Grateful

Stephen_David_Leonard_Lisa_Leonard

Today I’m grateful for my wife Lisa and our marriage. I have not always been. I have always loved Lisa. We’ve talked many times about how we think we have a good marriage. Still, I am not generally a very grateful person. I take a lot for granted in my life. The closer and more dear something or someone is to me, the more I tend to assume them.

Many times I’ve met with coaches, advisors, friends to whom I complain about the lacks I feel in my life. I haven’t accomplished the professional position I hoped for. I am not on the career track I want. I haven’t attained to the financial status I desire. I haven’t made a big enough contribution to the world. And on my list goes. The reverberating theme: I haven’t done anything worthwhile with my life. My life doesn’t count for much. I don’t count for much. Many times my counselors have told me how I have much to be proud of and grateful for. A beautiful and amazing wife. I’m raising two incredible boys. I’ve grown our business. And more.

No matter how many times they tell me, I haven’t heard them. I discount every treasure, every accomplishment and every person I value.

This past year has been a year of intense lows and highs. Lisa and I struggled in our marriage as never before. We each struggled personally as never before. Our business went through intense challenges and challenging successes. Our boys hit junior high school and the early teen years (if you’ve experienced this unique stage of parenting, you know what I’m talking about!). 2016 was a hurricane.

As 2017 opens, I find myself at peace. Grateful. For the first time, I see the true treasures I have in Lisa and our boys, David and Matthias. The relationships I assume the most—those are, in fact, the most valuable.

I am thankful for Lisa and who she is. I see her more clearly than I ever have. She is thoughtful, caring, and works hard for our family and our company. She is a savvy, practical person in business and life. Her creativity inspires me and blesses many. She’s grounded. She loves me. I could have lost all of that. I am grateful for her. To have partner in business and life.

Lisa and I accomplished great things in 2016. We hit goals with the business about which we’ve dreamed for a long time. We finally got the kitchen remodeled after 6 years of talking about it. We went places and saw things we never dreamed of seeing. But for all that, our marriage is our number one accomplishment of the year. We helped each another gain ourselves. We gained a better family for David and Matthias. We gained one another.

Today, I am grateful.

President & CEO {Leonard Group, Lisa Leonard Designs, Leonard Lane, Leonard Craft Co}, entrepreneur, pastor, husband, dad. Living at the intersection of faith, family, and public life.

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11 thoughts on “Grateful

  1. Thanks for your transparency. It’s not easy to do that. But it is what we should all strive for. I’m sure your self revelation, you’re sharing of your struggles, will be an encouragement to others who have been thinking they are alone in their struggles. Praise the Lord for the growth you have seen this year and for the genuine gratefulness you have achieved.

  2. Beautifully stated, Steve…gave me food for thought, especially about my expectations of my life, my value, my contributions.
    So appreciate you sharing, because OF COURSE, I would have NEVER expected you to share, let alone FEEL any of that…we always assume other’s lives are so perfect!
    What’s wonderful is your recognition of who you are and what is truly valuable in your life and in the lives of your loved ones.
    Congratulations, on all you have accomplished and it’s clearly a great deal!
    Love to my former pastor…and his family 🙂

    • This was an honest writing. It is some of what most of us go through. Many times the thought comes to me that life is about keeping things in perspective. Basically, don’t sweat the small stuff but realize how insignificant it is compared to some real situations people face in this life. I also believe for us putting God in the center of our family certainly makes a difference. Last but certainly not least I want to say I admire your family for the love you and your wife Lisa have and also the love you show to your two boys. God Bless you all !

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. You and your wife are lovely people ( especially on the inside) It’s hard sometimes to remember to be thankful for all of our blessings. I try to remind myself daily to strive to be thankful and gracious towards everyone. Love should always be shown 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this post, I am going to share this with my son & daughter in law. Life dishes out a lot of varying degrees of good and bad and your honesty is refreshing, I know they will love reading this :):)

  5. What a fabulous post! I am not a parent, but I am a teacher of very special needs high school students and happened chance by this lovely blog. You two are very very special people and parents. Keep doing what your doing. God Bless you. Your children will always have each other and it’s obvious that you are doing many many things right.

  6. One hopes that to survive those ‘ hurricanes’ you come out of it exactly as you stated. Grace doesn’t mean perfection as courage doesn’t come without fear….but as the saying goes even if we fall down at least we move forward. Great post!

  7. Wow your vulnerability is just so moving. Thanking for sharing your honesty and your compassion for yourself. What a great act of self-love. Bless your heart and your marriage, business and happiness! ❤️❤️❤️