I am going to be completely transparent here. I feel like Paul in scripture (Romans 7:14-25). I considered just quoting what he said, but he uses such language that I find myself getting lost in the verbiage and missing the meaning if I am not careful. Therefore, I read it again and again and decided to paraphrase. These are my words:
I know what I ought to do and what I ought not to do. But rather than doing the thing I know I ought to do, I do the thing I know I ought not to do, that is to sin. I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do not is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not what to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not what to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members [or parts of my body].
The point of it all? I know what I should do – what is good and right and best. I know how to please the Lord with my actions, words, and deeds. God has blessed me with a lot of wisdom, but I feel like Solomon from scripture here. Solomon had so much wisdom and yet made mistake after mistake and it ruined him and his empire. I feel like I have a choice: to do what I ought to do, the things I know are best – the things that please the Lord and the things we are called to do in scripture. OR I can choose to let it go and just let things be as they are, just give up, basically.
I must extend myself grace, as the Lord extends me grace. I must recognize that I am imperfect and always will be. But I hold myself to such ambitious standards – standards I could possibly never reach – and I expect these things from myself and extend no grace when I fail. I beat myself up and feel guilty. Sometimes this causes me to feel sleepy, because I just feel so emotionally awful inside, so I give in and sleep my life away.
What I am trying to say is I have a lot of good advice to give but:
I think, I feel, but I do not do. I refuse to find myself to be a hypocrite. I will not express to my readers all this great advice and follow none of it myself. I will hold myself accountable for who I truly am.
I was once in a meeting where they asked us to come up with a purpose and mission statement, and recently I was instructed to come up with a chief aim (something I cannot explain very well).
My Purpose is, “To Live for God, making the most of each moment, loving and serving others as I go.”
My mission statement goes like this:
“I genuinely give life all I have and all I am.
I care deeply and intensely about each individual in my path.
I lead by example and am an example worth following.”
My chief aim is still a work in progress. It is supposed to be a short snippet that sums up the direction you want to go in life, or something like that -it is like your purpose summed up. So far, I have, “I live my life for God, serving him fearlessly in every area of my life.” But I feel like that is too much like my purpose.
Then we were instructed to come up with how we were going to LIVE OUT our mission statement. Here is what I said:
I commit to life and individuals by doing the following:
I continually and completely Love God with all my heart, body, soul, mind, and strength, with enthusiasm and unfailing devotion.
I completely invest in my relationships and the direction they are going now.
I LOVE fully, deeply, with passion and emotional intelligence.
I am committed to enjoying life-altering relationships.
I push myself further beyond what I believe to be my “best self” every day and have integrity in this process.
Everybody fails. Everybody falters. But failing does not a failure make. Fail forward – which simply means to learn from your mistakes. Failure and mistakes make us fixer-uppers. (See this blog post: “Failure or Fixer-Upper”) Am I an example worth following? I do not know what others would say about me, but I feel like I do try to be such and my effort counts for something.
I will follow my purpose, mission statement, and chief aim to the best of my ability. I will be better today than I was yesterday and better tomorrow than I was today. I will grow and change every day for the better. This I commit to do consistently, but I also commit to extend myself grace and love to the extent that I know my Lord does.
So, in my transparency I say to you: Be your best. Do your best. But extend yourself grace. When you fall, get back up, dust off and hit it again, and again, and again.
There is a time and place for stopping something for various good reasons but when you find yourself making excuses for why you cannot do something that is a warning sign that you are giving up. At this point you must make a choice to let it go and give it up, or keep pushing on. There is a time and place for both.
I choose to hit it again and again until I am perfect, but extend myself grace. May you find it within yourself to do the same.
God bless you today and always.
Super Momma Maggie