My Failures and Achievements of January 2014

Hey friends, family, internet peeps I’ve never met,

This month has been the two extremes of failure and achievement.

Failure to stop being sick for about 2 weeks. I had a sore throat for most of this month, and I’d like to report that it was infuriating. I have seen healing, I’ve received healing, and this was just not happening, not going away. Medicine didn’t help. It finally went away and I’m still asking Jesus what up with that.


Failure to get things done on my own. I couldn’t seem to make it to the office on time. I couldn’t make the calls I wanted to make. I couldn’t remember things. I mean you’d think I was just abducted by aliens or that my Myers-Briggs had just done a flip flop (no offense… but come on, where my high J at). I had to start setting reminders for basic stuff, like birthdays, and people’s surgeries, and things I normally do weekly but I now forget what day it is? So if I forgot your birthday, or didn’t follow up on something you trusted me with, I am super sorry.



Failure to get my emotions under control, or to prepare emotionally for possible changes. I knew there was a big chance of us losing the house I just moved into 2 weeks ago. Our neighbors did not approve of the group housing for the apprenticeship program (I was gonna be a house mentor), and I, instead of bracing myself and holding off on unpacking and on bonding, decided to bake cupcakes for the neighbors’ meeting. Ha. I sincerely thought we had this in the bag, that they would just love us. Nope. We were unanimously voted out. And with the reshuffle, they already had two mentors at the apartments, so I opted out.


Failure to pep and motivate 100% of the Phylla House ladies to come on back out of hibernation. Yep, I thought this was on my to-do list. I obviously failed to have a realistic to-do list. That was not a S.M.A.R.T. goal, kids. Whoops.

I failed so much this month.

But here’s where the opposite of failure took place… somehow…. you tell me…

I succeeded in apologizing a lot this month. I apologized a TON. I was humbled. I came up short. I was out of juice, out of health, out of my usual sunshine. I just showed up in most places. But I succeeded in apologizing. Hey!

I succeeded in being weak. Physically, emotionally, and I guess spiritually? I cried a bunch. Snotfest. I found myself asking a lot of questions about why I obeyed, if it was out of fear or out of love. Fear of who I would become, or of the choices He’d allow me to make out of my disobedience. Fear that He’d ‘let me do it my way’ and that I’d end up in the belly of a fish, or drowning in seaweed, or longing to eat pig food… ya know… the usual fear of the consequences of disobedience… God was able to soothe me and tell me that He’s sealed my heart for His courts above, and that I don’t have to worry about who I would be without Him. What a good Father!


I succeeded in receiving favor. I was asked to preach on Superbowl Sunday. I was asked to share in two different campuses at women’s ministry meetings. Filming 2 videos about Phylla House this month, thanks to Shaun, the saint. I succeeded in playing the shofar haha. Honestly, I’ve never been this taken seriously before, ironically just while I was a little weakling. And I was so blessed with a place to live, with the Smiths! THANK YOU.


Flashback to my first time preaching, in El Salvador, in Spanish, barely visible over the podium, clutching the microphone with both hands. Aw.

I succeeded at saying see you later. I had loved ones leave Georgia this month. On to the next adventures, to do the thing God called them to do. But I will see them later. I was able to cry and open my heart and know, and trust.

I succeeded at moving. TWICE. Chad, also the saint, helped me move yesterday. We were fierce ninjas. Two carloads in 38 minutes, from beginning to end.

I succeeded at unpacking. TWICE. I nested all over again, and I was afraid that my ‘give a darn’ was busted, but it isn’t 🙂 I still care. I still LOVE to unpack, and to settle in, and put up pictures, and pin up my Brazilian flag.

I succeeded in asking for help, or accepting help. I’m still asking for help. I’m still learning. I’m still trying to grasp just how much I need help. I need the Lord ALL THE TIME. I need Him. And my help comes from Him, whether it comes in the shape of a stranger, or a friend, or a family, or a job. I can’t do things alone. I am not supposed to even try.


that one time I spilled punch everywhere… life analogy

I succeeded in going to the gym for the first time since November. Yep. Yep. Believe it. I ran. Not much. Broke that threshold though, babies! Put on my Vibrams and ran on that mill o’tread. My goal last year was to not run when I was upset, or wanting to run my feelings. I needed to teach my heart how to run to Jesus with my feelings. Now I’m slowly, slowly going back to the idea of running, of just enjoying it.

I succeeded in spending $200 and my morning at the auto repair shop today. My car had a “dramatic leak” and a few hours and a chunk of my savings later (thanks, Dave Ramsey!!), it’s good to go. And I was able to help a lady named Aurora from Mexico who couldn’t speak much English at all. I interpreted for her at the auto shop and she smiled at me a real smile, and hugged me. I had warmth on a super cold day. I made friends because of car troubles. So good!

I succeeded in trying to rest. Hahaha… I laid there, and listened to a podcast about rest. I seriously closed my eyes, horizontal on the bed, with my hands on my stomach, and practically hummed while listening to this podcast. I might as well have chanted “I am resting, I am resting, I am resting” because it was that funny. I tried. I did awesome, I think? Two huge prayers got answered almost immediately after I got up, so I think there may be a holy correlation. Jury is still out on that 🙂 I am still learning what rest is. Rest is a state of mind, yes, but also something you do… or don’t do? Yes. All of that.


or this

I clearly “succeeded” more than I failed. I know that my failures were counted for me.

My faith is increasing. My reliance on the Lord is highlighted. I get to be real and weak and broken and normal. Not Mother Teresa, not the Instagram-filter missionary, not all bubbles and sass. I am weak, but I’m learning. I’m maturing and going on display for the gospel. I am succeeding in Christ. I’m a warrior in Him.

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