I had made the recipe a thousand times. It was my mom’s go-to recipe for baking powder biscuits in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. But this time…they weren’t horrible, but they were not the light, fluffy multi-layered wonders I had come to expect. Instead they were flat and dense but still edible with sausage gravy dumped on top. As the branding crew filed through my kitchen, filling their plates, I stared embarrassed at the brown lumpy failures lying on the pan.
It would have been pretty easy to swear off homemade biscuits from that point forward. However, fast-forward seven years from that moment of defeat and just tonight I pulled out a pan of fluffy flaky biscuits that would have made my mom proud. Why? Because a fall down is only a defeat when we don’t learn and get back up.
So, Lora, you might ask, what does that look like when you are talking about habit change? It is exactly the same way I dealt with the biscuits. Something went wrong. I made some theories then baked them again and again until I knew the intricacies of each step in the biscuit-making process.
I’ll give you a real-time example from this week. It is summer and that means a different routine from the school year. This is fine and I do really well until afternoon snack time with the girls. I’m hungry enough to eat something but if I go all-in on whatever the treat of the day is, I have no appetite for a meal later. The other day, since it was a family meal and we were enjoying our time together, I went ahead and fixed a plate for myself as well and ate the entire thing though I was absolutely not hungry at all. It was a fall down, but one that I could learn from. I realized that I had choices about snack time that I wasn’t considering. The next day, I had only a small amount of the treat followed by an apple. At dinner my appetite was ready and I went to bed excited to have taken another step in the journey of health. That fall down had been a great opportunity to learn.
But it is not an opportunity to learn and grow if you pile on shame or indulge the temptation longer out of feeling of failure. I love this verse in James 1:4, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” NIV
Perseverance isn’t enduring just when you have enough strength or everything goes as planned. Perseverance is committing to getting back up and learning each and every time we fall down. That is when we truly mature and don’t lack the Spirit’s power, love, and self-control.
Journal Prompt: Why did you fall down? What did this teach you about YOU? What loving words do you need to tell yourself right now? What will you do to keep yourself strong next time?
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.