So, You’d Like to Be More Flexible?

In the fall of 2012 our days changed forever. We officially became business owners on September 25 when Biggby Holland opened its doors to the public for the first time. God has used this business (now three coffee shops, not just one) to profoundly bless our family.  These businesses have given Mark a place to work and walk in his giftings.

These businesses have also been the tool God has used to grow this careful, scheduled, planning, reliable, quality-time driven momma to become much more flexible.

In the first months of our business being open I saw Mark only when I drove out to the store–he would be home for 5-6 hours and spent those hours sleeping beside me.  A month after opening, I was unsure if he’d be at Charlotte’s first birthday party, until he pulled into the driveway. During those months of being primarily a single parent, friends & family would regularly make comments like, “I don’t know how you’re doing this with such a good attitude,” or “I wish I was more flexible like you.”

Though the first months are far behind us, if you own a business, you understand the requirement for flexibility does not diminish.

One store is out of hot cups–Mark takes off to grab more and deliver them.

Our toaster is broken at the first store and the grinder won’t work at the second–no Mark for dinner.

Managers quit, staff is sick–Mark is working 70 hours making drinks + the hours to actually run the business.

I share just a few examples with you, not to complain, but to paint a picture for you.  If you’re anything like me, you don’t like plans changing at the last minute–especially when they involve your husband missing dinner with the family, or putting the kids to bed by yourself and explaining to them why daddy is gone tonight, or finishing the last half of a birthday party without him.

When these situations first started, I would get angry, and I’d let Mark feel my anger with my short or exasperated tone of voice.  In my heart, I was having a mini temper tantrum because things weren’t going my way. But, God loves us too much to leave us as we are.  He kept allowing the situations, and kept allowing me the opportunity to (a) throw a fit or (b) access His help by the power of the Holy Spirit and choose to respond with a sweet and gracious spirit.

Thankfully, most times, I now choose option (b).

I still get regular comments as I did in those first months, “I wish I was more flexible like you are.”  Well, if you’d like to go with the flow better, like I (usually) do now–I have good news for you!  Flexibility has nothing to do with personality and everything to do with faith.

Either I believe God is sovereign or I do not.  If I do believe He is sovereign, then I accept that the espresso grinder, broken toilets, and sick staff are not out of His control. So, when my plans change unexpectedly, and my response is to grumble, I am grumbling against the One who orders my steps and plans my days.

So, when I respond sweetly to these demands for “flexibility,” I am really just flexing my faith muscles–faith that God is who He says He is and that He loves me and is deeply invested in my good–not necessarily my temporary comfort but my eternal character.

So, mommas, whether you’re an easy-going middle child momma or a first-born planner, you can flex those muscles and be as flexible as you choose to be.

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