Faith to Finish Well

I’ve listened to the lie long enough.

-I’ll never have enough time

-never have enough money

-won’t make enough dinner

– boobs aren’t big enough anymore

– won’t prepare enough

-not funny enough

-won’t write well enough

– don’t share enough

–  don’t try hard enough

-pray enough

-laugh enough

Honestly, I came up with those in 20 seconds. I hear these negative words all the time.

Today I’m squishing them. I’m not listening to the anymore.

I’m going to stop apologizing for being me and do the best I can with what I have and trust that it will be enough.

I like to finish things. I think you know this about me by now, but just in case we just met, let’s get that out of the way.

Projects, years, days, meals, stages, remodels – I like the finished product. I start things in a whirl of excitement and just hold my breath until the last nail is hammered, the glue dried, the dish returned, the confetti swept up. Then, I freely and joyfully exhale.

In the finishing I fell accomplished, victorious and fruitful.

Remember the line from the movie Remember the Titans, “Make ‘em remember the night they played the Titans”? I love it!

Winning and finishing fuels my soul. It waters something deep down inside of me and whispers, “Yes! You were made for this.”

Maybe I was, but let’s go back to reality.

Motherhood, homeschooling, the everyday living – how much of that is ever finished?

None.

So much of life is maintenance. I finish breakfast only to start lunch. My 2 year old finished the terrible twos stage only to enter the torrential threes. Pre-adolesence is followed by adolescence. I dusted just two weeks ago and do you know what is forming on top of my dresser? Yes. Dust. I know I washed this shirt just last week and those pants a couple days ago. Why are they in the laundry room again, I hear myself ask.

Because life is about maintenance. Completed, only to do again.

Hard, for a finish line girl like me.

But this morning, God showed me something new in the story of Creation. I often think of God Himself resting on the 7th day and relate that to how important times of rest are. What usually stands out to me is how God finished everything the day before and then rested.

I think, “I would rest too, if I finished all that!”

That’s why I’m pushing everyone to work faster, so we can be done and rest!

When I wake up in the morning on mission to finish something, I go to bed defeated and disappointed. And I miss something.

During the Creation of the world, God spent his day creating everything we now see. Take Day 3 for example. He created the plants and the fruit bearing trees. He finished His day by looking at what He created and said, “This is good.”

Was He finished? No!

Yes, He created pear trees but He still had fish, reptiles, whales, people, elephants and many other creatures to create. He was nowhere near finished.

Yet everyday He called what He did, good.

To me, that creates a finish line. It doesn’t say there isn’t more to be done, but it is rejoicing in what has been accomplished. It’s a victory.

So I decided to put that into action.

After the kids were tucked in bed, I looked at my clothes yet to be unpacked from my trip to Allume, the books that need a home and the papers scattered. I looked at my bed with the load of whites I just took out from the dryer, now beckoning to be folded. I looked at my kitchen, wrecked from the locust swarm at dinner.

And I said out loud to myself (this is normal for only children) –

This is good. I am not a better mom when this is all straightened and in place. It’s OK my suitcase isn’t unpacked. The dishes will survive a night out of the cabinet. I am not a failure because that room is a wreck!

I went in our bedroom and told my husband what I just did and he said, “What did you do with my wife?”

But it’s true! I am right where I need to be. Yes, I look forward to when this and that are finished and in order, but I am loved here in the middle of this mess.

And so are you.

Do you love finishing? How can you make small finish lines in your day?


2That’s it! The 31 day challenge is completed. Talk about a wonderful finish line! It has been good. Now it’s your turn. I want to hear which post encouraged you the most and why. Also, would you share that either via email or social media for it to encourage someone else? I’m thankful you joined me during this month of watering my mustard seed of faith. I hope your faith grew as much as mine did!

12 thoughts on “Faith to Finish Well

  1. Christina says:

    Great perspective! I am not a finisher. I am a project starter. I am so thankful for the finishers, the follower-throughers like you! For Starters, the day after day chores can become burdensome because we wonder, “what’s the goal? what’s the mission?” In a way, that’s looking for the finish too. I don’t have to reach it, but I want to reach for it. This post changes what we see as the goal. Well done!

    Like

    • Alisa says:

      I agree with Christina in that I don’t naturally consider myself a finisher but a ‘starter’ –or even a ‘designer’ might be more accurate. I can make great plans and lists and would love to always hand them over for someone else to see it through 😉 I love your insights, Julie, and noticing the ‘small finished lines’ is going to become a habit in my life!

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  2. Leanne says:

    So good! So while you are a finisher (because I am too!), are you feeling a sense of relief? I have gone through a similar realization in my recovery from perfectionism, that what is done (as is) is good. The feeling of pressure and urgency is gone and I feel peace. So I am wondering if you have that same feel with those things that are in constant maintenance.

    What a great point too that God wasn’t done in his creation, rather he said, “It is good.” I hadn’t thought of that. Fabulous insight!

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    • juliesteck says:

      Thanks Leanne! Umm, at one moment, yes, I feel a peace that I finished this challenge. In the next moment, I realize how “poured out” I feel. Doing this challenge really pushed me to write raw and post it. So, as I cross the finish line, I’m looking for the refreshment stand to sit down for a few minutes, take in some vitamin water, talk with my team some about the “race” and just rest. However, life doesn’t stop just so I can rest. Yes, I can say no to some things and I will, but I can’t say no to everything! So I pray God provides me with His rest…and He will show me what is next for this writing journey.

      I appreciate your question! How have you rested during your recovery period?

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      • Leanne says:

        I understand what you mean. I pray you can rest well. In early recovery, I rested for three months… I did say no to everything except God, myself and my kids/husband. No blogging, no coffee meet-ups, no social media, no church, nada. I got my kids to school and their activities; I got myself to therapy; I spent time with my husband on his days off; I spent my days in prayer and journaling and in my kitchen.

        These days, I watch the calendar, and I am super mindful about not filling in all the white space. I schedule nothing extra on days I have therapy; I make sure at least one weekend day has nothing planned (that means saying no to things); if I have a couple meetings already planned during a week and I get another invitation, then I will schedule it the following week so as to not fill up the empty spaces (like, just because I could meet doesn’t mean I should). I fill in the empty spaces with writing, praying, cooking/experimenting in the kitchen, napping, reading, etc.

        Also, if I am not feeling well (mentally or physically) then I let myself rest– this means no chores, reschedule meetings, no Taekwondo, etc. I treat myself the same way I’d treat my kidlets if they aren’t feeling well.

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      • juliesteck says:

        Leanne, those are such rich practical ways to rest. I need to watch and carefully guard that white space. I remember a post you wrote about that which really resonated with me. I was better about that when my kids were toddlers, but have let the chaos run a little too wild these days. Thank you for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah Koontz (@sarahekoontz) says:

    Oh my goodness! I did this last week. I didn’t have the encouragement from scripture specifically, but God has slowly been nudging my heart towards “being” rather than “doing.” I had some unfinished tasks at the end of the day and I actually sat down and read a book instead. My husband was floored! That just never happens. But I had a peace about it, and I knew it would be disobedience for me to get busy doing at that moment. So I just rested and enjoyed my book without a smidge of guilt, and it was wonderful.

    Like

    • juliesteck says:

      🙂 Yes, Sarah, “being” instead of “doing” is something the Lord has spoken to my husband and I for awhile now. It’s hard. Goes against my nature of wanting to do things. But, I see the importance of my doing flowing naturally – spilling over, rather, from who God is making me to be. 🙂 So glad you stopped by!

      Like

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