As I thought about a theme for the first month of this new year, “productivity” came to mind. January often begins with high hopes and even higher expectations of what we imagine we can accomplish in the next 12 months. I thought about covering topics on bullet journaling (my favourite way to plan and keep my mind organized), on setting priorities and focus, and on how to organize your life to accommodate your highest priorities. While those are all worthy topics of discussion, I feel my heart pull in another direction as my fingers hit the keyboard. I want to first address failure.
You may be thinking to yourself: “Failure? Really?! It’s the beginning of the month and the beginning of the year and you already expect me to fail?”
Yes, I do. In fact, I’m sure you’ve failed already. I have too.
But here’s the thing I don’t want you to miss this year: it doesn’t matter. Failure isn’t final. It doesn’t define your day, your week, your month, or your year. And it certainly does not define you.
As I sit here alone, wishing I could be sitting at a table across from you, enjoying a hot cup of coffee and heartfelt conversation, I feel this term “failing forward” sinking deep into my weary soul. This idea of refinement through the rubble, growth through the grumbling, and progress through my imperfections.
Failing forward is two steps forward and one step backward.
Failing forward is falling 7 times and getting up 8 times.
Failing forward is the journey of a mother.
I could go ahead and write about all the ways we can do better in 2017: healthier meals, more organized homes, less stress, more meaningful relationships, etc., etc., which are all very good things to work towards and I would like to write about those things too.
But first, we need to accept that we will never do any of those things perfectly and the very act of making progress should be the highest pursuit.
So, as we fail forward this year, let’s not forget to see—and celebrate!—the progress we have made. God’s grace is for each one of us, and one of the greatest ways we can teach our children about grace is to model it in the way we treat ourselves.
Be quick to forgive yourself for your failures. Be quick to apologize to the people you’ve let down. Be quick to drop those feelings of guilt. And be quick to brush yourself off and take another step forward.
You have already been redeemed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You have nothing more to prove to yourself or to others, so do not be afraid to embrace your weaknesses. Instead of trying to hide them away and pretend they are not there, give them over to God in exchange for His strength.
You’ve got this, mama. Now go fail forward.