Tag Archives: Jesus

1st Resolution of 2015: Be A Failure

 

dream reality

I envy the people who fail with grace.

They try. They fail. They look at their failure with a “better luck next time” sort of attitude, and let it roll off them like it’s no big thing.

That’s so not me. I’m no good at failure.

I’m a type-A, 4.0 GPA, “if you want the job done better do it yourself” kind of girl, so failure and I don’t exactly get along.

But not in 2015.

I’m not really down with making resolutions, mostly because, as mentioned above, I believe in action more than intention. So while resolutions might not be my thing, I really like making goals and even more making a plan, then working the plan to achieve the goal.

So you might be surprised to find out that my first goal of 2015 is to be a failure.

2014 brought changes to my life. The biggest change was that I went back to work full time, which was both a blessing and a challenge. Even though I work from home, my job is pretty demanding, so while I’m “here,” I’m not always “here,” if you know what I mean. 90% of the time my brain is on work-mode, and the time-suck of that has been a real challenge.

Mostly because my plate was pretty full when the job came along. Suddenly: overflowing plate. Like overflowing-and-making-a-mess-on-the-floor plate. Suddenly I found myself wondering how I could balance it all.

First I looked at it as a challenge that I could overcome by making a plan. Making a schedule. Working toward a goal, like I tend to do. So I set out to do just that.

Plan for 2014: 

Be a devoted follower of Jesus by spending regular, quality time with Him.

Try to be a great mom. Have plenty of quality time with my boys.

Try to be a great wife. Have plenty of quality time with my husband.

Keep the house clean and orderly, and do all the cutesy Pinterest stuff that shows the world I’m cutesy and Pinterest-y.

Exercise regularly.

Write. Write write write write write. Spit out at least 2 more books during the year.

Try to be an awesome teacher and leader. Work hard at my job, achieve career goals. Plan brilliant lessons for my students that show them that history is awesome, develop great plans that help my team achieve and becoming stronger teachers for their students and the school.

Grow the women’s ministry at church. Be a focused leader with plans, goals, and show progress toward growing the ministry. Plan and execute women’s ministry events.

Teach Sunday school. Lead Bible study. Use my gift of teaching for the good of the church and the community to glorify Him.

Continue to be active member of music ministry at church.

Get boys to and from all of their activities. Be involved mom in all of their activities so that they can be more well-rounded.

Be involved at boys’ schools. Room mom. Cutesy Pinterest stuff again.

failed

Whew. Just reading that list makes me tired. It makes me sad. And it makes me embarrassed because there are several things on that list that just didn’t happen in 2014.

So my first goal of 2015: Be okay with being a failure.

Sometimes when our plates are too full we have to let something go and learn to say no. We (I) have to take a hard look at our priorities and figure out what’s really most important.

The difficult thing for me is that all of the stuff on my list for 2014 is pretty important (okay, not the Pinterest stuff so much).

So when I look at the list of responsibilities I have and realize that I have to let something go, all I see is a giant red F.

F for failure.

I haven’t been able to balance it all. I haven’t been able to pull it all off. I’m not “woman who can do it all.”

And I wonder, will the world judge me? Will they think I’m weak, or lazy, or disorganized, or heaven forbid, not good enough? Just because I can’t do it all?

Stupid, right? I know.

I know. And yet I feel like a failure because I have to realize that in order to do the most important things in my life, I’ve got to let some of the other stuff go.

And I have to be okay with that.

So I pray, I prioritize, and I decide that my first goal of 2015 is to be okay with looking someone in the eye and saying, “I can’t.” I’m going to be comfortable saying, “I’m doing my best and I can’t take on anything else.” I will say, “I tried and I failed. I’m sorry.”

I will remember that God has never asked for me to be perfect. He’s never asked me to do it all. He’s never expected me to be SuperWoman or SuperMom or SuperWife. In fact, he’s provided mercy and grace through the perfection of his son so that when I do fail, I know that I’m still loved by the One who matters.

Who cares what the world thinks? I’m loved even when I fail.

It’s beautifully liberating to know that God loves me no matter what, even when I don’t live up to my own standards. It’s stress-releasing and hope-giving and smile-producing.

So let something go in 2015. Be okay with looking back at 2014 and saying, “I tried and I failed.” Be okay with prioritizing, learning to say no, and trying again.

God’s mercies are new every morning. His strength is renewing, and his hope is unending.

2015 is going to be a beautiful year. My plan for this year is to revel in that beauty. Instead of focusing on trying to do it all, I’m going to focus on doing it all to the glory of the One who loves me. 

Share with me: What are your goals for 2015?

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The Journey of Your Birth

Toddler And Mom FeetOn this day five years ago, you came into our world.

You came, your birth much like that of the brother before you. In fact, you even looked much like the brother before you. But the moments that led up to your birth were special. Unique. Refining.

Your journey– my journey– was littered with frustration, heartache, and tears.

You see, my son, you were not easily conceived.

God made me– us– wait for you.

As much as my heart longed to see you, my body longed to carry you, my arms longed to hold you, we had to wait.

So many medical questions, so many fears, so many unanswered prayers. So much misunderstanding. So much longing.

That longing became my focus. That longing became my reason for living. The longing consumed me.

But the longing was only the tool. That longing was changing me, shaping me, refining me.

I had a choice in that longing– let it destroy me or let it push me to the One who destroys all fear.

In that longing I sought God’s face in a way I never had before in my life. I sought to know the One who would send his own child to die for me, when all I wanted was another child of my own.

In that longing I looked for his beauty. In that longing I wanted to know Him, to understand him in a way I never had before. I wanted to truly see His face for the first time in my life.

That longing became desire, not only for a child to fill my arms and make your brother a sibling, but to seek a God who reigns– a God worthy of being glorified.

And I found Him. Oh yes, precious boy, I found Him. Bible Verse Nursery Print 1 Samuel 1:27. $10.00, via Etsy.

I found Him in the frustration. I found him in the pain. I found him in the longing. I found him in the doctor’s negative news and in my own hopes.

I found Him. I found the God I had always known but never experienced. And then He gave us you.

On this day five years ago I celebrated the desires of my heart. I celebrated your birth, your beautiful entrance into this world.

I celebrated a relationship with a God more loving than I could have ever imagined. I celebrated not just because he had answered my prayer, but because on the long path to the answer, he revealed himself to me. Because for the first time in my life, I truly felt His presence.

And five years later I celebrate still. For in bringing you to our family God almighty has given me a glimpse of heaven. He has given me a glimpse of the eternal and made me yearn for it in a way I never had before.

You, the boy before you and the boy after you are the greatest gifts I could have ever been given. God knew I wanted you, but that I needed HIM.

You are a gift, my beautiful son. A gift from a God who yearns to know us, to take our pain and replace it with joy, to be glorified in our journey. You are a gift from a God who wants to be known and experienced.

In the five years since you came into this world my prayer has been that my life, your life, the lives of your father and your brothers, would be pleasing to God. That we would glorify Him.

You will face trails of many kinds. You will face joys and heartaches, many expected, many an unwelcome surprise.

But know this, my precious one, your very life is proof that the journeys He allows, the ones with the twists and turns, with moments we can use to refine us, with moments where we must choose between leaning on our own understanding or praying for the divine inspiration of the Eternal; those journeys reveal the perfection of Christ. In those moments he reveals his very character. And in those revelations, we see His glory. And once we’ve seen it, it is all we will long for.

I would not trade one moment of my journey. For bringing me to that moment of your birth brought me a greater understanding of The One who loves me most and the sacrifice he made for me.

And he loves you.

He loves you enough to refine your parents through the journey that brought you here.

Happy Birthday, my courageous, spontaneous, mischievous, loving, snuggly little man. My love for you knows no bounds and I thank God for you.

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The Mommy Wars: Who’s Really Winning

Holding Hands

Stay-at-home moms v. Working moms. It’s an ugly battle. It rages in the media, across Facebook pages and in articles written by women who accuse each other of being less-than-women because of their personal choices. It’s a battle filled with venom-laced words, accusatory tones and emotional tirades.

I’ve been the victim before. I’m sure you have, too.

Moms. Stop it.

Stop it right now.

This “Mommy War” business has to end. Mostly because no one is winning and no one ever will. Satan is winning.

For too long now we’ve pitted our sides against each other, ignoring the sisterhood of mothering that binds us, strutting around with our “to do” lists hanging out of our over-sized bags, judging each other based on who can accomplish the most tasks.

Well accomplishing tasks has nothing to do with mothering.

Nothing at all.

Working moms can be terrible mothers. Stay-at-home moms can be terrible mothers.

Working moms can be amazing mothers. Stay-at-home moms can be amazing mothers.

So why are we intent on abusing each other verbally and emotionally because of what we DO?

Why not instead lift each other up because of who we ARE?

Because we are too busy listening to The Deceiver who tells us that in order to be fulfilled we must find happiness.

So he robs us of the joy that we have in our family, our situations, our lives in the moment. Instead this Deceiver forces us to acknowledge what we don’t have instead of what we do. He tells us that the focus of our lives is perfection that can be attained—we can have it all and that getting it will bring us happiness. He tells us that our lives are not for living, instead they are for achieving. We must do more, accomplish more, make more.

But what if we could just be more?  Woman Walking

What if, no matter our “profession,” our time, talents, and energies went into glorifying God in every moment of every day?

What if we stopped looking at the “to do” list of another woman, judging her based on her accomplishments, and focused on ourselves and how we could be more for God?

Who would benefit? Those around us. Our husbands. Our children. Our families. Our co-workers.

Too many times we burn our candle at both ends because we’re too busy trying to please everyone but the One who matters.

What if our candle was lit at both ends to shine a brilliant light for the Only One who has ever lived Perfection?
What if, instead of judging each other because we have a career or stay at home, we held each other accountable for our glorification of God?

The Deceiver would have us believe that we can have it all. That desire is the under-running current of the Mommy Wars.  It’s draining.

What we need, moms, is to be filled. Filled with joy. Filled with love, compassion, and sisterhood. Filled with success and encouragement, filled with desire and motivation.

Want to be fulfilled as a mom? Turn to the Only One who can fill you.

Then share that joy with another woman. Lace your words with encouragement and delight. Motivate another mom today with the happiness that comes from joy in the Lord.

Share with me: What is the most encouraging piece of advice another mom or woman has given you?

 

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