Humility, Hard Work, and Hope {Wellness Wednesday 1/1/2014}

Pike's Peak Colorado

Let me tell you a little about myself:

I’m a dreamer.

I am confident in my inherent worth.

I have many talents, passions, and interests.

As I’ve gotten older (ok, ok, 30 may not be old enough for any special wisdom), I’ve realized that each of our God-given personality traits has positives and negatives. Learning to love ourselves and other people means exploring ways to encourage the positive and show compassion when the negative aspects reign. The negative sides of my examples, for instance:

Dreaming is easier than doing.

I tend to be prideful.

It is difficult for me to stay committed to one pursuit for very long without getting distracted or bored.

Jack (Jill) of most trades, master of none.

When I was a teenager I lamented (annoyingly) often that there wasn’t anything that I was *really* good at.

I played viola, but not terribly well “because I’d never been able to afford private lessons.” I sang in the choir and had a pleasant voice, but had frequent respiratory illnesses that made my singing a bit unreliable. I got good grades, but struggled in math and didn’t always turn things in on time. I was creative but had no special abilities in any visual art form. And athletics… well… there’s not even anything to write to preface a “but” statement!

Nothing like being vulnerable and alone.


One of the things I *thought* I had a proclivity for was language. Words have always come easily and I have an ear for accent and intonation. Through a series of interesting events, I finished college with a Bachelors Degree in Japanese.

It was during my year studying abroad in Japan that I learned a lesson that has been hitting hard again recently:

Without humility and hard work, our strengths and talents have only the potential to take us where we want to go.

In Japan, I stuck out like a sore thumb (hello being blond and taller than most of the men there!) and couldn’t communicate easily with anyone around me but the other exchange students. Many of my classes were in Japanese, and while I was learning the language in theory, I had a really difficult time making progress.

My grades were the lowest they had ever been even though I was putting forth the same amount of effort I always had (which happened to be the bare minimum), and I was embarrassed to need my housemates to translate everything for me.

After one particularly rough meeting with a professor that had ended with good old fashioned American blubbering and tears, it finally sunk in that my struggle was with my lazy, selfish, pride – not my lack of talent.

I all but refused to do anything that didn’t come “naturally” to me with any measure of resolve. And I threw quiet little tantrums when anything threatened me with the teensiest bit of uncomfortable effort. It was laziness and fear, pride and complacency.

I’d love to say that I buckled down and came out on top. I did buckle down, but I still ended that year with the lowest gpa in my academic career – by a lot.

How failure left me hopeful.


God used my time in Japan to teach me many lessons, not the least of which was that there is peace in failure when I have done all I can.  It’s not so much like failure as it is like God directing my journey.

I’m not going to be great at everything. I do think, though, that I’ve been given my passions and abilities for a purpose. If I show up and give it my all – there is potential for excellence. If I sit around and wait for something excellent to just happen to me, I’m just squandering my time.

Lately I’ve been excited about all number of noble pursuits and have felt like this next season holds tremendous potential. Yet around every corner there has been something to hold me back, cause me to miss deadlines, make me re-evaluate how I spend my time. I’m not getting ahead like I want to; like I feel I should be.

So right now I’m setting my focus once again on humility. There is potential for amazing things right now. It’s also possible that this will be a quiet season where I learn more mundane lessons that I’ve missed chasing after personal significance.

In any case, I have no doubt that this year is a year for me to be diligent and work hard in all areas unto the Lord.

And as this writer puts it, it’s a time to plant mystery seeds. I can’t control the weather and I can’t control the end results, but I have a loving Father who can and will.


Each week I co-host this Wellness Wednesday link-up with my bloggy friends. Our fearless leader Trisha, is stepping down this year and we will miss her dearly, but Lea and Elsie are continuing to carry the torch with me here! Have you been encouraged in your journey to wellness by a link you found here? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page! And if you blog, please link up!

Link-Up Guidelines

  • Your post should relate to health or wellness in some way.
  • Your post does not have to be new. It can be from your archives as long as it’s new our blog.
  • Wellness WednesdaysEntries should be direct links to applicable posts. Please do not link to your homepage.
  • I encourage you to place my Wellness Wednesday button (found to the right) or a text link-back to this post on your post so others can learn about this link-up (example: “linking up with Wellness Wednesday” with the proper link included). Only posts that have this button or text link-back will be considered for the being chosen as featured (favorite) posts.
  • Have fun checking out everyone elses posts! Be sure to comment if you find a post that was particularly helpful or insightful. You know we all love comments, so share the love!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with wellness or is not family-friendly.

Not a blogger? Then just enjoy browsing through these uplifting posts!


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  1. I love hearing more about your journey. I struggle, too, with….probably all of those things. I really should be farther along in every area of my life, right? A lot of times it manifests as guilt–shouldn’t I be doing something bigger and grander to further His kingdom and to help people? (all while keeping my life comfortable and safe, OF COURSE)

    Here’s to the new year and seeds sprouting in ways we can’t even imagine. :)

  2. Laziness + fear. Ooph. That sounds like me and makes me uncomfortable…which isn’t a bad thing. I’m really not good at pushing myself and being uncomfortable while doing it. So thankful for friends to help us do the hard stuff and encourage us in the process. Let’s plant some seeds!

    • Where would we be without friends and the internet? :) I am so thankful for being uncomfortable – beats never growing! Thanks for reading regularly!

  3. This sounds SO much like me. I’m “good” at a variety of things, but never really excelled in anything, except writing/English (and don’t even get me started on sports/athletics…absolutely no skill or talent there!). I get easily discouraged and frustrated when things don’t come easily for me, but it’s been in those things I’ve really struggled with that I’ve learned the most. It’s just humbling to have to say “I’m not always very good at this” and “I need some help.”

    Thank you for the encouragement to pursue excellence, not just wait for it to drop in my lap. :)


  1. […] I’m linking up to Wellness Wednesdays! […]

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