Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday's Top Ten [Biggest Moments of Failure and Success]

Beginning with 5 failures...

When things get hard or painful my natural tendency is to simply give up and quit. I hate that about myself. Most of biggest failures come from giving up and quitting for all the wrong reasons like when I quit playing college basketball. Or gave up sprinting the last 100 meters of the 400 meter dash all through high school simply because it hurt. Knowing what I know now, I never reached my full potential.

Some of my biggest failures in life come from moments of pride or anger. Unfortunately, many of them happened in the classroom when my actions shamed students into a behaving rather than dealing with the heart of the matter in a way that respected each individual.

In my short 4 years of motherhood there have been many moments when I have failed my children immensely. I have said "I am so sorry. Will you forgive me?" to them more than anyone else in my life.

Okay, perhaps second only to my husband. Not only did I fail him in my past choices, but I continue to fail him in my role as a biblical wife. Do I love him as God has called me to love? Do I submit, not just in my actions, but in my heart and mind as well? Do I honor and respect him as the leader in our home? No. Not perfectly day in and day out, or moment by moment, so I am so incredibly thankful for his constant forgiveness in my failings.

I also fail daily by being emotionally impulsive. More times than I can possibly count I have made a fool of myself because I say and do things based on the first thing I feel. I am constantly learning how to be the person who is not controlled by my ever-changing emotions and displaying them with appropriate timing and in a God glorifying way. Some of the things I regret most were because I was overcome by an emotion and immediately reacted on it rather than praying, reflecting on Scripture, asking questions, and seeking advice.

In each of these failings I know I cannot be perfect, so I am praying that God does a good work in me as He draws me to Himself. The more time I spend in Scripture the more I realize just how much I fail Him daily and it is because of my failings that I learn to appreciate Jesus all the more. He has forgiven me once for all through His work on the cross and God does not see my failings because of my faith in Christ. Does this mean I continue in this sin? Nope. I need His help daily! 

Ending with 5 successes...

Graduating from high school felt like the beginning of adulthood for me. It was thrilling to be able to walk off the stage, diploma in hand, ready to go out on my own. It was even more thrilling when I graduated from college. This time I walked off the stage with purpose. I was ready and excited to begin my teaching career. When I finished my Masters in Education three years later, I felt like an expert in my field.

And yet those degree's pale in comparison to the moments one of my struggling junior high or high school readers successfully read a book by themselves for the first time. Or when test results came back revealing a student who came into my class reading at a 3rd grade reading level at the 7th grade and grew in a years time 2 or 3 grade levels. Or when a student who previously hated books excitedly walked into my classroom to tell me all about a book he was enjoying. Those moments they were successful made all the hard work worth it!

Still, even those moments of success were nothing compared to giving birth to two beautiful girls, Brielle and Eleanna. That was by far the hardest work I have ever experienced, with the biggest reward. Every day as a mommy has it's ups and downs, challenges, struggles and rewards, but if being a mommy is all God asks of me for the rest of my life, I feel it's been a "successful" one.

Some of my proudest moments of "success" has been because of my children's success. Like when they took their first steps. Or when Brielle wrote her name for the first time all by herself. 
Or when a concept I've been trying to instill in them sinks deep into their soul. Or when Brielle successfully memorizes her Bible verse of the week. When I pour my heart and soul into their successes I can't help but calling it one of my own biggest moments of success. So much of who I am is because of my children...

... and my husband.

This February marks 10 years of togetherness with him.
One of our first pictures as a couple.
This July will be 8 years of marriage.
That is a huge success in my book because we barely made it through our first year (read a bit about that here). But thanks be to God and the work He's done in our lives - we are happily married as a result of HIM. Has it been easy? Will it be easy? Is it perfect? No, no, and no. We've learned that as long as our focus is on Christ and His Word - in all of life's "successes" and "failures" - we have a foundation that cannot be broken.

I am assured of one thing for the rest of my life: I can face my future successes and failures confidently because of the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. No matter what happens in this life, I have bigger and better things ahead of me. I truly believe the biggest "success" of my life is the day I meet Jesus face to face and place the crown of "my" successes at HIS feet.

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