The Table Podcast

Faith, Work, and Woodworking

In this episode Bill Hendricks interviews Luke and Abby Hatteberg, discussing how faith and work come together through their woodworking business, Wayfaren.

Timecodes
0:41-
Hendricks introduces the Hattebergs
3:27-
The Hattebergs discuss the origins of Wayfaren
9:27-
Why is quality artwork important?
13:03-
How can art and ministry be related?
16:10-
How does mentoring happen outside of a church building?
24:00-
How can ministry happen at work?
30:00-
How does running a business affect one’s marriage?
34:40-
How can we practice theological reflection at work?
36:49-
How can a hand-made product minister to people?
Resources Wayfaren
Transcript
Bill Hendricks
Hi. I’m Bill Hendricks, Executive Director for Christian Leadership at the Hendricks Center. And I’m so glad to welcome you to this edition of The Table Podcast, where we discuss issues of God and culture. And I am so delighted to have a couple of friends of mine that I’m becoming closer to by the day. Luke and Abby Hatteberg, welcome to The Table Podcast.
Abby Hatteberg
Thank you you for having us.
Luke Hatteberg
Thank you. Yeah, thank you for having us.
Bill Hendricks
Yeah, this is a great story that needs to be told, the work that God has given the Hattebergs to do. And Luke, this really starts, this story … obviously it starts at your birth and beyond, but we’re not gonna go all the way back there.
Luke Hatteberg
Not that far back.
Bill Hendricks
So you came through Dallas Seminary as a student.
Luke Hatteberg
Yes, sir.
Bill Hendricks
And you got all the way through the program.
Luke Hatteberg
I did. I survived.
Bill Hendricks
You survived.
Luke Hatteberg
I did.
Bill Hendricks
Which tells those who are seminary students, there’s hope.
Luke Hatteberg
There is. Yes.
Bill Hendricks
But once you graduate, what was your intention, and what happened?
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. So, I think for both Abby and I, we had had kind of a love for youth ministry. So for me, I came into DTS going, “I want to be a youth pastor.” In fact, there was a youth pastor sending youth pastor. I wanted to learn all of it and get into it, and it was awesome. And Jay Sedwick played a big part of that, which was really exciting. And then, as we were finishing, or actually while we were doing seminary, we started Wayfaren kind of on the side, and it just kind of continued to grow and instead of …
Bill Hendricks
So, let me jump in there. So you guys, you’re married during seminary, so you played this important role of a seminary wife and got him through. Were you working your way through?
Abby Hatteberg
I was. We actually started seminary literally seven days after got married.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. Bad idea.
Abby Hatteberg
And so …
Luke Hatteberg
Pray … you need to pray about that one.
Bill Hendricks
Most people don’t do their honeymoon at a seminary.
Luke Hatteberg
Not quite.
Abby Hatteberg
We didn’t even have a honeymoon because of that. We had a delayed honeymoon. So we really were committed and jumped right in. So, yeah, I was teaching at the time. I was teaching. I had just gotten back from teaching in Italy, came back and was teaching at like a very small charter school in downtown Dallas. And he jumped right into seminary, and I jumped right into teaching. We had just gotten off a two year, long distance relationship. So we definitely had a lot on our plates. But yeah, the intent was always youth ministry and then potentially some sort of international work. We both really had a heart for Europe, and so that was kind of in the back of our minds, too. But definitely a focus on youth.
Bill Hendricks
So you get this vision working, but then you said you started a little business on the side. And what was the name of that business again?
Luke Hatteberg
Initially …
Abby Hatteberg
[Laughs] We did rebrand.
Luke Hatteberg
Yes. Initially it was Degna di Nota, which meant noteworthy in Italian, which we thought was clever. But then we …
Bill Hendricks
Clever, but not …
Luke Hatteberg
Not helpful for branding purposes, for marketing, any of that kind of stuff. And so then we changed it to Wayfaren.
Bill Hendricks
Wayfaring. Spell that out for our listeners.
Luke Hatteberg
Yes, sir. W-A-Y-F-A-R-E-N.
Bill Hendricks
Wayfaren.
Luke Hatteberg
Yes, sir.
Abby Hatteberg
Wayfaren.
Bill Hendricks
Now, I happen to know the story of who came up with that, and so forth. Let’s just cut to what does Wayfaren actually stand for or mean.
Abby Hatteberg
Sure. It’s technically not a real word. It came from wayfarer, or wayfaring, the idea of almost traveling without the specific intent in mind. So like the idea of wandering is when the best traveling happens, is what we really …
Bill Hendricks
Wandering with not so much the idea of being lost, but just …
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly. Just the beauty in the wandering.
Bill Hendricks
Let’s just see what comes along.
Luke Hatteberg
For the purpose of enjoyment. Getting lost, in a sense, is part of the beauty of it all.
Bill Hendricks
So where’s this travel, wandering theme come from?
Abby Hatteberg
Great question.
Luke Hatteberg
Well, we, obviously, had done a lot of traveling. I had gone backpacking through Europe. She had spend a year in Italy. And so, and then we had also spent a summer doing youth ministry in Spain with Youth for Christ. And so we had all of these pictures of these beautiful places. And so we kind of had a love for traveling just for how much the Lord had formed us, and what he had done in us through that. And so that’s where a lot of it started. And so then it was just a matter of going, “Okay. What are we gonna do with these pictures?” ‘Cause we just had these computers that were loaded with all of these beautiful places.

And so it was just like, “Okay. How do we share this?” And so we tried selling the pictures, but that just didn’t quite work, didn’t quite fit, ’cause there’s no connection with it. And so it was more going, “Okay. We want to inspire people to go and see these places for themselves, and enjoy them personally.”

So that’s how the love for travel started, and then how it morphed into a little bit more than that. ‘Cause the whole woodworking side was completely an interception. We started with youth ministry, and then the Lord just changed so much of the trajectory.

Bill Hendricks
I’m hearing youth, and then we’ve traveled and we got pictures and then I hear woodworking suddenly introduced, and suddenly there’s this business called Wayfaren. So how does all that come together?
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. So like Luke said, we really both always had a real strong interest in travel. I grew up traveling a lot. My dad worked for American Airlines, so we were you know flying all over, growing up. And you, not as much.
Luke Hatteberg
Not as much. Did some road trips.
Abby Hatteberg
But we really always connected on that. Initially when we first met, that was something that we really connected on and really had a passion for travel and other cultures, and getting outside of the Dallas bubble. And so we initially kind of connected on that, and initially got married, wanted to do something with youth, had in the back of our minds like maybe something with youth abroad. And so we did this internship in Spain with YFC, Youth for Christ, with some amazing people over there, and loved it. And it definitely instilled our passion for that. And we still, at that time, that was two years into marriage, in 2011. We still, at that time, thought the Lord was leading us down that road.
Bill Hendricks
So what was the woodworking part?
Abby Hatteberg
Sure.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. So after writing and reading and writing and reading over and over, I think I just needed a creative outlet. I needed something to do with my hands. I need something to separate from just the content, where I can kind of release and relax. And so anyway …
Bill Hendricks
Did nobody talk to you about people that love to work with their hands typically don’t end up in seminaries?
Luke Hatteberg
Yes, this is true. Well, a lot of people just didn’t understand what was going on, or they’d make some joke about how that’s what Jesus would do, or something. And I was like, “I don’t really …”
Bill Hendricks
Interesting.
Abby Hatteberg
I don’t even think you really discovered your love for working with your hands until you were three fourths through seminary.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. ‘Cause we started it, just on a whim, wanting to raise our kids around just making things. And so we bought a table saw, and then just started. And some friends of ours encouraged us to start making things. And we made this push-pin travel map. And they were like, “You should sell this online.” And we’re like, “That’s crazy. Absolutely not.” And they kept pushing us, and encouraged us to do it, and so we did. And then the Lord just kind of started to grow it from there, and it continued and continued. And then …
Bill Hendricks
So people started to go to your website and …
Luke Hatteberg
And buy. Yes, sir.
Bill Hendricks
Buy the little …
Luke Hatteberg
The push-pin travel maps. Yes, sir.
Bill Hendricks
What did they look like?
Abby Hatteberg
To answer your question, the goal was really to make a really beautiful push-pin travel map. So it really started because we saw a gap in the market. He was in the thick of seminary, I was still in the thick of teaching. And I think both of us were really looking for a creative outlet. We couldn’t travel at that time. He still had a year, plus your who knows how much longer left. And we were feeling a little restless, I think, and really just looking for a creative outlet. And the Lord hadn’t brought the end of seminary, or brought what that next door was yet for us.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah, a clear direction.
Abby Hatteberg
And so we, to backtrack, how it started, was we were at dinner at some friends one night. And they had just gotten back from a trip and had this huge map on their wall, pinned where they had been, where they wanted to go. And anyways, we spend the whole night talking about their adventures, and our adventures, and just such a lovely night of swapping stories. And we left thinking like, “Wow.”
Luke Hatteberg
That was amazing.
Abby Hatteberg
“How wonderful to be able to connect in that way, and … but, like that map was really ugly.” It was really ugly.
Luke Hatteberg
It was pretty bad.
Abby Hatteberg
And so then that launched us into a hunt for a push-pin travel map. And we couldn’t find anything on the market that we felt was really beautifully crafted, in a really timeless and really high quality way. Everything was …
Bill Hendricks
So let me interject. If you don’t mind my asking, why is it important that a travel map with push-pins be attractive?
Abby Hatteberg
You want to take that one?
Luke Hatteberg
Sure. I think … Our lives were changed in travel. Whether it’s the people, whether it’s the places, whether it’s just those moments that you have just with the Lord, and it’s just you on a walk, in a place that you’ve never been. And so when you have these moments where you’re just like, “Man, I was changed on that trip.” And then you come home and it’s just this little goofy poster that you just kind have tacked onto the side of your wall or something like that. Whereas when it is the beautiful thing, you can look at it, and you can enjoy it, and it’s a discussion piece, and you have conversations around it with people, and they’re like, “Oh, where did you go, and what happened?” and all of that.

And so to have something really worthy of those moments, it was just like, “Yes. This was meaningful and beautiful.”

Bill Hendricks
So the word worthy is really important there.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah.
Bill Hendricks
So you’ve had this profound experience, travel, and you want the way that that is remembered, and the way the narrative of that is told …
Abby Hatteberg
To be just as beautiful as the adventures and experiences themselves.
Bill Hendricks
Yeah. Great. Excellent.
Abby Hatteberg
And I think … and something we’ve learned, I think, in business … I think at first you know I struggle with … Okay, so my natural inclination is for things to be really well designed, and have a bit of a modern take on it, and feel fresh and new. And sometimes that can feel a bit like materialistic, or shallow, maybe. But I think we’ve really learned that the Lord is the creator of aesthetic beauty. He’s the initial creator of that. So when we can make something that is so detailed, and we’ve thought of every inch of it, it really is a nod to Him, and is a way of, like we said, taking those adventures and those experiences and making something that we feel is a little more worthy of those life changing experiences the Lord has brought your way.
Bill Hendricks
Well you know, Colossians 1 says that all things have come into existence through him.
Abby Hatteberg
Yes, exactly.
Bill Hendricks
And so you know that he’s paid attention to every inch of every …
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly. Yeah.
Bill Hendricks
… part of creation. So why wouldn’t we?
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly.
Luke Hatteberg
And that’s one of the things I think as I’ve … working with my hands, I think very often, and for obvious reason, there’s the Genesis 1 where he’s speaking these things into existence, and it’s like, “Yes. Obviously.” But there’s a section in Genesis 2 when it talks about how he’s forming. And when I think of the things that, you just buy your table at Pottery Barn, or at Ikea, or whatever it is …
Bill Hendricks
By the way, nothing against Pottery Barn or Ikea.
Luke Hatteberg
Yes.
Bill Hendricks
Just want to emphasize that.
Luke Hatteberg
But, in contrast, if I’ve made a table, I’m envisioning like what the conversations are gonna be like there, who I’m gonna have, what that looks like. I’ve thought about the height, the width, the dimensions, how that goes together, the finish, the wood, all of these different things. I care about all of those dimensions of this table. And so, once I’m using it, there’s a very different type of care that I take for it, opposed to something that is by no means necessarily meaningless, but just doesn’t have that heart behind it.

So in Genesis 2, when it talks about how he’s forming us and making us, there’s a very intimate interaction, and you just think of how much he cares. And so I think for me, when I look at the different things in my house, and it’s just like, “Yes. That means something special.” And so it’s been exciting to be in that mindset sometimes.

Bill Hendricks
So you’ve just described, it seems to me, the soul of an artisan, of a craftsperson.
Abby Hatteberg
Absolutely.
Bill Hendricks
And, of course, let’s just take that table that’s bought from Pottery Barn or Ikea. Somebody designed that somewhere, and put some thought into a whole bunch of factors, like what’s the use of this gonna be? Who’s gonna buy it? What can they afford? And so they had various design features that they had to build into that, and then go through a distribution mechanism. And, of course, the way our culture’s become today, goods are made you know fairly high quality and durability for relatively small amounts of money. And so, for that reason, we’ve gotten away from that direct artisan, hands-on craftsmanship in category after category in our world. You think even two or three hundred years ago, so much of, certainly before the Industrial Revolution, just about everything was made by a craftsperson somewhere.
Luke Hatteberg
Everything was hand made.
Bill Hendricks
Beyond a horseshoes. Which is about as pedestrian as you can get. But then those same smiths who were making horseshoes, you know they’d also make gates or fences or iron works that are just amazing. And likewise with all kinds of other material. And so you’re a bit of a unicorn in our culture in that you’re putting that kind of time and effort into, in your case, wood.
Abby Hatteberg
Sure.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah.
Abby Hatteberg
I feel like, in that season, we definitely felt like a, not unicorn. Maybe more at that time we’d think black sheep. You know like we’re finishing up seminary, and we have this business we launched on the side, and like, “Oh, gosh. We went to seminary to start a business? We put all this time and money and so …”
Luke Hatteberg
Well, and a lot of times, even there’s be guys when they hear what I did, they’d be like, “Oh, okay.” Like I quit ministry.
Abby Hatteberg
Right. It feels almost like a … Right. I think we really had to work through some insecurities about …
Bill Hendricks
Like you’d sold out?
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. Well, like there was a casualty, like man down.
Abby Hatteberg
Right.
Bill Hendricks
You didn’t have what it took to …
Abby Hatteberg
To do ministry.
Luke Hatteberg
Right. And that’s how sometimes … not always … but there were times when that’s how it is talked about, and I think does a disservice to both, those who are in vocational ministry, and those who are not. ‘Cause I think being trained in the word, no matter what you do is very valuable and very powerful. And I think it radically changes your world view and the way that you treat people, and that you do work.
Bill Hendricks
Well, and truth be told, to deliver outstanding sermons takes some real artisanship.
Abby Hatteberg
Absolutely.
Bill Hendricks
And gift. To mentor and disciple somebody as it is done by Christ in the New Testament in today’s world, there’s some artisanship and craftsmanship that goes into that.
Abby Hatteberg
Absolutely.
Bill Hendricks
So, enough said on that point. So, you’re making maps, and you’re starting to sell them online, and it’s growing, and you suddenly realize, “Whoa. We got something here.”
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah.
Bill Hendricks
So what do you do?
Abby Hatteberg
Well, yeah. At that time he was a youth pastor at a local church, and things were …
Luke Hatteberg
They were going well.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. Growing, I think faster than we had anticipated. I think we never set out to create a business.
Luke Hatteberg
No. I used the high schoolers as free labor, because it was basically like, I’m finishing seminary, and I’m working at this church, and all these orders are coming in. And so I’m trying to figure out, what in the world am I gonna do with this? And so I basically … I saw the difference between what these guys were like on a Sunday morning or a Wednesday night, vs. how they were when they were in the shop with me. And the amount that they would open up, the things that we would talk about, I’d get them on a good day, and I’d get them on a bad day. And it wasn’t just …
Bill Hendricks
Okay. So now you’ve opened up another door …
Luke Hatteberg
Oh, totally.
Bill Hendricks
… another layer of mentoring.
Luke Hatteberg
Yes. And that’s kind of where it started to bubble over into where after the kids graduated, still wanting to be involved, still wanting to help. And so I think that just even further solidified like, “Oh, this is just as much of a ministry as it is working in the church.” And so that, I think, has just continued to be the pattern throughout, as we’ve done Wayfaren.
Abby Hatteberg
I think just sparked a question in our minds like, ” you know, could our ministry look different than we initially, this picture we had in our minds of us working in a church, being in youth ministry, potentially going abroad, which, I mean that has taken years. I would say probably really up until we got our first commercial space two years ago, the Lord took four, five years to work that out in us, like a confidence in that, a joy in that, a not the insecurity that we felt of like, “Yeah, we went to DTS, but we’re running a business now.”
Bill Hendricks
The picture that came to my mind, as you’ve sort of described these teens working as free labor, as you called it. So let’s go back to another carpenter, woodworker, Jesus. And he spends the first 30 years of his life, apparently, working with his brothers as a carpenter, which is really not just wood, but probably stone masons and all kinds of …
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. Craftsmen in general.
Bill Hendricks
And we don’t have a lot of information there, but it seems reasonable that we can deduce if he was indeed a carpenter. He gets up kind of about the age I perceive you were, 28, 29, getting up close to his formally starting his ministry. So imagine you’re like a 17, 18, 19 year old kid, and you’re on a job or in the shop with this guy named Jesus. So he knows a few things about wood and working it. And yeah there’s the work, but then there’s the guy. You like want to go back there and just hang out with him, ’cause you ask him questions, and he says these things. And you’re like, “What does that mean?” But he’s such a good guy. So that’s what you were doing.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. I would say, as a third party looking in, that couldn’t be a more true picture of what happened in the shop with Luke and all these, so many young men that have come through our shop now. It was just yeah a really beautiful means of relationship that I think some really neat conversations can happen when you’re doing something else, and you’re not just …
Luke Hatteberg
In ministry mode.
Abby Hatteberg
There’s sometimes when you’re sitting there sanding boxes together …
Luke Hatteberg
Forever.
Abby Hatteberg
… a really neat … yeah, forever … some really neat conversations that can happen. And I think, as we got into the business throughout the years we realized that.
Bill Hendricks
And an even further layer on that, Abby, is it’s not like Luke is sitting down across the table from some 16 year old going, “Tell me about yourself.”
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly.
Bill Hendricks
No, no, no. We’re doing something over here.
Abby Hatteberg
It feels a little more approachable.
Bill Hendricks
And then suddenly the 16 year old is telling Luke about himself.
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly.
Luke Hatteberg
And I think it just opens up a honesty that I just think is unique and is different. And it was fun because as we transitioned out from the youth ministry at the church, I think for me especially, just having gone through DTS, I knew what that was like. I knew how difficult it was. I knew the fears, the questions, the frustrations, the fears, the fears, all of them. And its like I had just always wanted someone to come alongside me and be like, “Hey. Man, I’ve been through that. I know what that’s like. I know how scary that is. And I …” And so I just was like, one, five minutes down the road. But I think it was also going, “Let me step in and it’s not in the sense of where you’re working at a church and sometimes you’re like doing an internship, hoping you’re gonna get a job from it at the end of it. Whereas with this, there was just a purity to it all, to where it was like, “I’m wanting to send you out after this job into wherever it is that the Lord has you going.”
Bill Hendricks
So you’re saying, you know when you were working with the youth group, it’s teens at the church. But then later it’s seminarians?
Luke Hatteberg
Seminarians, yeah. And so, I think Curly, our studio manager our last four apprentice, have all been DTS students.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. So pretty intentionally after that, after we kind of stepped away from youth ministry, pretty intentionally after that we’ve hired almost exclusively DTS students.
Bill Hendricks
And so the intentionality there has been, obviously they have some … it’s a job.
Abby Hatteberg
Sure.
Bill Hendricks
And they learn some skills.
Abby Hatteberg
Absolutely.
Bill Hendricks
But the real intentionality is there, as I thought I heard you articulate it is, “Look. I know what you’re going through. Let me just bring you into my world here, in hopes that you’ll talk to me, and in that process I can encourage you and tell you what I know.
Luke Hatteberg
Oh, yeah.
Bill Hendricks
But it’s not, again, “Okay. I’m gonna come mentor you.”
Luke Hatteberg
Right. Exactly.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. It’s directly. It was more yeah really indirect, beautiful thing that the Lord yeah naturally evolved.
Luke Hatteberg
And it’s been an honor, because I think there’s been a lot of the seasons that some of these people have gone through as they’ve been with us that have been really heavy. Like there’ve been a couple of times, whether it’s family stuff, whether it’s marriage stuff, whether it’s work stuff, whether it’s identity stuff, whether it’s sin struggles, whatever it is, and we’ll be sanding or finishing or whatever it is. And after a long day’s work, just talking about anything and everything. And it’s just been really kind of God, I think, to open up a new understanding of what ministry is and what ministry can be to where it’s not limited to the church, and to where it’s gonna be, “You are doing kingdom work, no matter where it is that you are.”

And so I think recognizing that, yes, there are spiritual gifts that he’s maybe given you, but it’s not like a, this is my super power and this is what I do professionally, type of thing. But it’s more like, the way that I’ve thought about it is, it’s like a chisel, in the sense of like … I use a chisel all the time, for a number of different things. And so I think putting more stock in the craftsman rather than the tool, in the sense of going, “Okay. Lord, how are you going to use me? Because I want to be fit for that, I want to be used for that, I want to be available for that.” And that’s different than going, “Okay. What’s my job? Well, okay, if this is my degree, and if this is what I should do …” ‘Cause he’s gonna use you in so many different ways.

Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. That’s a good way to say that.
Bill Hendricks
Well, you know we do a lot of integration of faith and work topics on The Table Podcast, and so what you’re bringing in here fits right into that. Many of our listeners, you know they don’t have their own business. They’re not entrepreneurs. But they’re a manager in a company, or a supervisor, you know or they’re an associate pastor or some position in a church where they have people reporting to them, and de facto, they’re actually managing people. Certainly they’re interacting with people. And even people that aren’t managing or supervising have coworkers.

Henry Ford, the auto builder said, “When you hire a hand,” cause that’s what they called the workers in those days, “when you hire a hand, you get the whole rest of the body thrown in.” His point was that people bring everything they are to work. And when you hire a person, you hire the whole person. Which means they bring, not only their skills and whatever value creating assets they have for the job, just what you said, they bring their desires, their hopes, their aspirations. They bring their fears, their failures, the problems from home, the relational challenges. They bring all of that.

And that means that Christians are frequently, if not constantly in what boiled down to pastoral moments.

Luke Hatteberg
Oh, absolutely.
Bill Hendricks
And soul moments.
Abby Hatteberg
Absolutely.
Bill Hendricks
There’s an alumni of the seminary, now with the Lord, who was a good friend of my dad named Ray Stedman. And Ray and Dad, a bunch of them went through the seminary together back in the ’40s and so forth. And Ray went off to California and started Peninsula Bible Church, out there near Stanford, in Palo Alto. And I have a recording of him on campus here in 1984. And he was talking on Ephesians 4. And he was talking about the pastoral gift. He said, “We tend to think of the pastoral gift as being exclusively sort of the professionals in the church,” your minister. He said, “Actually, that gift is distributed far more widely in the body of Christ than we realize. The reason being there are so many pastoral needs in this world. And every workplace has loads of them.” And again, they go back to Jesus. You see lots of pastoral moments that he finds himself in, where he’s ministering to somebody’s soul. And that’s what you’re describing here.

And so you’re a great model here, I think, for our listeners of what people can do. You don’t have to be ordained to have a ministry. You basically have to be aware, and you have to be mindful of what can I do to bring encouragement, to bring perspective, just to pray for somebody? I can’t solve their problem, but I’m there for them, spiritually.

Luke Hatteberg
Well and I think … One of the things that I never would have anticipated, and never would have asked for, as far as something that I think has been exciting to see how the Lord has used the business as a ministry, but for me personally, the lesson I never would have asked for is a constant leading out of weakness. I think, with a small business, when someone makes a mistake, everybody knows. When someone succeeds, everybody knows. But in running a business like this, knowing, “Okay. They’re going to see what it looks like to fail. And so I need to show, okay, what does it look like to apologize, to take responsibility for how I’ve made a mistake, that I know that it impacts them or customers or my family, or whoever it is.

And then there’s just this constant figuring things out. Just as an entrepreneur, you’re constantly learning, ’cause you’ve got so many different facets, so many different things, so many different responsibilities. And so for me going, “Okay. I want to be as faithful of a husband and father and friend and boss and … all of these things, but I’m going to make mistakes.” And so I think knowing, okay, I don’t have to be perfect. But if I can try and be faithful, and I can be patient in knowing, okay, I’m here with people, and I also have to be patient with myself and go, “Okay, Lord. You are working on me during this time, as well.” So I never wanted to be, in essence, that type of leader. You think of someone who’s gonna be strong, and right all the time. So I think it’s definitely been a humbling experience to go, “I can’t do everything. There are more responsibilities and things to be done than I can,” but going, “This is where I’ve made a mistake.” Or to our employees, or to a customer, whatever it is, and owning that.

Bill Hendricks
So Abby, you must be an immensely blessed woman to be married to a man who owns his mistakes, and apparently apologizes.
Abby Hatteberg
It happens 100 percent of the time.
Luke Hatteberg
The mistakes, they do. They do. No. It’s the goal.
Bill Hendricks
You’ve seen this.
Abby Hatteberg
No, he’s a really humble leader. Definitely. He …
Bill Hendricks
I can see that.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. He really is. He’s … I’m the numbers one. I’m the efficiency one. I’m … But he’s the employee care. He is the …
Bill Hendricks
He’s your resident pastor?
Abby Hatteberg
Resident chaplain. He is making sure … I’m making sure we make money, and he’s making sure we have a heart still. So, he keeps us …
Bill Hendricks
Boy. I wish every business in this country could have both of those.
Luke Hatteberg
Well..so you should see the conflict. There’s a whole different world in that one.
Bill Hendricks
Chief Financial Officer, and a Chief Compassion Officer.
Abby Hatteberg
Well, but a lot of times, though, that really, that’s …
Bill Hendricks
There’s a tension.
Abby Hatteberg
It’s really difficult. The business has been very challenging on our marriage.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah, definitely.
Abby Hatteberg
And so …
Bill Hendricks
How do you navigate that challenge?
Luke Hatteberg
Lot of prayer. Lot … and repentance, I would say. It’s been …
Bill Hendricks
A lot of times we haven’t navigated it well.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah.
Bill Hendricks
To be perfectly frank. It’s been a real struggle for us. It’s been like a, “Lord, why have you brought this in our life? ‘Cause this is really causing our relationship a lot of tension that seems like we could avoid it had we …
Luke Hatteberg
Done something different.
Bill Hendricks
… done something different. And so I think he’s just now, in the last probably few years maybe a year and a half really brought us to a place of slowly learning how to respect and value those differences. ‘Cause I think that’s really the key.
Luke Hatteberg
Well, ’cause I think we saw each other as the hindrance or the problem or whatever it is. We just wanted to blame shift, whatever the difference season was, and we would assume if this wasn’t the case, things would be better, which is a lie. Working in a broken world is always gonna be difficult, no matter if it’s vocational ministry or otherwise. And so I think kind going … ’cause we went through seasons that were like, “Alright, Lord. Can you take this away from us, actually? Because we don’t know what we’re doing. We feel like we’re struggling.” And I think, in his kindness, he’s kept us and going, “I want you to see me. I want you to be dependent, and I want you to learn how to love and see one another in a truly beautiful way because I made them that way.” And then how that teamwork plays itself out.
Bill Hendricks
So that’s a beautiful point, and I heard you say a moment ago that in a fallen world, things are always gonna be challenging. So let me just put a thought experiment out there, that in a not fallen world, things would still be challenging. We tend to think, if Adam and Eve, the garden, they hadn’t sinned, they had kids, here we are today, we’re working without the fallenness of the world … hard to imagine … but there would still be mistakes made. Somebody would drop a hammer on their foot. You’d mash your … I’m sure you’ve hit your thumb with a hammer.
Luke Hatteberg
Oh, my stars.
Bill Hendricks
I’m sure you’ve added up the numbers and said, “Oh, my gosh. We forgot to put this in.”
Abby Hatteberg
Absolutely.
Luke Hatteberg
There’s a comma that’s supposed to be there.
Abby Hatteberg
Just last week.
Bill Hendricks
Human beings are limited, and they’re gonna make mistakes, right?
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah.
Bill Hendricks
But what you just articulated, it sounds to me, is the redemptive version of what happens in a fallen world that would have happened in a non fallen world, which is let’s realize that we have differences here. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to you know hit your thumb with that hammer. I just wasn’t paying attention. I really apologize for that.” But you’d have the grace to say, “Yeah, I understand. I’m sorry.” And you’d have the grace to recognize the differences. “I’m so glad, Abby, that you’re making me pay attention to these numbers.”
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah, we are learning that.
Bill Hendricks
“And I’m so glad, Luke, that you come up with all these wild and crazy ideas.”
Abby Hatteberg
That you’re thinking of our ways to love our employees. Like that.
Bill Hendricks
And thinking of ways to love our employees.
Abby Hatteberg
Like you said, if every company could have both, that would be … Yeah, I think we’re learning.
Bill Hendricks
And the key words that you said were, “Isn’t it wonderful that God has made us this way?” It all goes back to the creator, and that we’re made in his image to cause this world and his people to flourish.
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly.
Bill Hendricks
And so that’s what you’re slowly trying to bring about in the fallen world.
Abby Hatteberg
Slowly. Key word slowly. Yes.
Luke Hatteberg
I think at times, ’cause as far as we know, obviously, is that Jesus was either working with wood or some people go stone mason, some whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s more I think the idea of craftsman. And so I think, for me, trying to understand that mindset to where it’s like … I know that there have been times where I have gotten a splinter that is like the size of a samurai sword in my arm. And I’m just like, “What in the world?” But I’ve thought different times of going, “When Jesus was working with with whatever it is that he was working with, when he got a splinter, that is just …” He would … whether it’s the thorns, it’s like, “This is not supposed to be this way. We’re not supposed to … whether it’s splinters or …” But even to the point to where he would have known the species of the wood that the cross was made out of that he was hung on. And it’s … and it’s not just because he’s omniscient, though he is. But it’s because he would have worked with it. He would have seen it.
Bill Hendricks
Hands on.
Luke Hatteberg
Exactly. And so I just think that there’s a different type of material element that I’ve gotten the privilege to enjoy. But at the same time, I think it’s grown into a much bigger vision of understanding this made world was made by someone who worked in this world when it was broken, though he designed it to not be that way.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah.
Bill Hendricks
I perceive, Luke, that you do a lot of what in this institution and institutions like it, we call theological reflection, which means in the doing of the work, obviously doing the work and paying attention to the work, but as you’re doing the work and the moments when you can, pondering the significance of the work from God’s perspective. And also the theological implications of what this work is telling you about God, about the world, about yourself. And tell us a little bit more about how you do that.
Luke Hatteberg
I think it started where it’s like, “Okay. What does it mean for something to be beautiful?” I think I’d only ever heard that type of language primarily as metaphor. I feel like in the church, and to where this is a beautiful verse, or this is a beautiful idea, or something like that. And I, I don’t know, I sometimes struggled with that if I didn’t understand it or whatever. And so I think and understanding that beauty is something much bigger, and to where whether it’s the theology of aesthetics, whether it’s how something is attractive, and why something is attractive. And so for me, I think it was being taught here how to think, how to listen, and how to almost marinate on the scriptures and letting that form the imagination, how that would inform the way that I see the world.

And so I think it’s been more seeing other godly men do it really well, whether it’s through what I’ve read or different conversations. And so it’s definitely been a process. And I think God is patient, and he gives me cookies on the lower shelf at times. But it’s been a kind way of saying, “I want you to see me as beautiful. I want you to enjoy me being God, not just as a provider,” not just as a something that does something, but just enjoying him. And I think it’s been the time that I’ve had to just sit and work sometimes by myself, where it’s like, but he sees that work. He sees the care that’s being taken, and that it matters to him.

Bill Hendricks
One of the beautiful things that you all have created, in addition to the maps, are boxes, these crafted boxes.
Abby Hatteberg
Keepsake boxes, yeah.
Bill Hendricks
Keepsake boxes. And tell us how you find your customers using those.
Abby Hatteberg
Sure. So we had the maps launched in 2012, and those were … took off more than we thought. And then we also, in 2014, similar experience. We say there was a gap in the market for a really well designed, timeless, keepsake box. And so that’s when we launched, I think 2014 we launched our keepsake boxes, originally with the intent of people keeping mementos from their travels.
Luke Hatteberg
More of a glorified shoe box.
Abby Hatteberg
Really fitting within that travel niche that we felt like we had found really well. That was the original vision. And then after we launched them, we kind of realized that probably only 15 percent of people were purchasing them for that purpose, and more people were purchasing them for weddings, engagements, lost of deaths.
Bill Hendricks
Lots of deaths.
Abby Hatteberg
Lots of deaths, graduations. Yeah. So …
Bill Hendricks
Tell us about that.
Abby Hatteberg
Go ahead.
Luke Hatteberg
There was … where it really started to change into where instead of it being just a, not a junk drawer by any means, but instead of it being just for trinkets and whatnot, I was at the workbench, and I saw, I just had a bunch of the boxes laid out, and I had the different lids for all the different customers, ’cause once we started doing custom laser engravings on them, then that’s when they really started to take off. And one was to celebrate a newborn, one was to celebrate, it was a bereavement box for a stillborn, one was a baptism, one was a confirmation, one was a birthday, one was a five year anniversary, one was for a wedding, one was for a retirement, and two were for a funeral of this couple that passed.
Bill Hendricks
So these iconic soul moments in people’s lives.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. And it just … I didn’t even put two and two together, but I realized, these are not just common boxes for these people. And we’ve gotten notes from moms who will send us messages and to where it’s like, “I never wanted to remember the loss of my baby. I never wanted to ever have to talk about it. I never wanted to have to relive it. I never wanted to think about that pain. But in getting to have a box that was worthy of that moment, and of what that meant in that season, it’s helped me heal, it’s helped me learn to love that season.” And whether it’s what the Lord has done through me, or whatever, but starting to see like these are much more important than just common boxes. And so that’s …
Bill Hendricks
We talk about, again, another theological term, means of grace, for which God gives us certain ways in which we can experience his grace, or we can do like sails that we can put up and catch the wind of his grace. But it sounds like, in the creation of that box for that mother, you gave her a means of the grace of being able to grieve in such a way that the grief became redemptive instead of destructive. She found a way to think about her stillborn without it wounding her soul over and over and over and over and over.
Luke Hatteberg
In the same way. Yeah.
Bill Hendricks
Instead, it brought back tender memories, and the best of the child. That’s a beautiful thing.
Abby Hatteberg
I think, yeah. Then we started slowly realizing that … it opened our eyes to a whole ‘nother aspect of how we could tangibly really minister to people in a way that we never anticipated.
Luke Hatteberg
And it opened up …
Bill Hendricks
You wouldn’t have seen that coming.
Luke Hatteberg
No. And I think … Abby, you can speak to this better than I can.
Abby Hatteberg
Oh, my goodness.
Luke Hatteberg
But as far as, there were some different organizations that we were able to get paired with. One in particular, we really, really love.
Abby Hatteberg
Right. So then we, once our eyes were opened to this, then we kind of started tangibly trying to seek out opportunities to utilize these boxes to minister and serve. That’s a great way to say it. And so, maybe about a year ago, a year and half, no, two years ago now, we started partnering with a local organization … everyone should go look them up … called Abel Speaks.
Bill Hendricks
Abel speaks?
Luke Hatteberg
Abel speaks. Like Cain and Abel.
Abby Hatteberg
Abel speaks. A-B-E-L. And we … they found us, actually.
Luke Hatteberg
Not knowing we were in Dallas.
Abby Hatteberg
Not knowing we were in Dallas. Complete divine … just the Lord put us together.
Luke Hatteberg
By a college pastor and his wife up at Watermark.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. And so they had started this organization to minister to families who have chosen to carry a child with a life limiting illness to term. So these parents are choosing not to abort, not to take any other means, but to carry this child to term, even though they know that the child will …
Bill Hendricks
Will not live.
Abby Hatteberg
Most likely. Right.
Luke Hatteberg
‘Cause it was supposed to be….
Abby Hatteberg
That was there baby.
Luke Hatteberg
That’s what inspired them.
Abby Hatteberg
So, now we partner with them, and we provide the keepsake boxes for these families that are … they connect with families through hospitals in Dallas. And we give them a keepsake box after they’re …
Luke Hatteberg
And then there’s, whether it’s books, whether it’s literature, whether it’s prayers. There’s a necklace, as well, in there.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. So it’s filled with personalized things for this child.
Luke Hatteberg
And it’s, man, it has been a rough and humbling experience, ’cause we went to the birthday event last year, to where they get together, and all of the families that have gone through the Able Speaks service, and they’ve cared for and all of that, they’re there, and they talk about Able Speaks. But then there’s this moment, and oh, my gosh, Abby and I were just a wreck. We were in tears, because they would … if a picture was available, there’d be the picture. And either way, there’d also be the name. And there would just be this moment of silence for these little ones. And you see the parents like around the room, and their little … the balloon, and all of this, and it was heartbreaking, because it’s like I remember seeing that little one’s name engraved on this box. And it has just been so humbling. And it’s an honor to get to step into that area of brokenness for a family, and love them in such a simple way, making a box.
Abby Hatteberg
Simple, tangible way.
Bill Hendricks
Well, once again, the picture that comes to my mind here, as you go to these folks, may of whom you’ve made these boxes for, and you’re sort of with them in their pain, I go right back there to John 11, where Jesus goes to the tomb of Lazarus. And if it is true that he, in addition to wood worked in stone, then he, of all the people in that village, would have known all about the making and the placing of that stone in front of the tomb. So when he says roll the stone away, it’s kind of like the plumber going, “Okay, flush it.” He knows what that’s about. Not be crude about it. I’m just saying.
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. Absolutely.
Bill Hendricks
And what does he do? He’s there, and he weeps. And he knows what he’s gonna do. But he knows what that stone represents. And he also knows that when he pulls it back, what that’s gonna represent. So, it’s another one of those parallels, Luke, of … it’s amazing.
Luke Hatteberg
And again, we’ve tried to leave. We’ve tried to go, “God. There’s got to be an easier way.” ‘Cause entrepreneurship is very difficult. And I think, in his kindness, he has kept us here, ’cause I think it’s going, “There’s some things I want to show you about myself through the day-to-day work and the way you minister to people”
Bill Hendricks
And to show you about himself through your work, and to show your customers about himself through your work. And so, just so our Table Podcast listeners have it, what’s the website address for your company.
Abby Hatteberg
Sure, wayfaren.com W-A-Y-F-A-R-E-N.com.
Bill Hendricks
W-A-Y-F-A-R-E-N.com
Abby Hatteberg
Yeah. And we’re in Dallas. We have a very small studio wood shop, just south of Deep Ellum.
Bill Hendricks
Well this is, as I said at the top, this is a wonderful story. And I am just so delighted that you guys came to share this with our listeners today.
Abby Hatteberg
We’re honored to be here.
Luke Hatteberg
Yeah. Thank you very much.
Abby Hatteberg
And really, it’s a really neat full circle to be students here, to then come back for a podcast.
Bill Hendricks
Well, we considered Fortune 500 companies who we’ve talked about in here, and everything in between. And here we’re down at the bottom of the food chain, with a tiny little boutique consultancy. But God is involved in all of that.
Abby Hatteberg
Exactly. In every bit of it.
Bill Hendricks
That’s wonderful. Thank you.
Abby Hatteberg
Thank you.
Bill Hendricks
And if you have a topic you would like us to consider for a future episode of The Table, please email us at thetable@dts.edu. For The Table, I’m Bill Hendricks. Thank you for being with us today.
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Abby Hatteberg
Abby Hatteberg runs Wayfaren with her husband, Luke. She has a passion for the beauty and life-changing power of travel and in producing works that can communicate and bring reflection of this power.  She and her husband began Wayfaren in the summer of 2012 and since 2014 have been full-time entrepreneurs.
Bill Hendricks
Bill Hendricks is Executive Director for Christian Leadership at the Center and President of The Giftedness Center, where he serves individuals making key life and career decisions. A graduate of Harvard, Boston University, and DTS, Bill has authored or co-authored twenty-two books, including “The Person Called YOU: Why You’re Here, Why You Matter & What You Should Do With Your Life.” He sits on the Steering Committee for The Theology of Work Project.
Luke Hatteberg
Luke Hatteberg runs Wayfaren with his wife, Abby. A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Luke found that he has a strong passion for working with his hands and in producing quality wood made products. Like his wife, Luke has a passion for the beauty and life-changing power of travel and in producing works that can communicate and reflect this.
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