Thursday, February 18, 2016

Changing Perspective on Success

Photo courtesy of the cutest little iphone snatcher you ever did see

It's time to start dinner, and I start feeling all panicky inside. I want to be able to jump right in there, grab a cutting board, and begin slicing and dicing for that evening's meal. Except I can't. I can't because the cutting board is dirty and needs washing. My favorite knife is still in the dishwasher and, when I go to grab it, I realize I haven't even emptied the dishwasher yet. I go into the refrigerator to grab the meat that should be thawed by now, only to find it's still solid and will be in need of some quick defrost method in the microwave where I push the defrost button and program it to thaw my 3 boneless chicken breasts like it would a 13 pound roast because, that should do the trick really fast, right?

And that's just the kitchen fiasco. The wet laundry upstairs needs to be switched to the dryer. But there's a clean pile of clothes already in there so I shove them in a basket and hope they don't get too wrinkled. There are blocks and color wonder markers strewn all over the living room floor. The menagerie of stuffed animals my son brought downstairs is preventing anyone from comfortably sitting on the couch without feeling like they paid for a one day admission to the Rieke Family Plush Animal Zoo. And the kids have lost interest in their netflix original cartoon that was supposed to entertain them for the duration of my dinner prep time, and now both of them are at my feet crying because apparently they're starving and I told them no snacks because dinner will be ready soon. At least in theory it will.

Does this ever happen to you? It feels like it happens to me every. Single. Day. I don't know why I can't get it together. I typically feel like my day has been rather successful and then, come dinner prep time, it feels as if, instead of the diligent day I did have, I spent the day on the couch binge-watching New Girl and neglecting my kids' hunger needs.

I was having a moment like this the other day. Sheer panic and unraveling of my soul triggered by the fact that nothing in my life felt done enough to move onto the dinner task that lay before me. I started to get really discouraged at my apparent lack of success that day. But then the Lord whispered a little something to my heart.

Ok so maybe I could have timed things a little better and set myself up for success by making sure the dishwasher was empty, the cutting board was clean, the laundry was folded and then the dryer filled again. The toys could have been cleaned up and the children could have been fed a more timely snack. It's true. That would have felt like a successful afternoon that set me up for a successful evening. 

But, you know what I did do that afternoon? Helped Micah beat a level on his video game. I colored with my kids. When Josh got home from work, I sat down with him and we chatted about his day and some new interests he was pursuing. I spent time with the people I love doing things that were important to them.

The day may not have "felt" successful by the time dinner came around, what with the untidiness of ... everything. But, ultimately, my primary goal is to create a happy home and communicate love and soul safety between these walls. I think, that particular afternoon, that happened.

Some days may feel more successful than others. But maybe, instead of defining success by the check marks on your to do list, it can be defined by investing in those you love and cherish most. That, my friends, is success with an eternal ripple effect. 

That sounds pretty successful to me. 

Anyone with me?!?!?!!


  1. Hello Sarah,
    My name Kerry. I am the proud mother of four living children, and 3 in heaven. I have never responded to any type of blogging but your YouTube video about Evie, touched my heart. After the video, it said, "for more information link on to Life and"

    I sat for hours reading your touching stories about your family. After reading about Joci I thought for sure your life would be filled with continuous happiness never having to experience the death of a child again. As I read further, I saw the name Charlie. Then I saw a comment about his death. My heart sank with deep sorrow for you and your family. The tears are running down my face as I write this to you.

    I often think of my life and all of the many many difficulties I had to endure just to get where I am today. I am 52 and still dealing with life's unexpected challenges. I pray deeply for strength to continue on.

    I would like you to know, you and your family will be in my prayers. God bless you and thank you for sharing your blessings with me and many others.

    1. Thank you so much Kerry. I'm so sorry for your losses and your hardships. Please let me know if I can do anything for you <3

    2. Hello Sarah
      So sorry it has taken me so long to respond to you. Thank you so much for your caring words. Yes, you can help me by praying for my family especially my husband. I pray every day for the strength to endure the difficulties in my marriage. We have been married for 19 years.We have good days and days that make me run to the foot of the cross asking Jesus to help me be more loving and forgiving towards my husband and all of the poor choices he makes. Marriage is not easy and divorce is not an option unless abuse,drugs,or alcohol are involved. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way when marrying at 21 years old to a man who had a history of domestic violence, secrets, drugs and lies. I was so nieve! I thought that if I prayed hard enough, he would change. It wasn't until he started to abuse our 2 babies, that I learned differently. I fought for 2 and a half years for full custody of our 2 babies and I won! I also got to leave the state and live with my parents 2,000 miles away. My marriage was annulled by the Catholic Church and God allowed me a chance to start again.
      So, as you can see, I have been through a lot. The one blessing I hold deep within my soul, is my unwavering faith and trust in God.
      In closing I will let you know that your prayers are still greatly needed.
      Love and Many Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

    3. I am so sorry. I am saying a prayer for you right now <3

      One of my favorite verses of all times: Psalm 61:2 - From the ends of the earth I cry out to you, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.