Confession: Lately, I’ve been feeling like a failure. Kind of like the time I felt like this.
My life has become a bit unbalanced over the past few weeks. I have not been doing the things that I love to do, was made to do, find meaning in doing (exercising, writing, reading, studying the Bible, using my time wisely, being a good friend, planning cool activities for my kids). That makes me feel like a failure, and I just hate that feeling. I hate feeling unsuccessful.
But what is success for a stay at home mom? What is success for any of us? What are the keys to being successful right where we are?
Yesterday morning, as I was slurping down my coffee, staring at my cute kids in their super-man and tinker bell pj’s, I was wishing for that feeling of success…
- Imagining how great it would be for a babysitter to magically appear so I could get away and write. Surely then I would feel more successful.
- Wishing that my kids weren’t sick so we could at least go the gym and catch a cardio-box class. To sweat for an hour, punch the daylights out of the air and feel like I was doing something productive. Successful feeling usually follow a work-out.
- Hoping that my congested baby would get back to sleeping more than three hours at a time so that I could re-start my early morning routine of quiet coffee and Bible study. I long to feel more ready for my day before it blows right by. That usually sets me up for success.
- Day-dreaming about how if I had taken a career instead of having kids, how productive, how significant and successful my days might actually be.
- Thinking about how other moms seem to be able to do it all: homeschool, blog, cook from scratch, whip up cool art projects, and somehow get everyone bathed regularly. And I thought about how I can barely seem to remember to defrost our dinner meat before 5:30pm. How some days, I forget how long it’s been since my kids had a bath. True statement(s).
After all of those “I can’t get it together, definitely feeling like a failure” thoughts, a more positive thought hit me.
As I spent my morning playing trains, donning dress-up after dress-up, wiping runny noses and making peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, I realized something. The key to success may not be in all I do, have potential to do, or appear to do.
Instead, the key to success for me is this:
To be fully present to the presence of God in my present circumstance.
Did you get that? Be present- fully awake, fully aware, fully attentive- to the activity of God in whatever you are doing, right here, right now.
As I am present to God in my present circumstances, a sense of inspiration stirs in my heart that I otherwise cannot muster. An inspiration to be truly great- to live for greatness, even in the mundane. To live in a level of greatness that is not measured by religious activity, money, productivity, career status or check-lists.
This is the type of greatness that leaves a lasting legacy when the glory of “success” fades.
Being aware of God in the daily grind inspires a greatness that leads me into life lived well; life lived in grace.
Apart from His presence, I struggle to find inspiration that can help me live beyond my whinny, bored, discontented self. But as I listen for His heart beats among the ticking minutes of my day, I sense that success begins in being aware of and surrendered to the one who envisioned my life before it began. (Psalm 139:16)
God is the author of everything inspiring. (Colossians 1:16-17) As I am aware of Him, in the present moment, no matter how mundane that moment is, I am walking into success.
Right now, in this moment, those things include laundry, dishes and play dough, cheering on Superman as he learns to fly, telling her over and over that she’s beautiful, inside and out, and making sure my baby doesn’t get completely smothered with big-sister love. It includes developing them towards their greatest potential in God one hug, one band-aid, one song, one encouragement, one prayer at a time.
I want to see Him in the moments, that make up the hours, that make up life; right where I am. I want to live life aware of His presence; aware of the holiness, and significance of today.
Success means that our hearts stay connected to God, our Maker, throughout all the moments of life, no matter what is happening during those moments. A connected life- where our activities are inspired and energized by the Source of all Life, is a successful life.
Be connected- be present– To HIM- right now. Right where you are. Then see your heart become inspired for even greater things than you can ask or imagine.
“Now to Him, who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory throughout all generations.” Ephesians 3:20-21