Friday Round Up 300x281 - What Success Really MeansIt’s Friday, the day when I share what’s been big on the blog this week, as well as some personal thoughts and a look inside my life.

Today I want to give us a pep talk on what success really means–so read on!

But the main thing I’m thinking about is my daughter’s wedding–I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that it happened! It really was a lovely day. A ton of fun, and I’ll give you all some more insight into the best parts of it later, once I have more photos.

But here’s what’s been big this week, and then I’ll share some thoughts:

What’s #1 on the Blog This Week

25WaysShowHusbandLove2 150x150 - What Success Really MeansReal Divorce Rate1 150x150 - What Success Really Means#1 on the Blog: 50 Most Important Bible Verses to Memorize
#1 on Pinterest: 25 Quick Ways to Show Your Husband Love–and Transform Your Marriage!
#1 on Twitter: The success of your #marriage depends far more on what you believe about God than on how you feel about each other.
#1 on Facebook: What’s the real divorce rate? Hint: It’s nowhere near 50%! 

Why We Shouldn’t Worry About Success

This week I had the privilege of blogging as part of the Lean Cuisine campaign–What do you want to weigh me on? I’ve been chosen to be one of their bloggers, and I’ll be heading to the Lean Cuisine kitchens soon! Kinda cool for a blogger to be chosen for that.

But when I was writing my post about what I want to be weighed on (since so often we judge ourselves by appearances), it really struck me that success isn’t  up to us. It isn’t. It’s up to God, and it’s up to the choices that other people make.

So the only thing that we can be judged on is our effort, not our success.

And that’s what I wrote.

Then a long-time reader sent me a note. She and her husband have been battling his porn addiction for a few years, and their marriage has been rocky, but it’s starting to be rebuilt. And he’s slowly starting to reach out again.

And she said this,

My husband looks rested, peaceful, and his eyes sparkle. He is happy and smiles a lot. I am learning to trust. I keep reading your blog posts, and this particular one was very powerful.

Here is what happened:

I was reading your post quietly, but then thought I would share some of it with my husband. So I start reading out loud the paragraph that begins, ” But acting right and doing your part to create a great marriage is something we can all do…” I keep reading. My husband and I are really hearing together what you are saying.

And then I get to the paragraph toward the end that says, It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to be a mess. But if, in the midst of that mess, you treat yourself well, you treat your husband with integrity and faithfulness, and you treat your kids with love, you have accomplished a lot.

And I am reading and my eyes swell with tears, my throat closes up, and I can’t finish. My husband rubs my hand gently, and I just weep. This was exactly me. You told me I had accomplished a lot, and I don’t know why, but it took a weight off my shoulders. It was so affirming and beautiful and got right to the heart. It was a healing moment for me, for us, and I thank you, Sheila, from the bottom of my heart.

That really resonated with me, too. I’m so glad I was able to express what I was feeling when I wrote that post. I can think of so many women whose marriages and families aren’t perfect, but they have stayed faithful to God. And that is such a big accomplishment.

We had a friend of my younger daughter’s staying with us for a few days. He’s a major overachiever (in a good way), and he’s heading off to college in the fall. And of course with that comes worries about whether or not you’ll be able to keep up the grades and the success you’ve had so far. And I meant to say something to him while he was here–kind of the pep talk that I give all high achievers that I know. But I forgot, and now he’s left, so maybe I’ll just send him this link. But here’s what I wanted to say:

We have to believe that God has a plan for us.

That God has created us with our unique giftings and talents and skills for a reason–that He wants to use us to further His kingdom (Ephesians 2:10). And that needs to be the main goal of our lives–to be right in the middle of God’s will, knowing that He will use us in incredible ways.

And so what is our role in that? It isn’t to succeed. It isn’t to come first or to win a particular prize or to achieve a certain standing. It’s simply to do our best. That’s it. It’s to do our best. That is the offering that we give to God, and then we need to trust that God will use that offering and multiply it and work things through so that we will be able to accomplish the things that He has planned for us.

Don’t carry that burden of feeling that you need to accomplish some particular thing.

If you don’t get into the right school, or you don’t get the right prize, or the apparent right job, know that God still sees and that God is still weaving the framework for our lives.

It’s great to have goals and dreams; God often gives those specifically to us. But ultimately it is God’s plans that we need to be focused on. And if we give God our best, then He will surely take that and use it. After all, if God has a person who is saying, “I want you to use me!”, why would God not do something amazing with that?

So don’t worry about success; that’s not up to you. And no matter what happens, God will use you in HIS way, even if it’s not how you envisioned. Just give God your best, and then no matter what happens, you have so much to be proud of. And God will do amazing things with your best.

That’s what I wanted to say. I think it applies to young people starting off, but I think it also applies to marriage. You give God your best; it is up to God (and up to others’ free will choices) what happens afterwards. But don’t ever feel like you are a failure because you didn’t achieve something. If you tried, and gave your best, you are never, ever a failure. God sees that, and God uses it, and you should be proud.

By the way, check out my original post! You can enter to win a $100 Visa gift card, too, so don’t miss it!

My Baby is Married

Yay! It was a lovely day. Here’s just a sneak peak:

Rebecca Black and White - What Success Really Means

Rebecca and Connor wedding - What Success Really Means

Katie Creeper Photo

As some of my regular readers will know, my younger daughter has been taking “creeper” stalking photos of her with the two of them all year. So of course no wedding would be complete with a Katie creeper photo:

Wedding Creeper Photo - What Success Really Means

Thanks to Emma Sangalli photography for all the awesome photos! If you’re in Ottawa, look her up!

I’m Off to New York for Katie’s 18th!

So Katie missed signing the registry as maid of honour at her sister’s wedding by nine days. But she’s now about to turn 18, so she and I are heading off to New York City this weekend to see Les Miserables and to do a bit of sightseeing!

It’s hard to believe my baby is now 18. I’m really an empty nester. More on that Monday. I’m already starting to tear up.

So those are my main thoughts! Have a great weekend, everybody!

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