Be Present.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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There is a tricky balance between fully investing in your work and fully investing in your family. If you're like me, both need your full attention and both need your full investment. But the truth is- you really can't pour yourself fully into both. Either your family will receive all of you and your work will receive a little less, or your work will receive all of you and your family will receive a little less. So...which is it?

“I need you to be present,” my wife said to me a few nights ago at the end of a very hectic and stressful day.

I stood in our kitchen speechless. She was right. I did need to be present. I did need to dial in to home. I had spent the entire day…no, check that- the entire week, fully invested in my work and focused on everything I had to get done at the office that very little of me was left over for home. It consumed me like a wildfire. And, it was all important. But even though I physically stood in my house, in that moment, my mind was elsewhere. Truth was, I really hadn’t even spent much time physically being present in my house. My work days were nearing 10, 11 and even 12-hours in length.

I wasn’t very present. But I needed to be. My family needed me around.

What I’m becoming keenly aware of, everyday of my adult life, is that I need to constantly find balance between work and home and stay committed to it. I need to cross over the line of disengagement from work once I pull into my garage and walk into my house. I need to stop checking email, Facebook, or Twitter once I see my wife’s face and gather my kids up into my arms. I need to turn my cell phone and computer off at the end of a work day.

But along with being fully present and invested at home, I also need to be fully present and invested at work. After all, I am a pastor in a large church. We are in the people business! If you’re anything like me, you are wondering: how?  How can you be fully invested at home, with your family, but also fully invested at your workplace? Seems like an impossible feat if you ask me.

As I said at the beginning of this post- this is tricky. And it comes down to strategically choosing which one, work or home, gets cheated. That’s right, cheated. In his book, Choosing To Cheat: Who Wins When Family And Work Collide? author Andy Stanley says,

Everyone is busy. All of us have more to do than we will ever get done. We all have to cheat along the way. When you cheat strategically, you leverage your busyness for the sake of what’s most important. Cheating strategically allows us to communicate the message our families long to feel–you are important to me. You are more important to me than anybody or anything else in the world.

Everybody cheats when it comes to work and family. It is a principle that is already at work within us. We either cheat our workplace by investing more time in our family, or we cheat our family by investing more time in our workplace. We have to decide which one gets cheated and which one receives the greater investment.

So, which is it? Haunting question, right?

Here’s what I’m learning: jobs will come and go. Careers will someday come to an end. Ambitions can change and drift off like a leaf in a fall storm. Family, however, will not. I say that even as I serve as a pastor. I love the church. I love what I do. I feel called to what I do. But it makes up a small portion of the most important part of my life. My family should always occupy the largest. They are the most important people in the world to me and I need to live that out every single day.

I need to be present. So do you. Our greatest investment should be our families. For their sake, but also for ours!

Where is your greatest investment? Work or home? Why?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.