Failure is merely the evidence that more practice is needed. I have a fun list of things that I’m pretty good at: languages, cooking, basketball, travel, etc. But the only reason I’m good at these things is because I’ve had alot of practice with them that has included boatloads of failures. I don’t think I could even begin to list all of the burned or raw chickens I’ve made, the traveling bloopers I’ve done – especially with Saving Moses, baskets I’ve missed and comical mistakes I’ve made trying to learn various languages. Failure is nothing more than an investment for success as long as we don’t quit 🙂
Whenever I go snowboarding, I’ve learned to check the weather forecast so I can be appropriately dressed. If it’s snowing, it helps to wear water repellant gear. If it’s cloudy, I try to remember to bring my flat light goggles. While you may find this to be boring, the principle remains that we need to prepare in advance for things that we know could be challenging or difficult. Sometimes if we know that we’re going to be in some tricky family situations (with Christmas around the corner), it helps to do some mental coaching ahead of time about the things we should or should not discuss. It helps to coach ourselves about our attitudes and some of our thinking so that when we get in some potential hotspots, we have done some preparation work ahead of time to help us with our words, actions and attitudes. Gear up my friends, in constructive ways, there could be some hotspots on the horizon in the next few weeks 🙂
Happy post Thanksgiving! I hope your day went well, with lots of peace, joy and enjoyable food 🙂 A few days ago, I posted about how I don’t really care for cooking turkey because of the litany of failed attempts my family has endured over many years. Well, I’m happy to report that yesterday’s turkey was totally tasty! It wasn’t burned, not too dry, not undercooked nor any of the other ways that I’ve ruined turkeys over many years – yahoo!!!
So here’s some encouragement. Think of something that you’ve been trying to get good at for a long time, then consider a few things:
perhaps the lessons you’ve learned from the failures just helped you to understand better what doesn’t work
be thankful that you don’t have to make the same list of mistakes – you can make new ones
perhaps you next attempt will be the one that brings you success
if you next attempt doesn’t succeed consider that you’re one step further from failure & closer to success 🙂
I was thinking about how Jesus often didn’t meet people’s expectations. Mostly, He was a frustration & aggravation to the religious leaders, an enigma to the political leaders & a catastrophic failure to His disciples as He hung on the cross. In some situations, Jesus far exceeded the expectations: He forgives & heals, He repairs & redeems, He confronts & consoles along with so much more!
I find this to be very comforting because there are times when all of us don’t meet the expectations of others. With Jesus’ help, we can disappoint in the right ways 🙂
What an amazing spectrum of experiences today. I’ve finished this day at our present nightcare facility, playing with one of our toddlers before he went to bed & enjoying our warm, safe & healthy haven for the babies of prostitutes while their moms work. Shortly before this wonderfully satisfying joy (we’ve been running for more than a year & have really acquired the trust of these moms to look after their babies), we negotiated the rent on a new nightcare facility in a new neighborhood & this is also super exciting!! We hope to be up & running there in about 2-3months 🙂
But here’s my struggle as I finish this day – we visited two brand new areas that desperately need nightcare & one of the areas we visited was really overwhelming for me. Even though we were there in the daytime, it was indescribably dark & felt very actively evil – the last face I saw before I left this area was a baby & if the truth be known, I’m having a rough time with all of this &I can’t seem to find words to go along with my feelings.
So friends, thank you SO MUCH for taking some time to read this & for being interested. I’m celebrating our successes & achievements while absorbing the opportunities that lie in front of us as well. Perhaps there is no one that is more “least of these” than the babies of prostitutes.
My husband & I are somewhat different. While we agree upon our goals & values, we don’t always see things in the same way, nor do we always take the same path to our goals. Early in our marriage, when he was still an engineer, we were talking about my efforts to hang wallpaper (which were “sketchy”). He was unhappy about how my wallpaper project had turned out because the pattern was slanted rather than perpendicular as it should have been. He began to ask my about the process I went through to hang the wallpaper & what I had done to properly prepare for a successful project. He gave me this quote, “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” I didn’t really care for the the cliche approach & it took me awhile to think through what he was trying to say – even though I didn’t like to admit it, I knew that he was right. This lesson is still being worked through my life even after almost 20 years of marriage.
What is even more breathtaking to me is when I consider that God is the Master Designer & Planner. God is working in our lives to prepare & refine us, growing & challenging us not only for today’s necessities but also for tomorrow’s successes 🙂
When my kids were younger, I had a fairly consistent of habit of making at least 2 attempts to get to the car before I was successful. I was always forgetting something – keys, wallet, bag, coat, shopping list, etc. My husband always knew that my 1st effort to leave would always have some follow up attempts as well & we now joke about this 🙂 He teases me & I always say that my first effort(s) are practice until I can get it right.
Practice is super important – it’s where we make mistakes, improve our skills, learn better ways, grow through endurance, etc. Indeed, practice is an essential ingredient for success! So if you find yourself having to practice alot, don’t get discouraged – you are merely getting continually better!! Consider that today’s results of the consequences of yesterday’s practice & today is the essential practice that we will need for tomorrow’s success 🙂
I’ve been thinking about Gideon lately & how 300 guys followed him to victory over more than 100,000 enemy soldiers. This very small group had MASSIVE amounts of success but a pre-cursor to their success individually & as a group was the elimination of fear.
Fear can be really loud, it can demand your attention, cripple your progress & thoroughly destroy your future. The guys who followed Gideon into this massive success made choices to not allow fear to control their decisions or behaviors. Indeed, Gideon had to overcome his own fear before he could lead anyone else out of fear & into victory.
Here are some things to help overcome fear:
*look at fear & face it – fear is usually much smaller when you turn & confront it, rather than avoid of deflect it
*make a step forward – fear wants to keep you paralyzed
*listen for Gods voice more than entertaining the voice of fear
*be mindful of conversations or inputs that cater to fear in your life
* never allow fear to be your friend
I’ve been thinking about this year & the various achievements & shortcomings for Saving Moses – reflections. There have been some really cool developments – we made some great initial contacts for nightcare in Asia, we got a SUPER deal on some baby formula in Angola (over 40 metric tons for free if we would pay $5k for the transportation, an obvious no-brainer), some amazing progress with our media abilities, we’ve made some great potential relationships for the future, along with many other things. On the flip side, there have also been some disappointments – our India trip was frustrating & I found that one of the malnutrition clinics that we recently visited in Angola didn’t have any milk, due to some poor communication.
Truthfully, I always want everything with Saving Moses to be 100% positive, but my experiences this year are teaching me that this isn’t always going to be realistic. Furthermore, I’m finding that even though I want Saving Moses to be MASSIVELY effective, I need to be patient as we grow & continue to keep taking steps along the journey that will continue to help us be increasingly effective.
Something that you could do to help us grow is to be a fan on our facebook page 🙂
So I know alot of people do this already & it’s not unusual for me to be slow to figure things out, but I’ve been reading 1 chapter of Proverbs each day for the last few months & it’s been a very interesting experience. The main take away, so far, is that I really appreciate the practical wisdom it presents in such short & pithy insights – not too wordy 🙂
Here are a few more lessons I want to digest & integrate into my daily life:
routine: what we do consistently on a daily basis can show not only our priorities, but also what we will be good at in 5, 10, 20 years, etc. Habits predict the future
persistence: quitting & failing are often as complementary as peanut butter & jelly or salt & pepper
wisdom: there’s a difference between information & wisdom; the pursuit of wisdom yields higher returns than the pursuit of information
What are some insights you’ve discovered from Proverbs?
Since it’s Mother’s Day, it seems fitting to celebrate our moms & their various contributions to our lives. My mom invests in my life in a multitude of different ways, but something that I always appreciate about her is the power of routine. Despite lots of travels & massive demands on her schedule, my mom is very consistent with her routines. She consistently exercises, makes healthy eating decisions, memorizes the Bible everyday and maintains healthy sleeping patterns. My mom is the Queen of Routine. And here’s what is so powerful about the whole routine thing, she’s done this for almost all of my life. So when people ask me about my mom & the secret to her success, of course God is the number one source for all success, but I’d quickly add that her consistent routines throughout the years have positioned her for the successful living she enjoys today.
So here’s my closing thought: let’s make the routines of our daily living conform to our priorities 🙂