Last month I read Bob Goff’s book LOVE DOES and my favorite part was his quote about failure.
“The thing I love about God is He intentionally guides people into failure. He made us so we are dependent upon Him. [The process] is designed so we try again and again until we finally get it right. And the whole time He is endlessly patient…Failure is just a part of the process, it’s not just okay; it’s better than okay.”
Each month we set our goals but then at the end of the month realize we didn’t reach any of them or have failed most of them. Have you ever been there? It’s a place of complete discouragement. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. It’s about how we get back up, let Him dust us off, and try again. What we don’t see is the bigger picture, the process He is taking us through, and the failures He is guiding us into because He knows what that failure will produce in us. Believe me, there have been many months where I look back at my goals with much disappointment, months I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything or progress in any area of my life, but what I have learned is that it isn’t so much about the goals as it is about learning to become more dependent upon Christ so you can step into the greater calling He has for you. One of my goals is to write a book someday, and I will tell you that it is one of the most daunting goals I’ve ever set for myself. It scares me and I consistently wonder if I have what it takes. I sometimes think about it and don’t even know where to start. But what I do know is that writing my book is not in and of myself but all for the glory of Christ. So every time I pull out that piece of paper and pen and hours later my page is still blank it leads me to the cross with a heart that is willing to fail time and time again, until those words decide to come and pages become filled with a story that will change the world. I don’t want to write a book just to write a book, but a book that comes from failure. The failures, the tears, and the late nights are going to be the things that shape your destiny. So each month I may have some of the same goals and I may see those goals every single month because I failed last month, but to me they are a constant reminder to try again. And should I fail again, then I’ll try again the next month, knowing that one day that failure will lead me to success. When that success comes, it will have meaning and value because of the process I had to bear to attain it. So my friends, DON’T give up. If you fail, try again. And again. And again! Think of it this way: Failure can be one of your greatest disappointments, but also one of your greatest strengths!
One thing Jesus did with His disciples was teach them how to think differently about life. It was a process and He took the time to get on their level. For instance, He washed their feet to show them what it truly means to serve others, and even though He was Lord of all He lowered himself to the role of a servant. Jesus walked with His disciples teaching them many things. He invested in them. He showed them what it meant to follow Him. They walked with Him for years and some of them still didn’t learn everything there was to learn until Jesus had already left. It was a slow process filled with many failures, but they still referred to themselves as His beloved. YOU are the beloved of Christ no matter how many failures, mess-ups, and screw-ups you have walked through. Get up and try again.
So here we are, in the month of February, the month of LOVE. Take a moment to think back to January and think of the goals you accomplished and the ones you didn’t. What worked well for you? What do you need to work on? Where can you grow? I learned that as much as I love to read, two books in one month are a little too much for me. I also learned that I need more specific and measurable goals. The more specific your goal is, the more likely you are to reach it. January was a busy month for me and there were many goals I didn’t reach and so I’m going to try again. Here’s a couple of things that went well last month…
-I did go to Uganda and managed to find land for two water wells where Empty Buckets will break ground in June of this year with an amazing team! Yay!!
– I did learn the basics of my new camera and took so many amazing pictures in Africa (they will be up on the blog soon!) !!
– I practiced being a better giver of my time and money.
– I learned how to trust the Lord more in the midst of uncomfortable situations; due to missing three connecting flights and losing our luggage on the way to Africa and not arriving until 2 1/2 days later, I almost broke down BUT reminded myself it’s not about me, but about my brothers and sisters all over the world who need to hear the good news of Christ.
– I did get to bed earlier most of the month and attempted to find a day each week where I committed myself to some rest, reading, blogging, and praying. Those were days of healing and I want to continue to incorporate them into my week.
Things I did not do…
– I did not write everyday and blog 1x/week.
– I struggled to stay off social media.
– I did not finish two books.
– I let the busyness of the month distract me from some of the things in life that matter the most.
– I felt like there were many mornings this past month were my time wasn’t used well and I felt rather rushed instead of enjoying the time that I had.
So here’s to a BRAND NEW MONTH!
– Read: The Blessed Life.
– Take a photography class.
– Social media only 2x/week. For myself it takes great self-control in this area.
– Get up 20 minutes earlier each morning. Workdays- 4:30am , Other days- 5:00am
– Give my 3rd speech at Toastmasters. Since I have been out of the country and traveling a lot this past month I haven’t been consistent about going to TM. My goal this month is to be consistent in going and focusing on how I can be a better public speaker.
– Run 15 miles; continue to train for the BIG D Marathon.
– Start swimming again. Swim twice this month.
– Try a new recipe and put it on the blog.
– Follow the One Year Bible here.
– Throw a sleepover for our EB Ambassador girls. Teach them how to set monthly goals for their life and what it takes to accomplish those goals.
– Speak at Christian World Church in Richardson. I could not be more excited to share my heart with the youth of this generation.
– Practice Self-control. I truly believe that if we can practice self-control in different areas of our lives whether that is through eating, exercise, limiting ourselves on social media or spending less we learn so much about ourselves. Pushing yourself, denying yourself, and creating better habits will affect every facet of your life. For example, If you want to give up sugar for the month you are not only creating a healthier habit and reseting your bodily cravings but you are also teaching yourself how to deny your flesh which will in turn directly affect every other area of your life. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” -Hebrews 12:11
– NO sugar or added sugar this month. Eat clean all month.
– Workout 5 days/week.
– Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for He grants sleep to those He loves.” -Psalm 127:2
I’m excited about all that God is going to do this month! If you haven’t already, subscribe to my blog. You don’t want to miss my upcoming blogs about my recent trip to Uganda and this month I will also be blogging a little bit about my journey through singleness (Just because it’s the month of love!) AND, don’t forget that it’s ok to fail, for one day you WILL succeed.