I am trying to get licensed in Arkansas to become a certified teacher. Last month, I took the Praxis test and did not pass the Math portion of the exam. So, I’ll have to retake the Math section of the test this Fall. Over the past couple of months, I applied to three different jobs and did not get any of them. These experiences reminded me that failures are just another part of life. Sometimes we fail in small ways and other times we mess up big time.
As a wife and mom, I feel like a failure when we run out of important household items like milk, bread, or toilet paper. I feel defeated when I leave the clothes in the washing machine too long, and they turn to a sour smell. I’ve accidently washed diapers in the washing machine several times. Since I started cooking on a regular basis 18 years ago, I still burn food or make meals that don’t taste good. My husband and kids have suffered through many of my failed attempts in the kitchen.
It is difficult to measure success in parenting. When my kids were toddlers, I was simply glad they were still alive at the end of the day. Keeping them from choking or hurting themselves seemed like a major accomplishment. One time my oldest son drove his toy car down our split-level stairs and chipped his tooth. My younger son flipped that same car and received stitches in his chin. One of the greatest struggles for me was toilet training toddlers. At times I felt I was doing something wrong when they had an accident. It was such a triumph when my preschoolers became fully toilet trained! As my kids grow older, I get angry for different types of things. When I lose my temper and yell at them, I feel horrible afterwards.
Failure is a part of life. When you mess up, remember that God loves you and forgives you. One of the verses that encourages me when I fail is Proverbs 24:16, “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.” It takes courage to get up and try again when you fall. Brave people apologize when they make mistakes and hurt others. It may take you more than seven tries to get it right, but however long it takes, I encourage you to keep rising up when you stumble and fall. Never stop striving. Get back up!