Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Look, we've been in CFA basically for our entire working lives - we're ringing in 12 this year (actually 16 for me in Sept 😳).  And every year, we go to be with our CFA family for a few days in February.  This year, it was in Anaheim, CA.


They treat us so well and always plan a great time, but to be honest, I was not really looking forward to this round.  We've been stretched thin in the past year, and the idea of being pushed even further - even with good stuff - was sort of overwhelming.  HOWEVER, it turned out to be more refreshing than we ever could have imagined, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

Part of the refreshment came in the form of physical rest.  We got to our room Sunday afternoon and didn't leave again.  We got 11 hours of sleep, which definitely made things seem more right in the world.


The theme of this year's NEXT was "Win the Heart," and the whole first day was about winning our own hearts and taking care of ourselves.  The pressures that come with a growing business are real, and CFA is taking massive leaps and bounds as a company.  It's exciting to be a part of, but there are also pains that come and intensity.  When you couple that with a growing family in our case, we have felt a little rough around the edges.

It was great to be reminded that we are not alone in this - there are literally hundreds of other people that do this job and have very similar stresses.  And, it was wonderful to hear words from the stage straight from the Bible - "Guard Your Heart for it is the wellspring of life."  We KNOW that we should be putting on our own oxygen masks first, but sometimes, we seem to be unable to even find the mask in the first place.

Here are a few quick takeaways that I made note of:
     - Pressure + Purpose = Progress, and we want to make progress!
     - Some of the things we struggle with the most have antidotes that we can apply
          - Burnout -> Restoration
          - Perfectionism -> Humility
          - Isolation -> Connection
     - Trying harder is not the answer, because it only shows up in outward performance, instead we must TRAIN and focus on our internal development.

We've been laboring under A LOT of pressure in the last six months, and some days, burnout seems to loom on the horizon.  It has not been a sustainable pace.  But it was so encouraging to hear that there are antidotes.  Again, none of this is rocket science or brand new information.  We might have just been in a brand new place to hear it, and sometimes, that's the needed shift.  Some light bulbs came on for us about how we approach our life.

We've known for years that we need to get more "rest."  I put that in what feel like air quotes, because it has felt so elusive.  We've had some uphill battles on the rest front that include raising young children, some of whom require more engagement than average.  But even with that taken into account, we've acted as if we're not in control of things that we actually do control.  Like what time we go to bed.  When we slept for 11 uninterrupted hours on our first night, it was like we were brand new people, truly.  It was the wake-up call we needed to be hit over the head with the fact that we need regular sleep.  Like 8 hours every night kind of sleep.  It literally changes everything.

So, we're incorporating this new discipline into our lives.  It is NOT EASY and requires more structure than we typically use, but we cannot do the same things we've always done and expect anything to get better.  No one is going to get rest for us.  And everything seems a little less intense when you've slept well.

I'm not sure why it has taken us a full 37 years to learn this, and I'm sure we'll have to relearn it at some point, but for now, I am enjoying the fruits of not being physically exhausted.  There are plenty of things that we do not have control over, so it feels good to start to take back what we can.  We realize there are other valuable changes that we need to make, but we are trying to add in only one major thing at a time, so as not to overwhelm ourselves.

I'm so thankful to be part of a company that values us the way CFA does, and we truly came away refreshed and encouraged by this year's experience.

I do have to note that we had a super bizarre room that included a conference table set up at one end and a bed on the other end.  It also had this bathroom with one sink.  When your company is booking up an entire hotel, then some people end up with strange rooms, and this year, that was us! 😂


We spent time with friends - including this couple that just started with CFA this year.  John and I went to college with him, and it was great to catch up!  Plus, we spent time with old CFA friends which always makes my heart happy.  I did not get nearly enough pictures or time with people.


We could literally see Disneyland from the convention center, so you better believe we spent some time there as well - that will come in a separate post.  All in all, it was a true gift to spend time in Anaheim with our wonderful Chick-fil-A family.

Here are CFA Seminars of the past!
{2018} {2017}  {2016}  {2015} {2014}  {2013}  {2012}  {2011}