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Judy Lair is a licensed counselor and owner of Counselorplace Christian Counseling. She is the author of “From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living.” Judy’s personal struggles with fear led her through the valley of hurt and sorrow. She now embraces a joy-filled life grounded in God’s truth and freedom in Christ. Judy uses her professional counseling expertise to tell stories that help people find healing and freedom. Her vulnerable, godly approach helps people find courage to move from Fear to Freedom. For more information or speaking requests, email JudyLair@counselorplace.com or sign up for blog posts at http://judylair.blogspot.com

 “Freedom is attainable. Trust me, I’ve been on the anxiety side, gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and now I’m praising God, eating at the banqueting table, and helping others make the same journey. Whether you find yourself stuck in anxiety, disappointment, grief, or confusion, your heart can be set free.” Judy Lair, “From the Other Side of the Couch.”

Monday, October 12, 2015

Viewing Failure

Never let failure get to your heart. 

So I’m all geared up to spend my afternoon cooking and baking for the week.  I’ve recently decided to follow the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan (low glycemic). A requirement for success is planning and preparation. I’ve chosen new recipes, went to the grocery store to buy new ingredients, and now I’m standing in my kitchen mixing, cooking, and baking.

Excitedly I put ingredients into my NutriBullet for a protein shake (I am in love with this easy to use, easy to clean appliance). As the blades are whirring around, chocolate liquid oozes out of the glass. Humm, probably too much of this new stuff called Glucomannan which thickens liquid. I grab another glass and pour half the shake in it, then clean up the mess. Tastes good but really thick.

Okay, I feel really iffy about this next recipe for an egg custard. It looks simple enough, but I’ve not eaten many custards so I don’t really know what to expect. Egg whites, almond milk, vanilla, etc. all blended together and into the oven. An hour later I take it out and there’s a puffed up brown film that completely sinks 10 seconds after removal. Underneath it’s still as watery as when I put it in. Epic failure!

Let’s try a pasta dish. I should be able to get that right! Following a Spaghetti Pie recipe, I put the Dreamfields pasta (doesn’t raise blood sugar) on to boil. I’m making great progress proofreading my upcoming book on Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I suddenly realize I didn’t set a timer! Yup, overcooked pasta but since it’s the only box I have, I’m just going to use it and hope for the best.

Lastly I decide to make healthy muffins, yum! Oven’s preheated, should only take me 5 minutes to mix up the ingredients. Oatmeal flour, Truvia, yogurt, eggs, baking soda and baking powder…wait! I only have baking soda, what am I going to do now? My options are 1) stop what I’m doing and try it another day; 2) get in my car and run up the street to the market; or 3) ask neighbors. I’ve lived in this apartment for six months and although I’ve nodded to several neighbors, I’ve really not talked to anyone. But this seems to be a good opportunity so I take a small bowl and start knocking on doors. Saturday afternoon, surely someone should be home somewhere. Eight doors later, a woman finally answers.

She brings out a box of baking powder and I tell her, “No, sorry, I need the other one, baking soda.” She kindly gives me some baking soda and as I climb the stairs to my door I realize I messed up. I actually did need the baking powder! No way was I going back to the nice lady. Grabbing my keys, I got into my car and drove to the market with my oven still on and the rest of the ingredients sitting on the counter.

Looking at my actions today, I failed in a lot of ways. What’s most important is how I process each event. Viewing failure as a character issue wounds our heart. We then use negative self-talk to condemn and demean ourselves. When others point out it’s merely a learning opportunity, we brush them aside, holding ourselves to a perfectionist standard. I believe the Bible tells me to love myself the way God loves me. That means offering myself grace, mercy, and compassion. Not everything is a character issue and when it is, God is the one who convicts my heart.

When I view my actions today through grace-filled eyes, I’m excited about what I’ve learned. No more custard, remember to time the pasta, and now I have another neighbor to wave to in the complex. Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” I believe my Heavenly Father encourages me to try new experiences as I learn who he made me to be and live out the plans he has for my life. It’s imperative we critique our definition of failure, and not let it compromise our heart.

By the way, the muffins turned out scrumptious!

Photo used by permission thru Creative Commons by tobyelwin.com

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