these words stuck out to me the other day while watching Chef's Table:
" The restaurant to me has never been something that took my husband away from me the restaurant has always been our family "
here the wife of Massimo Bottura who owns one of the highest rated restaurants in the world gives some perspective I admire.
we started the journey of devout coffee with no children. I remember the day we told my brother and sister in law that we were pregnant and we knew it would have been easier to start without kids but they told us that night, kids are always a blessing.
Kelilah has grown up knowing life inside the coffee shop. She had little forts set up during the buildout where she'd go back to watching something on one of our phones after she'd 'help' for a bit. danced the night away as we'd spend late hours being with stevie while he worked on something or other. She only really knows single origin dark chocolate 'coffee' and has eaten more pastries than the average 3 year old should have in their diet i'm sure.
During the build out in Niles I was driving all over the bay looking for cheap tile to put in our bathrooms before our health inspection in a few days so we didn't all go completely broke and could open back up! I remember praying and talking to uriah as we drove. just me and him (thankfully grandma has summers off and had kelilah!) and I wondered then if life would slow down when he came. Uriah was 2 weeks old at our grand opening. The days prior, Stevie spent no more than a few days with us before he was back out in the garage finishing the furniture. Our house was full of people working on projects and I remember a friend called to stop by with a meal for us and I said " i'll be home in about 15 min if you want to see the baby, otherwise someone will be there and you can leave it with them!" I know now why women don't leave the house that early because I had a week old in the carseat right next to strangers and was told many times I must almost be due! Uriah was passed around to all our friends and family the day of the opening of the coffee shop and still to this day has been so easy going. God knew what he what kind of family he'd be part of!
I wish I could say life slowed down. But the following year has been the busiest of our lives. With a full coffee shop this time, meant more customers and more coffee to be roasted. There was a few months of manageable busy-ness but not long. A full time job still for my husband and coffee work by night. I could go into how hard it has been on our kids, how it's affected our marriage, but instead I will tell you how it's strengthened our faith.
through the rough, there is gold.
By God's grace my marriage is probably the best it has been in almost 9 years and my kids love their dad so much. We ache to see him have regular dinners with us. but we've been learning to make this lifestyle work and give God the best we can with what we have been given.
I don't know if there is an 'arriving'. life is a pilgrimage - and the only hope we have is that on the other side we appear before God and we loved him with everything he had us walk through.
You see, the grass always seems better on the other side. Maybe life will lighten up on me, just let me get this or that and it'll be easier, my season will come. I truly believe there is a season for everything. some seasons are REALLY hard and some you feel like your walking on sunshine. But I think what i've been clinging to is in every season - he works things out for our good.
my sister shared that verse with me recently and reminded me that we think good is good! like our own house, our finances together, our family happy and healthy... our job enjoyable! but you know what our GOOD is HIS good for us. sometimes it takes whatever he sees fit for us to walk through to find ourselves at His feet again and again saying we need you, we love you, you are so patient, so kind... and that is GOOD. He is good.
We finally get a week together as family and I'm really excited. Part of me prays things do lighten up on Stevie, (just as I do around every turning point) he's a working maniac right now. But there is a side where I have to be okay if we don't get weekends and our family dinners are sometimes pizza after hours while my kids pretend to roast or sleep on coffee bags. Where, owning this place is part of our lives, part of our family and in all that we've been given, the privilege of meeting faces in our community everyday, hosting people to meet with other people, share laughter, shed tears, first dates, new babies - life. family. If the owners of a world class restaurant can see it like that, then how much more so me.