Redefining Success

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Everyday, when Chris asks how it went,  “Good,” just sticks in my throat. Not because it’s not good, but because I want good to feel good.  And it rarely does.

I have a successful day in my head that looks something like:

Everyone wakes,  after me, smiling, and well-rested.

Chores are speedy, well-done, hygiene is a felt need.

Meals are contained to tummies and plates, conversation is pleasant, clean-up is swift.

School is a time of voracious excitement to improve our minds and hearts to the glory of God.

We read wonderful stories aloud on the couch all snuggled up in such a way that everyone is cozy.

Creativity is orderly and sustainable.

We get plenty of exercise outside in the fresh air.

Quiet time is quiet.

Family worship is still bodies, robust singing, and inquisitive questions.

People stay asleep in their own  beds, all night.

In reality:

Everyone wakes,  after before me, smiling, and well-rested ravenously hungry.

Chores are speedy, well-done half-done, hygiene is a felt need nobody seems to be bothered by the fuzz on their teeth.

Meals are contained to tummies and plates on the floor and hidden under napkins, conversation is pleasant mixed with whining, interrupting, and  entreating, clean-up off to play is swift.

School is a time of voracious excitement commitment to improve our minds work ethic and hearts to the glory of God (and to mom’s pride).

We read start and stop wonderful stories aloud on the couch all snuggled up in such a way that everyone is cozy arguing about where to sit and not being able to see the pictures or not liking other people’s smelly feet,

Creativity is orderly and sustainable  messy, sometimes sinister, sprawling, and abundant.

We get plenty of exercise outside in the fresh air sent outside screaming for all the neighbors to hear because we’re afraid of bugs, until we remember that the hose is out front…

Quiet time is quiet  asking if we can be done yet.

Family  worship is still rolling, wiggling bodies, robust singing a joyful noise, and inquisitive sometimes very strange questions all to the soundtrack of some giggling and some crying.

People stay asleep in their own beds, all during the night.

And reality is a line outside the blue bathroom (i.e. discipline room), forgiveness, and fighting the good fight over and over and over.

When I define success as ease, comfort, or lack of trouble we are bound to fail.  But when I see that success looks like repentance, mercy, training in righteousness, and pressing on, I can honestly answer “good,” most days because in reality our life is a whopping success.

2 responses to “Redefining Success

  1. Danielle, this is so very true, raw and encouraging! Thank you for your honest transparency that isn’t put out there just to say “look we all aren’t good at this, so let’s us wallow in it together.” Nope, you put it out there to challenge us all to realize that we are doing it, even when it isn’t pretty and to keep looking to Christ and pointing our kids to Christ. Thank you!

  2. I hope you and I can write something together when I retire.

    People love real life. Love Dad

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