Thursday, November 7, 2013

Small Successes to Report This Thursday

Sometimes it's too easy to view every small failure (and we're human, so there sure are lots of them) as a mountain and every small success as a molehill.  That's why I was glad to see this link-up at, one of my favorite websites.  It celebrates the small successes that don't seem all that momentous at the time but can be true game-changers, and it's a reminder of that pithy, oft-quoted saying, "life is not a sprint, it's a marathon."  (Although holy moly,  the last thing I would ever, ever, EVER do is sign up to run a marathon, so I don't really like my life being compared to one!)
I guess I tend to dwell on my failures more than I do on my successes, because when I sat down to write this post I had to think really, really hard about the events of the past week in order to come up with three small successes to share.  And just the fact that it wasn't that easy to do makes me realize that this link-up might be a good exercise for me.  Good for my outlook and good for my soul.  So here goes.

Okay this is kind of funny: I was sitting at my laptop, trying to come up with success #1 and getting stumped, so I clicked on over to the site to see if the link-up had gone live yet...and when I did, I saw that the article I submitted titled "Three Reasons I Love" had been published yesterday!  I didn't know when it was going to be posted on the site, so it was a wonderful surprise.

Ever since the first of my five sons was born in 1983, I've been a stay-at-home-mom; the only real career aspiration I've ever had, from the time I was a young bookworm in love with the written word, was to be a writer--which always seemed like an unattainable, pipe dreamy sort of a thing. But here I am, a writer.  (And coincidentally, the article is about three successes, but they're rather huge ones: three successful on-line matches that produced three beautiful Catholic couples.)


I just found out that the flower girl dress I made for my future daughter-in-law's cousin's young daughter fits her.   Woo hoo--success!  I had to hope that the size 6 pattern I used to make the dress for this little girl--who lives down South and whom I've never laid eyes on in person--would fit the same way the off-the-rack size 6 she normally wears fits...and thanks be to God, it does.  (Phew!)  When I mailed the ivory satin frock off to her, I was so worried--especially since the wedding is now exactly one month away, and if it wasn't a good fit, that wouldn't give me much time to either do alterations on that one or just stitch up a new one.  I was able to bring a completed dress out to CO with me when my husband and I visited our wee granddaughters recently, so I knew that the twins' dresses fit them; but until today I didn't know about flower girl #3's dress.  So life is good.

When my son's soon-to-be bride asked me, shortly after their engagement back in April, if I would be willing to make these dresses, I was thrilled at the prospect--but I am now exhaling a major sigh of relief.  (Three flower girl dresses that fit: that's three darling small successes right there.)

Successes #1 and #2 each contained three for the price of one, so I think I should be done here.  But let me see, is there anything else I can tell you about?  Well, this week I came to the realization that I might be making some progress in overcoming my vanity.

When I had to have the two back molars removed on the upper right side of my jaw this past summer (due to some weirdly twisted roots and root canals that had seemed to fix the problem for a while, but were now failing), like a great big baby I cried tears over the loss of those teeth.  I did not find out I'd contracted a serious disease.  I had not been given the awful news that I have cancer.  I merely had to have a couple of teeth extracted.  (I know--I am ashamed.)  But you see, it was a huge deal to me, because I saw that when I smiled really wide, or threw my head back in laughter, the gaping hole was extremely obvious.  It made me feel so ugly.  And so old.  And there was not going to be enough time to finish the process of getting an implant before my #3 son's wedding next month.  Woe is me.

On Monday, I had a metal "root" screwed into my jaw, which will one day hold a nice faux molar...but not in time for my son's big day.  So to tide me over, my dentist made me a clear plastic retainer that has a false tooth embedded in it.  The device is not all that noticeable, but it makes me lisp a little.  So my choice is to speak with a slight speech impediment throughout the wedding reception, or to expose the fact that I have a big black hole where my teeth should be.  It will be an excellent opportunity for me to practice humility.

You're probably asking where the success is in this story.  It's a small success, but I've finally achieved it: I've accepted the measly little cross I've been asked to carry.  And by the time I was sitting in the oral surgeon's chair on Monday as he drilled away at my jaw bone, I was finally at peace with the whole thing.  There were no silly tears this time--just a feeling of relief that modern dentistry has an answer for pretty much every situation.

Baby steps, right?  It's not a sprint.

Now if you head on over and check out this post on the website, you can read about the small successes others are having and let their stories serve to inspire you in your daily life.


  1. Great post! And I think that the Devil doesn't like this series. Yours is the 3rd I've read this morning that mentioned it was hard to find successes this week. And I felt the same way when I sat down to post mine.

    Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on all these successes!!

    1. If I join this link-up again, I'm going to approach it with a way more positive attitude! Because all I had to do was think for a little bit, and there WERE some successes, however small, to share. You're right, too: the devil must hate it when our faith and hope win out, despite the many challenges we face in this imperfect world of ours.

  2. Thank GOD it's not a Sprint!
    Those dresses are great. And I'm so proud of you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words, Emily. :)

  3. Congratulations on having your article posted! That's great! And, the dresses - they are picture perfect. Sometimes I find that the more grateful I am throughout the day, the more I can see God working in my life, and I'm less likely to feel down. But, when I dwell on the negatives it's a quick spiral downwards. I was just thinking AGAIN about giving up blogging, because no one really reads or comments on my blog, so I think it's not really making a difference to anyone anyway....then I read your post today and it's making me re-think things! Bless you!

    1. If I had a dollar for every time I thought about giving up blogging, I would be so rich!

      You, however, should really keep at it. You're one of the best writers out there...and I would miss you if you stopped. You're the only other mother of 5 boys I know in the blogosphere. :)

  4. Oh my, I am cringing at the idea of that dental work! I hope the remainder of it is painless and your smile beautiful once again very soon.

    The dresses are amazing!

    1. Thanks, Barb. That procedure was easier than it sounds. Only about one day of pain afterward.

      The dresses are pretty simple; but they're soft and comfy, like jammies--no crinolines or anything itchy or scratchy about them. Since my two-year-old twin granddaughters have to wear them, I thought that might be best. :)

  5. Beautiful dresses! There's something so very special about handmade clothes. I hope the wedding goes smoothly and I'm sure the girls will look lovely. -Esther

    1. Thanks, Esther. When I was making those dresses, I kept thinking I could probably get something prettier and maybe even as cost effective at TJ Maxx...but there IS something about homemade things that I dearly love.