Olympic Lessons

So I was at the gym the other night running at maximum speed and top incline…ok, ok, I was walking because, let’s be honest it was a Monday and I didn’t feel well, and gave in to it…but anyway, I was watching the Olympics while I was being a bum. (It was both depressing and motivating!!) Snowboarding was on, and I was watching these 17 and 18 year old girls compete in a foreign country and do so well, it was amazing! Their parents were so proud and they had little fan clubs on the side lines cheering them on. As I was sluggishly trudging on the treadmill, I was thinking, man, if I could only be like them — fit, strong, cute, and killing it in a sport competing with top athletes from around the world! Have people chanting my name and wishing for my success, and then celebrating with me when I did what everyone knew I would — win. THAT would be awesome!

But then I got to thinking. We are just so sure that the grass is always greener over there on the other side…I was comparing our lives based on one snapshot of their career, and one moment in their story. What I didn’t see was the hours upon hours of practice that these athletes had to put in to be that good. As effortless as they make it look, I know that they didn’t just wake up one day and be awesome at snowboarding. They had to train, and have discipline, and hours and hours of practice. I didn’t see the tough training schedules, hectic lives, limited free time, and restrictive diets — all I saw was success, and I’ll admit, I was envious.

I absolutely love being a mom, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…but lately I have just been struggling with the feeling that I am not really good at any one thing anymore, especially when it comes to receiving recognition from others. When I was working, I could to a good job in my position, get my review, and I would know that I was doing well based on how I was graded. Or I would have an awesome interaction with an appreciative patient, and think, “Man, I am killing it today!”. But as you other moms know, you give up that feeling when you become a mom – or at least I did. “Killing it” becomes more of “Yay, I kept the babies alive today AND wore pants!”

But anyway I got to thinking that it’s so easy to want what other people have just by looking at their one moment of fame and glory, but how willing would we be to put in what it takes to make it work? I think that is the problem with our marriages, jobs, families and so many other things – we want what we see in that one pretty picture or are envious of the glory of success of others that we may see, but don’t really consider the hard work and countless hours of sacrifice behind the scenes that it takes to achieve that moment. We get dissatisfied with what we have because we feel like someone else always has it better, but we are definitely not considering the whole picture, just that one, perfect moment that we happen to see.

Something else that struck me as I was watching was that each of the successful athletes is not out there on their own. Their families, coaches, fans, and fellow athletes surround them as a community of people who understand the goals, mentality and lifestyle that go into their success. I wrote before about trying to find a mom’s group to get involved with, and I’m struck even more by how much a community around you can contribute to your overall success! People who understand what is going on in your life and can relate and support you is crucial to you having success in whatever you are doing. I have started doing a Bible study with two other moms, and I think I can say, without being dramatic, that it has already changed our lives in the few short weeks we have done it. We are around each other, cheering, praying, and urging each other onto success through Christ in motherhood and marriage, and that is priceless.

Do you have a community around you to build you up and support you? If you are a believer, God even says in his Word that it is crucial —

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25).

It is hard to make time in this crazy life sometimes, and I know that as modern women, we are urged to be independent above all things, but I can speak from experience that sharing your journey and your faith with fellow members of God’s family can mean the difference between just surviving life, and truly thriving.

Happy Valentine’s Day, you beautiful readers, you — have a great day with those you love! Xoxo

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