I like to build things. Now, in my household it’s clear to everyone that I’m no handyman. When it comes to home improvement projects, cleaning out the drain for our HVAC system, or when the garbage disposal goes kaput, we all know to call my father-in-law, Phil.
My gifts lie elsewhere.
I build different things.
I build businesses, ministries, and confidence in others. I build my body, I build books, I build customer bases, Group memberships, and Page likes. I don’t know why God wired me this way but I dream of new concepts to build my company, Alarm Security, and new ideas to encourage others and to point them to Jesus. I also have a passion to build basketball skills in those who want to improve their game.
These are the things I build.
In regard to evangelism, my drive to build up a ministry has been evident since middle school. Even before memes were memes, if we go back to the 1990’s, there was a spot on my kitchen wall which had numerous pushpin holes from me tacking up scriptures. We were too poor for a printer, or a computer, so when I read my Bible I would fold a piece of paper in half, write a verse, and then pin it to the wall a few times a week. Our house had the foot-traffic of Grand Central Station so I knew someone would read it.
Looking back, Grandma didn’t have the heart to say, “Matthew, you’re making too many holes in the wall”; she could see my gumption for evangelism was strong.
I had a memistry even before social media was a reality.
I was building.
I’ve owned Alarm Security for nearly 20 years. It’s extremely successful and a household name in my area. I have a storefront, employees, and a fleet of vehicles which drive the Parkland securing homes and business. Thousands of people trust us to protect their possessions, families, pets, patrons and inventories. I don’t dabble in false humility so I’m proud to say my business is booming and always has been.
Due to steady growth, if you drove through our region you’d think Alarm Security “just happened” or is some sort of big franchise. Why? My yard-signs pepper countless flowerbeds. My decals can be seen on entry doors to maw-and-paws everywhere.
What most don’t understand, or ever saw, was the heart-wrenching amount of door-knocking, rejection, and tears it took to get to this point. They have no clue how many times I viewed the sun coming up as I drove into the sticks to say incalculable times, “Good morning, my name is Matt. I’m with Alarm Security. How are you?”
Most don’t know about the evenings I came home after dark to warm up my dinner and say to Jennifer, “Today was hard. I’m tired,” and then lay my head on her lap.
But I was building. I build.
I’m also well-aware of this fact: I could have never built this without my wife.
Yes, I realize the initiative behind all my building has been spurred on through Christ. He’s been there the entire time, working in me and through me, with me. But–what I didn’t get for so long was that He blessed me with the greatest teammate I could ever ask for. My marvelous, amazing, outstanding wife, Jennifer.
Just thinking about this spectacular person has always caused me to exhale. Whereas I have to be purposeful about not building at times–I have to plan on relaxing and sitting still–I can always glance over at my bride and think, “Gosh, I love how calm, cool, and collected she is.”
She’s so pleasant. She’s never in a rush unless she’s late and God knew that’s who would help me the most in my life.
Today is August 23, 2020, my 16-year wedding anniversary! It’s an odd year, in regard to a milestone, but it’s still extremely special to me. I get to celebrate another anniversary with this person who’s absolutely stunning, both inside and out. This beauty has helped me build a home, a business, a family, and a life.
Jennifer is the best possible match God could’ve ever pointed to for me. Besides Jesus, she knows me deeper than anyone on this planet. Besides Jesus, she comforts me deeper than anyone on this planet. She encourages me, builds me up, calls me out, and she doesn’t pander to my accomplishments. She loves me for me, and she always has. Even if we were still clipping coupons so we can eat at the local Long Johns Silver’s once a week, she’d still love me. She washes my dirty underwear and kisses me softly before I go to sleep–thankfully not at the same time.
She’s steady. She’s my girl. She’s my ride-or-die teammate for eternity whom I want to honor with every fiber of my spirit, soul, and body.
I’m so grateful for 16 years of marriage with her.
Jennifer, thank you for being the opposite of me in so many ways. Like the missing piece of a beautiful puzzle, you make my life make sense and feel accomplished. Thank you for helping me build what we have. Thank you for being the most sweet, caring, and supportive teammate I could ever ask for.
Let’s keep building, baby.