Moms See Their Mistakes But Their Children See More

Mark and I are on the verge of entering a new phase in life. One that leaves us lost most of the time. We have two full-blown “pre-teeners with a tude”. Yep, we need serious prayer.

I have to admit, I’m not handling it very well. On moment I’m mourning the loss of having a “little one” around and other times I’m looking at my calendar, counting down the days until they leave for college.

My natural response for when they get snarky with me is to one-up-them with my own snarkiness (is that even a word??). Then I walk away wondering  if I’m little-by-little chipping away the bond we hold. I’ve been talking to anyone with teenagers, trying to absorb any wisdom and insight they have to offer.

I feel like I’m screwing up all the time.

I found a video the other day that nourished my soul and reminded me of the goodness that lies in the heart of a child. It allowed me to breathe and relax. I may have moments of snarkiness but my moments of loving them and serving them trumps the bad and is building a bond that will last a life time.

If you have a chance, take three minutes to watch it – and be sure to have a Kleenex with you.




I Can’t Let Numbers Define Me

I’ve never had a good relationship with numbers. They tell me what I should have and what I don’t have or what I have too much of or what I need to lose. Even though I consider myself a positive person, numbers often have a negative effect on me.

blog photo - loserFor example, the other day I got up, weighed myself and the large numbers on our scale announced that I had gained a couple of pounds. X (imagine an obnoxious buzzer accompanying this signaling ‘strike one’). No worries, I’ve been traveling and haven’t been able to workout regularly in a while – it’s an easy fix.

So I put on my running shoes and my GPS watch and head out the door. Bad decision to wear the watch. The large numbers strapped to my wrist, accompanied by an annoying beep, reminded me – continually – that I was running slower and for a shorter distance than I had a couple months ago. X X (strike two)

No worries, I’ve been focusing on work lately, at least things are going well in this area of my life.

I showered, headed to the office and out of curiosity decided to check the stats on my latest blog. Another bad decision… X X X – three strikes – it’s official, I’m a loser.

The rest of the day I battled an internal voice telling me that I was failing in all areas of my life. The only one that I was succeeding in was my role as a pet owner. (Then I remembered that 1 of our dogs still needed 3 shots.)

Dang it – I can’t get a break anywhere!

When the unpleasant internal voice uses the numbers to beat me down, I have to remind myself that the numbers don’t define me. However, I can use them to refine me. Numbers can be a gauge that shows where I need to focus more of my attention.

I’m not a lazy bum. I’ve been working hard in one area of my life but the numbers revealed that I have neglected another. Easy fix.

I’m not in as good of shape as I was this past summer. It’s okay, my body needs a break but I can get it back going in smaller doses.

Blogs hits aren’t as high as in the past. No worries – maybe the topic wasn’t applicable for as many but I can use this info to guide me for the next one.

My dog needs his vaccines. Uh…I caught him eating out of the kitty litter the other day. If that doesn’t kill, being a couple of weeks late on his vaccines won’t either!

The internal voice that tries to beat us all down and will use whatever it can to paralyze us. But one of my favorite passages in the Bible helps me to silence it:

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Ba Bam! Take that Number Nazi!

Do numbers fuel you or paralyze you?

What tools does the obnoxious internal voice use to attack you?





Some of Our Favorites Knew Failure Before They Knew Success

Failure. It’s much like going to the going to the dentist. We all dread it but it happens sooner or later. We anxiously anticipate the pain it will bring but in the end, we are stronger and healthier.

Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, wisely said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”

blog photo - failure success

Many of the world’s greatest have experienced more failures than the average person. Why? They didn’t let failure stop them. They kept trying.

They didn’t define failure as a time of losing but as a time of learning.

Failure didn’t paralyze them, it fueled their perseverance.

Failure didn’t make them retreat, it made them retry – over and over and over again until they succeeded.

Here are a few of my favorite stories of people who accomplished grand things because they didn’t give up…

–       Henry Ford – The industrialist wasn’t an instant success. Nope – his first five businesses failed and left him broke before he finally found success in Ford Motor Company.

–       Walt Disney – Today we call him a creative genius but one of his first bosses didn’t agree. He fired Walt Disney from his job as a newspaper editor claiming he, “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He didn’t find success overnight. He started a number of businesses that all failed and ended in bankruptcy before he gave us Disney World and Mickey Mouse.

–       Abraham Lincoln – One of the greatest leaders in American history did not always have leadership qualities. As a youth he headed off to war as a captain but returned home with the ranking of private – the lowest possible. He started a number of businesses that failed. He was defeated numerous times running for political office before becoming President

–       Winston Churchill – The Noble Peace Prize winner and two-time-elected Prime Minister of the U.K. flunked out of 6th grade (this gives hope to all us parents). He lost every public election that he ran for until becoming Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62. I’m sure he used this same perseverance to convince the world to fight Hitler.

–       Jerry Seinfeld – Our well-loved funny man didn’t always make people laugh. The first time he went on stage he froze and was eventually booed off the stage. He knew he had what it took and returned the following night and received laughter and applause.

Failure is not a wall that keeps us from succeeding but a tool that shows who is willing to climb the wall in order to succeed. It builds perseverance and endurance – qualities that will also be needed for the day success arrives. It’s not easy running a large company, a media empire and to endure a war.

Our biggest failures happen when success comes too soon.

What failure stories inspire you?

What have failures taught you?