Today, I am back at work. It’s weird as I’ve been on vacation since July 3. I come back to work today excited to be back at it. I’m excited to be with my team again and excited to be doing great things as part of Gateway Church. However, my return is bittersweet as well.

I had an amazing vacation. Three weeks of traveling and one week of stay-cation with the family. That’s a lot of time with my family. I took Titus out for a little father-son fun last night and while eating pizza, I told him that I had to go back to work the next day. He immediately looked down at the floor as tears began to well up. I’ll admit, I got a tad emotional as well. We had so many great times together this past month.

So, what did I learn? What great nuggets will I take away from my epic vacation?

I don’t know that I have a lot to give you but this one thing. This wasn’t a revelation by any means, not a surprise. However, it was a healthy reminder powerfully illustrated in such a way that I shouldn’t ever forget this truth. I love my job. Immensely. I love my church! I feel so fortunate to work at Gateway for so many reasons. I love helping other churches and pastors. It’s incredibly connected to my heart and passion.

However…. I love my family more.

I know, it sounds so cliche to say something like this. Everyone would tell you that family comes first… and I’d tell you that I’ve never loved my calling more than my family. However, on more occasions than I’d like to admit, my family has taken the backseat to church and ministry when it shouldn’t have. I’ve made bad decisions with my time and hopefully this month with my family will serve as a powerful reminder for me in the year to come.

I love my family so freaking much. Yes, I had a moment or two when I just needed to get out for a bit and have some alone time, but that was really only one or two times for the 3% of me that is introverted. The rest of the time, I SO enjoyed hanging with my crew. Just the other day, Titus and I played Mario Party 8 for 3 hours and that may be hard to beat this next week.

I had a conversation with Sara last night about how I don’t understand retirement. It seems broken and backwards. I have a hard time imagining myself retired as I’m sure I’ll always be occupied with something. However, if I could retire, I’d take the next 16 years to be home with my kids full-time and then I’d go back to work once they’re grown.

So, it’s back to work for me. Really, I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be an amazing fall and I’m thrilled about the things that will happen this school year. However, I’m already looking forward to next weekend when I’m home all day with the kids!