Someday when you grow up, I want you to know the things your Daddy has sacrificed for our family. And it started long before you were born.
1. Before we even met, Daddy went into computer science in college because he wanted to create video games. But as he learned about the culture and insane amount of hours that game developers work, he chose a different route in programming. He says he couldn't have been a good husband and father with that career. Before he knew what his family would look like, he was preparing for us. He chose us over a very exciting accomplishment and potential wealth. In fact, I can't even count how many potential side projects have presented themselves that your daddy has turned down in the last 11 years. Charlie and Chance, this week you both told me you want to be game developers someday. I know you're only 5 and 7, and most likely your career choice will change a million times in the next 20 years, but I hope your dad's choice will impact your own.
2. In our first year of marriage, when full time work, ministry, and the band that Daddy was in had a way of consuming all of our time, he chose us. He even quit the band he loved to make sure he had time for me. I didn't ask him to do that. In fact, I was sad he'd chosen to do it. But he was looking at the long term. He chose to invest his time in our marriage. And it sowed seeds that are producing fruit in our home today. By the third year of marriage, he gave up being in ministry. All because he wanted to be the husband I needed.
3. He also gave up video games. Your daddy was quite prone to video game addiction. He was known to play thru the night and be surprised to look outside and see it was morning. He also fell asleep at his keyboard a time or two (or ten). But then he married me and realized that he had a hard time controlling it. So he gave it up. I didn't ask him to. But he chose to do it, because he valued us.
4. In our 5th year of marriage, when his boss said he needed to cancel a family trip to work overtime (after many months of working 60+ hours a week), he chose us. Charlie, you were 4 months old. Our bank account was empty, we'd just paid the hospital bills. The pressure was there. He agonized. I told him it was fine, I could go without him. But he chose us. He didn't cancel our family trip. I didn't ask him to do it...
God blessed Daddy greatly - that boss fired him, God saw us through half a year of unemployment, and Daddy held out until he found a job (at Rackspace) that wouldn't require a lot of overtime. Even if that meant moving 90 miles away to San Antonio. He chose us. I didn't ask him to...
5. In our 8th year of marriage, another company came along and offered Daddy a job to work from home full time. He had much invested in Rackspace and would lose camaraderie with his coworkers, stock options, etc. He struggled. He felt sadness over leaving. But he spent the next 2 years at home, helping as we had Chandler, and enjoying you guys while you were so little. He says that no amount of money could replace that time in our family. He chose us...
6. God has blessed him yet again, working back at Rackspace. Yet he still tries to work from home 2 days a week so he can be around us more. He's still choosing us.
My point here is this: I'm learning how many temptations and opportunities come a man's way...to succeed, to go farther, to make something of yourself. And for every successful man out there, I wonder how many men have held back because they're investing in their families instead. And I pray that at every juncture of your life that God would give you wisdom. And when the time comes to say "No," you'll remember that your dad did that for you. And that you'll chose your family.
Because your Dad chose us.