The Greatest Success...
If you're like me then your coming to the realization that this year is slowly but surely drawing to a close. The holiday season is fast approaching, and while a joy filled and celebratory time you may start thinking about all the things that didn't happen this year, all the things you thought you would do. All the dreams you held back in January, 11months ago, that may or may not have come true.
This post is for all of you.
There's so many ways to be better, do better, all around us. I love books and I love reading but all the self help books are driving me crazy! Because I always want to do the best I can at everything, all the time. It is quite exhausting. I sometimes wish I could not care as much as I do and be a little better off. So many ways to be a better wife, a better mom, a better person, a better Christian, a better artist.
While I'm always pursuing new things to learn and ways to grow- I have come to a new conclusion.
At the ripe old age of 21 ( LOL) 2 1/2 years of marriage, and 1 year of mommy hood, 5 years of working- I have come to the conclusion ( are you ready) You can't have it all! Or be it all! Or do it all!
While this may seem bleak, you only have enough time and energy to pursue a few things well, to do a few things well, and to have the most important things. Writing this now I breathe a little sigh of relief even though I have an internal struggle with this everyday. You see I want to give it my best at everything all the time, spiritually, professionally, personally, artistically, domestically.
I faced the hard truth this summer that just because I give it all I have doesn't always mean it will workout. My pride took a fall. It takes God. And as much as I want to do well at everything all the time, I believe God just has a few things for me to do well. Excellence is important, but my mental and emotional well being is also. Lessons God has to teach me like patience and grace are also important.
While ads are being put everywhere about how to host the perfect party, what décor to buy, new recipes to try and new diets and fitness programs are being advertised, company's are closing out the year and creating new goals and budgets for the next one, I want you to consider- What about Love?
Love is important to all of us. It makes the world go round, the ride worthwhile, and makes us lose our minds. The love we have for our parents and siblings, the love we have for our spouses or romantic other, the love we have for our children and friends. Love has always been important and dare I say will always be important. But do we see it as our greatest success?
I always want to tackle new projects, learn better ways of doing things, keep things clean and organized, create and conquer. My daily happiness meter is usually measured by how much I accomplish that day honestly. Which isn't the best thing for a working mom with a toddler and health problems. I'm working on it. But the pattern seems to be that success is measured by the size of your home, bank account, job title, paycheck. Or measured by your accomplishments, how you spend your time, what groups you're apart of, what hobbies you have, how "together" you are.
If we measure ourselves by our accomplishments and success we will forever be unhappy.
Because Love is our greatest success. Take it from someone who lost a lot this summer.
It all comes down to love, as my favorite singer/songwriter says- Did we learn to Love?
It's not about the empire we build at our jobs or how much wealth or possessions we amassed, or if our names are etched into stone. It boils down to how we spend our time and energy daily.
An investment of Love is never wasted. Whether towards our husband/wife, children, family, co-workers or perfect strangers. Even unreturned actions of Love are not a waste. How am I so certain? Jesus speaks of the first and greatest commandment and the second commandment numerous times throughout the new testament. and they are about Love.
Matthew 22:37-39New International Version (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
The greatest thing we can do with our life is to Love, God and others. I am convinced our greatest success and our greatest struggle lies in loving God and others. The single most important thing we can do daily is loving well. The time, attention and energy we pour into others lives matters and has an eternal impact. To quote two amazing women on the topic -
"What in your life do you need to lay down to pursue a life of great love? Because a life of great love writes a beautiful story"
This is my life's ambition, to pursue a life of great love. Loving God, my husband, son, and others.
Being successful and getting stuff done is important, but it doesn't last. Love is the greatest work we can do. I've made decisions that pretty much guarantee that my life wont be easy, but I don't regret saying yes. I choose Love and Love isn't easy. I get to spend my life investing in Love whatever other accomplishments I don't make this one will last.
Thanksgiving is nearly here, and we are in a season of gratitude and reflection.
Everyday, but this year even more so, I am grateful for Love. God's love, perfect love, imperfect love, messy love, beautiful love, the love that brakes you and the love that heals you.
You see, for me, it is always going to be about love.