/> Raising Angels: Sweet Success

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sweet Success

Today I was in the kitchen for eight hours. I started by making homemade rolls, moved on to banana nut muffins, and then finished with chicken potpie.

By the time our dinner guests arrived, the kitchen was sparking, the extra food was wrapped and in the freezer, the potpie was in the oven and the muffins were cooling on the stove.

We ate, they left, and I went back in for clean up.

As I was standing in the kitchen late this afternoon, I was taken back to my time in high school. I was a good student. I was also a hard-working, high stress student. It used to drive me crazy when people would remark how easy I had it, how everything just came to me. I fully acknowledge that my intelligence comes from God – a gift to be sure. But, I also spent countless hours and sleepless nights studying and working for the grades I earned. It may have looked easy, but I assure you, it was not.

That’s what happened tonight. When the guests walked in, I was relaxed and everything was ready right when it was supposed to be. It appeared, I’m sure, effortless to some extent. It took all day to make it look so.

It’s a lesson that I think is missing today. Success doesn’t just happen; it’s the result of a great deal of effort on the part of the person experiencing it. Look at any professional athlete. That quarterback’s perfect pass isn’t only raw talent; it’s the culmination of years of practice, conditioning, and plain old hard work. The teacher who blows you out of the water with his or her creative and engaging lesson didn’t just wing it. That little activity was the end product of years of studying and hours of planning and practicing.

In short, if you want to be successful, you have to work.

Too many times, we want everything to just come to us. We want to be able to lose weight, be fit, make money, and learn a trade simply by osmosis. We want it to just happen to us – for us. Every once in a blue moon, you find someone who just got something handed to him, but mostly you hear stories of struggle and loss before the biggest gains.

Mackenzie is attempting to learn guitar this year. So far, she’s discovered how burdensome it is to carry that thing back and forth from school, developed blisters on all of her fingers, looked up the chords she’s forgotten, and strummed the same notes…a lot. She may learn it faster than a few others because she’s already taken piano lessons for many years. But regardless of that experience, it’s still going to take a lot of work for her to learn to play the guitar well.

I hope she sticks with it, somewhat because I feel like we deserve to have a sing along or two after the hours of repetitive chords we’ve listened to, but mostly because of how proud of herself she will be when she plays that first song. She will appreciate how far she’s come and how much work it took to get there and that’s the sweetest success of all.


Blogger Blair said...

Came upon one of your comments on an old blog post tonight and thought I'd come over to see how you guys were doing. And I see you have a baby just a little older than mine! Congratulations!!! Looks like your family is growing and thriving, and I'll have to try to get it back on my blog reader. I'm having a hard time keeping up with mine too! Many blessings to your family this Christmas season!

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a sad story believe it or not

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always enjoyed your blog. Have you moved it someplace else? I miss it.

7:01 AM  

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