This is a late night post, straight out of my head – so who knows what might come out in this blog. It is something I’ve thought about before now, so that should give you some comfort of mind!
If you want to be excellent at something – what must you do? Thoughts… Here are my two:
1. Surround yourself with people who are better at you in what you want to be excellent. If I want to be a good cook – hang out with better cooks (Phyllis, Granny (chicken and rice and fried chicken), Alan (grilling steaks – but that must mean I get a grill too), Lauren (Italian food because she is), Wilders (homemade pizzas)…I could go on. If I want to be a good photographer – I hang out with people who are good and I look at their photos: Sherri, Aarica, Casey, Angie, Alan, Travis, David… I watch them as they take photos, look at their angles, ask them questions…and learn. If I want to be a better writer…I write, read, learn, study. If I want to be a better runner…I read running magazines, I hang out with people who will push me to run more.
But…I can watch and learn all I want…I eventually have to cook, take photos, write, and run. If these are the four things that I want to excel at in life – than I need to be around people who are better than me and actually do the things I want to be better at.
2. There’s the last one…I must practice. That means I look through recipes and make things that may or may not turn out because I want to practice on that one thing. Like fried goat cheese. Bruschetta – that’s this weekend. Cookies – the more I make them the better they will be. Photog: that means I actually have to make outings just about taking photos. That means I carry my camera with me everywhere I go. That means I see the world differently because I want to see it through a lens of my Canon Rebel. That means I actually must write. Whether that is through this blog, writing letters, or writing what I actually do for a living – I have to do it. I have to be prepared to get my work cut to shreds by people because that will only make me better. It means I must divorce myself from my writing and not take criticism personally. That means I must buy more pens and more paper and always have something with me on which to write. It means I must think more. That means I sign up for races and go run. That means I get up at the crack of dawn or go run in the heat/humidity. That means I sacrifice. That means I use the saying no pain no gain in running a 1/2 marathon.
One thing I want to be good at: being a wife. That means…if I ever get the chance…I want to be the best darn wife God will have created me to be. That means…for now…I hang out with great wives, I learn from them. That means…I read books on biblical femininity and the roles of a wife and a mother. That means…I talk about where I struggle. That means I learn how to be real with people (oh, don’t I just love that). One pastor’s wife said to me, “Kim, you may be an open book but that doesn’t mean you are vulnerable.” I didn’t believe her at the time. But, I think being around people who are about me and want to love me for who I am and not what I can do or how I succeed has taught me that it is ok. Also, being surrounded by grace has gone a long way. But, I still can’t settle. And that brings me to my last point of this post…
I want to excel at loving Jesus. That means…I come to him and bring all my requests to him in boldness (Eph 3.12, 20). That means I repent of the same sins that I do over and over (Until sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet). That means I cling so tightly to the cross of Christ that that is all I talk about because without it I wouldn’t be alive (Gal 6.14). That means I saturate myself in the Word and know that anything I say, do, think, or read will be colored by the Truth that I find in that book. That means I live in grace. That means I live in grace. That means I live in grace.
For what are you striving for excellence? What steps are you taking to get there?