Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 days....

as i've grown older and now have children of my own, i realize that my mom and dad truly did mean what they said; they really did just want me to try my best. apply myself. put forth some effort.... honest effort. not only did my parents request this of me, but i realize now that the Lord is calling me to do the same - put forth some honest effort in the things that i do. and if i'm being honest, this is an area where i still struggle. how many times do i do "just enough to get by?" too many. how many times do i stop short of meeting my full potential because the task seems to daunting? more than i'd care to admit.

i can get so bogged down in the busyness and struggles of life that i start to use them as an excuse for my own lack of effort. i let my every day life become a crutch for laziness. and then i let the fear of failure become the scapegoat for my lack of effort. the tasks at hand can seem so overwhelming at times - being a wife, raising small children, keeping up with the house, meals, laundry, social activities, church, and on and on - all while trying to maintain a sense of my self (and my sanity!) somewhere along the way, i'm afraid i stopped putting forth as much effort, because i felt like i couldn't measure up.

i worried about things like: what would it say about my parenting if my children misbehaved in public?  what would it say about my faith if i admitted to my shortcomings and doubts? what would it say about me if i couldn't keep a perfectly clean and organized house? and i let those thoughts become strongholds in my life that keep me from putting forth the full, honest, effort that i'm capable of. 

and then one day i realized that worrying about those things forfeits the grace and the STRENGTH that He's given me. God doesn't measure my successes, He measures my efforts. He doesn't promise that everything will be hunky dory all the time. He doesn't guarantee that i'll never fail. but He does promise to give me the strength i need for the task at hand. He sees my EFFORTS as a service to Him, not just my SUCCESSES. praise God for that, huh?! 

which leads me to my topic for the nester's 31 days series:
i'm committing to 31 days of giving my honest effort to everything from my spiritual life, to my marriage, to my parenting, to my health and fitness, to my housekeeping, and everything in between -  basically all areas of my life where i'm called to work and serve. and i'm going to try my best to blog about it each day (see what i did there?!-ha!!) ;-)

does that mean that my children will always listen? no. it just means that i'll keep trying to be the best parent i can be even when they don't. does it mean that my house will always be clean and i'll be caught up on the laundry 100% of the time? nope. it just means that i'll make the effort to do these things instead of wasting time elsewhere. and there may even be times when i'm called to put forth my best effort at resting. if so,  i'll gladly accept that challenge - ha! :) 

i hope you'll join me each day as i prayerfully seek to serve the Lord through my best efforts. i know success isn't guaranteed, but i'm positive that blessings are. 

 "Every time you find work to do, do it the best you can...."
Ecclesiastes 9:10

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