I love collecting motivational quotes and sayings. I hoard them like a squirrel with winter approaching! Every time I see one that resonates with me, I take a picture or a screenshot on my phone, or pin it on pinterest... I've got quite a collection, if I do say so myself! If you're a member of my Peony Garden facebook group, you probably have seen some examples of my favorite quotes, and sometimes scriptures, placed with pretty backgrounds. There's one that I have made that I've hesitated to post. I didn't want it to rub anyone the wrong way. It goes like this: "Don't be upset with the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do" I know, a lot of double negatives and weird wording but in essence it's saying, "You didn't do the work, so you didn't get the results you wanted. Don't be upset." Yet it hit me like a punch to the gut the first time I read it.
How often do I complain about the lack of progress that truly rests on my lack of effort? How often to I look in the mirror and think "Why do my clothes not fit me like they used to?!" while I drink my caramel mocha creamer-laden coffee. How often do I complain about being so tired when I repeatedly stay up way too late!? (totally writing this when I should be sleeping) How often do I complain about a tense issue in a relationship that I have never had to courage to talk to that person about?
How often do I complain about not getting results that I had no business expecting?
And how often do I make excuses, or blame others, when this happens? Or, paradoxically, blame myself way more than is actually useful? (guilty as heck on this last one) I hadn't posted this in my group because I was worried... what if someone who had just missed a big goal saw it, read it, and became discouraged? What if she read it and it made her angry? What if she saw it and it just made the disappointment she was already feeling twist like a knife? I don't want that to happen. Missing goals is HARD. It's not the same as waking up exhausted because "night you" decided to finish a finish a TV series in one night. No, when you pour your heart soul and "why" into a goal, and you miss? Ouch, man. That hurts. And I want to be a cheerleader, not some aggressive, sweaty coach who yells at you. The truth is, you can miss a goal having done everything right. Sometimes, results are out of your control. And what then? That's when I think about how Mary Kay Ash said "work like it all depends on you, and pray like it all depends on God."
Your results are a mixture of your willpower and God's will.
You've probably heard the Garth Brooks song "Unanswered Prayers." Remind yourself that God has this all figured out. Perhaps this disappointment was truly a divine appointment. God is placing you, protecting you, readying you, saving you for something better. And consider the positives that came from your effort. You became stronger. Tougher. You pushed past your limits. You leaned into failure. You built solid habits. You learned from your mistakes. The first part of Proverbs 14:23 says "in all work there is profit" and we can trust that all the work we endure is valuable. It is not wasted. "Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Cor 15:58) is another helpful scripture. Your work, if you did it with obedience to God's call and for the glory of God's kingdom, is always a success,
There is so many places in the bible where God encourages us to put our trust in Him. I know I feel the strain of this every day. In my mind I think, "All I did today is clean up a house that is already a mess again! what was the point?!" or "I held a party that I coached and did everything right and I made no sales at all! what a waste!" Hold up now. Who am I to know what fruits came from those efforts? Perhaps my cleaning, while seemingly pointless, enabled me to cook a meal in a clean kitchen, and allowed my kids to play safely on a cleared-off carpet, and perhaps them watching and helping me clean planted a seed of work ethic and responsibility in their little minds. Perhaps the zero-sale party was God's way of showing the hostess that she is special, and my treating her with TLC made a world of difference to her, and even though she couldn't spend money and neither could her friends, she felt beautiful for the first time in years, and as soon as her financial situation changes, she's going to give me a call. I DON'T KNOW what God has planned, and neither do I need to know.
I am called to two things in this life: To obey and to trust.
God has called me to be a wife, mother, and an entrepreneur that uplifts and empowers women. I am to obey that call every day. I am called to love my neighbor and love God. I am to obey that call every day. I am called to trust. I don't have to understand the plan. I just have to obey it, knowing that he has the end figured out. When Joshua walked around Jericho, do you think he understood how it was going to help the situation? I doubt it. So let me ask you... did you walk around Jericho? If you missed a goal, did you obey? did you trust? If you truly laid it all on the line, and you truly trusted God's plan and fully placed the entire goal into God's hands and said, "thy will be done" does the missed goal still have a sting to it? I know for me, it hurts less. I can walk on knowing that I did my job. I obeyed. I trusted. Did it turn out like I hoped? No. But I can have faith that the fruit is yet unseen. And if I didn't? If I didn't trust, if I didn't obey? Then yeah. I deserve the sting of defeat. I shouldn't be upset with the results I didn't get with the work I didn't do. It's time to decide if I really want it, if God is really calling me to it, and then it's time to work, obey, trust. I hope you found this (my first blog post ever!) empowering. I'm trusting that God knows who needs to read it, and that it helps the reader, in some way, to walk stronger yet slower, to be the fearless leader but also to be the humble servant, That, in some way, these words help her to be the instrument of God and brings closer His Kingdom. xo Erin