As you get older, have you found that you also get more sentimental? Do you have a growing desire to slow the clock, live more simply, and serve/pour into others? Is it the growth of your kids or grandkids that sparks this? Is it social media that seems to be taking people from others-focused to self-focused, and somehow you just want back the days of old where people seemed kinder and life seemed simpler and more meaningful? Is it the quickly changing technology that has made the world faster-paced and jam-packed? With all of the changes, how do you live a purposeful life as it speeds on by?
On July 1, 2011, my husband and I opened Babcock Auto Care. As we have just hit our 10-year anniversary, I have been ruminating on the journey of the last decade. A decade doesn’t seem like a long time as we live our daily lives. But looking back in pictures and pondering memories, it suddenly feels like a very long time.
While recently creating a video of where we started and where we are now, I have been in awe in the growth and changes that have come about—in both our personal and professional lives. What’s more, the overall growth in those we love—our children and our employees have been jaw-dropping as well. In thinking about all of this, I have been a sappy sentimental mess.
What all has happened in the last decade of your life? Do you ever think about what the next decade will bring? Are you bracing for change and preparing yourself for what is to come? Or do you live in the moment and daily work to be your best self in order to live your best life and serve others well?
Truthfully, I have struggled over the last year as life seemed to be speeding up and I have tried to wrap my mind around the changes to come. Not only are we preparing for an empty nest, but we have also endured loss and other changes. Two years ago, my dad passed away at the age of 65. Last year, one of our sons moved to Wyoming. This month, my mom is retiring from Mayo and moving to warmer weather near my sisters in Nevada. And next month, our son is going back to college (after being home for a year and a half due to distance learning for Covid) and our youngest child and only daughter will be a senior in high school.
With all of this change, I’ve mourned what has already taken place and I even began mourning the changes I envision will come. There has been anxiety, heartache, and tears. And then I remember what the Lord says in Matthew 6:25-34 when He speaks of not being anxious about the future but living in the moment of today. This truth has helped me tremendously and I have sought out ways to help me do this well.
What do you do to help you cope with changes? Do you ever get stuck and look for new ways to do things?
There are so many books and resources outside of the Bible that equip us with new tools in order to embrace the past as well as upcoming changes so that we can live our best lives. One new resource for me is Craig Groeschel.
I first “met” Craig accidentally as I was seeking out ways to grow our business management team. His leadership podcast came up in my search for a different leader and I quickly became intrigued with his teachings. Soon our Babcock management team began learning to become better from his experience and knowledge. Through this, I learned that Craig is a pastor of Life Church—a megachurch with several locations across the southern US. And when I learned this, I also began listening to his sermons as well.
Recently, Craig’s new book, “Winning the War in Your Mind”, was released. While soaking in his words, one of the most powerful parts that spoke to me is when Craig shared how he renews his mind daily. He has a list of statements he recites out loud every single day that speak to how he will live—not how he wants to live with statements like “I will”, but how he does live with statements like “I am”.
I did then what I do in any “ah-ha” moments—I stole the idea to try it out in my own life. Friends, what I have found over the last few weeks is that doing this changes the trajectory of our thoughts, minds, and vision for the future. It ingrains true statements in our minds of who we want to be and moves them into our hearts so that we carry them out in our daily lives.
If you remember one of my first articles of 2021, I spoke of how my word for the New Year is “Cherish”. I was determined to have my whole year revolve around this word. And then I finished the book and put it partly out of my mind as life happened, unforeseen things came up, busyness crept in, and my mind got distracted—forgetting how I wanted to create a completely cherishing heart and habit. I felt this happen and had so much guilt that I was not carrying it out fully. And then, I read Craig’s book and quickly developed my statements.
Three of my new sixteen daily statements are:
#1) I respect my husband and I am his helpmate. I serve and cherish him daily.
#2) I cherish my children, pray for them daily, and do things to share and show Christ to them.
#3) I love people and believe the best about others (I stole this right from Craig!). My words will be life-giving and uplifting—May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing to You, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
It is amazing how reciting these (and the other thirteen) statements every day helps me to meditate on them so they sink in deep and allow them to surface in perfect timing in instances I might otherwise not live out the goodness of the person I want to be.
As I think about the future and the changes to come, I realize now more than ever, that I cannot control what tomorrow will bring. And embracing this truth and living for today has somehow become freeing as I have let go and done new things.
In what areas of your life do you need to let go of? Who has made an impact on your life, given you tools, and allowed you a new perspective in order to live a better life? Do you apply this to your personal and professional life?
When it comes to my professional life, there are times I can also get overwhelmed when considering the future. Just thinking about the massive growth in the auto industry and how vehicles have changed in a mere decade, along with what is forecasted to come has the ability to make me anxious with the unknown.
Connectivity seems to be a newer word related to cars and the technology industry in general. We are always connected with our small devices and before long, our vehicles will increase the ways they are connected—from navigation services, safety, and informational features, driving assistance apps, and an array of other connections. With the promise of smart cars and the incredible speed at which technology is evolving, it seems big changes will come maybe even sooner than we think.
With the growing demand for environmentally sustainable vehicles, the shift in thinking and development of electric cars has already covered big ground. As leading companies continue to improve this technology and others begin to follow, there’s no telling how quickly the automotive industry will evolve from gas-powered vehicles to electric.
The media has more than just touched on autonomous vehicles, it is bringing to light how many automotive companies and tech giants are joining forces to make self-driving cars a reality. Can you imagine what it might be like as the kinks are worked out in these vehicles and the industry moves closer to completely driverless vehicles that will perform all the driving functions without needing any help from you? Couple this with the newer ideas of Uber and Lyft and it will almost blow your mind in the possibilities to come.
Vehicle maintenance and monitoring
Just as we no longer have to remember a phone number in order to get in touch with a loved one like in the days of old, vehicles have progressed quickly in taking away your need to remember when to have certain maintenance performed thanks to computer monitoring and alerts to you. How quickly will these technologies progress and how will that change your responsibility of seeking service to keep your vehicle healthy and safe?
With the majority of consumers seeking information and advice from the internet as well as purchasing products and services online, it only makes sense to predict that the way many people purchase their vehicles will change dramatically in the future with online shopping. In fact, with businesses like Carvana and direct-to-consumer sales from companies like Tesla, it has already become a reality to a degree.
Just thinking about all of this change likely to come can create internal anxiety—especially when you work in this industry and we don’t yet know what we don’t yet know. To try to predict what will happen is silly. But it is wise to be aware and continue to embrace change as it comes in little pieces and even in big chunks. It is also wise to be able to learn from others and seek tools that help you grow and do new things as changes come.
The truth is, we cannot control what will happen in the future. It is also true that we should not live in the past and continue to dwell in what was.
We can be sappy, sentimental, and grateful for what used to be. We can stay abreast to changes to come yet still live for today. We can enjoy the benefits of technology while living simple, meaningful lives. We can find new tools, learn new ways, and strive to be our best selves while serving others.
And what will happen when we live our lives like this and look back on the previous decade? We won’t have regrets, even when we aren’t perfect. We won’t wish we could have a do-over because we did it the best we could. And maybe, we will even find that we made a difference in this life.
Ten years ago, my husband and I had a dream of opening an auto shop like no other in order to take the best care of our customers and give back to our community with the slogan of “building relationships one vehicle at a time”. What we didn’t know then but we do know now, it that God would work in us and through us in order to accomplish this in ways we could never have foreseen.
God took our vision and transformed it into a greater purpose and mission. He showed us how to create a culture of caring and that is when “We Care for People and Fix Cars” was born. We have learned that when we are completely other’s focused—pouring into our people with goodness, going above and beyond in all we do, and creating a caring culture, it becomes contagious. Every single person at our shop then strives to do more for each other and our customers and the miraculous thing is, they end up giving back to us by how much they care about the people we care about.
These last 10 years have been an amazing ride. We’ve had ups, we’ve had downs, we’ve done things wrong, we’ve done things right, we’ve crashed and burned, we’ve crossed the finish line. We’ve learned from our mistakes, we’ve learned from other people, and we have allowed God to show us the way.
Our mission has become, “We Care for People”. God has just used the vehicle of “Fixing Cars” to bring about our mission. It is because of this that we have lived a purposeful life as the last decade has sped on by.