This week we want to talk to you about a real-life example of not allowing obstacles to keep you from reaching your goal. Recently, we were honored to be guests at Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee, FL, where we were featured speakers and simultaneously did our first book signing for our children’s book collections (available for purchase HERE). This was an exciting and important milestone in our young entrepreneurial life. So needless to say, we were preparing to go all out with the presentation of this platform including the display of both book series.
With so many things on our list to take with us, we decided to make it a road trip, which would also allow us some flexibility to have extra time with friends and family while there. We packed up our vehicle and headed to the airport to pick up our rental vehicle for the journey. Pre-kids it took us about 10 hours to make this journey to Florida, but with kids it adds another 1-1.5 hours onto the trip. Once we secured our rental vehicle we transferred all of the contents into the rental vehicle, at least that’s what we thought.
So, packed up and ready to go, we begin our road trip from Houston to Florida. I began the first leg of the trip and drove a few hours before we switched drivers. After Eardie began driving, she asked me if I remembered to bring the banners, to which I answered confidently, “Yes”. Then the question that changed the whole tone of the trip…. “Did you put the banners in this vehicle?” I thought for a second and …. “Oh Shoot!! I forgot to put the banners in the rental.” So here we are at a crossroads, do we continue on to Florida without our banners? Absolutely not, this is our first event and we need these banners. Do we turn around and go back? But we’ve already driven 3 hours. We had to make a decision, Eardie said emphatically, “We have to turn around.” At the very next exit, we made a U-turn to officially turn our 11-hour trip into a 16 or 17 hour trip. Now here’s the kicker, had this happened 4 or 5 years ago, there would have been a huge blow up with accusations being thrown and condemnation along with sulking and attempts to defend one’s actions. But none of that happened, we made a decision quickly to not only turn around but to choose to show grace and offer forgiveness. During this trip we learned many lessons and we want to highlight 3 of our key takeaways:
· When we maintain our focus on the goal at hand, we are able to overcome obstacles that present themselves unexpectedly. The ability to keep our focus on the goal (book signing) and not on the obstacle (adding 6 hours to our trip) allowed us to push past what could have potentially ruined our trip. We were going to serve families and having our minds consumed with our mistakes would have hindered us from truly being able to encourage and support our audience.
· When you make mistakes, take full responsibility quickly for the error and refrain from deflecting the responsibility onto your spouse. Taking this approach exhibits humility, that can foster an environment of forgiveness and transfer the attention back to how to achieve the desired goal/purpose and not the obstacle that is there to distract, discourage and derail us.
· We have the ability to show grace towards our spouse or condemn them for their mistake or error. Let’s choose grace. Grace is the ingredient in marriage that keeps the relationship from being a hostile environment. Think about it this way… When you share life as closely with another person as you do in marriage, there’s bound to be friction. Grace is the lubricant absolutely necessary for the marriage to be healthy and have longevity, just as oil is necessary and vital for how well your engine performs and functions. Imagine an engine with no oil, how long would that engine last.. not very long. In the same manner, marriages can NOT survive without a steady dose of grace being applied.
The truth is, mistakes happen. We’re imperfect people and we’re bound to mess up from time to time. The goal isn’t to be perfect; that’s unreasonable. We can learn from our mistakes, however, and use them as growth tools. Be gracious with yourself and each other. Enjoy the journey!