We have been working on our home remodel for a few weeks now. The process seems long, even though I know in a few short weeks we will have a home that is all put together and ready to be lived in.
As I consider how much work goes into a remodel, I think about how walls need to be torn down before fresh ones are installed, before the electricity can be wired correctly, and before fresh paint can color the house. There are many steps to make it a success, and patience is required.
Doing this remodel also makes me think about myself. I’ve been telling myself and others for many years now that I am a “work in progress.” Maybe you have believed this about yourself too.
I believe the Lord has transformed me and will continue to do so until I am in eternity with Him. I am a work in progress. While I am on this earth, I am being remodeled to reflect Him. This means that some parts of my character will need to be removed (bad habits and choices I have made that has shaped my character into something that is unbecoming) and it all needs to be torn out as God is adding to my heart more redeeming traits. I am making progress, a little at a time, patience required.
One area of my life I am realizing that needs some TLC is my view of a successful day. My husband often asks me if I feel like I was able to get a lot done in a day. My response is usually contingent on if I met all or exceeded my own expectations of what I desired to accomplish that day. What I have failed to recognized time and time again, is the value attached to that word success. The value I saw, was in my own ability to accomplish a list of tasks – something I fail at daily as my list grows lofty. This is a terrible place to be in because I don’t value my days as I should. I allow disappointment to crowd my heart. I feel defeated, regardless of what I did do.
I am starting to understand that a successful day comes with great value…and with the right perspective, I will be able to see the value of my days. Whether or not I accomplished everything on my lofty list, what did happen? …And…how can I celebrate the value in that?
- Did I spend time with the Lord?
- Did I spend quality time with my husband and kids?
- Did I laugh?
- Did I work hard?
- Did I take time to rest?
- Did I make any breakthroughs?
- Did I have self-control?
- Did I learn something new?
- Did I get a load of laundry in?
- Did I teach my child anything?
- Did I do some dishes?
- Did I encourage a friend?
- Did I say hi to my parents?
- Did I walk in the Spirit?
When I add up the answers to these types of questions, I find the value of life in each day. If I can say “yes I did” to even a few of these then my day should be considered a success. If I can say “yes I did” to even a few of these then I should not be wrestling with disappointment or frustration or feelings of defeat.
Sure a lofty list can keep us focused on tasks we may need to devote some time to, but it should not be our only focus, and it certainly should not be our standard of evaluating our success. Success is in the value of life that we get to experience each day. It is not accomplishing tasks, it is not making money, it is not found in our own abilities.
One definition of success reads: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
So if you knock out a few items on your list, you are successful as you accomplish your aim. If you spend time with God and with your family and you pursue what God has called you to, you are successful as you accomplish your purpose.
Please don’t miss out on embracing the success you reach each day. Don’t keep your heart from celebrating the good just because your ideals of success are contingent on how much you can do.
God considers our days more valuable than what we can do on our own, in our own strength. He wants us to have a right perspective. He wants us to know that with Him we can experience some awesome things. He wants us to know that relationships are incredibly important. He wants us to know that we don’t have to be defined as successful by what we do, but rather define our success by how we value the life we are given.
Here is something to put on that lofty list of yours…Take time today to acknowledge the success and the incredible value in your life.