Being a mom can be a struggle. There’s no instruction manual for parenting my unique children. My weaknesses have never been more exposed than now by my patience being tested or responsibilities have gotten me down. I have days of successes, but at times I have felt like a failure.
When I fail, I try something else that I think will work better.
Cooking is a good example of this. There have been many times I’ve tried to creatively make something out of what I had in the kitchen and it ended up pretty gross. I have to continue to work at it to make it taste better.
Maybe I should have just followed the recipe!
I almost always follow a recipe now, but even within that I make mistakes! I get distracted and I forget to add sugar to a cake or add 1 cup of salt instead of 1 tablespoon (true story!).
So even when it is blatantly written out in step-by-step instructions, I still mess up!!
Just because I failed, it doesn’t mean I’m not making progress!
Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Thomas Edison has said something similar that he discovered 2,000 ways of how not to make a light bulb.
As we begin to learn what doesn’t work, we have two options:
1. We continue trying different ways to make it work.
2. We don’t try anymore and remain inactive (lukewarm).
If we remain inactive, nothing progresses and our growth remains stagnant. This is what many of us are doing because we would rather stay where we are than to have to fail.
But if we go through the ups and downs of life, we do progress even when we fail because when we get back up again, we have reached a new level. We come back stronger and wiser.
“The sign of spiritual progress is not so much never failing as it is being able to lift oneself up quickly after one falls.” –Fr. Jacques Philippe in “Searching for and Maintaining Peace”
Think of it like the graphs in the image below.
Jesus is the only one who can lift us up. As soon as we fall, We must go to Him immediately!
Our initiation reaction may be to hide and feel horrible or avoid any feelings at all. But we must go to the heart of Jesus.
The amount of time we waste in the “failure” zone will be determined by how long we stay in self-pity, shame and avoiding to turn to God.
We want to be humble but we refuse to allow ourselves to fail or look like we aren’t close to perfect. It’s unrealistic.
Life is all about trial and error and learning from our mistakes. I’ll never forget to add sugar to a cake again!
So many times we look at big decisions in life as this pivotal moment when we must choose right or wrong and we are left paralyzed and questioning everything along the way.
But the truth is, we don’t really know if we are following God’s will until we actually try something and find out if it works out.
We can look to friends’ and family’s “recipes” who have been in our same situation, but remember you lead a completely different spiritual journey that requires mistakes made and lessons learned.
Instead of being so hard on yourself for failing, see it as an opportunity to do even better next time. You have discovered what doesn’t work and that’s half the battle!
Your life will be closer to what God wants when you align your choices with your values and beliefs. It’s when we choose things that are against what we believe that we end up feeling like a failure.
Take time this week to think about your beliefs.
Life is about rising up from failure and allowing God to make you stronger and better than you were before.
What do you need to do today to become a stronger mom than ever before?