SAT. ACT. GPA. Majors. Scholarships. College and career choices. College acceptance. Financial Aid. Demands,  many of which are performance based, for today’s high schoolers. What pressure!

Our daughter is a junior this year and is in the throws of all these demands, deadlines, and decisions. However, her decision making process began when she was in elementary school concerned about her GPA and focused on getting into college. We didn’t even know she knew what a GPA was let alone why she was so focused on college acceptance already. But she’s always been a goal-oriented planner.

The truth is who doesn’t like to meet goals, pass tests, and amount to something. There is nothing wrong with that. The idea of failing isn’t exactly something we strive for, right? But the danger comes when fearing failure overshadows the process of learning and growing.

Failure then becomes the enemy. But is it really? Isn’t the potential for learning and growth there when we fail? I once heard at a writers conference, “Failure is evidence that you tried.” How true. If we never try so we won’t potentially fail, that isn’t success. Failure just shows that you gave it a shot!

We are all human and we all will fail from time to time at something. The problem isn’t that we fail, but in how we respond when we do. Do we get back up, learn and tweak things, and try again? Here are some people that did:

*Walt Disney was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking imagination and not having great ideas.

*Abraham Lincoln failed when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly.

*Henry Ford failed at businesses which left him broke five times before he started the Ford Motor Company.

*Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard his junior year of school and failed at his first business.

*Colonel Sanders had difficulty selling his chicken at first with his secret recipe being rejected 1,009 times.

*Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Failure isn’t the end, but an opportunity and springboard to learn and grow into what’s ahead!


Waiting is not something in this society we do well. Everything is quick or instant. Our world around us and technology offers us instant updates, instant messages, fast downloads, real time emails no matter where you are, instant rewards, minute meals, overnight shipping, instant cash loans, complete automation of tasks, and even five-minute devotionals.

We live in a period of time where instant gratification is possible for most things and we can automate aspects of our life so we don’t have to think about it later. Sounds great … right?

Well what about when it comes to our relationship with God. God isn’t driven by time and space. As a result, our daily demands of “now” flow into our relationship with God and its hard not to experience a clash in the two ways of living life. Before we know it, our question of Why isn’t God answering my prayer flows into How long do I have to wait and progresses to Where are you God?

How quickly our thoughts progress from one to the other. We perceive waiting further on God implies His abandonment or else permission to go ahead with our own idea. But in reality, God isn’t concerned with “instant” but rather growth, intimacy with Him, and obedience to His Will for us. Clearly that can’t be accomplished in an instant or by automation.

Our move to North Carolina wasn’t instant but required much waiting … over two years of waiting. There were times we felt nothing was happening and questioned whether we heard God right, other days we fought discouragement. But we still clung to God in faith (some days just barely) knowing He HAD to be at work even though we couldn’t see any progress.

We now see that what we learned in that time of waiting couldn’t have been learned any other way. Not only did we grow closer together as a family, grow in our individual walks with God and our faith, but God also developed things within us that were all preparation for what He had ready for us once we moved.

Having now lived here for nearly six months, we are still continuing to see God’s answers to prayer from that time of waiting wondering if in His silence, He was listening. God has allowed us to see some of the incredible behind the scenes working that He was doing all along. We just smile, shake our heads, and are just amazed at how He thought of everything! Had we given up or jumped ahead of Him, we would have missed out on what He planned for us.

No matter what we’re going through, God is at work in us and our situations—even if it appears nothing is happening. He hears our prayers instantly but at times we must wait for God to work out His answer.

Our question in the waiting shouldn’t be How long do I have to wait or Where are you God but instead What would you have me learn about You today Lord. It may be growth or healing He’s trying to work in us or it may be just a lesson in faith and trust in God. He never sleeps or slumbers but is always at work on our behalf.

Waiting may be contrary to our daily life, but it’s what God commands us to do sometimes when we allow Him to be in the driver’s seat.


Ever read a book that captured you to the core and caused you to think … truly think? I’m in the middle of reading, Praying for Strangers by River Jordan. This book is one of those books.

In the nonfiction book, this fiction writer shares her resolution journey to pray for a stranger daily. She not only prays for them, but meets them, and listens to their stories. Complete strangers. She tells about how the journey is changing her, perhaps more than those she’s praying for.

I’ve been reading it for a while—largely because it’s so thought provoking. I get through a few short chapters and I sit and ponder. It’s caused me to re-evaluate how I look at others around me as well as my own prayer life. It’s made me look deeper.

I pray for needs I do know, but what about those I don’t. What about the people who are afraid to speak out. How could I impact those I come in contact with every single day if I just took time to pray for strangers?

It’s so easy to get caught up in our routines, life’s demands, and challenges and just focus on what’s before us. Every man for himself. But is that all life is to be about? No.

I have started to look at strangers differently … the man at Walmart who stayed even though it was his lunch hour, just to put the new battery in my car because he had started working with me prior to his lunch time beginning. I prayed for him. The woman at the gym I crossed paths with a few days ago that was so proud of herself that she showed up to work out. I prayed for her.

So many people. So many needs. So many reasons to pray.