wisdom, and never-ending hope.

And I have to remind myself this all the time. Since our One Year Into Adoption, I have felt similar to what Jen Hatmaker says about the beginning of the Second Year. We have made it through so much, yet there is still a laundry list of things I am trying to "ramp myself up for" to tackle next. It gets overwhelming. I hit a mental wall and exhaustion. I question all of the ways in which we push him to his max.

What if he grows up and hates us? What if we don't even make it to that because he did burn us and the entire house down? (Its kind of a sick joke we say here because in all of our trainings, the example always used was 'the kid who burned his house down').

God met me in a really neat place last night. Not being able to shake my heavy heart about next steps for him and more action to come, I fell asleep.

I had a vivid dream. It was so real. And here is what happened:
Tim and I were in our 40's and visiting Zach at college. We had just finished a meal with him and were getting ready to tell him bye. He was very tall, still very blonde, his beautiful blue eyes, slim, muscular and athletic. He was wearing a dark blue short sleeve polo shirt. Being the same type of mom I am now, I fix a few pieces of hair and the cuff of his sleeve. In a typical college like attitude, Zach said, "I gotta go now mom, I gotta go! Love you." He ran to catch up with friends. He was as normal as any kid I had ever seen. Confident. Happy. Care free. A child no one would ever thought had been abandoned, abused, and left in an orphanage, and deemed special needs. And living life to its max like it all never even happened. A new story written for him. The most beautiful sight. 
I woke up thinking we had time warped exactly 10 years. As soon as I realized we had not... I burst into tears. My dream assured me one thing: We indeed did not get burned down in our house.
Im kidding. That did cross my mind, but in my heart I felt the complete peace of God and Him say, "I got this. He is going to be okay."
I can't tell you how real and how completely changed I feel. God tries to get a message to you over and over and over and then finally with me, I think He came in my dreams. He really does have this and I really in my heart believe Zach is going to be okay. And not just okay...
Made New. Made Whole.
And although that exact dream may not relive itself in 10 years (how awesome and weird if it does though, right?) the message that God wanted me to know is that He has me, my marriage, this child, all my children, our future plans..... all of it. All of it in His hands.
And, its going to be okay. Thank you Lord for the best birthday gift I think I have gotten.
Praying this encourages all parents to all stages of where your children are today.

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