“Be assured that when you miss a check mark, He’s got that covered.”
I had just sent a detailed email full of what I felt like were selfish ambitions that I have been beating myself up over and concerns for some people close to me. I didn’t realize that Pastor’s response to my prayer requests would sink to the back of my mind until the words found their way back to the surface today.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times before (because I just can’t seem to let it go), a huge insecurity of mine is my unwillingness to just get things done.
Finished, completed, crossed off, checked off, and ready to move on with bigger and better things? Sounds nice but, nope, not me. I am a person content with dwelling. Filled with excitement in the beginning and lacking in the follow-through department. And when I finally learned this- I thought, “Hmm…I really don’t like that about myself,” and proceeded to identify with that as an unchanging fact rather than facing and conquering it.
So, that desk I’ve been trying to paint and re-purpose over the last month? It still needs the final coat, wax finish, and new dresser knobs.
The screen door remodel that I said I would have completed back in July of 2016? I’m not even sure where that is at the moment to be completely honest.
The laundry sitting in the dryer for the last three days? I might get it folded and put away by the weekend.
The horse waiting for me at the gate everyday when I get home from work? I’ll get to her whenever Spring decides to show up and stay.
The business I’m trying to plan for our small farm? Eventually.
My friend from high school who is expecting and probably stressed and emotional about her finances and the big changes that are happening right now? I think of her often…maybe one day I’ll remember to send her a message and let her know I’m praying for her, or maybe I’ll stop by to visit, “one of these days.”
The Bible sitting on my nightstand? If I’m not too tired after a long day, sure.
Do you see a pattern here? It’s all relative. I let my tendencies to put things off bleed into every aspect of my life. What seems as insignificant- like the laundry, for example- has the same thought process when trying to serve others or build my relationship with God, which is supposed to be the most significant of all!
So there are three truths I have found about getting results:
- Intentional Planning: If you have projects or goals to accomplish, don’t be afraid to get them down on paper, but for me it has proven helpful to focus on completing one project at a time. At the least, it is wise to be realistic about how many projects you can take on at once. Schedule your tasks in your calendar with sincere priority. This goes for leisure time, too. What I tend to do is put off tasks because I’ll jump on every opportunity that presents itself as a moment to unwind and “escape reality.” But when you actually schedule time to relax and unwind, you not only enjoy it more…you can also rest guilt-free from what you know you really should be doing.
- Discipline: It’s not easy when you, “just don’t feel like it.” Yet that’s exactly the time when you need it the most. That’s also what can make the result so rewarding- knowing that you pushed through even when you had every excuse not to.
- Accountability: from yourself and from your supporters. You have the ability to tell yourself YES and NO when you need to. You’ve got to ingrain it in your mind that it’s not a matter of being able to- it’s a matter of willingness. It’s also perfectly okay to ask for help in keeping yourself accountable to your goals. Whether it’s your spouse or friend, pick someone in your life that has no issue with holding you to your promises. You have this encouragement as an advantage to keep yourself disciplined…use it!
Oh yeah, there’s actually one more realization that came to me:
You can plan out every last detail, discipline yourself and hold yourself accountable every moment of every day, but it doesn’t always work out the way you think it should.
It’s no secret that there are unexpected roadblocks and detours in life. There might be days- weeks even, that all the goals you wanted to accomplish simply couldn’t get completed- for one reason or another. Maybe there is a person in your life that you needed to take time to serve. Maybe you suddenly have a physical injury that limits your ability to do certain tasks. The reality is, you never know what’s in store for you. Instead of feeling discouraged by that (like I have done), recognize it when it comes and accept it for what it is (instead of avoiding and complaining about it. Trust me, I know the feeling. I’m highly experienced in this area). Sometimes those detours are exactly what you need to redirect you to a different track- the right one. The beauty and hope in not knowing how it’s all going to work out is that it’s not up to you. It’s up to the One who already knows what’s good for you.
One step, one day, and one project at a time I am learning to let my failures and insecurities be my fuel. With proper planning, discipline, accountability and acceptance of the unknown, my “to-do’s” get a big fat check mark next to them- a great feeling! (My “to-do” item was to work on my writing today. So, here I am!) And on days when I feel like I’ve screwed it all up and missed it by a mile, I can rest assured now knowing that He’s got it covered. And that is the best feeling of all.
By the way, I cannot wait to share photos of the desk I am painting!
When I get around to it, I guess 😉