Friday, March 28, 2014

Don't quit.

Don’t quit. I think that might be the recipe for success. 

I know it sounds overly simplistic. And actually there are a lot of others things to add to it...

For instance there is actually wisdom is recognizing when it is time to end something and begin something new that better fulfills the vision that sparked the original idea to begin with. Like phonebooks. The idea to make phone numbers accessible to the public in one central location is brilliant. But it was wise for the phonebook company to realize that most people spend their days online now, so rather than producing those big yellow books and delivering them to everyone’s houses, they were better off exploring the world wide web and finding a way to fulfill their vision on there. Discontinuing the mass production of their phonebooks in that situation was actually successful, though it involved putting an end to something that had been a major part of their business for decades. 

But for the sake of my thoughts on this particular morning... I am going to land on this idea of not quitting. I think it’s huge and deserves some of my attention. Right now I am in the middle of some big decisions related to the ministries I direct. I am also approaching my 5th wedding anniversary. Beauty Arise is being launched in multiple locations around the world. As is Models For Christ. Our work at various fashion weeks is flourishing and catching the attention of some highly influential people. My family relationships are growing deeper. I am learning to be a loving friend and maintain healthy friendships in the midst of an extremely demanding schedule. Calling All Skaters (the ministry my husband started & directs) is popping off and we are getting ready to head over to Barcelona for the summer so we can develop his ministry to skaters in Europe. It’s all crazy and exciting and a gift to be a part of... 

But here’s the thing. 
It’s all still just the beginning. 
And I’m learning that beginnings aren’t all that impressive. 

Lots of people can start stuff. Marriages start. Families start. Businesses start. Careers start. Ministries start. Friendships starts. Diets start. Starting is the easy part. It’s exciting and new and fun and adventurous. People love new beginnings. If you want proof just hop over to Pinterest and soak up all the photos of engagements and weddings and new babies. We love it all. 

But then we look around at the real world and the evidence of our inability to finish well is everywhere. Divorces. Affairs. Fraud. Addictions. Lies. Eating disorders. Depression... 

And I don’t have a lot of answers. I have a lot of thoughts, but I am young and inexperienced so I recognize it would be arrogant to call them answers. So here is the main thought that has been on my mind for a couple days.

Success will be found in my perseverance. 
More simply. 

Don’t quit. 

Keep showing up. Keep showing up to life. Keep showing up to marriage. Keep showing up to friendships and family relationships and ministry endeavors. Even when I wake up in the morning feeling like I’d rather be somewhere else, with someone else, doing something else... don’t quit. Even when its late in the evening and I’m exhausted and feeling like too much red wine is more appealing than responding to the surplus of messages in my inbox. Don’t quit. When it seems hard and I feel unqualified; when I don’t have answers and my loneliness tries to convince me that eating a pint of ice cream would bring the comfort I need; when I’m tired of hearing about how I’ve let people down in my leadership; when I miss Colorado or long to live in a house of my own; when I’m a complaining mess and lose sight of the vision that drives me...
don’t quit. Keep showing up. Whispering a quiet “yes” to the call of God on my life is enough. My emotions will dance all around on any given day. My excitement for life will ebb and flow. My circumstances will always bring surprises and require more of me than I expected to give. But this one thing I can remember. No matter what...

Don’t quit. 
Over time learning to persevere will produce results. 
That’s how I got where I am today. 
That’s how I hope to continue on in this adventure. 
That’s how I hope to encourage you today. 

Don’t quit. 
That’s all. 

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photos by Sarah Grunder photography 

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