Several women have asked me lately, “Is it hard to work every day for your husband with Habitat for Hope?”
I often remark that it’s had both blessings and difficulties; that I am learning all the time. But I rarely have time to expound on our history, which speaks into our ability to operate Habitat for Hope together.
Mark and I have been best friends since we were 15 – we’ve ‘dated’ over half our lives. When we were both 19, we were hired to manage a lovely little coffee shop called Kona’s Coffee Beanery in Wilmington, NC. We would open the shop and bake together at 5am – watching the sunrise – and open the doors at 7am to our faithful customers. We scheduled our college classes around our morning work schedule. Shortly after, the owners allowed us the privilege of opening their second location closer to our college campus. Additionally, they rented a small space to us in the shop for us to start our first ‘small business’ – Innersoul Creations. We sold handmade clothes and jewelry – and tie dyed tshirts. I promise you this is not a joke. I think we still have the LLC receipt somewhere.
Once we were married (at the ripe age of 20) we did closed captioning typing together –we shared the work – and actually made decent money at this! When it came time for my thesis project, a one-act play – Mark jumped in as my technical director. After our first child was born, Mark founded a company called Horrocks Consulting, which was quite successful in logo design and website creation. This was night/weekend work, and when we were overloaded, I jumped in here. Once we began the process of founding HFH, we slowly dissolved Horrocks Consulting by sending jobs out to contract.
I share this because it’s sort of funny, but also because it speaks to a larger thing – Mark and I have been working as a team and playing off of each other’s strengths for 13 years. Some things have obviously come easier to us because of our history together, but we have certainly had our difficulties.
One major hurdle we’ve faced is separating some sort of existence for our family from that of Habitat of Hope. Since both of us live and breathe HFH all day long, and are entrenched in its work, it is very easy to let it encompass our reality. We have made some concerted efforts over the past 12 months to distinguish ourselves from HFH – and the addition of incredibly valuable staff members has been the key component.
Another difficulty in our work pattern has been the inclusion of “others” into our circle of trust. Mark and I have functioned as a team for so long, typically tackling some pretty major projects together – that we can almost “forget” about those around us that desire to take part in the work of HFH. As we have learned to delegate and value the important work of others around us – we have realized that this component gives us the framework we need to rest and separate ourselves for a time – so that we CAN come back into the life of Habitat for Hope and love families well, alongside each staff member that God has drawn to work here.
Growing, stretching and learning alongside you,