Finding the Will to Try Again

One week into the new year and I’m already lagging behind.

We started school back this past Monday, albeit reluctantly. Today, the kids begin their second semester of Homeschool Academy, setting out to tackle what’s left of this school year.

As we settle in to do just that, I am reminded there are other things in life also worth tackling.

So here I sit. Steaming cup of coffee within arm’s reach. Laptop open – the keys smooth beneath my touch. My heart feels hopeful as I type #my500words – a 31 day commitment to jumpstart my writing this year.

I wonder what commitments this new year ushered in for you? Perhaps you resolved to make changes in your personal life – your health, your marriage, your family. Or, perhaps it’s your career or work place that need tweaking. Or maybe, like me, it’s time to stop piddling and finally pursue that certain something God has called you to do.

Likely, more than one area comes to mind when you ponder change. This is true of me as well.

Developing the habit of daily writing is not the only area in my life needing improvement. There is another area – one just as important and just as difficult, possibly more so. Together, these two areas comprise my greatest struggles.

Eating as I should.

Writing as I should.

I wish I could tell you I’m stepping into these commitments wholeheartedly and with strong resolve. The truth is this: I’ve failed so many times, I’m gun-shy of even trying. I lack confidence in myself, in my abilities, in my self-discipline.

These issues remind me of the scenario Paul speaks of in Romans 7:15 – “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”

It’s such a frustrating pattern. Especially when I know it’s me failing myself. Every single time.

I’m the one who chooses the unhealthy option over the healthy one. I’m the one who goes back for a second helping when there is no need to do so. It’s me who creates any excuse possible to avoid sitting down, staying put and getting the writing done.

So at the end of the day, I beat myself up once more. I tally my wins and losses in my head and, as usual, the losses far outweigh the wins. All the while, the numbers on my scale increase and the words on my paper decrease.

So once again, I fail to try so I don’t try and fail. I realize this is backwards-thinking. Common sense tells me I should try and fail, and then try and try again until I acquire success.

Failing forward is what we like to call this process, and it sounds perfectly logical. But I sometimes have trouble convincing my heart that it’s truly okay to fail, and I suspect I’m not alone in this.

Sisters, what will it take for us to try again?

Will it take courage? Determination? Encouragement? Will it require us to look back at past mistakes? Will it require us to plan ahead?

Yes, it will take all of this and more.

Remember those wins and losses I mentioned earlier? Every tiny win counts! Though small, they may be the exact fuel we need to push us on to victory. One small win at a time until our wins outnumber our losses. That’s where we need to be. That’s where I long to be.

So where does this leave us?

It leaves me here with you, proclaiming – although somewhat timidly – that I’m willing to try again.

It leaves you here, contemplating your own need for change.

It leaves us both wondering, can we do this? Can we enter into yet another journey-to-better?

What do you say? You and me, friend. Let’s lock arms and stand together. Let’s be willing to try again.

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